This Saturday, the 27th of January, marked the anniversary of our arrival to Wellington. It was precisely one year ago that we disembarked from a very, very long plane ride; so thankful were we to be on solid ground and breathe non-recycled air that the newness of the environment took a good while to sink in.
We flopped into a city-shuttle, figuring it was our cheapest option, as well as a good way to see the city. Sure enough, we were the last to be dropped off, and in the course of the ride, we saw all kinds of Wellingtonian suburbs. In particular, we saw many suburbs located high in the hills, up lush green cliffs on hairpin-turning roads. I might have been nervous, but luckily I was far too exhausted from the journey to worry overmuch. It was a beautiful day, complete with bright sunshine over the sparkling blue bay.
Though the weather wasn't as ideal one year later, the day was certainly more eventful. The Wellington Cup Races were taking place that weekend, which is how we chose to celebrate. The Races are a big deal in Wellington -- men and women alike dust off their best outfits (hats and all), and climb aboard a crowded train, and upon arrival to the racetrack they join thousands more in betting and general merrymaking.
Dave and I started our day at the races with a champagne breakfast with friends. Between us all, we had brought a little too much champagne... this might give you an idea of the theme for the rest of the day. ;-) We then made our way to the train station, where we met up with more friends, drank MORE champagne, and eventually got onto the train. Once we got there, we staked out some great seats and watched the event unfold. The races themselves were great, but the genius part was, between races was a fashion show -- or more specifically, a best-dressed competition among the attendees. Unfortunately, entry to the competition was limited to those who had registered already, thus rendering Dave and I unable to compete. Ah well, we looked great anyways... there's really nothing like getting dolled up for an outdoors event.
We placed some bets, and overall came out ahead. My modest bets had won a bit more than they lost, but the big winner was Dave, who had a half/half win/place ticket on a dark horse (no pun intended) that ended up taking the race. Thus his $10 became over $80. Such a thing calls for celebration... in the form of Chinese food, and of course, more champagne.
However, all this excitement, fresh air, and getting up at early hours (for breakfast) had us tidily asleep at the ungodly hour of 10:30. All said, though, it was a wonderful day... one of the best here I've had yet.