We barely had time to unpack our bags, do a load of laundry then pack up again for a quick trip to the north island. Jason's office closes down for several weeks during the holidays and we wanted to take advantage of the time off and explore as much as we can. We're really starting to feel the clock tick down as we only have four months left here. We were originally going to all fly up together, but we found a relocation mini-van that saved us a lot of money so Jason and Maddox turned it into an adventure. They left a day before us and had a fun little boy's trip driving up to Picton then taking the 4 hour ferry ride up to Wellington. They spent the night sleeping in the van in a church parking lot before picking us up at the airport the next morning at 8;00. It was a bit of a whirlwind, but totally worth it!
Maddox's favorite part, besides camping at the church, was that he got to have a large ice cream cone instead of a kiddie sized one. Perks of an only child. He also lost his tooth right before leaving. I'm kinda fond of that cute little toothless grin.
The first stop in Wellington was the Te Papa Museum. A while ago the kids were watching a Nat Geo special about the colossal squid and when they found out that the largest one ever found is on display here, then a visit to this museum immediately went on their bucket list. It was a fascinating way to spend a drizzly morning.
Next up was a pizza picnic at Frank Kitt's Park right on the waterfront. It was a pretty good choice, if I do say so myself
Wellington is such a gorgeous city. I had been told that, but I didn't quite expect to be so blown away by it. Maybe it's because we've never been to a big city in New Zealand, I mean Maddox could hardly believe that we were going to an actual real city. It totally had a Vancouver/Victoria/San Francisco/Seattle vibe to it. Pretty much any big coastal city surrounded by lush green hills would fit the bill. We took a quick trolley ride to the top of Mount Victoria then a scenic walk down through the botanic gardens to the bottom. Our kids really don't like walks. Especially ones that involve looking at flowers. They think that's an old person's sport. Our entire week at the beach house was like a dream, everyone got along so well and Jason and I patted ourselves on the back for thinking we were such good parents. And then everything came crashing down. We were all so tired and grumpy at this point, but despite the tears, scraped knees, elbow jabs, snide remarks and evil glares that were being dealt out, we managed to make it down alive and some of us even enjoyed the scenery along the way.
By the time we made it to the bottom an hour later, everyone seemed to have cheered up. The giant dreidel and an ice cream bar melted away the last of the tears.
We strolled up and down Cuba Street admiring all the architecture
Then the last stop was the Otari Wilton Bush, where I would have loved to explore some of their walking tracks, but we all know where the kids stand when it comes to that kind of thing. Besides, it was getting late and we still had a good several hours of driving ahead until we reached our next destination. I wish we could have explored every nook and cranny of this beautiful city, the small taste we got left me craving more. A quick stop at the grocery store for dinner on the go then we were off, driving past endless rolling green hills while the only sound we could hear was Maddox snoring. Every day isn't always perfect, but I'll take it. The good, the bad and the ugly. I'll take it all.