Wellington Food Show and Matt's & Jo's going away drinks (9th May 2009)

I'm heading to the Wellington Food Show today! Another first - YES! So many first-time events for me this week. Tick, tick, tick! I don't know about you but I enjoy trying out new things. It's the discovery of what it is and experiencing new things, and finding out if I really like them or not that brings excitement and spices up my life :)

Claus had asked me to come along with him to the Food Show held at Westpac Stadium today. It was an annual event held over 3 days in major cities in NZ, featuring a broad range of food and beverage stalls for patrons to sample and buy the products.

We had a light lunch at Lambton Quay at 12.30pm then headed over to the cake tin for the event. I had to laugh at Claus when we walked past Ma Higgins Cookies shop - he was like a kid, all excited to buy a bag of cookies and devouring them one by one. You sure have a liking for your sweet stuff, Claus!

Cost us $20 per person for the event. There were loads of people all around the stadium when we got there. "Where shall we start?" Claus asked me and I shrugged - I've never been to one of these things so really just going along with him (he went to the show last year). We picked the side that had less crowd walking through and began our little food and drink exploration, stall after stall.

Stopped briefly to the theatre area where famous Donna Hay was showing the audience how to cook a simple 3 course meal. Hmm, her makeshift kitchen didn't have a basin for her to wash her hands - Claus looked at me with a disgusted look on his face when Donna Hay excused herself to blow her nose, and then get back to her cooking. Eew...I hoped she did use those no-water handwash liquid (we were sitting quite far back so may have missed it)...

We continued on our way, trying all sort of things we fancied. We mostly stopped at all the salami/sausages stalls, Claus gorging away (and I've a photo to prove it!). Some of the highlights for me would be the honey wine and liquor, microwave ready mussels and this beautiful Rosemount bubbly white wine served on ice - you can drink this in summer, outdoors with a bunch of friends the whole afternoon. I would have tried more things but it was quite a fight to get to the food - at times, 3 rows deep and then you get this group of people who just wouldn't leave and empty the whole plate of samples, as if they've not eaten for days! Sheesh...Claus was the one who did all the shopping; I didn't see anything I really wanted or needed to buy.

Bumped into several friends along the way. Interestingly, the food show not only sells food fit for human consumption, but pet food as well as kitchen gadgets and utensils. There was also an area where hospitality people were competing against one another and the clock on their service skills e.g. making the bed, serving a table of guests, coffee-making etc. We took a break from walking to chill out at the lounge chairs near where a jazz duo were performing before continuing on. I think we were there for about 3 hours which was way longer than I had expected. Still, it was a fun experience - thanks for asking me to come along, Clausito!

Oh, there were travel stalls at the Food Show too (how weird). Claus was there checking out some brochures when I saw the Intrepid Travel Australia brochure and showed him the page with me in it. Perhaps I shouldn't have told him about it...he started telling everyone at the stall that his friend i.e. me is world famous, then asked for a pen so I could sign the page for him. Claus!!! This is SO embarrassing!

Left the cake tin about 4ish for a short walk along Oriental Parade before the sun disappears for the day. It was sunny but still cold since it was 8 degrees. Photos taken today: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8070917@N05/sets/72157617836736219/detail/

Left for home around 5pm and out again for a swim, and then back home to make myself a nice salmon steak dinner - yum! Out again at 8.30pm to Southern Cross Bar for Matt's and Jo's leaving drinks. They were heading back to UK for a bit and travelling to South America as well in the coming 8 months so having a big catch up with everyone before they left. As I watched them flit around the bar, trying to spend as much time catching up with each person, I remembered what it was like when I did the same in 2007 - so much to do and packing before you go, then catching up with all your friends in between. Thoses were long, stressful and tiring days, trying to fit everything in. I'm not surprised they would only really get a proper break their 2nd week back home in the UK hehe...Have a wonderful time travelling, you two, and keep in touch! See you in 8 months :)

Yawn...not sure why I'm so tired tonight. Just had 1 beer and stuck it out till 12am before heading for home. James was a good human prop to keep me from falling asleep sitting on the lounge chairs :P


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