Day with the family
We spent the second day in the neighborhood. Simon and Helen took us to the Church they attend. We met the wonderful people in their Church and we did enjoy the service.
After Church we went home to relax. In the afternoon Simon and Helen drove us around the coastal area near their home. The coastal area was fairly rugged. Many rocks and a rushing sea! Simon pointed out the bay where he had learned how to sail a yacht. There were quite a few families out enjoying the day. The weather was perfect for a family day out. In the field on thwe way to the sea shore were a few cows and sheep, something we don't see everyday in Taiwan. Queenie had to get out of the car and take a picture with the cow in the background. The picture is below.
Next it was off to Simon’s folks house for a delayed Christmas lunch. Simon’s family had been scattered about and they had not been able to do Christmas lunch together so, in February, they were all finally in Wellington and ready to celebrate. We were lucky enough to join them! We were very fortunate to know all the people who would be coming! We had met Simon’s parents in Taiwan when they visited at the end of 2002 and we had met Simon’s sister and husband in Taiwan when they visited in 2001. For us it was great to see everyone again. Good company, great home cooked food, and wonderful conversations! What more could we want on the second day of our vacation?
Wellington – The Museum, Gardens and a BBQ
Day 3 saw us going into Wellington. Simon and Helen wanted to show us their city and introduce some of the better parts of the town to us. First off was a mandatory stop at the City’s museum. We saw quite a lot of Maori artifacts and on one floor there was a whole Maori home setup. Simon has studied some Maori traditions and culture and was able to give us a solid introduction to some of their practices. The rubbing of the noses together was a bit much but we got into the spirit of things and tried to experience it first hand.
Learning about cultures from people who understand the culture and have been surrounded by the culture is always the best. We therefore fortunate to have Simon and Helen go with us. I can imagine if we had just seen the Maori meeting room in the museum. We would have taken a few pictures and gone on our way without any understanding of the importance of the meeting room in Maori culture.
Before we left the museum we spent some time looking at the LOTR props they had kept. The most impressive was the Dark Tower! The prop was fairly big and really did look like the one in the movie.
After the museum we spent sometime wondering around Wellington itself. The town is very quaint and a complete contrast to the business of Taipei. We almost felt as if we were in the countryside and yet this was the capital city of New Zealand. There were many beautiful buildings in Wellington and a smattering of Lord of the Rings (LOTR) characters. We enjoyed walking through the town. It is almost impossible to be so sedate in Taipei.
After wondering through Wellington for a bit we got some cold meats and salads in a supermarket and went off to the botanical gardens. We remember taking the tram to the top and walking around. There is a great view of the Wellington from the gardens and at the bottom was a wonderful rose garden. There are also some great walks through the garden and we spent most of the afternoon there. We also had a great picnic on the grass. Picnics are not common activities in Taipei and our picnic was therefore a memorable experience.
After the gardens and some strolling through Wellington we headed home to finish the day with a BBQ and a few beers. Simon took out the grill, stoked up the fire and started cooking.
We then had to pack and get ready to leave. Helen and Simon had planned a tour of the South Island for us. So we had to get ready as the ferry would leave early the next morning and a whole new set of adventures were waiting.