Blown Away in Wellington!

February 21 and 22, 2014

I left New Plymouth with a warm heart.  Anyone who wishes me a happy journey and then hands me a lollipop will leave a warm feeling in my heart.  Kidding.  I just really enjoyed my time in New Plymouth.  I think it’s more to do with the fact that I didn’t have to rush around every morning.  I could just do as I pleased, make my own schedule, change it at the last minute, just chill!  And there was no judgement that my time had been wasted.  However, no time was wasted.  I was now headed to Wellington!  And I had a dinner and theatre date with my new friend Deanna.  I met her on the Red Carpet Tour back in January.  I had Facebooked her just before arriving and she invited me to a reading of this play called Caffeine Warriors.  William Kircher aka Bifur was one of the actors in this play.  Of course I said yes.  One I haven’t been to a play since…ever.  I’ve been to musicals and ballets, but never a play, at least not a professional one and definitely not one overseas, so I was very excited.  So excited that the evening before I went shopping for a dress.  That was one thing I didn’t prepare for when I was packing, going out to nice places in the evening.  And luckily I was successful.  One thing that I found during my travels is there are lots of stores that sell clothes aimed at the older generation, as in older than my generation, more like my mother’s generation, so I was very lucky to find this dress and also on sale too.  Funny enough, I actually had decent shoes, not sandals for this event.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I was packing back in December.  I can’t remember why I packed this particular pair of shoes but thank goodness I had them.

So anyways, I was headed to a reading of a play that evening and I would be eating a nice meal for the first time in several weeks now.  I was so excited.  The drive down to Wellington was superb, until I left Foxton and as I rounded the bend on SH 1 towards Levin, I heard sirens from behind.  Pulling over so the ambulance could race by, I wondered what had happened and how far down they would have to go.  As I pulled back onto the road, I looked up into the sky and saw the black smoke billowing up from the distance, I wondered if I would get a chance to see what was going on.  Never let that thought wander through your head.  As I continued further, it became clear that the ambulance that had raced by was headed towards the billowing black smoke and then it also became clear that whatever it was that had happened, it was on SH 1 and it would explain why the cars in front had pulled over to the side.  Something bad had happened.  I looked at the time and I thought well, I’ve still got time to get into Wellington.  But when everyone turned off their engines, a few niggling thoughts of doubt started to worm their way into my head.  I looked at the time again.  I turned off the engine and then I got of my car.  As I watched many cars in front of me make U-turns, I decided I should take a look at my map and see what my options were.  I could wait and see or I could turn around and find another route into Wellington.  Looking at my map, I decided that I would wait and see.  I was so close to Wellington already.  If I turned around and chose the other route, I don’t think I would’ve been able to make it dinner.  So after making this decision, I pulled out my camera.  The area around was pastoral.  I could see cows and I could hear sheep.  The skycape was beautiful and I thought it would just be interesting to get snapshots of the orderly chaos this car accident had caused.  Another firetruck came racing by to add to the other three that were already there.  There was a recovery truck that drove by and then the ambulance returned back the way it came.  Its lights were on and and the sirens were going but it stopped long enough to let the firetruck go by.  So that didn’t seem to bode well for the person(s) that were involved in the accident.  One of the truck drivers behind me stepped over to talk to the ambulance drivers and from the sounds of it, the accident took place on the bridge up ahead.  A car was on fire and it could be a couple of hours before traffic would start up again.  A COUPLE OF HOURS????  That sucked.  I had to send Deanna a message and let her know.  But I still decided to sit and wait it out.  I probably waited about 30 to 40 minutes before I saw the recovery truck drive by with the burnt out shell of a car loaded on the flatbed.  Oh Dear.  But that also meant the bridge was clear.  As we all continued to watch the firetrucks disappear, we hopped into our cars and waited with baited breath.

50 minutes later we were on the road again.  As we all drove across the bridge, the only thing that was off was the fact that the bridge was covered in water.  And there were police cars directing traffic.  There was no sign of any burnt wreckage and there was indication of any damage to the bridge.  Lucky for us or we would never have been allowed onto the bridge.  So after making it passed the bridge, the drive onwards was pleasant.  But I could already tell I was headed into a big city.  Traffic was slower, even though we were still on the highway.  But as I drove through a suburb, and traffic was just crawling along, I looked ahead and some advertisements on the side of the building and from afar, I saw this face, probably selling watches.  I’m not too sure because I was busy making sure I didn’t crash into the car in front of me as I stared at this face.  It took me a while to realize that, Holy Crap!  That was Richard Armitage aka Thorin.  I know.  I know.  So silly.  But when traffic is at a stand still or as close to, it’s nice to have a handsome face to stare at.  Who cares what he was selling.  But the face.  Seriously, why can’t all men look like that.  Sorry.  Let me wipe away the drool so I can continue.

