Housesitting in Wellington

When a housesit in Wellington popped up last month, we jumped at the chance to live in this city for three weeks, as last time we only passed through to pick up a rental car. This time through, we fell in love with the area as soon as we landed at the smallish Wellington airport, where we were greeted by a familiar face.

DSC03293WTo earn our keep we were given charge of a four month old Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy and a young Siamese cat; oh yeah, and they don’t really get along. It demands a lot of attention and a significant amount of responsibility to continue with the routine and very specific training that the owners left in our care.

DSC03321WIt’s always very windy here, we had two days of rain and wind where the gusts got up to 50 mph, and on another day we had two earthquakes within 6 hours! Luckily, our hosts have done a wonderful job remodeling the insulation in the house, so you can only hear the wind, not feel it.

DSC03345WWe’re actually located in a suburb of the city that is off on a peninsula, which means that we are minutes away from the beach,

DSC03299W and in a stunning, hilly neighborhood.

DSC03331WThe area is centered around WETA which is the Cinderella company that has now become very famous for its special effects work on Lord of the Rings which was filmed in New Zealand. In fact, many of the scenes for the Hobbit were filmed on a hill outside of our house, but unfortunately, they finished filming just weeks ago and all of the sets have been removed. We plan to go on a tour of the facility next week.

We can almost see the strait between the islands from our front window and on a clear day from the coast we can actually see the whitecap mountains on the South Island.

DSC03365WIn addition to the wonderful view, our host also works for WETA which means that they have an incredible home theater system with surround sound and a large projector. I never considered indulging in such decadence in my own home, but I think that Erik and I are both sold on the value of the investment and have put it on our “To Save For” list.

DSC03301WThe training has been going pretty well as he is an incredibly smart dog, but controlling him when the cat is around is still a work in progress. I feel bad for the kitty as he was here first, but at least he gets to sleep with us every night curled up under the covers and Erik’s arm. As soundly as we sleep, we’re up pretty much every morning by 7:00 which is quite a novel thing for us.

DSC03343WWe sometimes have trouble filling our incredibly long mornings, and then can’t keep our eyes open past 10:00 pm. The puppy needs three walks a day so we have plenty of time to explore the immediate area.

DSC03347WHe also goes for training once a week for the whole day so we have some good time to drive into the city and have a look around. Otherwise, there are great hikes in the area that we hope to explore.

DSC03366WMeanwhile we’re keeping pretty busy playing with the puppy, baking bread, reading, studying Spanish and watching films on the big screen!


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