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Articles tagged with: Days Out

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!

A Sisterly Trip To Brighton...

on Thursday, 25 September 2014.

As I am writing this, we were supposed to be in Portugal for a last bit of sunshine before we officially call it Autumn and start putting the heating on.  However due to a number of different reasons we sadly had to postpone our break away.  With a house still turned upside down from our bathroom renovation, my little sister and I decided at the last minute to go away for a couple of nights in Brighton with my girls.

If I could live anywhere else in the UK, I think it would be Brighton.  I don't know what it is, most probably the combination of the seaside, the culture and the amazing shops, I just love it.  Anna my sister, hadn't been before, so we waved goodbye to Mr E and set off on our journey.  We booked a last minute room at the Queens Hotel over looking the sea front, and were excited to see when we arrived that we had an amazing view of the pier and the beach.  Although the decor was traditionally 'British seaside (i.e a little tired), the room was large, comfy and in the most perfect location.

We had a fantastic time.  We ate far too much, relishing in lots of sweet treats, hotel breakfasts and lunch and dinner out.  We spent far too much money, but it was worth it, as the four of us had lots of fun and relished the rare opportunity of undivided sister time.  Anna is ten years younger than me, whether it's the fact that she is mature, (or I am immature!) or the fact that we have the exact same sense of humour- but we get on great.  

We did the traditional seaside thing of going on the pier, riding the Brighton wheel, walking and skimming stones on the beach and wandering round the gorgeous Lanes area. (shoppers paradise!)  We made lots of memories and were all sad to come home, although we missed Mr E!  We will definitely go away together again soon, I am surprised we haven't done it sooner.

Here is rather a lot of photos and a little video of our sister time in Brighton...

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When we got there on the Sunday evening we went down to the beach- the light was beautiful and the girls spent a good half an hour just playing with the stones.  As you do.

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Beautiful light- it was lovely watching the sun go down on the beach.

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Slightly messy beach hair.  

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Still playing with stones.

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Just one more, I can't get enough of this light clearly.

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Yay for the Brighton deckchairs.

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Loving the girly sleepover! We went out to dinner late the first night and then I decided they could stay up later still so I could watch X Factor- Big mistake as they were so grumpy the following morning and we had to go back to the hotel halfway through the day so they could nap!

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The Lanes area of Brighton is a pedestrian only zone and these two loved running around there together causing mischief. 

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So cute.

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Stopping for a little snack- shopping is hard work ya know.

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We stopped off at a little cake shop called Cloud 9, which was gorgeous.  Mads had the most amazing  rainbow cake, while the rest of us had cupcakes which were equally delicious.

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My beautiful girly walking along the pier with her balloon.  

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Such a cutie and growing up so quickly.

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My sister took this one of myself and Mads and I just love it so much.  I normally hate photos of myself but this one makes me so proud I have such a gorgeous little lady.

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You can't go to the seaside without visting some beach huts.

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Lovely beach huts.

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Cheeky smiles while chilling on the pier deckchairs.

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We did the typical tourist thing and went on the Brighton wheel- the girls loved it.

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Posing on the pier.

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A last final walk on the beach and some donuts to share!

 

And here is a little video of our time in Brighton...

 

 

A Little Video Of A Day In London...

on Tuesday, 02 September 2014.

I normally take lots of photos when we go out anywhere for the day, but on Sunday we went to London to visit our friends and I decided to just do a few snippets of video.  While photos are still my favourite, I find video easier when I want to be more 'in the moment' as I can just press record and edit it all later.

Mr E and I used to live in London many moons ago but Mads and LL don't actually visit that often, so as such whenever Mads goes on a train to the 'big city' she gets really excited.  We headed off early with jelly babies for the train, and she chattered non stop about what we were going to do.  We were meeting one of my best friends from uni and her husband, and both my girls love spending time with them.  What makes it even more exciting is that there is a tiny little baby growing in her tummy, and I can't wait for there to be another little person joining us on these days out soon.

We didn't do much, just went for brunch and had the most amazing breakfast ever (according to Mads but I have to agree) of huevos rancheros and pancakes, before taking a wander down to Southbank, going to the Tate and strolling along.  When we lived in London Sundays were my favourite day, the whole momentum just seems to slow down, and we had a lovely day just catching up.

