An Unordinary Birthday {Ordinary Moments Week 27 – 6/7/15}

It finally happened, last week I turned the big 3-0. The hubster had promised to make it a birthday to remember and the Friday before my birthday we set off for a short break away to Center Parcs. It is honestly one of my favourite places to holiday in the UK and when I found out the week before I could finally get excited before going

The hubster started the weekend in a spectacular fashion, presenting me with a brand new camera! My old compact was starting to fail and my phone can be a bit temperamental, although I love my dSLR it’s a little bulky at times

Thinking we were heading to Longleat I was shocked when we started trekking up the M3 towards London. It turned out we were going to the newest Center Parcs site which we hadn’t been to before, Woburn!

At the entrance to Center Parcs
At the entrance to Center Parcs
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The hubster being sneaky at the check in – he wouldn’t drive up, he parked the car and walked over to the counter to avoid me knowing anything about it!

We stopped for a swim and lunch, and then decided to do a small pottery activity to pass a couple of hours before heading to the lodge. I’ve never painted pottery before but really enjoyed it, although J soon got a little bored with painting a giraffe yellow and instead painted plates, her hands, the table, pretty much everything she could find!

Before swimming
Before swimming
Painting a giraffe money box on the first day whilst waiting for our lodge
Painting a giraffe money box on the first day whilst waiting for our lodge
J ended up doing her own thing whilst I tried to be artistic...
J ended up doing her own thing whilst I tried to be artistic…
Signing 'J' on the underside of the giraffe. I think the painting session may be a mandatory first day activity for all trips...
Signing ‘J’ on the underside of the giraffe. I think the painting session may be a mandatory first day activity for all trips…

I like being the detective for any surprise as I’m not a fan of them so when we arrived in our lodge and it was a 4 bed instead of a 2 bed I was pretty shocked.Β After realising there would be people on our break with us I had a little cry in surprise and the door went. It was my cousin and her family, and my sister and her boyfriend. Still in shock from the lodge size I didn’t quite know what to say and cried a bit more after asking them what the bloody hell they were doing there, ever so polite eh?

It continued throughout the evening, with person upon person arriving and more tears and shock from me. In total there were 20 of us there, 14 adults and 6 children in 3 lodges. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed, and incredibly humbled, I didn’t think I had that many close friends, and I genuinely didn’t think they would have all come up to celebrate!

Our lovely 4 bedroom lodge
Our lovely 4 bedroom lodge
It's always Absolute radio in my house
It’s always Absolute radio in my house
Some of the group. This was when I thought that was everyone...little did I know there would be 8 more people arriving!
Some of the group. This was when I thought that was everyone…little did I know there would be 8 more people arriving!

The hubster stood me in front of everyone and announced the plans for the weekend, a hired cabana in the Subtropical swimming paradise on Saturday morning, a ladies spa day on Sunday and the main event on Saturday night – a Cooks Cabin quiz. The group was to be split in half as heroes vs villains with myself and the long running quiz winner CJ as the opposing team captain!

They had even organised for outfits for everyone and the hubster had arranged for mine to be batwoman. They hadn’t quite finished with the surprises and shortly afterwards presented me with a minion birthday cake which my cousin had taken the day off to make. She is very talented and it was very yummy!

My minion birthday cake made by my legend of a cousin!
My minion birthday cake made by my legend of a cousin!
She only had one cake tin so baked every cake and waited it to cool before baking another!
She only had one cake tin so baked every cake and waited it to cool before baking another!
I was very excited at the prospect of cake here...
I was very excited at the prospect of cake here…

On Saturday morning we all left to go swimming to get to our cabana. Having been to Longleat and Elveden I was expecting it to be a long walk because we were on the outskirts of the park which is usually quite far away and it really wasn’t. Credit to Woburn, everything was within a 15 minute walk and the swimming and sports hall were pretty close together. I did miss the size of it at times as I love the walking around Center Parcs but it was amazing for a big group as we could easily meet up and the children handled the walks pretty well

Following swimming and an epic ‘family’ raft ride on one of the flumes (I say ‘family’ loosely as I was convinced it would be family friendly but it shocked us for sure!) we settled in the Pancake house and went for a game of crazy golf. I’m pretty useless at crazy golf and ended up in last place quite spectacularly after telling everyone I’d score well (its the taking part that counts…isnt it?)

These two are as thick as thieves and it was so nice seeing J fit in with other children
These two are as thick as thieves and it was so nice seeing J fit in with other children
Walking to swimming on the first day
Walking to swimming on the first day
One of the swimming photos, she became such a water baby whilst we were away. She's always been pretty scared of having the water go over her head but totally conquered that fear whilst away. I am so looking forward to Florida with her
One of the swimming photos, she became such a water baby whilst we were away. She’s always been pretty scared of having the water go over her head but totally conquered that fear whilst away. I am so looking forward to Florida with her
Family shot
Family shot
Mmmmmm pancakes
Mmmmmm pancakes
Some of the crazy golf group
Some of the crazy golf group
My mate the hobbit!
My mate the hobbit!

