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A Day Trip To Palma With Thomson Airways- A Flight On The 787 Dreamliner

on Tuesday, 14 October 2014.

Anyone who regularly reads my blog will know that I am obsessed with travel.  Before our two little ladies came along, any extra money we had would be saved towards our next weekend away or holiday.  I even decided after university that I wanted to work in the travel industry, specialising in online marketing for a large online hotel reservations website for six years until I had Mads.  

As such I have been lucky enough to travel to a fair few places in this big wide world of ours-   Thailand, New York, Barbados and Mexico being just a few of them.  However there is one thing that you might not know about me- I really don't like flying!  It wouldn't ever stop me going away but I have never particularly enjoyed it and since I had the girls I have got worse.  I really am not a good flyer at all- I feel uncomfortable in the air and get anxious before I am due to travel.

Therefore when Thomson Airways invited me to go on a day trip to Palma in Majorca on their new 787 Dreamliner, I originally jumped at the chance to experience it.  But as the time drew nearer I wondered whether two flights in a day might not be the best thing for someone who isn't particuarly keen on flying.  I need not have worried, I had the most amazing day courtesy of Thomson, and they actually have helped me with my flying nerves a little as well.

Here are some phone photos of our fantastic day to Palma, I so wish I had bought my big camera...

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We were greeted in Gatwick airport by some of the Thomson team- and were excited to get aboard the 787 Dreamliner, alongside a few other bloggers and some journalists.  Thomson were one of the first companies in the UK to fly the jet- a state of the art plane that is changing the future of travel.

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The weather in the UK was particularly horrendous on Wednesday last week- it made our adventure seem even more special!

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We were in premium economy on board the Dreamliner, but all passengers can expect some wonderful features on board- including bigger seats, a quieter flight (so much quieter!), more oxygen, and a fantastic entertainment package.  I only wish I wasn't feeling poorly so I could have indulged in a morning glass of champagne!

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The Dreamliner has mood lighting, which means it can be in tune with your body clock for day and dusk.  But it also can do a pretty cool special effects lighting show too.  It's like a disco on a plane!  

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Best plane breakfast ever!  While eating the delicious breakfasts in the air, we learnt all about Thomson Airway's plans for the future of holiday travel.  Some exciting features in the pipeline including family zone seating, (similar to that on a train with a table in the middle) couple pods, specially trained kids club flight attendants and a beach bar for premium economy passengers.  All the ideas sound incredibly exciting and I can't wait to see them in action.

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My lovely seat partner, the gorgeous Xanthe.

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We got a chance to go in the cockpit which was exciting (like when you were allowed to years ago!) and we got plenty of time to chat to the MD of Thomson Airways, Captain John Murphy, who was really passionate about their upcoming plans.  It was also great to chat to him about flying, and it was really interesting to chat to him about the Dreamliner and Thomson in general.

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An amazing flight on the Dreamliner and we were greeted by blue skies on arrival in Palma.  Such a welcome change from the rain back home. 

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Not a bad place to go for lunch- we went to a lovely restaurant overlooking Palma harbour.

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 It was great chatting to the people on my table over lunch and getting to know more about TUI and their respective brands.

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Lunch was amazing, I had perfectly cooked steak for my main course and I may have eaten one of each of these desserts.  If you are in Palma then the restaurant Ca n'eduardo is well worth visiting.

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After lunch we had some time to wander around Palma for a bit- myself and lovely Alison headed down to the Marina with some of the other ladies.  It was so nice to feel the sun on our shoulders and Palma really is a beautiful city- I wish there had been longer to explore.

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It was so lovely to spend some quality time with this lady.  I would definitely recommend going to the harbour if you go as it was great seeing all the big yachts and fishing boats side by side.

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Sunshine selfies.

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It was so nice to get in the sun, even for a few hours, especially as the weather has been so horrible here the last few days.

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Back on board the Dreamliner with the other bloggers on our trip- Alison, Nicky from Thomson, Xanthe, Poppy, Daisy and Joelle.

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 As part of their premium economy service Thomson offer a delicious warm cookie, a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and a REAL duvet which was an absolute treat.  The flight home was a lot quieter with not so much chatting, and as I snuggled down I realised it is the most relaxed I have felt on a flight in years.  I really felt calm and actually enjoyed my time in the air.

 

All in all it was a fantastic day, such an adventure and I loved every minute of it.  Thomson have some really impressive plans ahead for the future and have a five year plan to become 'the holiday airline.'  From flying to new destinations, such as Costa Rica and parts of the Caribbean such as Antigua and St Lucia, (yes please!) to a completely personalised service with an iPad enabled crew, the plans definitely seem exciting, especially for parents travelling with children.  

It's certainly not every day you fly over 1000 miles away for lunch, but it was such a treat from start to finish.  A massive thanks to Thomson for a truly wonderful day with some great people.

 

NB.  I wasn't asked to write about our time in Palma but I had such a great time I just had to share!

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #38 'Far More Happy Moments...'

on Sunday, 12 October 2014.

I've found this week pretty hard.

When I type those words, I instantly want to delete them, to write about something else, to stop being so dramatic.  I am well aware that my 'pretty hard' weeks are pretty flimsy and mild in comparison to other people's 'pretty hard' weeks.  When I type those words, I feel like a fraud, that in reality I don't have any right to complain, or moan, and that I should feel thankful for what I have.  I know how lucky I am, and then I feel cross with myself for feeling this way.

It's not been anything in particular that has made me feel like this.  The girls have on the whole been pretty good, bar the usual typical moments of strops, inevitable tiredness, or brief difficult ten minutes that come with parenting a three and a one year old.  In fact, I had a lovely day away on Wednesday, (more about that later this week) but for some reason I haven't been able to shake this mood I am in.

