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
We weren’t quite sure what to expect for Easter for J this year as last year she was allowed very little chocolate and the year before she was a bubba
My mum had arranged for an Easter Egg Hunt with her on the Thursday she has her before Easter, though we had decided to drive to York and realised the weather was not going to be on our side, so mum and I decided to run the hunt on Wednesday morning
J and mum had spent the last couple of months preparing an Easter bonnet and a basket and J instinctively knew what to do, as soon as she had put it on she was out the door!
The garden had been turned into an Easter Egg haven and J was quickly running round picking up all the plastic eggs she could find, not realising that she had a couple of presents alongside them. In fact, she was so fast I couldn’t get pictures of the garden itself!
My mum and dad are incredibly fortunate to have a huge garden and the hunt took 15-20 minutes before we returned indoors
When indoors we realised just how much time and effort mum had put into the Easter Egg Hunt and there was a lot to open! In each small egg there was a mini chocolate egg and in the presents there were Easter themed gifts and a couple of extras
It is currently 5am in the morning US time and my body is screaming at me thinking it’s 9am (at home I would have been up for 3 hours by now due to Sunday being the hubsters lie in day)
Because I’m missing Mother’s Day today we are celebrating it next week so I will dedicate a post to that. For now it’s all about NYC!
I arrived at JFK airport yesterday and before catching an internal flight to my final destination, in true Sherry style I have tried to fit in as much as possible during my 24 hours in New York
I am staying at a hotel on Madison Avenue and was wondering last night before bed why my feet hurt, it turns out that I walked over 5 miles yesterday!
Today, in just shy of 3 hours I will be climbing the steps of the Empire State building if they allow me to (yes I’m crazy, but I can say that I have done it)
When we arrived yesterday it was raining heavily and you could not see the skyline but it cleared up emough for some photos…So here’s yesterday in pictures, these are taken from my iPhone because I forgot to bring the adaptor for the DSLR memory card so I’ll add those pics at a later stage
The first stop on my walk was Grand Central (I mean, you can’t stop in New York without seeing it). It is breathtakingly beautiful and I took several more pictures on my DSLR
On the way back from Grand Central we saw the Kneeling Fireman statue. This was commissioned by the Firefighters association of Missouri and arrived in New York 2 days before September 11th. It was never meant to stay in New York City and was only supposed to pass through but never left. It was presented as a gift to the city after the 9/11 attacks but spent a large chunk of the last 14 years in storage until being allocated a permanent home in front of Emigrate Savings bank between Madison and Fifth Avenue. It’s the only publicly accessible memorial to all of the victims and first responders of the 9/11 attacks
Walking up 5th we saw the Atlas statue which is located in front of the Rockefeller Center opposite St Patricks Cathedral. It was installed in 1937 and depicts the Ancient Greek Titan Atlas holding the heavens. I didn’t stop to look at it because I was on a mission to get to Central Park but managed to capture this image
After a brief stop in Tiffany’s we found the Apple Store on 5th. This is one of their flagship stores and is all glass outside. I simply had to get a picture for the hubster before nipping into F.A.O. Schwarz to purchase J a teddy. An F.A.O. Giraffe of course, my favourite animal. I didn’t have a go on the Big Piano but so wanted to!
Here’s the Big Piano and J’s present
After this my colleague and I parted ways and I visited Central Park. I was on my way to the pond when I heard some music playing. It was 4pm and the Delacorte Clock. I was drawn over to it as it was simply beautiful
After the music had finished I walked over to the pond which was still largely frozen over still after the big freeze New York had a few weeks back. There was mist coming from it and there was also a small area where part of it had unfrozen and the ducks were on it next to the still largely frozen part. It really was quite something to see and I don’t think the images do it justice! I took loads of photos on my DSLR because of this. I really liked the very small element of Central Park I saw, there’s something quite nice and surreal about being in a park in the middle of all of these sky scrapers
You can also see how foggy it was because you can’t see the top of this skyscraper!
We then went to Times Square. It was loud, bright and busy! But best of all it had a M&M’s store! 2 whole floors of goodies, and a lot of people! I won’t lie, I got a small bag of almond, peanut butter and pretzel M&M’s (these are now gone, oops!)
The grumpy looking man in the photo was my travel companion, who was hungry, jet-lagged and in need of steak (which we didn’t end up having because the steakhouse was closed!) He also had a slightly over excited person with him who had just been to the M&M’s store…hehe!
I am looking forward to coming back to New York in a few years (hint hint Mr Hubster!) because I didn’t get to really visit it all, but the photos for now give me some memories
On the way back to the hotel I took this photo, this is my adventure for the morning…hello Empire State Building, see you for my trek soon!
My mother-in-law works away for weeks at a time and comes home for a few days before heading off again, so we try and jam as much as possible into a short space of time so that she gets to experience some quality time with J. You could say we effectively condense 3 weeks worth of visits into a weekend which can be pretty intense at times
This weekend was a little bit different though, she came home to celebrate her birthday. This time last year we were in Center Parcs though work and family commitments haven’t allowed for that this year
So this year I decided to give up bread for lent and walk 10,000 steps every day as I had become rather lazy. I have achieved the steps every day so far (pacing up and down my hall and through the downstairs of my house some nights to complete them!)
My overall goal is to be fitter and happier to enable me to be a better mum to J. I’m very competitive so if I set myself a target then I’ll be sure to be sticking to it. I have a fitbug orb which lets me track my steps through their app which is a great motivator and have been sending screen shots to CW who is also participating
People have probably had enough of them now but I LOVE pancakes! So I was very excited to be eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. My favourite? Well it simply has to be lemon, treacle and Neapolitan Ice Cream. Nom nom nom. Now I know you think it sounds weird, all I can say is it should be on your list of things to try, you won’t regret it
I do like “just plain” pancakes with lemon on it, I’m not a complete sugar monster, although there is something which takes me right back to my childhood when having ice cream in my pancakes
We eat later on a Tuesday night because I have external commitments, so we decided to introduce J to pancakes last Sunday for breakfast. She had maple syrup and lemon, and decided that instead of eating the pancake (which she wasn’t actually keen on) it was much better to take the lemon and dip it into the maple syrup before sucking at the lemon. My lovely little weird one!
I have said it before, we are incredibly fortunate to live on the south coast. The sea is no more than a 10-15 minute drive from where we live though we do like to go a little further afield and make it an adventure
One of my favourite places to go is West Wittering, it is stunning and one of the most beautiful beaches in the South. We generally spend a couple of weekends every summer there and it is such a child friendly place. One of the best things about it is you can spend all day on the beach and then move to the grassy car park area and finish the day off with a couple of ball games and a BBQ
Last weekend Cooks Cabin decided to go for a walk with our Labrador to West Wittering. It was a little cold (really really cold!!!) for stripping off and swimming, or ball games and a BBQ for that matter. The East head (National Trust) part allows dogs all year round so it’s a brilliant place to let your dogs run about and play in the sea in a safe environment