We soon headed back for our quiz night and nachos and pizza which kept appearing from each of the lodges. Everyone put in so much effort into their outfits and it was so nice to see everyone all dressed up. We had music rounds, eating rounds and a scavenger hunt which saw me and an opposing member run to the lake which was 15 minutes from the house (I didn’t quite make it though)

Our lodge neighbours even joined in helping to take the team photos although there was an episode with ghost chilli sauce and the opposing team which resulted in lots of milk yogurt and bananas being consumed by various members of the team. My team won, and we took home the first ever Cooks Cabin trophy which is now proudly on display in my house

The cook household. It was so sweet seeing all of the children dressed up
The cook household. It was so sweet seeing all of the children dressed up
DJ Gru
DJ Gru
Hulk Man and Hulk Woman
Hulk Man and Hulk Woman
Group Shot!!!
Group Shot!!!
One of my very talented friends spent quite some time making the decorations
One of my very talented friends spent quite some time making the decorations
The hubster showed the green lantern decoration off after she had made it
The hubster showed the green lantern decoration off after she had made it
Winning trophy to the Heroes!
Winning trophy to the Heroes!

It was a great idea to have a spa morning on Sunday as we were all knackered and in need of some chill out time. The mums were particularly excited about time away from the men and children and we set off to the spa with a Starbucks in hand. I love the steam rooms, outdoor swimming pool and waterbeds and had a lovely snooze before meeting up again with the other ladies. It was the icing on the cake for me and I am so glad everyone joined in

The boys playing a bit of sport whilst the children (most of them) were in childcare. I'm always wary of sending J into childcare whilst we are away but she settled in perfectly and was with her friends
The boys playing a bit of sport whilst the children (most of them) were in childcare. I’m always wary of sending J into childcare whilst we are away but she settled in perfectly and was with her friends
Us ladies at the spa, minus our pregnant friend who decided to give it a miss
Us ladies at the spa, minus our pregnant friend who decided to give it a miss
My favourite place to be
My favourite place to be

We spent the afternoon chilling out with the family and friends, swimming and just enjoying the time we had left before settling for our last evening. Quite a few people left early on the Monday morning as they didn’t want to hit traffic, my cousin also originally thought we were in Longleat Center Parcs and booked a day at Longleat Safari (haha) so after we had said goodbye to a chunk of the group the remaining 12 of us decided to go in the boating lake for a bit and went on the pedalos

Having never been on a pedalo I didn’t quite know what to expect but all I can say is after the running on Saturday night all I had was calf burn! It was great fun though, J tried to ‘splash’ everyone with her imaginary water and we settled down for a lunchtime picnic post pedalo before bidding farewell to our York based friends who also wanted to be home before the rush hour

Pedalo fun
Pedalo fun
Making sure everyone knows their place with water pistols!
Making sure everyone knows their place with water pistols!
The hubster over planned on the amount of bread we would be eating at the BBQ and over the weekend so we decided to stop and feed the ducks before heading off. It was great fun and they practically swarmed us!
The hubster over planned on the amount of bread we would be eating at the BBQ and over the weekend so we decided to stop and feed the ducks before heading off. It was great fun and they practically swarmed us!
More duck feeding
More duck feeding

The remaining 7 of us decided to go for swimming in the afternoon and have what we call the Center Parcs special, Hucks! We love Hucks, it has an indoor soft play and it serves the most amazing desserts that we couldnt let the trip pass without stopping there. Unfortunately we didn’t get to have dessert this time as we needed to get home but there’s always next time

Hucks for dinner
Hucks for dinner

Arriving home pretty knackered and pretty late Monday night we decided to cancel our plans for longleat and instead chose to go to West Wittering for the day. A lovely family birthday after an amazing weekend away

You can see she needed a day of rest after a mammoth weekend away
You can see she needed a day of rest after a mammoth weekend away
Loving the sand. I personally cannot stand too much sand and would hate it all over me but J and her dad love it!
Loving the sand. I personally cannot stand too much sand and would hate it all over me but J and her dad love it!
Laying down with her rubber ring in the 'puddles' as she called them
Laying down with her rubber ring in the ‘puddles’ as she called them
Fun at the beach - this is one of my favourite shots
Fun at the beach – this is one of my favourite shots

All in all, I had an amazing, memorable birthday and it was absolutely mind blowing to have so many people there. My hubster was amazing at keeping it a surprise and organising it all – I have no idea how I would manage! And my friends and family are just simply the best

We still have post Center Parcs blues but pretty much the entire group has been converted and are talking about going again next year for another group break. I can’t wait!

I love that they had a chalkboard in the lodges and on our last day everyone left a little comment
I love that they had a chalkboard in the lodges and on our last day everyone left a little comment

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Linking up with:

Katie for the Ordinary Moments at mummydaddyme

Fiona at Coombe Mill for Country Kids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

And Victoria at VeViVos for PoCoLo

Post Comment Love

13 thoughts on “An Unordinary Birthday {Ordinary Moments Week 27 – 6/7/15}

  1. Well what an amazing husband you have! That last photo really sums up your birthday weekend, I wish you every joy in your 30s, it looks like it has started in style. I could cry tears of happiness for you reading this, what a wonderful surprise to find so many close to you were there too and how clever of your husband to plan it all and keep you in the dark right upto the moment they arrived! It looks like the weekend was packed with Center Parcs fun enhanced by your own group entertainment, just brilliant and a very happy birthday to you! Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

    Liked by 1 person

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