Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grandma and Auntie Rosemary's Visit


We were lucky to have Grandma Melrose and Auntie Rosemary come and visit us a few weeks ago. They had a busy time while they were here. Allen took them to Maastricht for the day, I took them to Monschau, Germany and then we did a meal out, a local walk, lunch out and a trip to the ice cream place too.

I have put in a photo from Monschau - it's a very pretty town on the river in a valley in Germany. We ate lunch by the river and then had a wonder through the cobbled streets. We had been before, but during the Christmas market season, so it was lovely for me to see it in completely a different light.

There is also a photo from our walk to Puth, a village a few miles away that has a great cafe/lunch place. It was strange, as two weeks before this sunny photo was taken, we'd done the same walk in the driving snow!

Abi completed her cheerleading season and received a lovely plate to display in her room. She did a great job and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jacob and Abi have both joined the swim team. They are swimming 3 evenings a week. This may be a little much as they are swimming once a week with school as well although I have already seen lots of improvement. I am very proud of them all - including Allen who has taken on a role of one of the coaches. He's great, although he getting a tad annoyed at the silly boys, I know how he feels! So now our lives have been taken over by swimming, oh well!

Looking forward to seeing my Mum and Dad plus Amy in a couple of weeks. We are off to Rome for the Easter week. Popping down to Naples first to stay with friends, who we met in the Falklands, and then back up to Rome for a couple of nights. We are getting an overnight train there and then flying back - surprisingly this was the cheapest option.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Center Parcs

Well half term was exciting and very busy. Ruth arrived on the Friday, I picked her up from Dusseldorf and we went out for Carnival in Cologne. We had the next day in Cologne and then back to Munstergeleen for the night. On the Sunday we walked to a local restaurant in the snow, it was shut! Luckily there was another one open down the hill. It was a bit like a community centre - so a bit strange but it was fine. Abi had her wellies on so Allen ran home to get the car while we started walking. The sun came out and it was lovely. We could have easily made it home but Allen did turn up with the car.

Monday we packed up and headed off to Center Parcs. Center Parcs originated in The Netherlands before spreading through Europe. It's a car free swimming centred holiday adventure park. We have been to one in the UK before having children. The one we had booked was to the North, about an hour away. We couldn't get into our bungalow until 3pm so we headed to the pool. It was extremely busy and we wondered what we had let ourselves in for! There were rapids, 2 other slides, a pool that had waves, an outside pool and 2 baby pools. There were also 2 thermal bubbling baths and 8 beds under heaters. You couldn't do much but be taken along with the crowds so at 2.30 Ruth and I got out and went and got the bungalow key. Allen and the children turned up after about 30 mins. We'd booked a 3 bed place. It was fine, a little dated and the toilet smelt but the rest was clean and warm. We had booked 2 nights at the all you can eat buffet and then had decided to try the other restaurants for the other 2 nights. The buffet suited Allen but was not good for a vegetarian. The restaurants were very good so I would skip the buffet if we go again. We signed Jacob and Abi up for a few extra activites, a High Climb Adventure and a pretend to be a circus performer. They enjoyed both. They also did mini golf, ice skating and Jacob went on a 2 seater bike. We played lots of cards in the bungalow and Ruth got to see a few kids movies! It was relaxing in part but busy too. I would not go again in a Dutch school holiday but I would try another one, if it was a little more modern. The week flew past and we were dropping Ruth back at the airport before we knew it. We decided we needed another week off to recover although it's not that long until Easter!