We spent the night in a hotel in Wellington the night we arrived in New Zealand. Jared and Rachel live in Palmerston North, which is about 2 hours drive from Wellington and since we our plane landed at midnight Jared and Rachel went ahead and came up to Wellington that morning for worship and got their holiday (European term for vacation) started early.
Monday morning Jared and Rachel had a fun filled day planned for us in Wellington. We went to Te Papa and saw a TON of New Zealand artifacts and Jared and Rachel told story after story about New Zealand history.
This is the colossal squid that they have on display. There is a video of some fishermen catching this squid and it was still alive! It now is preserved and lives in Te Papa.
There is a deck at Te Papa that overlooks the bay. Rachel snapped this shot of several docked sail boats.
Gar and me at Te Papa.
After the museum we drove around searching for The Weta Cave. We made a couple of u-turns and drove in the same direction plenty of times, but we finally arrived.
What greets you as you enter. A Huge Uraki!
Me with Gollum. You weren't supposed to touch him...
but Jared wanted to give him a wet willy.
See how Jared, the only non-American in the group has on a Tennessee shirt? Well, as we were walking around The Weta Cave a small group of people stopped and asked us if we were from Tennessee. I remembered that Jared had this shirt on so I answered we are from Tennessee, but they live here in New Zealand. Come to find out these 2 girls were from Alabama and were living there to study abroad. One of their brothers was there at the time visiting. It was pretty cool!! I guess that was mine and Gary's first 'American interaction' (besides Rachel, of course) since we arrived in New Zealand, but don't worry there are plenty more to come.
Once we left The Weta Cave it was time for us to drive back to Palmy (short for Palmerston North). Jared and Rachel were so good about making sure that Gary and I were able to see as much as possible. On the way to Palmy we stopped by this beautiful rocky beach and got out to take some gorgeous pictures!
Jared and Rachel (and Frank)
Obviously we aren't the only ones who had this idea.
Gary doing one of his classic poses. He usually does this pose as he is standing on a mountain somewhere camping with his friends.
Far off shot of us girls.
We arrived in Palmy just in time for dinner. We decided to head to one of Jared and Rachel's favorite restaurants, Cafe Cuba. It was delicious! Once we got back to Jared and Rachel's we pretty much just lounged around. I love it when you can be on the other side of the world and feel right at home :).
Stay tuned for more adventures from New Zealand...huge trout and gorgeous mountain peaks!