Category Archives: Holiday

Centre Parcs 5th – 9th Sept (Sorry but the pictures won’t line up!)

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I can’t believe we are over a 6 weeks since we went to Centre Parcs!  I am now on a major update this blog quest!

Monday Sept 5th saw Si, Luke and I head off to Centre Parcs in Elveden for the week!  We had been there before and since having Luke we are becoming quite accustomed to going to Centre Parcs at least once a year!  It is just such a great place for kids!

Elveden is great for us, because it is only about 1hr 30mins drive from home, so whilst you get the feeling you are away, you don’t have the long car journey at either end, which is lovely!

We left home at about 12pm, as we could check in at 2pm, having booked the Fly Start package with the villa.  The drive was uneventful and we arrived in good time.

Our villa was very close to all the amenities, so although we had bikes, we actually never used them, as walking was quicker and easier!  What was also nice, was that we were close enough to still pick up with WiFi single in our villa!  Big plus point!  LOL!

Ok, so here are the pictures, sorry but it is picture heavy!

The outside of the lodge/villa!

We always take the Woodland Lodge option now, as they are just so much nicer and for the same money!

Front of the lodge.

We were overlooking the lake, and so here is our view :-

Lovely isn’t it?  Of course this did mean we had the local wildlife visiting daily!  Much to Luke’s enjoyment.

We had booked Luke into an activity of sorts each day, to keep him in some sort of routine!  Monday we had a rest day, due to the travelling, getting bikes and just generally getting our bearings!

Tuesday, Luke was booked in for Soccer School, which was a total waste of money!  The chap who took it, was rattling on about when he played and it just never kept the attention of the younger participants!  Luke attends Little Kickers weekly so is used to football, but he did not like this!  So much so, we actually never stayed to the end, as he refused to take part! Opps!

Luke taking part, before the Coach opened his mouth!

Once the coach started talking, this was Luke!  Hence us leaving!

Luckily there was a really good play area just outside the main block and so we took him there to expel some energy, which he did, happily!

King of the Castle!

The afternoon he was booked to attend the Teddy Bears Picnic, which is always good fun!  So this one was no different!  Of course he was overjoyed to see Rupert the Bear again!

Luke and his Pal!

Tuesday was Goldilocks and the 3 Bears on stage performance in the morning, which was very good, I must say!  Luke was gripped the whole way through and really seemed to have a good time!

The Cast!

A quick spot of lunch at The Pancake House :- 

before it was time for Luke to attend Fencing for Tots! Told you he was busy!

Luke all kitted out!

His final activity for the week was Roller Tots, and that to he thoroughly enjoyed!

As you can see from all these pictures, Luke had a wonderful time and was certainly kept busy.

We ate for lunch and dinner every day and whilst Si or I never booked anything for ourselves, we had fun just watching Luke, relaxing, resting, reading, and just being a 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!

1st time camping in the UK!

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Ok so it was only in my garden, but hey we HAVE CAMPED!  LOL!

I decided a few weeks ago that I would really like to try camping as it could be really good for my son but also good for us as a family.   To begin with I was toying with the idea of renting a camping pod and trying that and if we managed that to then look at going in a proper tent!

But after weighing up the costs it made more sense to buy a tent now and just go for it! So that is what we did!  We bought a 4 man tent, the offer that Halfords was doing, which was a tent, 2 x double air beds, 4 x single sleeping bags, 1 x lantern, 1 x torch and 1 x 12v pump all for £160 and if you bought the cooking set at the same time you only paid £30 instead of £60 for it!  So we induldged!

I then set about researching places we could go and pitch our tent and actually start using, but being August and school holidays, places were few and far between, but I did managed to find a campsite in Thetford Forest, Norwich that is willing to have us for 2 nights!  Sorted!

Now we needed to do a trial run, so last night we set up tent in our back garden for the night!  It was hystical and we all thoroughly enjoyed it, I think we even gave the neighbours abit of afternoon entertainment!

