jen yu: new zealand 2004 - day 13

new zealand 2004 - day 13

back to nz 2004
[ day 12 ]
christchurch art center, botanical gardens, los angeles
december 7, 2004
read about the day
SimpleViewer requires JavaScript and the Flash Player. Get Flash.

We had planned to drive around the Akaroa Peninsula until we realized that we wouldn't have time for both that and the Gardens and the Art Center. We had packed a lot into our trip, so we decided it was best not to rush around on the last day (just in case we missed our flight or something). We slept in until 7:30. Once we were up, we packed up our bags for international check-in, checked out of the motel, and drove down to the Christchurch Botanical Gardens.

We parked at the gardens (free parking for 3 hours) and first walked around the Arts Center which is an old campus turned into this amazing center of museums, studios, shops and restaurants. We checked our email at the E-Caf, visited Lord Rutherford's museum in the Den, tasted some homemade fudge, grabbed a quick brekkie at a cafe, walked through Untouched World (with its untouchable prices) and saw the coolest bead store ever! The Arts Center is a really neat place to hang out.

Walking back to the gardens, we wondered where to eat lunch because we had to get back to the car rental place by 2pm. We decided to check out the gardens first - if they were interesting, we'd dine in the garden cafe, otherwise we'd ditch early and goto some posh place across the street from the Arts Center. The gardens were awesome. The whole thing is public and free and wonderful. They even have a little play area with a giant wading pool (like 4 inches deep) for kids. As we passed an interesting tree, an elderly fellow stopped to tell us it was from Central China and that after World War II, a couple of botanists went around collecting seeds of these exotic trees and this one was planted from one of those seeds. He went on to say that any tree like this one outside of China is no older than the one we stood under. Then he smiled, said "cheers" and went about his business.

We walked the gardens for another hour and then went to the cafe for lunch. We ordered the daily special pasta and a seafood basket and then it was time to drive to Backpacker Rentals. But not before we got a picture of Flat Stanley with some local ducks (Ben likes ducks). Byron dropped us off at the airport and bid us farewell. Chilling out in some comfy couches near our terminal, we wrote last minute postcards to use up our international stamps. I was excited to go home and see our pup again, but I could have easily spent another year in New Zealand. It's definitely a repeat destination.

back to nz 2004
[ day 12 ]