We were awarded a getaway again this year from IHC. IHC does amazing things for special needs families here in New Zealand. They offer many services as well as a library that we can access for great resources on Special Needs. The Take a Break program is just amazing and so many businesses get on board to donate hotel rooms, entertainment coupons and even gift cards for spending cash.
Last year we went to Wellington; to the Wellington Zoo and TePapa. You can read about that getaway more in the links. This year, they offered a few locations, but we again chose Wellington. It is one of our favourite destinations. We were presented with one night’s accommodation at Distinction Hotel Wellington, and a $200 gift card.
It was a great location as everything was in walking distance from the hotel. Also, we were able to reserve a parking space at the hotel in advance, which if you know anything about Wellington, is a must!
The Distinction was lovely and we all felt very comfortable there. They even had a swimming pool which made our kids very happy. Me, not so much, as it was under the hotel and all I could think about was if there was an earthquake we would all be buried. Yikes.
Our kids love exploring new things, probably because we have always done it. We try to incorporate fun and learning in creative ways. We popped into Timezone, which is an Arcade, for a few quick games while we waited for the Wellington Night Market on Cuba Street to get going. We wandered around afterwards and looked in the shops. Sophia absolutely loved being out at night time and walking around seeing all the lights and interesting people and Buskers / Street Musicians. I have always loved walking around at night and I honestly miss that about California.
We all really enjoyed the Night Markets and the food choices that were on offer. It is always great for everyone to be able to try what they want, so this is always an ideal dinner choice. We had an interesting combination; Sophia had Salmon Penne Alfredo, Max had Mac-n-cheese, Brent had a Moroccan Lamb Gyro, and I had a Chicken Chimichanga. It was all pretty good. We took home some treats for breakfast too.
When we got back is when the kids wanted to swim, and we figured being night time, it wouldn’t be very busy. We were right, there was no one else there, which is great because it was very loud, like an echo chamber. We didn’t stay very long as it was pretty cold, but they had great fun. They both love being in the water.
After a good night’s sleep, we got up and got ready for the day. The boys had run to the store the night before and bought some chocolate mousse. We put it into the funnel cakes and added some berries and it made a beautiful and delicious breakfast.
We decided to head to Weta Studios and see if they had any space on the tours. They didn’t, so we decided to have a look around. It was so awesome seeing all the props from so many of our favourite shows and movies. Seeing the workmanship up close is such a great way to appreciate the talent that the creators there have. We totally geeked out, and yes, we did embarrass our kids, but they expect that from us by now. We were there for a very long time as there is so much to look at and learn about. We will be sure to book ahead for the next trip down, so we can see the behind the scenes magic. Even if you can’t get in for a tour, it is well worth the trip.
After we left Weta, we decided to head back to Timezone and play for a while as we hadn’t stayed very long the night before. Everyone always enjoys a good arcade in this family. We were all in awe of how Sophia’s talent at the Crossy Road game. She got heaps of tickets, which she later used to buy candy bars for everyone. We were all beginning to get rather ‘hangry’ by this pint so after wandering around grumbling at each other we decided we better eat.
We were really stoked to find Zambrero as we all love most Mexican food. I say most because a lot of what is called ‘Mexican’ food in New Zealand is far from what I grew up eating or what I tasted when in Mexico. It still tasted pretty good though, even though I am a bit biased. The best part is that by eating here, we were helping to feed others, and that can never be a bad thing. we always try to teach the kids that we can make a difference in the world, with how we spend our money. They felt good about eating here as well.
After lunch, we headed back home and on the way we stopped off at a few sites and stopped for ice creams and milkshakes.
This was another great Take a Break getaway. We are so thankful to IHC, The Distinction Wellington, and all the sponsors who help make this programme a possibility for families like ours.
We look forward to applying again next year.