Category Archives: Family

Thetford Forest Camping – Aug Bank Holiday ’11

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So as you know, we bought a tent end of July, beginning of August and did a trial run in our garden!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeing as it turned out so successful, we decided to book a local campsite and try it for real!  Wow, what a struggle to get a booking for Bank Holiday weekend, who’d have thought they would be so busy, but they were!  Anyways, we managed to get a pitch at Thetford Forest, which is only about an hour and a bit drive from ours, perfect should the weather be a disaster!

We had to pay for the 3 nights, Fri to Mon, but we actually only went for 2, Sat and Sun as we could not get there for Friday.  Just as well really, because a couple I chatted with who did arrive on the Friday at 930pm had to pitch in the dark in pouring rain!  Not my idea of fun!

So Saturday we set off for our camping holiday!

The site was very nice and the staff were very friendly.  It would of been nice to know that they office actually closed between 11 and 12, as we arrived at 1105am and couldn’t check in!  So we went in search of the local Tesco to stock up!

Now I did check the weather forecast before we left and it was anticipated rain at 1pm!  Now I know the weather is not accurate but from the look of the clouds above, this time, it could very well of been!

We finally got to our pitch at 1230pm, and literally as we opened the car door to start unloading the heavens opened and they opened good!   We had the most unbelievable downpour!  Not to worry, we sat in the car and ate our lunch and waited for it to pass and then pitched the tent!

All I can say is thank goodness we did the trial run at home, it took us a little under 1hr 30mins to get it all setup and beds made, which really wasn’t bad I thought.

The site was lovely and clean and the amenities were clean and tidy and very well laid out.  We did pay a £10 deposit so we could get the key to the bathroom with a bath in it for Luke in the evenings which really did prove a lifesaver!

All set up and ready to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke exploring the forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset on the first night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took Luke to Banham Zoo on the Sunday and he loved it as always!  Here he is feeding the animals!

 

 

 

 

 

Getting his badge for collecting all the stamps!  Proud boy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tractor Boy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had a wonderful time.  I did notice how you tended to go to bed alot earlier and rose quite early, but it was fine.

I loved being outside, sleeping under the stars, ok with protection! LOL! Waking to the birds tweeting, hearing Owls hooting, just generally not having City life anywhere near!

Will we do it again?  110%!  Can’t wait for the next holiday which sadly will now been next year as the camping season tends to generally close from Oct to Apr.

Roll on 2012!

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Africa Alive – May 1st ’11

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I love Africa Alive!  It is the one place I can feel like I am just a little bit back home, even if just because of the name!

May 1st we decide to take Luke, because under 3’s get in for free and as he was still technically 2 we couldn’t miss out!  We had a lovely day there, and I am sure Luke enjoyed it, as you can see from the pictures below!

  Can’t go to an African park and not bang the bongo drums!

  Spotting the train in the distance!

  What child doesn’t enjoy chasing ducks!  I know what you are thinking, not many African animals for an African animal park, but there are!

  LIONS! Yippee!

  A rare Luke and Mummy picture on the little train, about to depart for a ride around the park!

  Time to play on the swings and give someones little legs a rest!

We had a wonderful family day out, that shall be repeated again in the not to distant future.

They really do have a wonderful selection of African animals including, Rhino, Zebra, Giraffe and a whole host more!

Disneyland Paris – June 6th to 10th

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Way back in January, Si and I decided that our holiday this year we would take Luke to Disneyland.  Florida seemed too far for the amount of time we had available, so the next best option was Disneyland Paris.  I have wanted to go there for a while, mainly because I have seen the Florida one and wanted to compare!

So Jan ’11 we booked, 4nights 5 days!  The countdown had begun…………………..

I am now on the other side of the holiday and we had a lovely time!  Luke was in complete awe of it all!

We caught the Eurostar from Ashford and I have to say what a great mode of transport!  Yes I know it is a train and I have traveled trains before, however we had premium class seats on the way out and the service was great.  We received breakfast on the train and the seats were alot wider and only 3 seats across, instead of in standard class which has 4 seats across.

   Luke waiting for the train to leave the station!

Our journey time was about 2 and a half hours I think, I never timed it! LOL!  I was really nervous about going through the tunnel as I am not good in confined spaces and sure as eggs, what happened, we stopped in the middle of the tunnel!  At least not for long and we soon got going again, but it really unnerved me!  Once I realised that the actual tunnel bit was not long, I was fine.

