Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Midwinter Picnic

The weather for Hannah's second day was scheduled to largely behave itself so it seemed the best day we had to venture up to the botanic gardens. I'm not quite sure why I always prioritise the gardens so much whenever I have visitors to show around but I think it's largely because I don't often make a point of going there or venture near them in my day to day life and secondarily because the cable car goes up there and is such an icon of the city within itself.

Once again making use of Wellington's brilliant bus system, we made our way into town and got of at a supermarket in the CBD. We had packed with us a blanket, plates and other generally useful picnic items; all we were missing was the food.

Although the weather was behaving itself in that it wasn't raining on us and the wind was relatively calm, it was rather cool given the time of year so we were both dressed accordingly. I'm sure there aren't many countries where winter time picnics are a feasible or reasonable option, point for New Zealand right there.

We walked up towards cable car lane and travelled up to the gardens, that being the only acceptable means of transportation up there. There is of course pedestrian and vehicle access around the place but the cable car is way cooler and I love taking any opportunity I get to ride on it.

At the top we wandered around parts of the garden I had looked at with Beckett several months before, as well as parts that Beckett and I hadn't bothered to see. There's an old Scout Hall (I'm not sure if it's still actively used or not) that we walked past which Hannah was particularly interested. Her brother at home had been involved in Scouts so their family by default had been heavily involved with his Scout unit.

After an hour or so, we found a nice spot near the sound - shell to lay down our blanket and have something to eat. We'd organised ourself some sandwich stuff, muesli bars and some orange juice; all classic picnic fare. Fortunately the grass was dry enough so as not to soak us or the blanket we had with us.

During the summer the sound - shell hosts a series of free musical events crossing a range of styles and appealing to a variety of different audiences. In my teen years I'd often go along with Mum to a couple of them and we'd sit around the same spot Hannah and I were sat at for our picnic. Usually we took some fish and chips with us or easy to eat picnic type food with a few beers. It was nice being able to revisit that spot with a friend and introduce them to such a cool little place.

We spent some more time wandering the gardens after lunch, stopping by one of the information centre / observation deck spots to learn about the various enormous trees dotted around the gardens. There are all sorts of interesting plants there from around the world and it's great being able to read about them all and their various history's and uses.

In total we probably chilled around the gardens for a good four or five hours which was enough to give them a good go. We took the cable car back down and had a much more peaceful trip than I'd had with Beckett, completely free of unfortunate incidents with children.

My next post here will be about our trip over to Wellington Zoo, the coolest little zoo there is.

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