Free Movie Fun.

Trip Start Oct 28, 2004
Trip End Aug 08, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, December 9, 2004

It's 12:35 am and we're sitting in a sub-par internet cafe on a complete sugar rush. Even Molly is still going strong. We're loving Wellington and just can't get enough of all the free fun that we're having.

Of course, being the capitol city there is not the convienant lake to pull off at, park the van and camp. Instead, good ole Ange is parked in a $9 a day car park sleeping two of us while the other is comfortable in a real bed in a hostel. And, not to disappoint our economic budgets, the two in the van are definetly taking advantage of all the hostel ammenities.

I had the first two nights in the hostel and while the bed (I had not slept in one in over a month and a half) was the greatest thing ever, the company that was kept had much to be desired. Night one I found myself paired up with a guy from Chile who wanted to stay up all night and practice his english. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I didn't care what country each of his friends were now living in. Needless to say, he talked until 2am. And the following night three german girls joined room 302. Mike and I had gone out and I was completely ready to fall asleep when I got home at 2am but by 3 I was awoken to the chaos of the girls trying to find there way to bed. Then the girl on the top bunk threw up until about 4:30. It really was a great night. I'm sad to pass on the torch to Molly, but I feel as if she needs to take one for the team now, too. Maybe that's why she is still at the internet...trying to advoid the antics of the roommates.

Being a big city I would have expected to have spent all my money by now, but surprisingly Wellington is full of all sorts of free fun. Yesterday we went to Te Papa, the national museum of NZ, and to our pleasure it was completely free. We spent a good portion of our day walking through all sorts of interesting and educational exhibits. Not only did we travel to the center of the earth and learn about all the layers that it consisted of, but we also got to experience an earthquake simulation. Molly and I also spent our time playing computer games that tested our abilities to navigate immigrants from England to New Zealand. I more often than not was either fired from my job as ship captin or given an unfortunate ending rather than a happily ever after ending. Molly, on the other hand, has a career in shuffling people back in forth between nations and giving them advice on how to live a happy and prosperous new life. Good thing Cuba is so close to Florida...this way she won't have to relocate.

Being the optimistic travelers we are, we checked the newspaper earlier in the day for King Kong shooting locations. Unfortunately the article told us that all the locations were being held in complete New Line Cinema secrecy. Just as our half empty glass was being poured out, we exited the museum only to see computer printed signs directing the filming crew to the proper location. In just three turns to the right and a bit of jay walking we had followed the signs (complimented by arrows in the proper direction)to the opera house were about 30 people sat on the balcony decked out in their 1930s digs. Sure they were only extras and looked completely miserable but we were impressed. We sat and stared for quite sometime giving the extras their dued 5 minutes of fame before I actaully walked across the street to find out how we too could be sitting in wool dresses and peacoats in the hot smoldering heat. Turns out it was the last day of shooting and extras aren't needed until the middle of January. Unfortunately we won't be on the silver screen in the next few years, but it did make for a good hour of free fun. And that's really what's important here.

You're probably thinking things couldn't get any better for the girls and Mike. But you are totally wrong! We have had the utopian dream to come to Wellington and watch all three Lord of the Rings movies (in order at one time) since we embarked on our adventure in Auckland. Being an overcast day we thought we'd take today to emerse ourselves in the world of Peter Jackson. We walked across the street to the Embassy Theatre which was built in 1924 as a posh theatre and then later renovated by Peter Jackson himself. Thinking only of himself, he decided to dump all his money into putting a state of the art sound system and sprucing the place up just so he could premire his three LOTR movies which were yet to be made. And being the theatre in which all three premired we figured that of course they would be showing them in just the order we wanted to see them. But to our disappointment that wasn't the case. We met up with the owner sitting on a stool beind the counter and chatted with her about our LOTR woes. Mike, being the LOTR fanatic that he is, asked if she was around for the premires and much to our excitement she mentioned that she indeed was and that she actually walked the red carpet. Turns out we had spent the morning talking to one of the main little hobbits. Being only 4'10" she was summoned to the set and given a role and the opportunity to be one of the five hobbits that walked the three hour red carpet from the parliment building to the theatre on the opening nights. She was the proudest thing around. I guess it was true when the bookstore guy said that "everyone and their" dog was in the film. He had been an ork and had to endure 17 days of night shooting in the rain doing some battle. Everyone was in it.

So we didn't get to watch the movie on the big screen but we did get to watch the movies. And for free. We walked ourselves down to the Film Archives and set ourselves up in front of the little flat screen tv and watched the 3 hour extended Fellowship of the Ring. What a great day of free fun. Of course we decided that since we have been so diligent in finding the free fun that we deserved to go out to dinner and a movie. We don't want to look too cheap here in the big city.

And that's where this free fun tale ends. We still have a few more days here in Wellington and two more LOTR movies to watch. And we still haven't met Jack Black.
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