Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Very Wellington Christmas.

We decided to do something a little different for Christmas this year. We had a bit of a talk, and decided that that kids really didn't need a whole swag more toys, or knick-knacks, to fill their rooms with, but that a super cool holiday would be a great gift for the whole family.
I put the question on Facebook: ' Where would be awesome for a family holiday?' and had a lot of really great suggestions - and a completely generous offer.
My dear sweet friend Rachelle, who I met through blogging and doing Craft 2.0 (many moons ago, when Aesop was tiny!) offered us her house in Wellington for a week over Christmas! She said they were close to town, had sky t.v, a trampoline and, most importantly, a suitcase of Lego. SOLD!

It was a bit of a mish getting organised (more so due to the craft market in Greytown the weekend beforehand..) and we were pretty gutted to be spending Christmas without any family around (Mum and Dad originally were going to join us, but couldn't..) but we were so excited to be heading off on a huge adventure.

The car trip down was what I was most nervous about, I think. Our kids had never done a long drive before, and I feared they would spend the entire time nagging and bickering. I packed bags for the boys, filled with activities (stickers, notebooks, pens, treat foods, magazines etc) and doled those out each half hour or so. They also had the PSP and Ipod to play on in short bursts, and plenty of healthy snacks to munch on.
You know what? They were AMAZING. I don't think there was a single whinge the entire journey. We managed to only stop two or three times, for ice blocks and toilets, and the whole trip only took 8 hours. Score!

The home we stayed in was so beautiful. Rachelle and Mark have spectacular taste (I would have loved to have done a whole blogpost about the house, but sharing their home with the world wide web might be a small invasion of privacy! Hah). They were also kind enough to decorate a tree for us! What a treat.
The boys were so stoked to stay somewhere that was full to the brim of cool toys and to sleep in bunks 'just like at home', Aesop even asked if we could move in!
(Otto though, funny boy, missed home A LOT. Every morning when we asked him what he wanted to do that day, he would say 'Go home to Whakatane!' Such a homebody. )

Our Christmas day was a quiet one. We ate delicious food, the kids opened a few gifts (Carefully showing each one to Nana and Koro through the webcam!) and we spent a lot of time relaxing and playing.
Aesop received the boxed set of Harry Potter books he requested, and Otto got his PSP (Thank goodness Santa had some luck on Trademe!). Mollie was lucky enough to recieve a Dee*Luxe doll as her gift from Santa. She was nearly as stoked as I was. Heh.
We popped down to Te Papa in the afternoon, and wandered around the exhibitions. Who would have thought the museum would open on Christmas day? Pretty smart. I really recommend visiting on Christmas, if you're ever in Wellington. It was lovely and not nearly as busy as usual!

The rest of our week was spent doing wonderful, touristy things around the city. We popped back to Te Papa to seen the History of Gaming exhibition (Abraham and Aesop loved it - we soon realised it was not so suitable for under 5s, so the rest of us weren't so thrilled), we spent a day at Wellington Zoo, walked about Cuba Street, Visited the, very busy, Weta Cave and generally enjoyed ourselves.

I must note though, that Wellington is a very different place with three kids.
All of the things I imagined doing - eating sushi off a conveyor belt, shopping at Iko Iko, eating at cafes etc - were not suitable at all. It was very much more of a McDonalds on the run, and toys from the Warehouse sort of a holiday. Perhaps when the kids are older those things might be more realistic? I hope so!

The trip home went nearly as swimmingly as the trip there.
We stopped in at the Army Museum in Waiouru, which was fabulous.
Yes, even ole gun-hating Mama over here thought it was great. It's very well done, super informative and well, the perfect spot for a break in the trip. Highly recommend that place!

And we made it home just in time to pop the kids into bed and fall onto the couch in a heap. Three weekends in a row of long drives has meant we've had a tonne of fun, but now some, well-earned, relaxing time at home is in order.

Hope y'all had a lovely festive season, too xx


  1. Your city holiday looks and sounds fantastic, so much fun stuff to do in Welly. Those tips for long-haul travel will be so useful next time we go away! The last few trips I've had to wellington have been lovely grown-up weekends away and there was lots of the cafe/shopping/gallery stuff- highly recommended.

  2. looks like a fabulous holiday, love the picture of you and Molly

  3. I love Wellington to visit ::))

  4. what lovely memories! you're such ace parents! xo