|Wellington, World Headquarters of the Verb|
|Read the small writing under 'Malone's'|
|Hopping Courtenay Place - Friday 7:30PM|
|Happy Hour on Cuba Street|
After we checked into our hotel, we turned out into the twilight and followed the waves of people onto the hipper part of Cuba Street. The bars were full to capacity, music and street performers were everywhere and we had stumbled into the thick of the action. We ducked into a small Italian restaurant. The food was mediocre, the decor worse than that, but within 20 minutes of sitting down, every table was taken with under-25s each sporting 1-2 bottles of wine. The weekend had arrived and Wellingtonians were out in force.
|We didn't know what this monument was for, but Harrison thought of something (just pretending!).|
|Cuba St. Sat am - Bars closed. Cafes and shops open for business.|
|"Hey Dad - there's a phone in here!"|
|Civic Square - the silver fern orb replaced a gigantic ork|
|I felt like exploring Mac's Brewbar at left ...|
|... but could have easily settled down for a glass of wine.|
|The kids had other ideas for entertainment|
|Cassandra's Future Alma Mater|
|New Zealand Parliament and Mackenzie|
|Some kind of library beside the parliament|
We grabbed a late lunch at The General Practitioner, a medical themed brewpub at the corner of Boulcott & Willis streets. We then had to chose between more shopping or return to the hotel for a nap and a swim. I always get these tough choices.
So after a swim, a soak in the hot tub and a nap, we started Saturday evening feeling very refreshed. The girls similarly felt charged after an afternoon of treasure hunting. We headed half a block down to Southern Cross. It was barely 5:00pm and the place was jumping. Someone was BBQing free Italian sausages on the patio, one band was packing up to make way for another, the outdoors patio was slippery with beer and sangria and every single table had a "Reserved" sign on it. Two "Hens' Nite" (Kiwi for bachelorette) groups were in full swing. We pulled a few tables together in the bar to make enough room for our group.
|Chinese New Year in Wellington|
The next morning, we were the first clients at Roxy Cafe on Cuba St. We needed energy as we had a big day planned. Right after breakfast, we headed to Te Papa Museum, New Zealand's national museum. Five floors of New Zealand culture with plenty to see and touch for the kids.
|Life-size whale heart for the kids to climb in.|
|Chinese New Year along Wellington's waterfront|
It was well into the afternoon and about time to head back to Palmerston North, but there was one last treat in store for us on the way back to the car. We had not anticipated intercepting the Chinese New Year parade, but it was a cool diversion for a few minutes.
Back in Palmerston North, we finished off the weekend with a bottle of Hawke's Bay Reisling, delicious takeaway Indian food and a screening of "The Social Network" that I had downloaded from iTunes.