A weekend of Night Markets and Festivals

 

The weekend was one of celebrations throughout Wellington – it was also a weekend of some pretty excellent weather (minus a rainy start on Sunday).

Friday after my university orientation I took the scenic path home and enjoyed the flavorful sights of Aro Valley on a Friday afternoon – people playing in the park, neighbors chatting about their weekend – all the fun stuff in a community. I went home and worked on paperwork, RU stuff and my blog, before heading out around 5:30 for the Wellington Night Market. I could smell the food trucks before I even turned the corner onto Cuba Street. I can see that this will be a great place to spend my Friday nights, as the street performers and musicians just add to the cool vibe (and when I am in the Auselbrooks flat – it will literally be around the corner – not bad, eh?

I enjoyed it so much I decided to go back Saturday night for the Lantern Festival – a part of the Chinese New Year Celebrations all over the city!

Saturday morning (after sleeping in!) was spent doing mundane tasks like laundry, cleaning and the like (I can’t be in tourist mode all the time you know!). I also spent some time catching up with folks back home.

The Lantern Festival was covered up – I mean like so covered up even I, who tends to do ok in crowds, was like get me out of here! I took a quick walk through,glanced and the lanterns, checked out a few of the street performers and decided that I would try the famous NZ Green Lipped Mussels – I took out my phone and found a place with good reviews just around the corner, and headed into Giddy-Up to enjoy a much more relaxed dining atmosphere than the festival was offering.

After my peaceful dinner and great conversations with the locals and the staff in Giddy-Up, I decided a run through the lanterns now that it was dark was in order, so I checked them out, enjoyed some more music by the performers, then decided since it was quite late, and well after dark, that an Uber was the best choice to take home – and while I am certain it was the right choice – I could have done without the strangest Uber ride conversation I have ever had. I actually had him drop me off a few houses away, and hopefully will not cross his path again. (Nothing too bad – just a bit , well, odd).

Sunday morning I had EVERY intent of getting up for church – but apparently I turned off my alarm, and by the time I woke up I had 30 minutes before worship started – and its a 20 minute walk to church, so I did not make it.

I had a relaxing breakfast, and savored my coffee on the porch, before heading out to Island Bay for the Island Bay Festival. Island Bay was gorgeous – and once I get my act together and either purchase or rent (to be determined) a wetsuit (The water is CRAZY cold) I plan to snorkel there – along what is called the Island Bay Snorkel Trail – part of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve.

Island Bay was also CRAZY windy – but I withstood the blowing sand and enjoyed the music and the water while siting on the sea wall for several hours. (and yes, I reapplied sunscreen – just ask Minifigmerry! đŸ™‚

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Some observations from my festivals:

  • The food trucks seemed to be a lot of the same vendors – which was nice for me – because I was able to hit one I was interested in from Friday on Sunday.
  • The craft vendors are heavily Asian influenced – lots of amazing 3D pop up paper cards,  cards, weaving and lanterns. (But I am not sure if it was just because the Chinese New Year Celebrations were going on and folks were in town?)
  • Children are much more free to explore – from the festival to the beach – even little bittys were down on the beach while their parents were much further away.
  •  Children do not wear shoes regularly – its just a thing.
  • I felt like I was at a fair from the 50’s – it was a nice relaxing change of pace.

After I left Island Bay, I took the bus to Central Park and walked through the trails before heading home.

It was a fantastic weekend!

 

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3 Comments

  1. Sounds like you should have said “giddy up” to the uber driver! I think I would enjoy a carnival from the 50s about now, too. You are finding the most unique and intriguing sights. Are any of your fellow “Fulbrighters” near you?

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  2. The 1st 8 pix don’t show! I Love my postcard it is beautiful! I was talking to Betty n she said it looked like U were n Bahamas!

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