Monday, June 28, 2010

A day out in London.


Jacob and Abi had their first day out in London. We decided to try a bus tour which included a boat trip. We had already planned to meet friends at Covent Garden for lunch so we thought we'd do a couple of hours on the bus, lunch and then boat trip. It generally went to plan but we needed at least 2 more hours. The kids got bored on the bus but the boat was very successful - apart from the fact that the toilet was broken! So we need to go again, spend more time on the river and definitely do the London Eye as that's all they went on about! The weather was glorious and I enjoyed seeing all the sites. Jacob was pleased he'd seen Pudding Lane as it brought back all his Fire of London stuff from school and funnily enough, when we got home, he dug out his Fire of London book and started reading it. We will go again but will plan more carefully next time. I've added a few shots from the day out.

We had to be back at Brampton to meet my cousin Albert and to go to families happy hour! Albert has made a last minute trip over from Canada so we met him at the station on the way back from our trip into London. He stayed for a couple of nights and it was nice to catch up with him. We also met up with Anne and co and Nicky at the pub on Saturday afternoon. Again another afternoon of catching up. A sociable weekend with lots of sun too.

Sunday we walked, due to no car, to the local car boot sale. We came back with a variety of 'bargains' including 2 light sabers - one for Jacob, the other for Allen. They make noises apparently, I can't wait! We did get an egg poacher and travel coffee pot along with a hair braider, a variety of top trumps and some really heavy saucepans. I'm sure we'll be visiting there again.

Off to Hastings this week on our caravan adventure, 3 of the family are excited. Will let everyone know how it goes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandma Melrose's visit June 2010.


Grandma Melrose has been with us for a few days so we took the opportunity to visit a little further afield as we could all pile into her new Seat Ibiza Sports car, it's bright blue and 2 door. We were lucky with the weather so went punting in Cambridge. I started off as I was the only one who had punted before. My sister studied at Cambridge so we went and visited quite a bit. Allen nagged and moaned at me until he had a go and realised that it is actually quite hard to maneuver. It was great on the river in the sun, people watching and relaxing, well that was until Allen dropped the punting pole in the river! We then had to paddle back and retrieve it, we'll go again as everyone enjoyed it. I've included a photo of Grandma and the Grand children.

The next day we went to Shuttleworth. It's an aircraft museum with huge garden bit and large play area too. We all liked the gardens and Jacob and Abi loved the little paths and spotting the peacocks. I've added photos of a group shot and one of a peacock displaying it's tail. There's also one in the play area of Grandma trying to get on the hanging swing thing! Allen took the kids to look at the old planes while Marion and I went to the cafe. It was a lovely afternoon and we'll go again.

Later that evening we went to the Holwell church BBQ, mum and dad were the cooks. The children went swimming first. It's held in a great house in the village. They have an indoor pool and extensive gardens. The owner had even set up a big screen for people to watch the football - waste of time that was! We had a lovely evening.

Saw friends on the Saturday and have just returned from a delicious pub lunch for Fathers Day. I cooked breakfast for everyone and then we walked to the pub. Everyone is now at the park so it's nice and peaceful here for a little while!

Have booked a 4 day break away in the UK. We're off to a caravan park with kids club, flumes etc, Allen was all up for an abroad holiday but I wanted to stay closer to home. The kids club won him over and the price too. I will post about it and let you know how it goes!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

France June 2010.


We did our first French trip with Jacob and Abi. We decided to go on Eurostar as I am sick of flying. We went first class as I thought we needed a treat. It was a bit lost on the kids but I enjoyed it. The train went straight to Eurodisney and after Allen managed to get us a suite plus VIP breakfast and fast pass tickets we headed to the park. We all had loads of fun. The weather was great, it was a tad busy but with the VIP fastpasses it wasn't a problem. I've put in photos of Jacob and Abi with Mickey and a photo of a photo of all of us on Thunder Mountain - spot the big kid! Jacob and Abi loved the roller coasters best followed by the hotel swimming pool as it had a slide.

After 2 nights at a Disney hotel we headed in a bit to stay at another hotel so we could explore Paris. It was a business hotel but suited us well. Again the kids loved the pool and we loved the relaxed atmosphere. We went into Paris for a full day and had fun walking up the Eiffel Tower, 685 steps to the second level. Abi lead the while way - what a surprise. I've included a photo of them and the Eiffel Tower. We went for a brilliant French Bistro lunch, Jacob and Abi coped well - not a kids menu in sight, plus some very helpful French people willing to translate on the next table for us! We spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the Seine, finding toilets and exploring the Notre Dame. We did so much walking over the 3 days it was knackering but we all enjoyed it.

Grandma Melrose arrived today so we're looking forward to doing some fun stuff with her.


Back in the UK.

Sorry I haven't posted anything for a while but our internet connection has been amazingly bad. I thought the Falklands was slow and unpredictable but the O2 dongle was absolute rubbish. We now have a 3 dongle and so far it's 100% better. So we landed back on British soil on May the 19th 2010. I went to my parents with the kids and Allen went off to take over the new quarter at Brampton, Cambridgeshire. My parents then had the children stay for 2 nights and I went and helped sort the storage stuff. It was very weird unpacking things that we hadn't seen for 5 years - we'd put a consignment in from before we went to Washington DC in 2005. Unfortunately the storage container it was in had leaked so a lot of the fabric stunk. Allen contacted the company and they agreed to pay for dry cleaning and 60% of other replacement costs. Better than nothing. So we've bought a new mattress and had 175 pounds worth of dry cleaning done.

The first weekend we were home mum and dad did a family BBQ for us. I've put in one photo of Jacob with a hot air balloon in the background that flew over during the evening. We also went to my Great Uncle's 90th birthday in Southend. I've put in a photo of dad, my nephew Matthew, plus Allen and me. It was a brilliant day.

After finally getting our stuff from storage from America, they sent us someone else's my mistake, we could then go shopping for things we didn't have. Jacob is now the very proud owner of a cabin bed with Abi being extremely jealous.

Dad let us have his car for a week while him and mum went off to Greece with my sister and her family. So during that week we went on a visit over to Gloucestershire to see Janine, Paul, Isabel and George. I've included a photo of the children enjoying an ice cream in the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

It's great to be back. Quartering charges have come as a bit of a shock as have petrol prices. But we're loving the weather, seeing family and friends and the choice in the shops. Not sure we'll survive without a car but we know the bus timetable pretty well already!