Natalie was also amazing. She had a shoulder injury that kept her from going to work and, this is a terrible thing to say, but it really couldn't have been better timed. We had a great time thrifting, or opp-shopping as they say here. (By the way, don't even bring up Pawn Shops. They don't seem to have them here and the New Zealand accent makes it sound like something else entirely.)
Natalie also generously shared her wardrobe and make-up collection with us, which was great fun after being so limited in that department. She decided to do our make-up for us, as well. While I rather suspected what was coming based on her own make-up, it was still a bit of a shock seeing my face so changed. The only other time in my life I've worn foundation was in India when my dance teacher got me all dressed up like a Bharata Natyam dancer. That time, I had to poke myself and pull several funny faces at the mirror before I really believed it was my own reflection looking back at me. This time wasn't quite so extreme.
Natalie also took us to the kindergarten where she works to do a concert for the kids. They were so cute! And most were very outgoing and eager to meet us, especially after we played 'The Wheels on the Bus' (with a few invented verses. Apparently there are also eels on the bus, as well as many other strange things making strange noises). I even got a gift of play-doh cake. Pretty fancy!
Our friend Lily, who is a nanny in Australia at the moment, came for a visit and it was really fun to have someone from home to hang out with and reminisce and adventure. She's also a very proactive traveller and got us out and doing things a lot. The tattoo museum, which we were all excited to visit was a bit of a disappointment as it was very cramped and they were renovating, but you can't win all the time.
I really liked the feel of Wellington - not too big, but with plenty of things going on. It did earn its title of 'Windy' and it's generally advisable to bring a jacket in case of changing weather. Of course, the one day I failed to do this was the day the weather was the worst.