Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Madrid and the Champagne Region

Allen and I were lucky enough to go away on two separate trips without the kids. Allen was at a conference in Madrid so I went along too. Mum and Dad come out to look after Jacob and Abi as they were at school. It was a brilliant break away. Madrid is not a huge city and was very walkable. The weather was chilly but fine so good for exploring. I ate so much tapas. I wish I knew more Spanish, although, by the end I could understand a lot more. Loads of people kept asking me questions in Spanish - I think I looked like a local as I was wearing winter boots, a coat and warm scarf in May!

Then in early June we had 3 nights in the Champagne region. It's only a 3 hour drive from here at SHAPE. Jacob and Abi were both on a school trip to Luxembourg so we took full advantage of this and booked into a wonderful B&B just south of Epernay in a village called Oyes. We did one day in Epernay and then had a day out cycling testing loads of champagne. The B&B catered for us in the evening and it was an excellent 3 days. We are now thinking of taking both sets of Grandmas there as they both like their champagne! No photos from this trip though so only Madrid.

April 2013

Grandma Melrose came out for Abi's birthday in April. We did a few day trips out and about - there's a huge coal mining influence in this area so we visited an old coal mine and had a walk along the canals that were all built due to this industry.

Abi had a great birthday too. She chose a pottery wheel party. So her and 5 friends all made pots. It was very difficult, well it looked it. No one would let me have a turn as they were having too much fun. We then did two separate sleep overs as I decided it was too much to have them all in one go. So as usual Abi's birthday was very elongated.

They also took part in a colour run on base - as predicted it was very colourful!

Bits and Pieces

Abi entered a car in the Powder Puff Derby, the girls version of Pinewood Derby, this was with Girl Scouts. We had lots of fun racing, her car wasn't bad, especially as I had helped make it! Hers is the Union Jacob one.

Swimming was a bit thing for Jacob and Abi. Abi qualified to swim 50m backstroke and 200m freestyle for the Championships. She swam at Eidenhoven in their Olympic pool. It was a brilliant experience. She came 14th out of about 200 so we were very proud of her. They both received trophies at the end of the season too. Allen is now President of the Seals Swim Team so we'll be even more involved - oh dear!

Abi has started horse riding, not seriously yet, but she's taken to it a lot better than her Mum - I am scared stiff of horses!

Christmas 2013

We went skiing in France with the Turners and Grandma Melrose. It was lovely seeing the family but the snow was not that good. The rental was a good location and we could walk into the town easily. Me and the kids didn't ski on Christmas day as it was raining but the others did, returning back very wet! 2nd photo is Jacob, Abi, Finn and Cameron.

We left on Boxing day to have a day at home and then we caught the ferry over to Newcastle and spent a few days in a hotel fro Allen's birthday, had a night with the Sharp's and then two nights at the Knights for New Year - lots of fun and catching up - not forgetting loads of shopping too. We squeezed back into the car for the return trip!

This last photo is Allen on his birthday!

Jacob's 11th Birthday (from Nov 2013!)

Way behind on our blog but I'll just do a few key things that have happened in the last 8 months!

Jacob turned 11 on Nov 19th 2013. He's getting very tall, it won't be long before he's taller than me. His feet are nearly the same size as mine too.

We took all the boys in his class swimming and then off to the bowling alley on base - very easy and all walkable. He had great fun and chose an m&m cake - very tasty it was too.