With the most pleasant hitch of our life in our back pocket, we were promptly picked up by our Wellington hostess, June, who is… the best! Pure sunshine. One of the finest things about having a lady for a host is that women appreciate a good view. Doug and I chase good views with the same unapologetic giddiness with which a sheepdog chases sheep (fresh off the farm, prepare yo’ self for some sheep analogies), especially sunsets, which are my meth.
June took us all around the city, from one ridiculous view to the next; Wellington reminded me of a bigger, cleaner San Francisco, which is, to quote Andy Sandberg imitating Nicholas Cage, “High Praise.”
It was getting late so June recommended Chinese food, beers, and some reality TV… all things we don’t hate. We’ve really enjoyed all the advertising in this country, especially this gem… “You know I can’t grab your ghostchips!”
Now that is QUALITY; much better then, “If you drunk drive, you’ll get pulled over, have to roll down your window, and your car full over beer will start pouring onto the cop!”
Day two began with more views and the Te Papa museum, which gave us a solid grasp NZ culture, and was good, clean, free, fun as we ran around the place sharing freshly learned facts—we all agreed that parents in Colorado and/or Washington must be way more excited when their kids recommend going to some museums… so many interactive activities!
The next stop was the Weta studios, the people responsible for the graphics in all the Lord of the Rings movies… but more importantly, they have statues of characters we could take a bunch of selfies with. Wellington is now home to Peter Jackson and James Cameron; the hawt rumor is that “Wellywood” will one day rival Hollywood… we shall see!
Knowing that we enjoy a good afternoon cordial, June took us for some fish n’ chips right on the beach and then to a few more bars in the inner harbor. One of the beautiful consistencies of New Zealand is how clean their water is; even in their capital’s inner harbor, the water is a beautiful blue (NOT littered with Baltimore eels aka homeless men’s condoms), clean enough to dive into, and they even have a platform to jump off, so that is what Doug did!
He dried off and we headed to a super trendy spot to, wouldn’t you know it, take in more views, discuss our goals for the year ahead and have a few more beers. As we discussed, I spotted a group of kids that looked American. I looked closer and noticed we had met these pats before… destiny was waving back at me as I yelled, “Ayoo Charlie!” from the second-floor balcony.
Sure enough, it was Charlie, Marty, and Ira, three American men we had met during the world record skinny dip… which doesn’t sound gay at all! (we tell people we met setting a world record together, it has a nicer ring to it)! We had discussed combining forces and heading south, as they had bought a car and offered spots to us.
We hadn’t heard from them because we had wifi, they had phones, but fate had brought us together and we agreed to meet up the next day in Nelson. “Things are looking up!”
We also agreed that since it was Friday and we had to catch a 2:30 a.m. ferry the next morning, we should go oh so opposite of soft that evening, and so we did.
“I would never come here if it weren’t for you guys,” June told us, which made me confident it would be a perfectly grimy scene. The beers were cheap (the real reason we requested it) and the DJ could have been the worst… playing songs you’d expect to hear a hygienist singing along to in a dentist’s office.
Despite the poop leaking from the speakers, I waddled over to a couple of German girls and began speaking with them (so scary!). After finding out their names and nationality, it became clear that one was sexy, and one could inspire Orc designs at the Weta studios. Knowing how much Doug love’s the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I opted for the sexier of the two, and my ol’ pal was left to deal with her friend, who’d go on to say,
“Ya, us German girls love to pahty!”
“What kind of musik do yew like? I love ze Beastie Boiz! Do you think DJ will play Beastie Boiz!?”
“Do you like German girls bettah than ze Kiwi girls?”
Putting Doug out of his misery, I exchanged numbers with my German lass, and we headed to the ferry, where we were warned earlier, “If you show up drunk we will not let you on the boat,” ok! Spoiler alert: we got away with it!
South Island here, we, come!
Moral of the Story: If you told me a month ago we would meet some dudes while skinny dipping, have a good chat, exchange some info, then end up road tripping with them for weeks, I’d tell you… “Hey, they must have some nice hogs!”