Last year we visited Camp Bestival for the first time, J was 3 and we weren’t sure if it would be a good weekend for her or not. It was – she loved every part of it – the camping, the music, the kids activities and the rides – she was a festival convert and has since spent the year asking when she could go back
I have driven through Bath many times and every time I have said I wanted to stop and visit it. From the car it always looked majestic and one of those places I knew I would fall in love with. In February the hubster surprised me with a grown up trip to visit this beautiful city without the stresses of a 4yo in a city and my oh my it didn’t disappoint
You know when you have a day that goes so well that you wish you could run it over and over again, remembering every moment again and how it made you feel? You want to desperately cling to that day, the atmosphere, the experiences and most of all, the little being that just makes it all it is. This Wednesday was one of those days
J woke me up at 715am with a big smile and cuddle, and we chilled together on the bed with breakfast and our devices for a while, snuggling up to watch her cartoons and laughing at the silly jokes within them. We had made our plans the night before; J had asked to go and pick a pumpkin, then go for a walk, before having her swimming lessons, and thats what we set out to do
We have been going to pick your own since J was little and I have always been an advocate for it – we don’t grow our own vegetables and I hate the idea of J thinking food only comes from a supermarket shelf, so for her to be able to go and choose her food and pick it fresh, well that for me is perfect. It also gets her excited about eating fruit and veg which is pretty amazing too!
As we pulled up she set her sights on pumpkins by the farm shop and I explained to her that she was in fact picking one from the field as we have done previously. That initially took a little persuasion until she saw the wheelbarrow we would be using and she instantly wanted to push it. Before long she gave up pushing it and climbed in and we sang songs and giggled in the Autumn sun. I really am loving the weather at the moment, the days may be getting shorter, and rain is probably just around the corner but this is by far my favourite season
We soon arrived at the fields and my they really are a sight, rows and rows of what looks like abandoned pumpkins. They look beautiful in the sun, and pretty spectacular in all of the photos I have seen over the last few weeks
I tried to help her choose one but she instead decided that was her responsibility and instead spent ages choosing the ‘right’ one for me, settling on a rather large one without a stalk
Having never picked corn on the cob with her before I also decided that we would also head to the rows and pick what was left after the summer season. This was initially daunting for her and it did feel claustrophobic at times, but she soon found her stride, choosing the best corn and collecting as many as she possibly could in her little arms
We ended up leaving with 10 freshly picked corn on the cobs, which she was so excited about eating that we ended up having most of them that evening. All in all we came away with 2 pumpkins, the sweetcorn and a butternut squash, all for less than £8 and she kept telling everyone all about her trip to the pumpkin and sweetcorn fields and showing them her treasure
We then took a drive up to her favourite place for a walk, laughing as we climbed the hill, playing ball games and chasing each other, before stopping for a car picnic which is also one of her favourite things to do, and then a swimming lesson in the afternoon
With working full time I often worry that I may miss out on key moments with her, but actually I think it pushes us to make the most of the time we have together. We didn’t do any large scale activity or anything ridiculously expensive, but it ran so smoothly and we both had such a lovely time, that it really will stay in my mind for a long time (and so will the masses of pumpkin we are working through!)
Linking up with Katie at mummydaddyme for the Ordinary Moments link up
And Fiona at Coombe Mill for Country Kids
I was in a cruddy mood last weekend. We had come home on Friday afternoon after just shy of 3 amazing weeks away to our town which is full of traffic, queues and charges for carrier bags (that stumped the hubster after shopping and paying with card due to no UK cash before realising bags were needed!)
After telling the hubster how down I was feeling we decided to have a chat about how best to improve our home life, declutter and destress, and most importantly how to find a better balance long term. In the short term and at that moment in time we both knew that some fresh air would do us good and improve not only mine but his mood too
There was a pumpkin festival at Victoria Country Park on Saturday and last year a record had been set for the largest pumpkin in the UK. We decided to head along this year and see the giant pumpkins and whatever else there was on offer. It seems everyone within Hampshire thought the same and the queues backed up onto the motorway some 4 miles away
We parked up in a nearby village and took a slow family walk with my mother-in-law to the country park to have a look around. Sneakily I spotted some pumpkin curry for a very reasonable price of £3 but J had other things on her mind, a bouncy castle she had spotted as she entered the area. She played on it for her allocated time and as soon as her time finished and she got off she asked to go on it again but we wanted to see what else there was and to look at the giant pumpkins
On a Wednesday I like to make the most of the day with J and on this occasion it was business as usual. We originally thought about going to the beach although the weather forecast was not looking promising so we decided to visit a country park instead
My day began at 6am this morning, strangely not because of J waking up though – she slept in until 6:30, but because I was excited about the day ahead. Today was daddy daughter day, I don’t get many like this so I was eager with anticipation to get started!
