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Articles tagged with: Days Out

{The Ordinary Moments 15} #23 'My Very Best Day Ever'...

on Sunday, 07 June 2015.

One really brilliant thing about both myself and my husband now working from home is the flexibility it brings us. On Thursday we woke up and the sun was shining brightly, a quick look at the weather showed that it was forecast to be a beautiful day. So we decided rather spontaneously to go to Legoland which is about an hour and forty minutes away, we have free passes for the whole group for a year so it wouldn't cost us too much to go on an impromptu day out.

We called Mads and LL's nursery and told them they wouldn't be coming in, before heading off as soon as we were ready. We went to Legoland a couple of years ago, when we were there for an event and as such got queue jump passes, so I must admit I was worried that it wouldn't be quite so good if we had to queue for lots of things, especially as it was so warm. I had visions of us spending most of the day in a queue as everyone with a preschooler had the same idea as us. I couldn't have been more wrong, for some reason I guess partly due to it being term time, the park was so quiet. 

We didn't have to queue for more than fifteen minutes for any ride, so we got to go on nearly every single one a couple of times. It was such beautiful weather and we were so lucky to most of the time get straight on a ride without even having to particularly wait. When we went a couple of years ago Mads was just over 0.9 metres, meaning that she could go on a few of the smaller rides, and that was what LL was this time too. There were still lots of things that she could go on, but what made it even better was that Mads could now go on some of the more 'thrill' rides.

She was in her element, I have never seen her be such a daredevil. There was this pirate ship at the start of the day and we thought that she wouldn't like it once she was on it, but she loved it and wanted to go on it twice. There were also some pretty fast rollercoasters that she also loved and kept begging us to go on again and again. Her little face was utterly adorable, she had the biggest grin on her face and twinkle in her eye, and myself and Mr E kept looking at each other and smiling a slightly emotional smile at each other- it was a joy to watch her so excited.

I think with days out like that, it can actually be a combination of things which make a day special. Firstly the girl's were absolutely perfect all day, any parent will know that if they wake up grumpy or a bit naughty then it can put a real dampner on the day, but they were just stars all day. Then of course we had the fact that the weather was so warm and that the park was pretty quiet as well. We did so much and stayed right until the end, even having dinner there once the rides had closed as we figured the later we left it then it wouldn't matter quite so much if they fell asleep in the car on the way home. 

As we were driving home Mads turned to us out of the blue and said 'This was my very best day ever,' an innocent and sweet statement that actually nearly made me want to cry. Soon they both fell asleep as predicted and I said to Mr E that I think I had to agree with her, I would go as far as to say it was one of the best family days out we have had. Mr E also said it was his favourite too, so it definitely was a wonderful day, with a whole host of little things that made it so lovely.

I for once actually didn't take any photos really, I was too busy just enjoying the day, although I did do a couple of snippets of video. So I don't really have any photos to accompany my Ordinary Moments post this week- bar these two, one of the girls before we left (how cute is that retro flower print) and one of us having an ice cream and a chill out in the sunshine. 

It was definitely one of those days that we will remember for a long, long time...

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A Week In Our Lives...

on Tuesday, 17 February 2015.

As a family there is nothing more we love than having adventures.  I tweeted the other day that my eighty year old Grandparents were off to Thailand for a month, and lots of people commented saying wow and good on them.  It's nothing new, they often head off to far flung places and have done a few times a year since I was small.  But I think that's just it, I have grown up in a family where travelling and experiencing new things is just something we love to do, and I definitely get my passion for travel from my Grandparents.  There's that word 'wanderlust' which is classed as a desire to wander or travel and explore the world and I think I have always had that.  

That being said though, I am still always so happy to return home.  While I do love to go away, I love to be at home even more.  I thrive on routine and structure, so do my girls, and I love just going about our ordinary life.  I get stressed and on edge if we are too busy, I definitely like being at home and just experiencing the simplest moments.  I know that my girls will remember the holidays and the weekends away, but I also know that the things they will remember the most are the smallest and most ordinary of moments.  Just being together as a family.  An adventure doesn't have to be in a far flung place or away from home- we have mini adventures on a day to day basis.  When you are four and two, a carpet picnic on the living room floor, or a trip to the garden centre to look at the rabbits, is just as much of an adventure as going away.

Last week we decided we would film our ordinary lives.  It actually ended up being slightly more hectic than an average week.  Monday I was in London for meetings with my fellow Space In Your Case ladies (spot the cameo from Alison!), Tuesday was a all day session at nursery for the girls and a day of work for me, (with a sneaky drink on my 'lunch break') Wednesday was LL's birthday, Thursday was a seven hour round trip up to Manchester for an all day meeting (plus a sneaky and delicious meal of tapas and chats with Charlotte), Friday was a quiet day with the girls and Saturday was a special trip out for LL's birthday.  We wanted to document it all the same so in years to come we can look back and look at what a week in our day to day life looked like.  Plus we wanted to show how much we use our Subaru XV on a daily basis too.

I only ever really film our days out or trips away, so this is a slightly different kind of video for me, and is a lot longer than my usual ones.  But I know that one day we will look back and smile on what a random week in our lives looked like....

 

 

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...

 

 

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