Luke was so excited and had been asking since we bought the tent to pitch it, so he was just elated to see us actually put it up!

It took us around 1hr 30mins to pitch, which I really didn’t think was too bad, for a first time and that included pumping up the beds and setting up so we could sleep in it!

I think these pictures explain how the night went, rather well!



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!

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!

 

2010 Review!

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I am still struggling to come to grips with the fact that we are at the end of yet another year!  Time is passing so quickly!

2010 certainly had it’s highs and lows, but overall it has been a good year!

I can’t believe how much Luke has changed in 12 months!  Here he is on Christmas Day ’09…

and here he is Dec ’10 …………………….

He is really coming into his own now, and doesn’t stop talking all the time!

2010 saw us change his nursery, and I have to say it has been the best decision we could of made.  His new nursery is lovely and he is so happy there.

Our biggest event in 2010, was Simon changing jobs, not through personal choice, but we are getting on with it and things are going ok!

The weather in 2010 has not been the best, but hey is it ever!  Since arriving in the UK in 1998, I have never been through a Summer or Winter, where the public are happy!  I must just say that the news reports that took place in Dec ’10 could of been the same as that run in Dec ’09!!!  It seems the Govt, no matter which one, ever learns and the UK can never cope with snow, no matter how much or little!

We had a few local holidays in 2010, not ever travelling very far, but we did go to Longleat and Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest this year.  Both we nice, much needed breaks!

I have met ALOT of wonderful people in 2010.  Alot are Filofax related, and all are lovely people.  I am hoping that 2011 sees another Philofaxy event taking place!

A very brief review, I know, but 2010 was good, but here is hoping that 2011 is better!

20 Christmas Questions

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Whilst surfing blog land this week, I noticed a number of people had taken part in this questionnaire and it sounded really interesting, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon!

Here are my answers :-

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper all the way!  Even if I did use a gift bag, the present inside would still be wrapped!  I don’t really find it too much of a chore, I tend to put the Christmas music on and just work through the piles!

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial, only because I can’t cope with the mess generated from a real one and also I wouldn’t know what tree to pick or where to go!

3. When do you put up the tree? 12 days before Christmas, or the weekend closest to that day!  This year we put it up on the 11th Dec!

4. When do you take the tree down?  12 days after Christmas, or the weekend closest to that date, so this year will be Jan 2nd, because the 8th is just TOO far away!  And with returning to work on the 4th, it only seems right to get the house back to normal in time for that as well!

5. Favourite gift received as a child? I honestly can’t remember!

6. Hardest person to buy for? My husband!

7. Easiest person to buy for? My son!  Only because he isn’t at that age where they ask for what they want, and just accept what is given!

8. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, every time, except for overseas relatives then it is email!

9. Favourite Christmas Movie? Don’t really have a favourite Christmas movie, maybe it is because I never really watch movies!

10. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Dec 1st I compile my lists and all my shopping was done by Dec 8th this year!  Although majority was online and so I am have delivery issues, but fingers crossed they get here in time!  LOL!  Otherwise it will be receipts as proof of purchase to people on Christmas day!

11. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?  NEVER, that would just be rude!

12. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas?  Cranberry sauce and roast potatoes!

13. Lights on the tree (coloured or clear)? Coloured and flashing!

14. Favourite Christmas song? As sad as it may be my favourite Christmas song is ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ by Band Aid.

15. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Hmm, as a child I spent most Christmas’s away on holiday, as I have gotten older, my Christmas’s are now spent at home, however one day I do wish to have a Christmas holiday again!

16. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? Star!

17. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Why would you open your presents on Christmas Eve?!?!?!  Christmas morning, definitely!

18. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Amount of people in the shops!

19. What do you want for Christmas this year?  Filofax A5 punch, craft items and Nigella Lawson’s cook book, and a whole host of other things!

20. Traditional colours (red and green) or other colours? Traditional red and green!  On the tree only!

That was fun!  Anyone else want to play?  Please link me if you do!

Our Christmas tree this year!