Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wellington; Storms, Trolls & Homegirls

So towards the end of June I used up a whole stack of airpoints (acquired over my whole ~9 years of university holiday and conference travels) to visit some of my peeps around the North Island.

With my usual epic luck for timing - I ended up spending my first three days stranded at Auckland airport whilst Welly got its #storm13 tantrum out of its system.

Fun times.  And, of course - Auckland looked like this:
And I don't think I have ever spent so much time waiting in lines.  The first night I got put up in the Hotel Grand Chancellor, and the staff had great issues confirming payment from the airline - not as bad as the group of JetStar passengers, however.  They got left in the lobby while some poor hotel dude tried over and over ringing through to Aussie to try and get any sort of confirmation.  It was 11pm by the time I got to a room, and most of them were still waiting in the lobby (I'd arrived at the airport off a Whakatane flight at about 9am).

When I finally did get to Welly, I met The Married One at her parents for delicious hot lunch (c/o her lovely Dad), and then we hit up TePapa to see what had changed - not much.  As an aside - TMO has made the ultimate investment - a onesie.  She gave me permission to share the photo provided you couldn't see her face.  Its almost like she's ashamed...nope :P.

Amongst dinner catchups (shoutout to the fantastic Lawyering One), movies (if you haven't seen a movie at the Reading Gold Lounge yet - then do it.  Fantastic.), zoo, a job interview and shop browsing; we visited the Weta Cave out at Miramar.

As you can imagine, it is as brilliant as all things touched with the Weta/Peter Jackson magic wand.
They have some trolls out front, and I got the impression that they were the only thing allowed photographed (could it have been the multitude of signs warning against it inside, perhaps?), so, of course - I made friends:
They have a tiny cinema inside where they show a micro documentary, which among awesome, makes you realise how many more movies Weta (+ family companies) works on than you realised.  They also run a behind the scenes tour, but of course we arrived as the last tour was leaving, before they all knocked off for lunch, and we decided to come back in future rather than wait them out.  Very much worth the visit, if you have the chance (and I suggest you leave your credit cards locked in your car...).

One of the days we got some sushi (Wellington has the best sushi) and ate with TMO's mum in her works break room - a most fantastic space decorated with re-purposed electrical components:
It was quite beautiful.

And of course, the local crazy cat found me at TMO's house:
A strange, grumpy looking thing that was very insistent I let him into the house.  We had a good cuddle on the front stoop.

I also had a look around the Dowse Art Museum, which had some fascinating exhibits - but very much modern.
Alex Monteith had a constantly changing surfing project running on the projector, and there was an awful lot of pottery by Barry Brickell, but my favourite was the 'Black O' exhibit by Kerrie Poliness - massive geometric wall 'drawings' which were fantastic.  My taste runs more towards the classical and oils, but it's worth a pop-in if you're in the Hutt and have a mo.

It was brilliant catching up with The Married Ones, whom I hadn't seen in 6 months, and The Lawyering One whom I hadn't seen in years.

It's hard being so far away from your homegirls.  Visiting is good.