Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Zealand Roadtrip: The North Island.

We hopped our ferry waving goodbye to the south island and boy was Wellington there to greet us with a warm smile.

Having not been in anything even resembling a city for a little over three months, we soaked up the capitol city like a kid on Christmas. I also think that Wellington is very similar to Seattle in that its quite hilly, resides on a port, and is artsy, fashion-forward and filled with cafes and restaurants lining quaint streets. This is one of those moments where I realize that had we landed in Wellington first, we may not have had such a magical response to the city, but both of us fell totally in-love with the city and decided to extend our stay for two nights instead of one.

We were there to sit back, relax, and eat. Queenstown and most of the south island isn’t known for its cuisine, and we both abstained from dining out for most of our stay because the two times we did it was insanely expensive and our food was less than mediocre. In Wellington we found endless streets of adorable cafes and bistros. We walked Cuba street up and down and finally settled on this charming, little spot called Duke Carvell's and sat cozily under dim lighting and candles.

There we enjoyed: Spinach, goat cheese and walnut filo with tomato chutney : Spiced pumpkin and lentils with toasted pumpkin seeds : gnoochi with a sage and gorgonzola cream and finally, lamb and prune tagine with toasted sesame seeds and fresh coriander. YUM. I’m telling you, we were going crazy like a couple of gays at a Cher concert. It didn’t stop there and in fact we spent some time strolling the city streets afterward talking extensively about our excitement for the brunch we planned on dominating the next day.

Sure enough, we sat in the morning sun eating pancakes with bananas and hazelnuts and enjoyed amazing coffee, topped off with a mimosa. Knowing we were finally spending more than just a day in one place we leisurely strolled around town and made our way to the famous Te Papa museum and blabbed on incessantly about which place we were going to pop into for dinner.

It was then I started to marvel at how much weight we were putting into our food consumption. For both Tyson and I, good food is so important and can make for the best time ever if we can sit and enjoy something delicious. We both enjoy cooking and mostly cooking together. We just like good, real and often times, interesting food. Also, in Queenstown we spent our first three weeks with Caitlin spoiled nightly with amazing cooking. She really is a genius. However, this Wellington eating obsession had us so giddy I just couldn’t believe it.

In any case, we both loved Wellington. Whether it was being in a city again and the culture, buzz and energy that comes along with it, the fact that it felt a little like home, or the five pounds we put on eating like a King and Queen, it was great.

A teeny town capitalizing on the fact that beneath it bubbles up smelling, hot gas from the center of the earth. Touristy and gross in my opinion. Nuff said.

Though I’m sure we could’ve stayed longer, we spent one night in Auckland. Anxious about getting to the airport on-time (and for the experience I wrote about earlier), we hit the town early and found a great brew pub near our hostel. On our last night in New Zealand we drank some local brews with some fun local people, shot pool, and listened to great music on the jukebox.

On to Oz!

1 comment:

jeff said...

yay!im glad you like welly! i do too!!! Miss you guys terribly!