I made it into Wellington by 3:30pm.  I arrived at my hostel by 3:45pm.  I was able to get settled in and even have a decent shower before it was time to head out.  Deanna was kind enough to meet me at my hostel and we walked along the wharf looking for a place to eat.  If you are ever in need of good seafood, and fast service, with delicious desserts, I suggest you eat at the Crab Shack.  Deanna had the Cajun fish of the day and I had the crab and clam fettuccine.  Deanna had the ice cream sundae and I had the Affogato.  Yum!  By the time we were done it was 6:30pm.  Uh Oh!  The play started at 7pm.  So we headed off looking for a taxi stand.  In Wellington, you can’t just hale a cab off the street.  You have to find a taxi stand.

We made it to the theatre…hold on.  That’s not a theatre.  This is a restaurant.  PREFAB.  PREFAB was a restaurant, and the reading was going to take place right by the bar.  Cool.  We found out it was the first reading of Caffeine Warriors.  The only actor Deanna knew was William Kircher.  She had never heard of these other actors.  But it was a very good reading, even without props and stuff, it was well written and if it makes it to the stage, I hope people will go and see it, and not just because William Kircher is in it, but because it is actually a well written, funny play.  I won’t tell you what it’s about but it’s kind of like Sex in the City but for men.  That’s how it was described to me and that is how I will describe it to you.  After the reading, Deanna introduced me to William.  He was such a nice guy.  I am so lucky to have met him.  Luckier to have met Deanna!  This was a wonderful way to start my adventure in Wellington.

It's William Kircher! and my friend Deanna!  Thanks for inviting me to the reading!

It’s William Kircher! and my friend Deanna! Thanks for inviting me to the reading!

The next morning, I slept in, just because I could.  My only “MUST DO” didn’t start until 2pm.  My “Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular” even at the TBS Bank Arena.  Until then, I had the day morning to do as I pleased.  So I slept in and then headed to the Underground Market.  I had read about this on the internet and thought it would be cool to check out.  There were lots of knick knacks, handmade jewellery, this cute set up of miniature every things from teapot sets to cutlery to little dolls hats.  It was so great to see and touch.  What I really liked was the old maps that this one place had set up.  And there were a few stalls for clothes and of course Merino wool everythings.  The Market is actually set up on the Wilson Parking lot right by Frank Kitts Park.  It is literally in the underground parking lot.  While there, I feasted on a Moroccan hotdog.  Interesting.  It had raisins in it.  Then I tried a Dirty Chai, which is coffee and chai.  I think I’ll pass on that from now on.  And then it was time to head over to Les Mills Gym to pick up my running pack.  By then it was time to head back to the hostel, get presentable and head to to my Spectacular!

Oh My God!  The little aunty in my head is jumping up and down and squealing like a kid because the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular…was Spectacular!  First off, I had the best seat!  I was so close to the stage.  Row E which was like 4 rows back from the front and Seat 5 which was just at the end of the row.  I could see all the monsters as they came out from the stage  I was so close I could almost touch them.  Shame we weren’t allowed out of our seats!  Shame we couldn’t film it.  Shame it wasn’t filmed so we could buy it and relive it over and over again.  But at least we were allow to take photographs, just with no flash.  Anyway, there were Daleks,DSC_7782_2CybermenDSC_7755 and The Silence.DSC_7771There was mention of the Weeping Angels but I didn’t see any, though someone said they saw them.

Don't Blink!

Don’t Blink!

There were also Silurians and the Ood!  There were more monsters but I can’t remember their names right now.  I’m so glad I was able to see this while in Wellington.  Did I mention the music was fantastic!  Live!  Symphony!  Live Choir!  Soloists!  Doctor number 5, Peter Davidson was hosting.  Ben Foster was the conductor.  He was great.  Apparently he has been the conductor of the music since Doctor number 9, basically since the series was revised with Christopher Eccleston.  He actually looks a little like Doctor number 10, David Tenant.  If you squint.  Anyway it was the best 2 1/2 hours of my life, at least on this day.

And then it was over, like being kicked out of geek heaven.

And now it was time for dinner.  I wandered around on the wharf but decided to head back to the hostel and prepare my own meal.  As I walked up the stairwell to my room I started to notice the posters on the wall.  This will be another reason I will return to this hostel, Downtown Backpackers.  This, just like the Adventure Lodge and Motel in National Park, makes them cool!  That and the fact that the Queen stayed here, when it was a hotel, back in the 1950s.

So after eating a healthy meal, I returned to my room, flicked on the TV and chowed down on a bag of potato chips, perfect end to the night before my AMI Round the Bays 10 KM run!

I’ll tell you all about it in my next post!

Wish you were with me at the Spectacular!  Wish the Spectacular would make a showing in Canada, aka Vancouver!  Luv, Aunty!

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