We did not go out all that much in Wellington, because the main goal of our time there was to see family. We spent a lot of time at my in-law's house. Petunia invented a new game called "Balloon Bop," which involves hitting a balloon back and forth. If it hits the sofa, you win. If it hits the floor, you have to say "oh, man!" sort of like Swiper does. In the initial rules, this meant you lost, but Pumpkin got involved and the rules evolved to include scorekeeping, and letting the balloon touch the floor just deducts points. I think. To be honest, I still don't fully understand the rules. I suspect they continue to evolve.
My mother-in-law is an excellent cook, so we ate in a lot. However, our third day in Wellington was an exception. We went out to brunch at the Maranui Cafe at the surf lifesaver's club in Lyall Bay. I described it in my "awards show" post, so I won't go into details here. After brunch, we let the kids play for awhile on the nearby playground, but eventually the wind got too much for us, and we took them back to my in laws' house... and left them there while Mr. Snarky and I went downtown for some drinks and shopping. Mr. Snarky and I both got some new clothes, and enjoyed the chance to linger over a couple of beers.
That evening, the entire family went out for Mexican food at La Boca Loca, a taqueria in the next suburb over from my in law's. The food and the margaritas were good- I definitely recommend this place.
The next day, we gave the kids their choice of what to do, and they chose to go back to the Botanic Gardens. We had lunch at the cafe, and then walked over to the duck pond and fed the ducks.
|The ducks get a feast.|
|Watching the cable car arrive|
|A swing set with a view|
|Sculpture or turbine?|
The next morning, the kids went to a local story hour with their grandparents, and Mr. Snarky and I drove over to meet his sister for lunch. On our way over, we spotted a moai, and had to stop and take a look.
|Maybe this is why they don't have hair?|
We had pies at Patrishas and they were awesome. Then we headed back into the city center to check out a beer bar his mother wanted us to visit and report back on. We thought that Hashigo Zake was pretty nice, although since we were stuffed from the pies we did not sample their food. Also, their beer selection was slanted heavily toward California beer, since they had just had a big Fourth of July party. As amusing as it was to find Frogsbreath IPA in plentiful supply (it sells out quickly here in San Diego), we stuck to our goal of sampling local beers, and they had enough options on tap and in the bottle to keep us happy.
We returned to Te Papa to see a few things the kids had prevented us from seeing on our first visit, and wandered around downtown a bit more. Then we drove back to my in-law's house for our final dinner in New Zealand.
The next morning, we packed up and loaded into our rental car for the last time. We said good-bye to my in-laws at the Wellington airport, then flew to Auckland, and from there to LAX. Then we drove home, glad to be back in the warmth, but sad that our vacation was over.