Saturday, December 09, 2006

Adventures in Kiwi Land - Wonderful Wellington (Pt. 2)

The next day, we went back into Wellington to take the cable car up to the Wellington Botanical Gardens. Our first challenge was finding a place to park.

After trying to park on the road (forget that), we decided we should try to get in a parking garage. The first one we entered had a car waiting in front of a closed arm-gate. Why wasn't it letting us in? All of the sudden, two or three cars pulled in behind us, wondering why we weren't going in. Now, we weren't going anywhere!

We were there for about 20 minutes, until the manager came down and started yelling at the attendant. The lot was full--he just forgot to put the sign up.

After this experience, and backing out onto busy Wellington streets (I had no intention of getting into a fender-bender; not with the low insurance we got on the rental car), I dropped Jessi and Jaydn off in front of the cable car, and went to find parking all by myself. Be it near, or far, I'd find it.

The first lot I tried was on the wharf. They let me enter, and I got a ticket, but I spend another 20 minutes looking for a spot! And guess what--there was no open spot! The lot was full! I drove back out, gave the guy my ticket, and said, "this lot is full, so why did I get a ticket?" He just shrugged his shoulders, as he gave the next guy a ticket to get in.

I finally found a spot in the Te Papa museum parking lot, which was smart, because it was so cheap. But was not smart, because it was almost a mile away from Jessi and Jaydn. I got out and booked it across town.

Finally, we were able to take the cable car up to the gardens. And the view from the top was beautiful.

We wandered through the endless gardens, stopping, of course, at the playground. One interesting thing at the playground was a zip-cord ride. Even the grown-ups liked it!

The slides looked like giant waterslides.

In the gardens, we stopped in front of a large plant that looked like a month's-worth of asparagus.

The herb garden could've cured a lifetime of sickness and diseases, I'm sure. I thought it was neat that each of the hundreds of herbs they had planted in this garden had a sign that explained the uses of the herb. Just like it says in the Book of Mormon, "And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land--but not so much with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate--" Yes, we are a big fan of herbs.

By the way, you're probably starting to wonder if we have any other clothes, or if we just wore the same tops every day. But you need to remember--we moved to Samoa! We only brought one long sleeve winter shirt or jacket for each of us! So, yes, we did wear the same overshirt every day.
Back to the gardens. The next sight was the beautiful rose garden, which kind of reminded us of the rose garden in Elizabeth Park, in Hartford, Connecticut, where we used to live:
Jessi and Jaydn have really sensitive noses, much more so than I do. So they hate smelly stuff, and love "smelling" things that smell nice. They walked around the garden smelling roses.
A highlight for Jaydn was a mother duck walking by with her baby chicks.

A highlight for me were these strikingly beautiful purple flowers inside the greenhouse.

Once we were finished, we took the cable car back down into the city.

In the city I realized something. As we were walking down the sidewalk and going to the local shops, people were walking on the left side of the sidewalk. Interesting!

Well, we didn't have much time to dilly-dally on our trip--we had seven 1/2 days to see a lot of countryside, so we got back in the car and headed off to our next destination, the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves.