Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weta Cave

Jake works at Weta, the visual effects outfit founded by Peter Jackson years ago which created pretty much every ring of chainmail, every sword, every prop---digital or physical---for the Lord of the Rings movies. They have two major branches: Weta Workshop which handles sculptures, costumes, masks, animatronics, puppets, etc. and Weta Digital which handles the all-CG equivalents for fully computer generated characters (such as Gollum:)

From Weta Cave

The Weta Cave is a combination gift shop and gallery inside which Weta showcases its past work on movies. I took a ton of pictures for our LotR loving family members back home. The miniatures sold there are the miniatures made by the Weta artists who worked on the films.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today was the last day of school holidays. Tomorrow it's back to the grindstone for the girls and I for one last term before the end of the school year. Wellington took pity on us and gave us four whole days of (mostly) sunshine in a row! We enjoyed getting out and about and letting the sun shine on our faces.

Steve took the day off on Friday and we did a 4 mile round-trip hike out to Sinclair Head starting at the Taputeranga Marine Reserve at Owhiro Bay. The rock formations along the coast there are stunning reds, blues, and purples and play host to New Zealand fur seals and little blue penguins at certain times of the year. Unfortunately, there were none to be seen this day, but the schlep was definitely worth it. We were treated to awe-inspiring views of the snow-capped mountains of the South Island, tide pools full of life, and blue-green ocean as far as the eye could see. Steve and I marveled at how well our girls could amuse themselves with some sticks, some long strands of seaweed and a bunch of rocks. Our family is all about perfecting the art of doing nothing.

Yesterday we took the girls to Te Papa in the morning then walked around Wellington ending up at Frank Kitts park along the waterfront. The girls did some jumping on the Big Air Bungy jumping attraction (what would you call it exactly? It's not a ride per se..).

In this album you'll also see a couple pictures of Etta the Weta who has been living in our mailbox of late. We've been leaving the door open thinking she may be stuck in there, but it seems she comes and goes just fine so we're happy to share.

At the end of the pictures you'll see today's outing. We visited Kaitoke Regional Park along the Hutt and Pakuratahi Rivers north of us. It's a lovely recreation area of hiking trails with lots of bridges to cross the lazy rivers below. The girls were even brave enough to go for a dip despite the chilly water. Goofballs. We did the Pakuratahi River Walk trail through podocarp-broadleaf forest and let Haley go nuts taking picture after picture of the ferns.

Oh, and just for my nephew 'Xandre, we made sure to take the girls' picture in front of the sign for Rivendell, where they used the river gorge as the backdrop for the Elven village in the first 'Lord of the Rings' movie.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm Tired

Wanna know why? The wind. Which, in the same way that rain is not a big enough word to describe the way it rains here, wind is so inadequate and paints so vague a picture as to be utterly useless to describe what we've got going on here. Perhaps gale would be more descriptive? What about hurricane? The forecast is warning of severe gales up to 150kmh-that's 93mph (!) for you metric-impaired Yanks. At what point do we stop messing around and call this what it feels like?

By the way, as I sat here typing that Steve walked in and said to me, "it's raining up right now, I just wanted to mention that."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Togs or Undies?

My friend Lisa, an ex-pat herself hailing from Chicago, posted this hilarious video on her blog a couple weeks ago. It's a summertime commercial for an ice cream treat called Trumpets, a Kiwi version of what we would call a "drumstick" at home. I ripped her off asked her permission to copy her so that I could share it with you good folks who read 4kiwiwannabes. Thanks Lisa! Enjoy the clip!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


We just did. Will you?