On our fourth weekend in New Zealand, we stayed in Wellington for the Sevens Rugby Tournament. Wellington has a giant party that lasts all weekend for the tournament. Think of a cross between Halloween and Mardi Gras, where groups of people dress up in themed costumes.
Several of us skipped lunch at the Weir House (where we were staying for six weeks) and got sushi instead. At lunch, someone mentioned that the band Pretty Lights was playing that night. I had never seen them live, and figured what better place than to see them than in New Zealand? We bought tickets for that night.
After lunch, there was a huge parade for the Sevens tournament that we watched. Each country participating in the tournament had a truck pulling a trailer with the rugby team on them. When the US passed, we cheered extra loud and gave Uncle Sam (on stilts) high fives.
Later that evening, we arrived at the bar Bodega, where the Pretty Lights concert was held. The concert went super late and I was glad we didn’t have class the next day!
Our only plans for the day was to try to get tickets to the Sevens tournament. We heard that we could scalp tickets beforehand, so we planned on doing that. Before we got to the stadium, a few of us went to lunch at really cute Mexican restaurant off Cuba Street called Viva Mexico. The waiters gave the table next to us a round of free tequila shots and they didn’t want them, so they gave them to us. The day was off to a great start!
On our way back from lunch, the All Blacks (New Zealand’s national rugby team) were practicing on the field by the Weir House. We watched them for a bit before heading back to the house and meeting up with everyone.
Our group costume was Team America, and we were all wearing a variety of red, white and blue. I was wearing a blue wig, sparkly red shirt, white shorts, a red boa, and red sunglasses. We caught the first USA game on TV at the house and then walked to the stadium.
I was able to scalp tickets for $30 each while most people were paying $50! In the stadium, everyone sits by section according to country. It took us forever to find the USA section, but we finally did and met a bunch of interesting characters, including a few others from the USA dressed up like us!
When the games were over (and USA lost), we headed back to the house to drop off some of our stuff. Then we went out to the bars and it was a giant party in the streets.
A large group of us walked up to the Kelburn Cafe and had a delicious breakfast. We weren’t planning on going to the games today, so I spent the day shopping around town and then headed back to Weir House to get ready. We were going to go to a nice dinner and then to watch the games at a bar afterwards.
While we were walking to dinner, we passed McDonalds. I don’t know if everyone wanted to save money or wanted food immediately, but we were all okay with skipping the nice dinner and getting fast food instead. I love trying McDonalds in different countries because they have specialty burgers for each country. One of the specialty burgers here is the lamb burger, and it is worth a try! We watched the game at Hope Bros (our favorite bar that is now closed) and walked to another bar called Lotus after. We went to the Establishment bar later and the rugby players were there! It was a fantastic weekend!
My friend Angelena (on Instagram @angelena_fiorito) who was on the trip with me took some of these pictures. She is currently living in New Zealand for a year, so check out her Instagram to see her new adventures!