this past weekend, i took my first actual trip in NZ.  by "actual trip," i mean i had to actually buy a plane ticket for this one. i'm a woman who is bound and determined to see the rest of this country.

appropriately, my first "trip" was to wellington, the capital city of NZ, sometimes referred to as "wellywood."  according to wikipedia, this has something to do with the city's relationship with the film industry, which seems all mostly in part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that was filmed in surrounding areas. it is a semi-controversial nickname, in that a few months ago there was a bid to put up a "wellywood" version of the "hollywood" sign for passengers arriving at the wellington airport that was recently shot down.  might be better to come up with a slightly more original idea....

in the planning stages/two days before i left for my trip, i did was seemed to work well for me in thailand. i googled generic phrases like "things to do in wellington, new zealand" and "wellington trip advisor tips" and "top ten things to do in wellington on a budget."  pretty much all that came up was $150 day tours to places where LOTR was filmed, and while i'm sure it's beautiful, paying that much for a tour to hear about characters i've never heard of and to see movie sets in real life before on a screen seemed unnatural.  maybe that's a dramatic comment, but i instead turned to lonely planet.

the wellington waterfront.

solace in the wind sculpture on the waterfront.

some guy taking the statue a LITTLE too seriously.

cuba st - where most of the cute restaurants and shops are located in wellington.

the bucket fountain on cuba st.

for caption, please read the sign.

some skatepark i only cared about because it made for a good photo.

when i came into work on monday and was asked how my trip was, i surprised myself with gushing descriptions of how wonderful my weekend was, especially considering the trip was only an hour by flight.  normally it feels like you have to get a bit further away to have a trip that you go on and on about.  of course most of this started with "the weather was GREAT," which is a sure sign of a girl who has been deprived of a summer, but overall i might actually rank wellington in my top ten cities. that statement reeks of a pretentious traveler, but the weather was great, the city was beautiful, everything was well priced (there were even good free activities), and it was really easy to get around.

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