We arrived right at the entrance to the Disney Park, which I thought was great, especially for those with little children in tow!  Because we had taken the Disney Express service option, when we arrived, we gave our bags to the Disney Express service and they took our luggage to our hotel, ready for when we checked in later.  Likewise when we left, we checked out of the hotel and gave them our luggage and when we were ready to check into our train home, our luggage was already at the station.  Awesome service!

  Literally as you walk out of the station you are in Disney.  The Village has all the restaurants, then you opposite is the entrance to the Park and Walt Disney Studios.

It was very cloudy when we arrived and as the weather had predicted rain the week we were there we weren’t too optimistic that it would get any better.  Well it did and out of our 5 days it maybe rained for just 1, so not too bad!

The Park is very much like Florida, but on a smaller scale.  We actually did all of it in 4 days but at a nice leisurely pace!

If I were to go again I would say that 3 nights 4 days is more than enough to get all parks etc done.

We tended to do our week as follows :-

Monday we arrived about 1340hrs, and went straight to DisneyLand Park and spent the afternoon there,

Tuesday we did Walt Disney Studio’s – which was good as it rained some of that day and so it was good to have things to do inside!

Wednesday, we went back to the Park and did it more thoroughly, even managing to do some rides for a second time.  We also had breakfast with the characters on Wednesday, which Luke loved!

Thursday, we were back in the Studios, redoing things that Luke really enjoyed or that we missed the first time,

Friday we did both parks, as we had made a list of what we wanted to really do for a last time and focused on that, which was a good strategy!

The park was very expensive, especially as we were paying nearly £1 = 1 Euro!

I bought 3 magnum ice-creams, a bottle of water and a packet of crisps and that came to 16 Euros!

Food in general was pricey, but we tended to really stock up at breakfast and that lasted us till dinner, but I did take some crisps and snack-a-jacks from the UK that kept us going during the day.  Because we were walking so much, for some reason we really weren’t as hungry as we usually are!

I loved our week away.  Luke was in total awe with all of it from the start, but I have to say that by day 5 I think even he had seen enough of Mickey Mouse! LOL!

I have posted alot of pictures to my Facebook account so if you want to see my holiday please check out that account.  However I will post a few here to give you an idea!

  1st on arrival!

  Gotta have a picture of the castle!

  Mummy and Luke on the Mad Hatter Tea Cup ride!  Luke loved this ride so much we ended up going on it about 3 or 4 times!

  Peter Pan live show, we stumbled upon on the first day!

  Luke waiting for the parade.  Could not believe we had to get our seat 45mins before the parade started just to make sure we could see it, so popcorn was our life saver, keeping Luke quiet!

But the parade was so worth it, and we watched it every time we were in the park!

  Luke’s first visit with Mickey!

  Out of the whole holiday this is my favourite picture!  Luke decided that Woody needed to sit and have lunch with him, so he went and found him, grabbed his hand and brought him back to the table where, he told him to sit!  Hence this picture!  I was so proud of him, he knew what he wanted and he went and got it!  He then decided that Mickey needed to sit him and you guessed it………………………….

  Mickey got dragged to our table as well!

There were so many rides, etc that we did and that Luke loved, especially, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Slinky Dog, Cars, Driving 1950’s cars and many more.

The whole experience is well worth doing with our without children.

Don’t forget to see more of my pictures please check my Facebook or Flickr  accounts!

Birthdays!!!!!!! (picture heavy!)

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Seems like an age since it was Luke and mine’s birthday, but of course it has only been a few weeks!

As you surely know by now my son was born the day before my birthday and whilst everyone keeps saying how wonderful it is, in reality, it is pretty crap!  Bad planning on our part that is for sure!  But hey I can’t really change it now can I!

So another year and again my birthday is overshadowed by Luke’s and I have to be honest and say I feel really resentful about it!

Luke’s birthday fell on a  Thursday this year and so he was packed off to Nursery as usual and then we had swimming in the afternoon.  Of course the difference was he got a present in the morning, and then had 3 birthday cakes throughout the day!

 There were presents to start with!

  The first present of the day, the large gift was to be given at his birthday party!

     2 of the 3 cakes, I forgot to take a picture of the small Buzz Lightyear cake!  These were used at Nursery!

 Birthday dinner, his favourite, spaghetti and meatballs.  Yes he can use his fork, but birthday treat he was allowed to use his hands!

  Getting ready to blow out the candle!

  The big blow!

Between Luke’s birthday and his party, was of course my birthday!  My day did not start too well!  I decided to travel to Peterborough to spend the day with my family, but the traffic on the A14 was just a nightmare and it took me a little over 3hrs to get there!  But I have to say it was worth the wait!  Why?  Because look what was waiting for me……………………………………

 A wonderfully large cupcake cake!  Isn’t it lovely?

