Family Visit

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My brother and his new found love of gelato icecream

My brother learning about the Wellington Winds

Pub time

Homemade burgers at my favourite and most hipster burger joint in town

More pub drinks and nibbles for dinner

This weekend my family (Mum, Dad and brother James) drove almost ten hours down the country to come visit me in the big city. This has been the first time they've ever spent more than a few hours in Wellington (minus going on business trips, but that doesn't count) so I wanted to grab the opportunity to show them around the city in a non-touristy way.

Saturday, being their first proper day visiting was the most jam-packed day, I was simply far too excited and just had to show them everything all at once! We started the day by walking over to my boyfriend's flat to pick him up and have a whee nosey at where he lives, then we walked back to my flat to begin our adventure. We parked down near the waterfront in the city and each of us with our big backpacks on, we ventured out into the sunny, windy environment. I firstly took them to my favourite gelato icecream store Kaffee Eis to get a cone each (I chose Stracciatella, which is a fancy version of vanilla and chocolate chip) and sat down in the sunshine by the water to enjoy the warmth. Dad, being the excitable man he is who likes to document everything, got his camera out and took sneaky snaps of us eating, and the view of the water. We then gathered our things and walked further down to the Underground Saturday Market. I had never been to this market before so it was a surprise at how wonderful everything was. I typically fell in love with all the handmade jewelry and sweet treats, but managed to steer clear of spending my restricted amount of money on such unnecessary items.

Following this, we drove to the Botanical Gardens to have a whee picnic. As we sat down on some benches we saw two guys playing a interesting game on the grass. None of us had any idea on what it was called, and I even had a sneaky walk past them to see if I could see a name on the box but I couldn't. Basically the aim of the game was to throw some rectangular pieces of timber and knock over a line of bits of wood that were stood up on the grass a few meters ahead, and the first person to do so won, but if you ran out of throwing-pieces your turn was over and the other person had to go. This game turned out to be a lot more challenging than we had anticipated and we ended up watching for at least half an hour to see who won. Which we never did find out, as we were all getting pretty cold and tired, so we went home.

On Sunday we went to Parliament (or known to New Zealanders, The Beehive) and had a lovely tour around the building, getting to see where most of the country's decision making is made. I wish I was allowed to bring my camera in; I had fallen in love with the artwork on the walls, the victorian gothic architecture and the overall atmosphere of the place. The tour guide told us that the most amount of woman high ranked leaders we've ever had at once is five (out of almost 100) which was both impressive and shocking, I wish we had more women in power and helping running our country. After the tour we went across the road to The Backbencher pub, which is known for the giant "puppets" of satire comedy replicating our most famous governmental leaders. This has been a must-do for Mum for forever, and I'm glad we went; not only is the atmosphere of the place so cheeky, but the chips that we bought were homemade and cooked to perfection.

We wondered around the city and into more shops, then we went to my favourite rustic burger joint, Ekim for dinner. This place started off as a caravan selling homemade burgers at the beach, but has now grown into a well-known caravan parked in the outskirts of the city selling a range of burgers, with oil drums made into tables and old bus seats turned into chairs; making for a really unique dining experience. My whole family adored this place, from the decor to the food, everything is done in such a way that it's modern, rustic and adorable all at once!

Monday was my family's last proper day in the city, so we spent the day doing some relaxed wondering around. The day before I took them to T2 which is a shop that specialises in hundreds of different flavours of tea, and every sort of accessory you could possibly need to make a brew, which Dad fell head-over-heels with. I wouldn't be surprised if we spent an hour inside, sniffing and tasting everything that they had to offer. To follow up on this, on Monday I took them to Lush, which Mum unsurprisingly fell in love with and wanted to try every product they had on their shelves (and I may have left with a handful of bath bombs myself) and we decided that I need to have a Lush party for my birthday! Afterwards we walked up the streets to go to an Irish pub that was highly recommended by my boyfriend for a last-night-here-drink and feed for dinner. We bought a giant pizza, nachoes and wedges and I wish I was somehow hungrier because that was one of the best meals I had ever had.

Having my parents and brother down for the weekend was a fantastic time, I really enjoyed having them stay. It's quite a change hosting your family in your flat, instead of going to visit them, it's a whole new experience. I was able to show them around some of my favourite spots and they now have a fuller understanding on why I love this city so much. I hope to have my brother come down later on in the year and take him out for some teenager-y type activities, which I think he'd love.

Have you had your parents or siblings come to visit you if you live away from them? What would you suggest would be some fun activities for my brother to do when he comes down? How has your Easter holidays been? I'd love to hear what you have to say!

- Louise x

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