It's been a while, but I finally have some exciting NZ adventures to write about.
Alas, Ben's visit has come and gone in a week's time, but we managed to fit in a week's worth of fun, including hiking and touristy museums. Here is a day-by-day summary of our adventures together.
A walk around Lambton Quay and Hell Pizza delivered to our door. Gluten-free of course. Rested up for the hiking in the days ahead.
More walking around the main streets in Wellington. Went around the Wellington Harbour and the small stretch of beach. Some shopping and gluten-free burgers for dinner at Burger Fuel, biggest and best burgers in town.
Spent the midday hiking up Mt. Victoria, highest point in Wellington. It took us about an hour's hike up to the top and we took some amazing photos of the city. Sandwiches and coke for lunch at the top. Dinner at the General Practitioner - ribeye and scallops.
It got a bit cloudy and misty today, but we managed to make it out when it finally cleared up. Looked around the Te Papa Museum along the harbor in the morning. Then took the bus to Brooklyn and hiked up to Wind Turbine. Yes, there is actually a wind turbine at the top. Some more great panoramic views of the city. Dinner at The Tasting Room - lamb and sirloin...not as good as the ribeye the day before.
Took the train to Masterton and a bus to Martinborough - wine country! Spent the morning and early afternoon tandem biking it through half a dozen vineyards. So many grapes, so much wine tasting. Bought a bottle of Te Kairanga Sauvignon Blanc for the evening. Dinner at the Martinborough Hotel restaurant - lamb and chicken...oh! And some shoestring fries with "tomato sauce" and aioli.
Returned to Wellington. More shopping on Lambton Quay, Cuba Street, and Willis Street. Grocery shopping for Vogel's gluten-free bread so Ben could return with half a dozen loaves. That bread is $7.99 a loaf and worth every penny!
One last walk around Kelburn Campus, packed up Ben's luggage and headed to the airport for his departure.
It is now the second week of my mid-semester break from Victoria University. I am still planning a tour of the South Island in June, and will hope to have that itinerary all sorted in a few weeks tops. This is the bus company I am looking into. (http://www.straytravel.com/) I've heard great things about this bus tour system and I think I will meet lots of people from around the world! I believe that after being in this city for over a month now, I have seen almost every nook and corner of it. I've also realized that it is not as big as I had originally thought it was. Very dense and not sprawled out too far. Although the 20-minute walk the main grocery story makes it seem much larger that it really is.
Ben was surprised to walk so many hills, but I think he appreciates the rather flat terrain of Kansas much more. Haha! I think I appreciate Kansas even more too! I mean, the hills and hiking are beautiful parts of NZ, definitely, but sometimes I wish I didn't live at the top of a steep hill...walking to and from the city and school is a killer.
So...13 more weeks to go, and my stay in Wellington, New Zealand will be complete. I look forward to more traveling adventures to come.