Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Another Weekend of Wonder - Wellington Style!

Hello Everyone!
After a quite amazing weekend up in centre of the North Island last weekend, I was not expecting to have another spectacular weekend one week later - Wellington Style!

FRIDAY: No time to rest after work, as I was meeting the other volunteer basketball coaches for a pre meal drink in the city. The reason for a night out, other than to have some social time all together, was to support some of our athletes who were trying to fundraise for their own hip-hop dance group. The fundraiser was in 'Dragon' a chinese restaurant on Tory St, and we were treated to a performance from the group before dinner!
Our hip-hop crew athletes!
B-Ball crew
Following a greeting from the group, we were soon enjoying the food, (around five different courses of pork, chicken, dumplings rice etc...) Ryan was still waiting for the vegetarian option for most of the evening though... 
B-Ball group
The performers were supported by friends, family, and many of the other athletes from the 'special olympics' family, which gave the night a very social feel, and allowed everyone to mix and mingle between the 21 sold out tables of 10! The more time I spend with this group, both through the basketball sessions, tournaments and social events, the more I'm inspired by our athletes who face barriers every day that many people would struggle to accept and cope with. I've only ever been met with smiles, laughter (usually at my B-ball shooting ability) and total acceptance for everyone involved in the organisation. It's a truly inspiring group of people involved in this organisation, and just as the SV group was in Manchester, - it's always the highlight of my week!
Hip-Hop Crew
 The fundraiser event ended, but the night just started with a rather random trip to the Irish Social Club, and pub quiz, which we didn't enter until Round 5 of 9! Still, we gave it a go and definitely got at east 3 answers right! The cheap drinks and 'good crac' was worth the detour - Thank you Emma Hayes!
At the irish social cub with Ryan, Emma & Jules
 SATURDAY - Well to be honest, it was relatively restful after the previous night's outing and the odd drink! With a beautiful sunny day outside I was keen to do some kind of exercise, so I eventually got ready and cycled out to Island Bay to see a pretty amazing sunset, and take on a head wind around the coast to Lyall Bay before cycling up a never-ending hill on the way home. I didn't have my camera with me unfortunately, but this was the perfect way to dust off the cobwebs before getting ready for a cultured evening at the theatre to see the ballet - Swan Lake with my flat mate Tibo. 
Tibo @ Swan Lake
 The St James Theatre is a pretty nice venue, with decent leg room too! I've been lucky to watch a fair few ballet's whilst working in theatres over the years, and I have to say this production was pretty amazing, and well worth the quite expensive admission cost!
St James Theatre - Swan Lake
An extra bonus to the evening was bumping into my workmate, Belinda after the show and heading to one of my favourite bars (The Library) for some drinks, and post show banter! 
Drinks with Belinda
SUNDAY - Another beautiful day in Wellington, and after a home made bacon sandwich, I was off on my bike to the Kilbirnie Sports arena to learn how to play 'Korf ball'. - A game somewhere between basketball and netball, with 8 players, (4 men & 4 woman) and a very tall pole with a basket on the top of it. An hour and a half later, I (and a group of random people from Adventure Wellington meet up group) had got the basics of the game and enjoyed a fairly social game, enough to work up a good sweat. I have to say, I'm far better at sports with the ball at my feet than in my hands, but getting better.

The rest of day was spent in the company of my friend Soo-Yin, as we headed up to Porirua to an arts & crafts fair, (where I was able to buy a few early xmas presents), before continuing up to Kapiti coast - which is becoming my all time favourite drive around Wellington. As it's the West coast it's a totally unspoilt view of the sun dropping into the ocean, and we enjoyed some spectacular views on an almost deserted beach...
Kapiti Coast

Kapiti Sunsets
As the sun was setting it was time to get some fun photos, which now include the great 'jumping shot'. Soo-Yin is getting well practiced at this shot and I think you'll agree it's another good shot!
Jumping Shots
 I can't resist a good pose now and then, and have to say that this photo shows the beauty of the Kapiti coast pretty well... beautiful nothingness, total piece and unspoilt  nature! This is one thing aspect of life here I will never be bored of, and it's all just 20 minute drive away! (Or train ride).
Kapiti Poses!
Kapiti Sunsets
Kapiti Sunsets
 I attempted to get a little arty with the next shots, including the use of my sunglasses to show a polarized view of the coast line, though I think the Soo-Yin silhouette photo was the my favorite shot of the day.
Kapiti Sunsets through sunglasses...
A Soo-Yin sillhouette 
The drive back to Wellington was spent deciding where we could go for dinner, with a steak house being the preferred option! After a good steak and some ice cream, we ended the night with a late movie - The World's End!  I have to say that after 30 min of the film I was wishing for the world to end, because it was rubbish! I mean, absolutely awful, not funny and too silly to even be considered amusing. Despite the movie, I returned home ready for bed and in high spirits ready to take on the week ahead, which would include the arrival of a friend 'Bez' who is moving over here from the UK! 
Regards from New Zealand!
Dan

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