By Kim Herd

It was a very early start to this year’s trip. We had to be at the Strive Rehabilitation @ Hawke's Bay at 6.30am for a 7am departure. However, when staff arrived at 6am we discovered that we could not unlock the Strive Rehabilitation @ Hawke's Bay. It took Lee until 6.45 to get the door unlocked (sorry Brent for getting you out of bed so early). With the door unlocked we eventually got away at 7.30, but I was a little flustered.

It was a lovely day to travel, it was sunny and warm and we were full of excitement for the week ahead. We had to make a few stops to pick people up on the way and then we were full steam ahead. We had a great trip on the ferry which was a bonus as that can be dodgy at times (you know what I mean). We arrived in Blenheim to a stunning evening and a delicious dinner. It did not take long before everyone was settled in their rooms.

We had a slow start on Monday morning with a 10am start at the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. What an amazing place. The displays were so realistic, but we would expect nothing less from Peter Jackson. After the planes it was noticed that there was a classic car museum across the road so a group of people went off to see the cars, it sounded like they all enjoyed their trip down memory lane. After that we went to Seymour Square for a picnic lunch. The gardens were stunning, very bright and colourful. We went to the Marlborough Museum then the Riverside Railway. The ride on the train was brilliant. It lasted around 1 hour and went half way round Blenheim and back again. It was so much fun.

On Tuesday we had an early start to Nelson. We went to WOW and the classic cars. This was a highlight for alot of people. We got to meet Clare from Nelson BIA but as we were a little late we did not get to meet them all. We had lunch at Founders Heritage Park and luckily for us as we were wondering around they offered us a train ride. We also enjoyed the second train ride of the trip. On Wednesday we went to Makana Confections, it was heavenly. The smell when you walked in the door was very distracting and then they gave us free samples. MMM. After that we went to the fudge shop, again MMM, it was so good.

On Thursday morning we went out to Sedden for a tour of Yealands Family Estate. What an amazing place. It is made up of 8 different farms that were bought to create the winery. They have 2 million hand planted grape vines, 2 water dams and 25 different wet lands to encourage forna and flora. The winery is self sustaining and it is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It was truly amazing.

We enjoyed a lovely dinner out at the French Essence Cafe on the Thursday evening. Everyone enjoyed their choices, the brownie was heavenly. Thank you so much to Debbie and her staff who stayed open especially for us.

We had a very early start on Friday morning but we made it. We got to Picton by 7am on the Friday morning. We picked a lovely day to travel and as usual the scenery through the sounds was stunning. We live in a magical place. We arrived home to our loving families around 6pm on Friday night. It was nice to see their relaxed and refreshed faces after having the week off. I look forward to planning our next trip next year.


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