Nov 27 2012, 1:08am
No pictures yet, but I'll post them when I can.
Quick report from Wellington
I'm sitting in a coffee shop on Cuba Street, waiting for Delwyn to arrive. Deej is catching up on e-mail, LRon is taking a trip to Mt. Victoria, Garfiemao is off somewhere, and Rosie-with-the-Ribbons is no doubt resting her voice after her live radio interview this morning. I'll let her tell you all about it .
We've had an amazing time so far, and last night's party was incredible. Deej, Garfiemao, Tehanu, another friend and I started our Welly adventure on Sunday by participating in a world record attempt to build the most sandcastles in an hour. The current record is 643, just established a month ago, and the Kiwis were determined to smash that record into tiny pieces. The event was partially sponsored by WEta, and it was a fundraiser for a neo-natal hospital. Only those crazy Weta folks, on the verge of releasing a major motion picture, would take the time to make 100 sand castle molds for the record attempt.
Nearly 1,000 people participated, and needless to say we indeed smashed the record. Our unofficial count was more than 1,500 sand castles, and even though the record won't be verified for a couple months, we are certain that New Zealand will hold the record for a long time. We had a great time, despite the sand in our ears and a little sunburn, and helped raise thousands of dollars for the hospital. Evangeline Lilly joined Richard Taylor to announce the results and hand out a few prizes.
Afterward, we visited the hobbit artisan market and lightened our wallets at the different booths and food stalls. Garfiemao and I tried the bacon and egg buttty, which was great. Sunday ended with a group dinner at Dockside Restaurant. It was the first outing for the whole tour group, so we exchanged stories and got to know each other better.
Monday saw another visit to the hobbit market, and then a group trip to Weta Cave. The shop is bustling, and they just prepared a new video describing the scope of Weta's work, and we became one of the first visitors to the new Window into the Workshop, a piece of Weta Workshop that's now open to the public.
The Red Carpet Tours team and our very own TORN hosted a Hobbit Premiere Costume Party on Monday night, and it was nothing short of amazing. The costumes were incredible, and we had some celebrity visitors that took our breath away. Jed Brophy was master of ceremonies, and it seemed like the fun was just getting started when he announces our first guest - none other than Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood!!!! They stayed for more than an hour, soon to be followed by Philippa Boyens (I got to shake her hand!), Andy Serkis, several of the dwarves, Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger, Kiran Shah, Gino Acevado, and others I can't remember. Wow.
Today (Tuesday) got off to a late start, but I've been wrapping up my Christmas shopping, and we're going to a preview party for an exhibition of Greg Broadmore's Dr. Grordbort. Tomorrow is the big day!
Wellington is gearing up for the big event. There are Hobbit banners, posters and pennants everywhere. Hotels are filling up and the streets are busy. Courtney Place has been closed to traffic. I haven't been over by the Embassy today, but as soon as Atahuaa arrives I'm sure we'll get over there to plan our strategy for Wednesday. The entertainment starts at 3, there's a concert by Neil Finn at 4, and the parade starts at 4:30. I don't exactly know where we will be, but we'll send news as soon as we can!