As a full time working parent, you are at a bit of a disadvantage, you get the same two days off each week as everyone else – wherever you go is heaving with people, there are queues for everything, and the staff are stretched to the max – so getting the best experience is often not possible
Today was different, its term time and a weekday – you don’t get much better than that combination!
I started my day with J when she woke up, by putting Despicable Me on the TV, and watching it with her – no phone, no tablet, just me and my girl. I did her breakfast, Rice Krispies as usual, and started packing for our day ahead – its amazing just how much stuff goes in the bag!
Wifey stayed in bed (she’s not very well), so I got J washed, dressed and raring to go before heading out the door at 8:30am. We drove to a trampoline place in Camberley called Gravity Force, where we were booked for a 10:30am start. They do a ‘Toddler Takeover’ morning a couple of times each week and this was J’s first time. J loves trampolines, so I was eager to see how she handled a place full of them – even on the walls!
As much as I love to run around doing several things at once and go a million miles an hour sometimes I have to take a step back and take it easy because of my health and this bank holiday weekend was one of them. I decided on Monday that if I couldn’t go to the gym or out on the bike then I wanted to go to one of Hampshire’s country parks and have some quality outdoor time with my two favourite people
Bank holidays are fantastic, they allow us to spend time together as a family. We really cherish the extra days and make the most of them, particularly if the weather’s with us. We have only been to the zoo twice since having J, on Mother’s Day 2014 and again this bank holiday 4th May. I have been talking about going back for ages and so we packed a picnic and decided to spend our last day off there
The weather decided to hold out for us and it was the only clear sunny day of the ‘weekend’. It seemed everyone had the same idea and so we seemed to arrive with the masses. J’s feet seem to have had yet another growth spurt and she was complaining about her shoes and comfort before we even got past the ticket desk, so I dashed back to the car for a second time after initially forgetting suncream(!)
We also found the first Zany Zebra which is by the entrance and in 2016 there will be a herd of them coming to the streets of Southampton, following the Go! Rhinos success in 2013
It’s so rare for me to take the SLR out nowadays I made a point of taking it with us, mainly because I want some nice pictures of J for the wall as it’s something we are seriously lacking. For this reason, although the camera was on me at all times, I took very few photos of the animals and focused on my family
Whilst in Puerto Rico I spent much of my time indoors attending meetings and out for dinner that I didn’t get to really see much of the island. Our hosts for the week wanted us to experience as much culture as we could in terms of food and provided us with some local sweets, plantain chips (very nice!) and one of the meals the islanders like to eat; red beans and rice
I arrived in San Juan late Sunday night and the drive from the airport to my final destination was approximately 1.5 hours and in darkness, so I couldn’t see much of the island on the way in. The return to the airport was in the afternoon, and I thankfully got to see the island and the local areas in daylight. A couple of pictures from the car ensued!
We managed to get to the boardwalk in La Guancha for a very quick stop and some photos before heading for dinner. One of the guys we were with explained that it comes to life on a weekend, and that was the best time to visit as it was very quiet when we were there midweek
On Friday morning, the last morning before leaving the hotel I decided to get up at 5:30am and take some photos of the sunrise and ‘Coffin Island’ (Isla Caja de Muertos). Unfortunately I did not have insect repellent and was in desperate need of antihistamines the following day when I returned to the UK, but the photos were certainly worth it, don’t you think?
For the past 4 years we’ve had a bit of an Easter tradition with our friends who live in York where we take it in turns to visit each other. It’s such a long journey and we all have small children so a 4 day break is the ideal opportunity to get together. In 2013 we managed to do a summer house swap which was ace and we got to see more of the local area while they saw the South Coast. Both adults know the hubster from school and I feel very lucky to have been welcomed and accepted into their longstanding friendship
They have recently had their third child and moved house so we opted to visit them this year as opposed to them coming to us. Normally the hubster and I would book a few days off work around Easter though this year we are very restricted on holiday due to having 3 weeks off later on in the year (eek! Very excited!) We set off at lunch time Thursday and made good progress until we hit the M1 – which seems to have never ending roadworks! Nonetheless we arrived at theirs at 7ish and J just instantly settled in with the children and went off to play
Once the children were finally in bed (way past J’s bedtime and theirs we heard) we sat down for the most epic lasagne cooked for us. I have to say, these guys are real foodies and the food served was delicious and plentiful!
Good Friday arrived and so did the rain! We opted to go to an indoor play park called Creepy Crawlies, which we are told has the best pizza in York. This was our second time at Creepy Crawlies and pizza we had once more…yum! It’s a great play park and has all abilities welcome, in the sun they have an outdoor petting and children’s play area though it was far too wet to go along to this! J whizzed round and quite often left everyone including her friends as she darted to go on the giant slide again