Monday, January 21, 2008

Work Christmas party!

Since the restaurant was closed Monday for Wellington's anniversary day, we had our work Christmas party...good times were had by all, and everyone was quite well behaved **cough**bullshit**cough**.

Not all photos are suitable for publication at this time.

We started the day with a dim sum lunch. Quite nice, though some dishes were a bit suspect (beef tripe...pig intestines...)

Lunch was followed by lawn bowling and many pitchers flowed. Lawn bowling is similar to curling--you are trying to get your balls closest to a small white one at the other end of the lawn. We had a round-robin tournament, in which myself and my teammate, Viviana, crashed and burned. But it was fun nonetheless.

We followed that up with a pool tournament at the pub down the street. Then we walked back into town. The night pretty much devolved from there...

In other news, New Zealand's Windy City is certainly living up to its name today...the wind is absolutely blasting through town. My pizza was nearly taken from my hands. Also, let it be known that New Zealand's ozone is pretty much crap, so it's quite easy to burn--just ask the patches on my legs that didn't get sunscreen at the beach the other day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Vacation from my holiday

I'm now back from my little adventure up the coast. It was a nice couple days away.

The hostel where I stayed was on a cliff above the coast...great view.

On Wednesday, I went to Kapiti Island, a Department of Conservation wildlife preserve.

I hiked to the top of the 520-meter peak--a 100-minute hike through winding trails. The view was totally worth it. I could see both the north and south islands at once. The top of the south island can be seen below.

And the North behind me:

The island is coated in thick forest, including ferns, palms and other tropical trees.

There were lots of friendly birds on the island, including plenty of wekas, who were also top-notch pickpockets, digging through any pack left within their reach.

And the kakas were determined to get everyone's lunch.

It was a great trip.

Did I mention great views from the hostel?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Gettin' Out

Yes, I know my blog posts have been stagnant. I should have a very good one for you later this week, however. Since I've been in Wellington for two months now, I decided I ought to take advantage of three days off this week and get out of town a bit. I'm heading up the coast about 40 kms to Paikakariki, on the Kapiti coast. It's a small town with an apparently great beach. Just going to relax a bit, enjoy a few beers and enjoy the sunset over the Tasman Sea. Tomorrow, I am going to Kapiti Island, a Department of Conservation bird sanctuary. Only 50 people are allowed to visit every day--I snagged the last permit. In case you didn't know, NZ is home to a lot of birds not found anywhere else, including some real crazy looking ones. The most famous, of course, is the kiwi. I will have plenty of photos to share when I get back.