November 30, 2009

A Weekend in Windy Wellington

The yuckiest thing about coming home from a holiday is facing the inevitable, post-holiday mood. Don’t you just hate going back to work after a blissful week of fun? Yeah, I thought so. Well, as the world accelerates back into real time, I have to slowly bring myself back to reality and start working on my thesis.

But before I drift into the dreariness of academic writing, I thought I’d share with you a glimpse of my holiday in Wellington.

It was my first time to Wellington and I was there for the NZ Postgraduate conference held at Victoria University (will talk about the conference in another post). Since hubby and I had never been to any parts of the North Island before, we decided to turn this conference trip into a weekend-holiday escapade. A very brief one but satisfying nonetheless.

A bit about Wellington. It is the capital city of New Zealand and the second largest city in the country with a population of 423,765. Located between a beautiful harbour and rolling green hills, the city has a scenic view of the waterfront and the famous Mt. Victoria.

I was blown away when we first arrived in Wellington. It is nothing like Christchurch. Christchurch is beautiful but it is just that. Beautiful and boring and completely flat. Wellington is vibrant and exciting and hilly. The complete opposite of Christchurch.

We didn’t get to do much on the first day because I was more focused on my presentation. So all we did was stroll along Lambton Quay, where our hotel was located and take in the beautiful architecture of the cosmopolitan city. The fabulous boutiques, the busy streets and the lovely fashionistas sipping Lattes at baristas gave a Sex and the City vibe to Wellington. Hehe. I loved it. I’ve never been to New York but it sure felt good to imagine I was there.

The next day was presentation day. Two words. Nerve-wrecking.

Moving on…

With a 3 year old and a baby in tow, we didn’t want to be ambitious in this trip so we decided to do unadventurous activities instead. The next day we paid a visit to the Wellington Zoo. I wasn’t entirely excited about the visit because let’s face it, it’s a zoo, not a shopping mall.

Anyway, I was hoping the wild animals like Giraffes, Chimpanzees and Kangaroos would create a sparkle in Alden’s eye you know. I had this picture of Alden getting excited as he sees a real lion roar, shouting “mama, mama! Lion! Lion!”. But none of that happened. He was happy, yes, but there was no adrenaline rush. At certain times during our visit, I could see that hubby was more excited than the little one. Not surprising at all.

When it was time to go home, Alden didn’t want to get out of the rented stroller so I said

“We are going for a BUS ride”

His eyes sparkled as he got out from the pusher in less than a second. We took a Go-Wellington Bus back to the  hotel and it only cost $6.00. The bus trip was indeed the climax of Alden's day.

That night, we had dinner at Istana Malaysia, a Malaysian restaurant located at Courtenay Place somewhere along Allen Street. The restaurant has a really nice Malaysian atmosphere so you can’t help but feel relaxed. I ordered nasi lemak with rendang, hubby ordered Rice with lamb curry and soto ayam for alden. The verdict? Simply marvelous. It’s been awhile since we had authentic Malaysian cuisine and that night we really had a scrumptious meal.

On the last day, we visited the innovative and interactive Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. If you are interested in arts and culture then you can spend a few hours or the whole day exploring Te Papa. The museum is unlike most museums I’ve seen. It is modern and interactive, with an array of national art collections and world class exhibitions. Personally, I feel it’s too unconventional for my taste because it looks more like a planetarium to me. Having said that, I must say they do a very good job attracting the public to the museum as it is reported that an average of 1.3 million people visit the museum every year.

If we had more time, we would've expanded our journey to the outskirts of Wellington and perhaps visit a nice vineyard in the countryside. *SIGH* Well I'm sure we'll get to do more stuff the next time we visit. So that was it, our wonderful weekend in windy Wellington.


chegu carol said...

LOL! I think your son has seen to many of lions, giraffes, etc in his cartoon channels. tulah dia tia rasa heran pun...hehe

Lizeewong said...

Ya ba chegu...Bikin frust jg tgk dia nda excited langsung..Dia suka lg naik bus..hehe