As the holiday-goers drip back in, and the year starts to really click into gear, there’s a part of me still in denial that I am not on holiday any more. Part of the beauty of Wellington is its compactness. When you’re in the city, you can walk from one end to another in no more than thirty minutes. And equally, when you need some breathing room, you’re just a short drive from feeling a million miles away from it all.
Having grown up in the Western suburbs, heading around the Bays has always been a real treat. The inconvenient loss of radio signal as you weave in and out of the cliff shadows is well trumped by the stunning ocean views to your left. Real arm out the window kind of stuff. I find having the sea close to me so soothing. I like listening to it, like a shell to the ear, and watching the blue tones graduate into one another.
So, in my, time-to-put-A-into-G state, I decided to simply not, and instead grabbed my togs, towel and hopped on a number 3 bus. I sit on the top story of the double-decker to appease the child in me. The thirty-minute ride passes quickly, with scenery changing from bustling Lambton Quay, colourful Newtown, to beach town and my destination for the afternoon, Lyall Bay.
When I find my spot, I am delighted by the selection of entertainment on display. Dogs frolicking in waves. Children frolicking in the waves. Parents of dogs and children alike, encouraging, chasing, spectating their precious cargo. I read a book, my wrist battling against its gravitational pull. The sun is warm, the breeze is cool. The waves crash in the background and the way the sun shimmers against them is oh so beautiful. Just like that, I feel on holiday again.
But what’s a kiwi beach holiday without a piping hot package of fish and chips under arm? I pop across the road to Seaview Fish and Chips and return a happy woman. They have a really extensive menu, but I can’t go past the classic fish, chips, little can of t sauce combo. The chips are just to my liking, crisp but a little bit soggy. It’s soul food and really completes any great trip to the beach.
I make my way home on the bus feeling rejuvenated and at peace. Sometimes we need to get away from it all, and on this day, Lyall bay was precisely what I needed. It gets two greasy, salty and sunblock infused thumbs up from me.