Perhaps almost puking on the cute Chinese baby next to me wasn’t a great way to start my weekend in the Windy City, but it could only go up from there!
After recovering from the rollercoaster landing and bluffing my way through the interrogational visa acquisition, I could finally look forward to my weekend escape to Wellington. And my wonderful flatty even flew down to share in the fun!
The last time I was in the capital I was a homesick eleven year old, so this week was pretty much like seeing the city for the first time. Here’s what I thought:
So trend so trend! How do these people manage to be so trendy, all the time, everyday! Does it blow in on the chill southerly wind and affect everyone who lives there?? And it’s not even in an affected, elitist way which was awesome.
For example when I go out in Auckland (which I usually avoid doing), I always feel totally out of my depth. I don’t shop at the expensive boutiques, or wear high heels or cover myself in intricate make-up. I’m just not in the Auckland girls’ league and I doubt I ever will be.
But even though we went to the hippest bars in Wellington, I didn’t feel like I was floundering. Sure I wasn’t as trendy as a lot of them, but I wasn’t totally outclassed. Everyone just looked so much more natural and there didn’t seem to be a sharp competitive edge in the way the girls styled themselves. It was relaxed… refreshing.
–Side note: I expected to see more people biking, so that was interesting.
Oh the beer. So tasty yet so deadly… I hate to think how much weight I put on over our three day beer pilgrimage. It’s crazy how many amazing, local craft beers just don’t get to Auckland! The breweries we visited were Parrotdog, Garage Project and Blackdog. Blackdog was great in that they were licenced to serve on the premises so we could grab a couple of pints. Parrotdog and Garage project on the other hand only fill growlers so we had to buy 1.25 litres at each place and then get our drink on back at the hostel. Finishing the last bottle was a mission but soooooo good! (Pilsner all the way!).
As well as breweries we headed to the craft beer bars which had a pretty darn good selection on tap. We went to Goldings, Malthouse, and The Rogue and Vagabond to name a few (can’t remember the other ones…). A couple of highlights from these places were the Funk Estate: Oh Lordy Pale Ale plus the pizzas from The Rogue and Vagabond, and Goldings.
Central Wellington is so super enjoyable to walk around in. The area feels incredibly cohesive, for example the streets have a great mix of boutique and chain stores which is a lot more integrated than an Auckland shopping experience where you have to walk a fair way (uphill I might add) to get from the mainstream to the specialty stores.
The night market off Cuba St was really cute and we got some delicious Takoyaki as a late night snack.
Although a lot of it felt straight out of the nineties (eg that crazy multimedia video experience), Te Papa was a great way to spend the early afternoon before heading out to the airport. I especially loved the refugee section, with quotes and pictures of people who fled their home country to make a life in NZ. Incredibly moving.
The Embassy theatre was also a great place to hang out. Decked out like a 1920’s salon it was cosy and intimate. The dark interior was great for my creeping hangover plus the small theatre and comfy leather seats were the perfect setting to settle in for Spike Jonze’s Her.
Lastly I read somewhere that there are more coffee places in Wellington per capita than New York, crazy huh? And everywhere we went the coffee was soo good! Midnight Espresso was one place in particular that we returned to because it was just so tasty!
All in all, Wellington you were great! I hope we see each other again soon.