Adam and I had a fantastic 3 weeks in New Zealand. It was an action packed holiday with 2 long hikes (Kepler Track and Queen Charlotte Track), several day hikes, kayaking, mountain bike riding, ferrying, water taxi-ing, and plenty of time for drinking, eating and soaking up the scenery! And to top off a perfect holiday, Adam proposed on our last night away.
Adam carefully looked up which bus to take and which walking track to take to get to Massey Memorial in Wellington, where he planned to ask the long awaited question, whilst overlooking Wellington city. (Actually, he wanted to ask the long awaited question in Wanaka, but someone (me) got cold and wanted to go back to our hostel, thus ruining a perfect proposal moment. But that’s a whole other story!). The weather in Wellington was as expected: windy! And rainy. I kept asking if there was any point going to this “lookout” as we would probably just see grey. We spent the morning walking around the incredibly trendy city, drinking fancy coffee on Cuba street, window shopping the op shops and record shops, walking along the waterfront. There was actually a decent sized shark that was trapped in Wellington harbour, which amused us for a good 15 minutes while the poor thing circled around not knowing where to go next.
Eventually, the rain subsided a little and we decided to go back to our hostel, rug up, and make the trip up to Massey Memorial. While we were waiting for the bus, I totally beat Adam at the impossible rock climbing wall.
To be fair, the “rocks” to hold on to were incredibly flat and wet! And after being beaten by his almost fiance, Adam did make a final, serious attempt, and managed to get almost as high as I did. Almost.
We got on the bus, driven by the lovely Jasper, who told us our destination was “all the way out in zone 3!”, which is really not very far at all from New Zealand’s capital city, yet is still farmland. I love New Zealand! When we got off the bus (from the middle door), Jasper wished us good luck (shouting it from his drivers seat). I was curious whether to take this as friendly or worried (about what on earth a couple of tourists were doing getting off at this stop). It was probably intended to be both.
The plan was to be dropped off just before a road that we had to walk up to get to the walking track to Massey Memorial. Overall, it should have been around 15 minutes walking. We also happened to be next to an abandoned prison. We started walking down the appropriate road, only to be stopped by a fence with not one, but three signs saying: “danger! military training area! do not enter!” As much as we wanted to get to Massey Memorial, we didn’t want to be accidentally shot or fined or whatever else might have happened, so we chose against ignoring the signs and looked for alternatives. The alternatives included a long bush bash through private property (which also had many signs stating it was private property and that they kindly wish we did not enter), or a long walk back down the street to an alternative road to Massey Memorial (and by that stage it would have been dark). We jumped the fence of the private property to check out some cool views of Cook Strait, then wandered aimlessly around the prison looking for a magical path to materialise. At this point, Jasper drove passed us on his route back to Wellington and stopped to see how we were going. He told us that several people come up here looking for Massey Memorial and he has never worked out where it was. He thought there might be a path to it further down the road. According to google maps, this seemed unlikely, but we checked it out anyway. Before we knew it, we were on a bloody forest-like walk on this windy path to nowhere. I love New Zealand! It came out quite near where we were originally, but further from the road, and high enough that we could actually see Wellington (or half of Wellington). The cool thing about this spot, that we wouldn’t have got from the Massey Memorial spot, is that we could also see Wellington airport. We stood there, having a cuddle, watching the planes landing and taking off to our left, and looking at Wellington to our right.
It wasn’t long before I noticed that Adam’s heart rate had jumped from his usual 40 beats a minute, to at least 80 beats a minute. It was also jumping out of his chest. It was at this moment that I guessed that he was planning to propose. His heart did a similar thing the first time he told me he loved me, 6 years ago. After lots of cuddles and nervous kisses and “isn’t this lovely”‘s, Adam thanked me for planning such a great holiday (cos I’m a super travel planner), and said he hoped it could be a perfect holiday. I excitedly interrupted and said “Oh Adsys!” – one of the many names I call him, which he unfortunately isn’t that keen on. Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I went all shakey and said “yes!” and we had lots of happy cuddles and excited squeals (I think I probably did the squealing part).
We caught the bus back to our hostel and got dolled up for a fancy pants celebratory dinner. (Or as dolled up as we could get with travel clothes, no hair straightener and limited makeup). We were lucky enough to get a table (after a 15 minute, stand-at-the-bar-and-drink-a-cocktail wait) at The Matterhorn, a very fancy and trendy restaurant in Wellington CBD.
We shared pheasant for entree. Neither of us had eaten pheasant before. My god it is the best thing in the world! It tasted AMAZING! We had yummy, local red wine to wash down the pheasant just nicely and I taught Adam the pheasant plucker tongue twister, which he somehow didn’t already know! For mains, Adam had venison and yumminess and I had lamb and yumminess. We shared side plates of beans and smoked potato. Sounds boring but they were the best beans and potato you’ve ever tasted! We then moved on to a cocktail bar around the corner called The Library. We intended to have dessert there but we had to wait for a table so we ordered a cocktail each at the bar. We were about half way through our cocktails when we got a table. Adam’s cocktail was whiskey based and he was planning a different cocktail to go with the churros we were planning on ordering for dessert. My cocktail was pretty sweet anyway and by the time I’d finished, I was a bit “meh” about ordering another. I suggested we go back to our hostel and drink our leftover Mac’s pale ales and eat the cronut that Adam very excitedly bought from New World (supermarket) the day before. Adam was pretty happy with this plan (I think it actually made him even more sure he was marrying the right girl!) and we lay on our bed drinking beer and sharing our cronut. FYI, a cronut is a cross between a croissant and a donut. Ours was cinnamon coated and had custard in the middle and was amazing! We left for home the next morning a very happy couple!
P.S. This blog has nothing to do with gardens or cooking or chickens (my favourite things to write about here), but fear not: we are hoping to get married in our backyard – so the gardening link will come in posts to follow! Now to work out the logistics of getting married in a small(ish) inner city backyard with the maximum number of family and friends we can comfortably squeeze in!