I did get my Kindle, which I am thrilled about, and my family got me my lighted Kindle cover, an FM transmitter for my iTouch and I had bought myself a skin for my Kindle.

  Front of my new cover from DecaGirl

  Back of cover

  Lighted Amazon Kindle cover

  All set up!  Love it!

I did have a good day, and some lovely gifts from dear friends as well!  The only thing I never got was a dinner out!  Oh well, maybe next year!

So that was Friday sorted, onto Saturday and Luke’s birthday party!

My brother traveled back with me on Friday night to help me on Saturday as Si had to Luke to Little Kickers and I wanted to get the food collected, decorations up, table sorted all by the time he got back and my parents arrived!  As with all my planning it went to perfection!  LOL!

  Inspecting the big present, what could it be…………………..

  First time on his new bike!  Can’t believe he looks confident already!

  Out riding his new bike and loving it!

He got so many lovely presents from everyone and had a wonderful day!  I love seeing my little boy not only grow up but so happy and loved by all!

Here are pictures of his ‘official’ birthday cake!

  The one and only Lightening McQueen from Disney Cars!

    I really have set a tradition now, because each year Luke gets an awesome cake, for his first birthday he had Noah’s Ark, last year was a Fire Engine, and believe it or not I am already starting to think of next years cake, because I can’t let traditions die!

So our birthday’s are over for another year, and my darling little boy is now 3 and as adorable as ever.  I just hope that one day, my birthday will have signifance again, but till then I am getting used to sharing it with one of the most significant people in my life!

Belated Happy 3rd Birthday Luke!

Dr Who Experience, The Disney Store and Hamley’s!

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March 12th is my husbands birthday and so for his present this year I decided to take him to London for the day and to the Dr Who Experience.  He is a huge fan and I thought it would be perfect.

We decided to take Luke with us, as the show guide did say children under 5 needed to be accompanied by an adult, we thought it would be ok, and it was fine, he was just scared in one section!

So we got the 909hrs train down to London and Luke was really well behaved on the train, considering it was his first time and it was about 1hr 15mins!  We were both amazed and proud of him!

Crossing London is not the easiest thing to do with a buggy, but we managed and got across to Olympia.  When we arrived there was a queue outside and I thought oh great.  Our entrance time was between 12 and 1230 and we got there about 1130am and I was hoping we would be able to get in early, but on seeing the queue I soon realised that would not be possible!

However, the queue moved pretty fast and by the time I went and changed Luke and got back to Simon, he as already at the front and waiting for me to come down!

So we got in at our start time of 12pm.

The show / experience was pretty amazing.  I am by no means a Dr Who fan but I have seen the show and so do know what it is about and who some of the Dr’s have been!

On arrival we collected our tickets and made our way through to the walk through experience.  There was a queue to get into it, but by the time you had viewed some of the costumes, looked at the Daleks and some other scenes, it was time to go in.

The walk through was pretty cool, and we got spoken to by the Dr, got to walk through to the Tardis, and yes it really is that big inside! and go on a mini adventure!  It was loud, noisey, had flashing lights, daleks and everything else you can expect from Dr Who, but it is great fun!  Not sure Luke would agree, he was pretty scared!

We then came out the other side and then walked through a section that had the costumes from all the Dr’s from 1964 to current day, as well as a Tardis, a setup of the art room in Wales, all the monsters, and some other bits, finally finishing at the shop!

The whole thing took about 1hr 30mins and we took it slowly.  I think overall Si enjoyed it, but I think Luke was glad to escape!

We left there and went straight to Pizza Express for some lunch, before heading off to the Disney Store in Oxford St.  Oh my goodness, that store is amazing but how crammed was it with people!

Coming from little Suffolk, walking into London shops is somewhat overwhelming!  Luke was in awe and headed straight for Toy Stoy and Cars!

Needless to say the little boy got some pretty lovely treats, but he wasn’t too spoilt!

We then took Luke to Hamley’s and I have to say I was actually disappointed in it!  The Disney Cars section was a piddly little section of about 2 rows with stuff on and nothing great!  We did managed to get him a Mack truck which he loves!

The other thing that really annoyed me with Hamley’s was the lift situation or lack of!

Hamley’s – biggest toy store in London and how many lifts do they have…………………..2 did you read that right let me tell you again TWO!

How stupid and badly planned is that!  Most people who visit have a buggy and you are not allowed to put buggies on the escalators, so have no option but to use the lift.  Also the lifts only take 3 buggies at a time, provided they are compact ones!

We never stayed long and literally bought Luke his toy and left.

By which time we had to catch our train home anyway.  So we hopped in a taxi back to Liverpool St!