Here is a mini video on our day to the 'big city'. I love the music on this video because for all the horrible things you hear about on the news at the moment, my girls really do make me thankful and feel like it is still a beautiful world...

 

 

A Magical Adventure...

on Wednesday, 11 June 2014.

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning after opening my eyes is check my phone, more specifically my social media.  I have a quick glance at instagram, or twitter, or facebook, and then I may say good morning to my husband.  How bad is that?  I am slightly over dramatising the scenario (only just!) but the reality is I do spend a fair portion of my time absentmindedly flicking through social media for no particular reason.

I adore having my blog, I love that facebook helps me keep in touch with old friends or that I can gain inspiration through sites like instagram, and I love that my online life has brought me so many opportunities and friendships, but I can't remember my life before my blog.  Now any moment that I am not looking after the girls, seeing friends or working is taken up with the online world.  Nap times are spent writing blog posts or doing my usual pointless flicking through various apps.  What did I use to do with my time?  My house would be a lot cleaner that's for sure.  

But sometimes you just need to switch off and that's exactly what we did this weekend.  We had a family weekend away to the MOST MAGICAL PLACE ever.  It deserves capital letters as it really was that amazing.  A remote treehouse in the middle of nowhere in Wales.  No electricity, no phone signal, not even an indoor shower or toilet.  Just my little family and going back to basics.  It was absolutely perfect.

My photos or video will not do this treehouse justice but just imagine living high up in the trees and that is exactly what it was.  There was no one around for miles, just us and A LOT of sheep.  It was beautiful, peaceful yet oh so stylish.  Although the weather wasn't great (The sun did come out periodically!) we went on lots of walks, ate lots of sweet treats, snuggled, read books by candlelight and played games.  It was just what we all needed.  

The girls were so good considering we were all sleeping in the same room, although Mads didn't go to bed until near enough 10pm on the first night. (when it is windy the trees REALLY creak!)  We had a simple, lovely few days, topped off by visiting my grandparents on the way home.  I am so thankful for my little family and the opportunities that we get to experience and I will treasure the memories of the past weekend.  

I also proved that I am not necessarily a country girl at heart, firstly by putting my lovely PJ bottoms on a candle and setting them on fire and secondly by freaking out about needing a wee at 2 am (the toilet was outside) and waking Mr E up to come with me to hold my hand!

 I didn't charge my camera and it went on to low battery while we were there, so because I wanted to save it for seeing my grandparents on the way home, I thought I hadn't taken that many photos.  Turns out you can take the blogger away from social media but you can't taken the blogger away from her camera!  I couldn't go completely cold turkey- I may have self combust or something. Oops... Here is our weekend in photos and a little video...

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The most beautiful place ever.

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Girls in bed.  Candles. Wine. Sat on a treehouse balcony with an amazing view. Check.

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Posing on the spiral staircase.  Not an easy feat while holding two wriggly children.

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You had to access the treehouse by a number of bridges which Mads thought was the best thing ever.

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The 'wibbly wobbly' bridge.

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We took a trip to the local seaside.

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Writing your name's in a heart on the sand.  Standard practice.

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We stopped off at a gorgeous little sweetie shop for an ice cream.  Doing the normal tourist thing and getting the lady to take a photo of us all.

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Lots of snuggles were had.

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The treehouse had no electricity and the hot water was powered by the fire, so we spent a lot of time lighting candles.  And then a lot of time stopping LL crawling and picking them up.

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Mads kept cheating at Jenga but as we love her we let her do it.

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 We did lots and lots of walking.  Well as much as you could do when had forgotten to pack the baby carrier.  Oops.

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 And did lots of swinging.

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 Plus lots of Gruffalo hunting.

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Log walking was also a must.

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Late afternoon sunshine is the best kind of sunshine.

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This girl loved running about.

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We stopped off at my Grandparents on the way home as they live on the border of Wales.  I will treasure this photo of Mads and my Nana.

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The obligatory family photo we take each time. :) 

 

And here is a little video of our adventures...

 

 

 

 

Just a little note at the end to say thank you so much to Loved by Parents.  We won this trip through them and I couldn't finish this post off without thanking them for giving us the opportunity for such a wonderful weekend together.  They haven't asked us to write about it or mention them in any way, but I just wanted to say thanks.   We have already said the treehouse may be our special family place and we will definitely be returning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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