I've decided the way to tell how good a hotel is is by its towels. The towels at the Bolton were big and fluffy and soft, and they had robes. (The towels at the Kingsgate were not big, or fluffy, and there certainly weren't any robes.) Also, how they treat you is a good indicator. If they look at you like you just crawled out of a rat's ear, you're probably in a very nice establishment. (That's if you look like me and Vincent, which is a little bit suspicious, a lot like we're thinking things that may or not be flattering to you, and like we are actually Penny Less and Tony Broke. Who, if I remember rightly, were very nice.) Under normal circumstances, being looked at like I crawled out of a rat's ear would be very aggravating to me. But when my stay in your establishment is free, and you have five types of tea in my room and a pool and a spa and big fluffy robes, you can look at me like I just crawled out of a rat's ass. (For a few days, anyway.)
Anyway, I've been up since six-thirty so before I confuse us with my nonsense-making/non-sense making, I'll just give you the highlights and show you some pictures. And save you the suspense by telling you it was marvellous.
The train trip was great... at least what I was awake for. For some reason I thought the travel-fatigue I get on car, plane and boat trips wouldn't apply on a train. I was wrong.
This is the view from our first hotel room, and Vincent eating a banana sandwich. We could see the Bolton Street cemetery, which we explored together on Monday.
People think it's capitalists who get all of the dirty sex parties, but they are wrong. Otherwise, why does Harry Holland's grave have naked people all over it?
Afterward, we did the parliament tour. When I was eleven, my Uncle John, who worked in the beehive, took me and my Dad there, and let me sit on the speaker's chair in the debating chamber, and put my feet up on his desk. He was awesome. This time we went everywhere but weren't allowed to touch much. My favourite was the Victorian library building; the detail and light are beautiful. There was a bit of excitement when an old guy fainted after we came up from seeing the plate things that will stop everything from falling down in an earthquake. I don't think it was only the heat down there that caused the episode.
There's lots I didn't or couldn't photograph: Te Papa, including the wedding dress exhibition, getting drunk and watching Street Chant at Mighty Mighty, staying in our big flash hotel bed sick the whole of the next day, and then, highest of highlights, looking out the window at the restaurant we'd settled on after the movie that night,to see the whole of Bon Iver standing on the street. I positively glowed. Also, things I noticed about Wellington. The city streets don't have lights at night, and are a bit scary. The blackboard writing is very poor. And the policewoman who asked me to get rid of my beer (too drunk to get hide it) did not make me tip it get it out of a bin into which I had already put it and tip it out and then put the bottle in the bin again like the one in Auckland did that time. She was nice.
I'm too tired to say anymore about anything but the gig, which deserves its own post, so I'll just finish up with this song by First Aid Kit - who are playing at the festival and we wish wish wish we could see - and the conclusion that in spite of all of the cool stuff we did, the best thing about Wellington was Vincent, and I got to bring him back with me.