One major reason is that I have been poorly.  It's not something I particularly write about on this here blog of mine, but I have been suffering on and off with horrible episodes of sickness and cramps for months.  This week it has been particularly bad, and on Thursday after a few nights of restless sleep, I was left feeling tired, grumpy and a little anxious.  I let it build up, had a good cry and then felt better for it instantly.  

And that's the thing.  Sometimes it's good to feel a little self indulgent.  To have 'one of those days' even though you know how lucky you are.  To have a cry, or a moan, or be a little over dramatic.  To accept that you are being silly, or a little over the top.  To know that deep down, you have it pretty damn good.

If you don't ever feel a little emptiness from time to time, for whatever reason, then you wouldn't ever know the satisfaction of feeling full again.  So on Thursday, when I was feeling pretty ill and rubbish, we headed outside just for a little bit to get some fresh air.  To brush away the cobwebs and that feeling you get when you have slight cabin fever.

Seeing my beautiful girls, walking hand in hand, in their matching outfits, was enough to snap me out of my funny old mood.  

Because for all those 'pretty hard' moments?

There are definitely far more happy ones.

matchinglittlebird

 

My Sisters In October.

on Friday, 10 October 2014.

Yet another month has gone past, I feel like I could have blinked and missed September.  We have been so busy, life has been so hectic, and my little ladies have had lots of adventures, fun times and changes in routine.  I thought it would calm down a little now October has arrived, but our diary is already filling up with different things, so we really are relishing the quiet moments as much as the days out, visits to family and little trips.

As another month in 2014 passes us by, Mads and LL's relationship has changed and grown even more.  As LL becomes more interactive and as her little personality develops, you see their bond developing even more.  LL follows her big sister around like a little dog, whereever Mads goes you won't find her far behind.  They are so affectionate with one another, cuddling, kissing and holding hands a lot.  Now LL is fully walking and running, they cause no end of mischief, causing havoc if they are ever not in the buggy when we are out and about.  

Mads still continues to be the best big sister as she has been from day one, looking after and caring for LL, sharing her treats or toys with her, or just generally looking out for her.  I often listen to Mads talking to her, telling her about different things or soothing her if she is grumpy or sad.  Likewise I see LL looking at Mads with pure love in her eyes, she is so in awe of her big sister.

But for all the love and affection, a definite sibling rivalry is developing between them both, as well as moments of bickering.  LL is at an age where she doesn't understand that things aren't 'hers' so she will often come up and try and grab things off Mads, which obviously doesn't go down too well.  When this happens and she doesn't get her own way, she will let out a high pierced wail, causing Mads to get cross and tell her off.  Likewise Mads will say things like 'I have the best clothes on' or 'LL isn't allowed this cause she is a baby and I am a big girl.'  It makes me laugh to hear them bickering as I get flashes of what their teenage years will be like.

My photos were this month were taken during our little trip to Brighton with my own sister, where the girls ran around, held hands and giggled the whole time.  They loved the pebble beach, for some reason both my children have a bizarre obsession with playing with stones and rocks!  I really am so proud of their relationship and the way they are with one another and these photos make me smile.

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*****

This month I am sending you over to have a look at Lucy's beautiful boy and beautiful girl and see what they have been getting up too!

 

Check out my sisters in...

January

February

March

April

May 

June

July

August

September

 

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #37 'Crazy Cat Woman.'

on Sunday, 05 October 2014.

We welcomed two new babies into our family this week, this time of the fur baby variety.  We had been thinking about getting some kittens for a while, and when we saw this particular litter on an online advert we were sold.  

If I am perfectly honest I have never really been a cat person.  I love dogs, having grown up with family dogs all my life, but cats have always freaked me out a little, most probably due to a serious confrontation with my Uncle's terrifying cat 'Chester' when I was small.  He quite possibly was the scariest thing that ever lived.  (RIP Chester)  However Mr E has always grown up with cats, so kept telling me they made wonderful pets, therefore we got a little cat a couple of years before the girl's were born.  Unfortunately we didn't research his breed properly and that little cat became a bloody huge, hairy beast who also didn't go outside.  We kept finding him inside Mads cot and felt it was unfair to shut a house cat out of all the rooms that he used to relax in, so in the end we made the decision to rehome him.

Fast forward a few years and last Sunday we picked up our new kittens Walt and Jesse from a home about an hour away from us.  It's not a decision we entered into lightly, especially because we go away quite a lot, but we felt that our girls would love the opportunity to grow up with pets.  Indeed Mads is absolutely besotted with them and hasn't left their side since they arrived home with us.

So far our time as feline parents has gone ok, they are very timid, partly due to the breeder not handling them much I don't think, so we are working on gaining their trust and love.  I must admit, I am probably the biggest clean freak ever, so I am concerned about them attacking my furniture, but I am just hoping that they will grow out of their scatty stage eventually.  Already they are climbing and scratching, but we are making sure we watch them and tell them off if they do anything naughty.  In fact we have already nicknamed them the 'crazy meth heads.' (anyone who hasn't watched Breaking Bad will probably not get their names or that reference!)

I'm not about to become a crazy cat lady and post hundreds of photos of them all over my blog and social media (bar a few, after all they are just so cute- #kittenspam!) but it's a big deal to our little family to have these new little arrivals.  Here's hoping that they will become a very ordinary part of our family for many happy years to come...

(unless they scratch my wallpaper or my sofas in which case there's a dual carriageway not too far from our house.)

(That was obviously a joke.)

(Kind of.)

2 kittens

Our new arrivals.

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Walter.  

 2 kittens b

Jesse.

 

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