“Is it just me, or are there not as many vineyards in the Hawkes Bay as there used to be” I asked husband as we drove from one place to another?
You see, the last time we were in Hawkes Bay was the year 5BC (five years before children). We spent a pleasant weekend laughing with friends as we wandered from vineyard to vineyard eating, drinking and buying wine to cellar. (Yes, I know. The concept of wine lasting longer than 24 hours now that we are parents is completely foreign to us too).
This time, with three children in tow, we spent a busy weekend racing from waterpark to gannet colony, grabbing takeaways and buying cheap Pinot Gris from the Supermarket. The concept of going anywhere near a vineyard – where civilised people would be having civilised conversations while drinking beautifully crafted wines – seemed completely foreign to us.
Crazy as it might sound, we actually and quite intentionally planned a trip to the Hawkes Bay – one of New Zealand’s best wine producing regions – that didn’t include visiting a vineyard. Why? Because this trip wasn’t about us.
It was giving the gift of an experience that had brought us here. We’d used this new family philosophy as an excuse to plan a fun filled adventure. A weekend full of waterslides and crazy golf, racing cars and tractor rides along beaches. A weekend designed for fun, laughter and the creating of memories that would last much longer than a new box of lego or the latest nerf gun.
It was also about giving time. We all lead such busy lives that our time has become the thing we treasure most. The thing we never have enough of. The thing we always need more of. And this is what makes it the perfect gift.
Giving the gift of presence – of an experience that you do together, of time that you can spend together – has to be the best gift of all.
Read more: 5 tips for giving the gift of an experience