Overall it was a lovely day.  My back was sore but nothing near as bad as it has been on previous journey’s to London.

It was good to know that Luke was so good and handled London so well, as we won’t hesitate to do it again now!

I never managed to take many pictures, as trying to balance bags, buggy and camera just doesn’t really work!  But here is what I did take!

Luke and S posing by one of the billboards showing us the way!

By the Dalek, except Luke was more keen to watch the Dalek, than the camera!

Almost end of Jan!

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Can’t quite believe that the end of January is next week!  2011 seems to be going as fast as 2010, if not quicker!

2011 seems to have started well.  Things are busy with work and personal life and I am enjoying both.

After the busyness of Christmas and festive season it was so nice to get back into a routine.  Luke is back at nursery 4 mornings a week, with his swimming taking place on a Friday and Little Kickers on a Saturday.  The child has a busier diary than me!

He is growing so much now, and talks, and talks and talks, and if I haven’t mentioned it talks!  But he is at such a wonderful age and I am really enjoying watching him grow and develop!

His current obsession is Disney Cars followed by Toy Story! So when in Toys R Us the other day, guess what I found?

Yes it is a Lightning McQueen car for kiddies!  How cool!  Needless to say it is still in the shop, but oh boy how I wanted to buy it! LOL!

Luke is already planning his birthday party, which I have to say is in May, but he has already told me he wants a Cars cake and decorations and toys!  How can he demand, he is only 2 and a half! LOL!

January also see us book a holiday!  How exciting we are off to Disneyland Paris in the near future, and can’t wait.  To see Luke’s face with all the Disney characters is just going to be priceless!  Talking holidays my family are booked to go on a wonderful trip to the States and I am so jealous.  They are going to have an awesome time!  Best of all they may be getting me my custom made Rickshaw Bag whilst in San Francisco, how cool is that!

So far my resolutions are being stuck to.  I am saving my pennies and am trying to read more!

I will be doing an updated post on my Filofax usage when I get a minute.

In the meantime here are some pictures of my January so far :

Luke spent a day with Grandma and came home with this mass of cupcakes, which he proudly told us for the next few days he made for us!

Luke enjoying the space in Mummy’s office!

Luke playing with play dough after a day at nursery!

Exhausted after a day at nursery.  Like the slippers?

One other big thing we did in Jan was Operation Room change!  What you may ask?  Well we moved Luke into my old office, Simon into Luke’s old room for his office and then the downstairs office became all mine!  Happy or what?!?!?!?  Took a whole day but so totally worth it!

January has been good and I just hope and pray that the rest of the year continues the same way!

 

Christmas Presents

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Another Christmas is over and as I look back, I do actually wonder, what all the hype is about, where did it go, how could it pass so quickly?!?!

Luckily Luke never woke too early, and after a spot of breakfast we led him into the lounge to see what Santa had left him.  In hindsight, Santa’s gifts maybe should of been given last, as we could not get him to open anything else, for a while, he was so taken with the 3 he had opened!  Let’s just say we got there in the end after alot of persuasion and bribery!

I never did too badly actually.  Here is what I got :-

Pinking shears from my parents, and the threads are from Luke.

The threads have a bit of explaining to them!  Back in August, whilst at the Festival of Quilts, I signed up to a Block of the Month, called ‘A Quilter Lives Here’.  Anyway, I needed the threads in order to actually sew and quilt it!  They had been on my WANTS list since then and seemed a good Christmas idea for someone!  So thank you Luke, you made Mummy very happy!

My parents also bought me a bottle of Beautiful by Estee Lauder.  I do love this perfume!

My in-laws bought me Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen book!  I have really gotten into her style of cooking etc, since watching the TV show, so I really wanted the book!  I can see some scrummy meals in our future!

Another thing I really like is a design called Crazy Daisy, and so my Brother bought me this :-

http://www.portmeirion.co.uk/media-view.php?ic=CR42050-X

It is so perfect!  Jumbo cup and saucer!  The cup holds my scrummy Mocha coffee each morning and the plate is large enough to have my toast on!  Such a lovely design to make me smile each morning!  Thank you Bro!

Finally, Simon, after much persuasion bought my ……………………………….

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A5 Filofax punch!  It has been used so much since getting it!  I love it!

My brother and I cooked Christmas lunch, I just love spending time with my brother in the kitchen, preparing food!

The table before the food!  Recognise the placemats?

Ready to eat!

Overall a lovely Christmas Day!  Roll on the New Year, but we shan’t be doing anything special, will just stay indoors and see the New Year in at home in the warmth, with a bottle of Vino!