Sunday, 22 May 2016

Our fun family day out to Drusillas Park!

As Craig and I both work full time, we really value our weekends, especially Sunday's as it's the only day we are all off together. To us family time = fun time.

A couple of weeks ago we decided to make the most of the beautiful sunny weather and headed down to Drusillas Park in Sussex. It's only just over an hour from us and is so easy to find. Drusillas tag line is 'No Ordinary Zoo' which I think sums up the park perfectly. I have great memories of visiting the park as a child, so it's great to be able to take my own children too! 

We started off the day by visiting some farm animals. Millie really loves a farm animal so was in her element! Both of the children really loved the 'milking the cow' activity, there are also lots of fun ways to find out information in this section! 

We then cut across the middle of the park to visit the amazing Hello Kitty Secret Garden! We all love Hello Kitty and the children were super excited about 'driving' Hello Kitty's car. There are 3 rides in this area, we were pretty surprised that we didn't really have to que that much for any of them. 

The central area was not overly busy (by this time it was almost noon) and I think the biggest tip I would give anybody would be to do the central part of the park first and then back track slightly to go round the zoo. We found that even though the park was busy, most people followed the arrows meaning that the central area was quiet in the morning and the zoo was relatively quiet in the afternoon. 

As it was a really warm day, we had packed the children's swimming costumes. Before visiting we had read that new for 2016 was a Get Wet area, with splash pads and slides it sounded perfect for our two water loving monkeys! It's a really great addition to the park, we spent a fair amount of time there. Lots of water spraying up out of the ground and (if you are feeling brave) from above! 

Now, you can't come to Drusillas without having a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine. It just so happens that Millie loves Thomas! Chester has apparently 'outgrown' Thomas but that didn't stop him enjoying the ride! 

We then spent the afternoon exploring the rest of the park. The children loved being able to stamp their books when they spotted certain animals, and there were lots of challenges for them to take part in!

The variety of animals is great, we saw so many animals, some that we haven't seen elsewhere. We also managed to spot one of the Red Panda's in a tree, which absolutely made panda mad Millie's day!  

We were able to walk in with the lemurs and also with the birds, with Craig and Millie being brave enough to feed the birds! 

We had an absolutely fantastic day at Drusillas, there is just so much to see and do. The variety of things to do meant that the children were kept entertained all day long. All of the Hello Kitty rides, the Thomas the Tank Engine train ride and the splash areas were included in the entrance price, and on selected dates throughout the year they even have various character meet and greets. It is such a unique place to visit, a refreshing change to your every day 'family day out'. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Chester's trip to A&E *warning do not read if you are squeamish!

This morning I got the phone call I have been dreading since the moment Chester started School. It started with 'Hello is that Chester's Mum' and I knew in that instant something had happened. You see normally when the school ring me they say ' Hello is that Chester's Mum, don't worry Chester is fine but...'

Sadly my instincts were right and something was very wrong. Chester had tripped over in the class room and fell chin first into a table leg. I was advised over the phone that he would need to go to MIU so I left work immediately. 

When I walked into the School and saw Chester sitting there with 3 teachers looking as white as his polo shirt I had to take a deep breath and hold back the tears. He looked awful, I have never seen him look as awful as he did this morning and it really shocked me. 

The teachers were all amazing and had done a great job of caring for him. I was advised that they had to lye him down because he had a bit of a funny moment, they had put a gauze over his chin so I couldn't quite see how bad the cut was, only that it was obviously still bleeding. 

So we drove the 3 minutes up the road to MIU (and subsequently spent a further 15 minutes finding a parking space), and as soon as we walked up to the receptionist we received nothing but the best care. 

I gave all the details and the receptionist signed him in, she took one look at him and said 'I am putting him top of the list you won't have to wait long at all'. Sure enough we were seen within a couple of minutes, despite it being packed out with other patients. The nurse was amazing with a very tearful and anxious Chester. She checked him over thoroughly but wasn't happy, so sent us to our local(ish) A&E.

Chester was very dopey and not really with it for quite some time, what with that and the wobble at School the nurses and Doctors wanted to keep a very close eye on him. He also had a few moments at the hospital where he just wanted to close his eyes, poor little mite. 

So again, at the hospital we were seen swiftly by triage and then again by the doctor, who decided to lay Chester on a bed in his own little room for quite some time to observe him. 

By now the gauze had come off and the wound looked like this...

Apologies to all squeamish readers! 

So it was decided that he would have a butterfly strip put on to pull it closer together and then medical glue to seal it. 

Now it looks like this... 

He is now home, where I have given him countless cuddles and asked him probably more than 100 times how he is feeling! He is a bit subdued, which I am pretty sure is probably a bit of shock coming out. And even though he is still a little tearful, mainly because he is sad he will have to take it easy at playtime for a few days, he seems to be perking up more and more as the evening has gone on. 

Today, I am very thankful to everyone who played a part in caring for Chester. It was a very anxious time for him (and me) but he was treated with the upmost respect and care. 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

A trip to Wembley for Chester!

So at midday today I waved Chester and my Dad off at the Train Station as they headed up to Wembley.

As you all know, Chester is really passionate about Football, especially where his beloved Crystal Palace are concearned! Luckily, whilst we were on holiday my Dad manage to get 2 tickets for the FA Cup semi final. One for him and one for Chester. Sadly I do not have a Crystal Palace membership anymore as there is really no need when I normally book tickets through Chester's membership, so I didn't get to go! 

However, I was so very happy that my Dad go to take Chester to his first ever trip to Wembley. Just as he had done with me when I was younger. 

Chester was apparently totally in awe at the sheer size of Wembley, and when he only has Selhurst Park as a comparison I can totally see why he was speechless! 

I watched the match at home, and it was one of the most nerve wracking experiences of my football watching life! I just so desperately wanted Chester to experience a Wembley win! 

Luckily they did win. 2-1. 

Chester has come home extremly tired but full of stories and wow moments to tell us! I am so happy for him. These memories will last a life time, he will never forget the day that Grandad took him to Wembley! 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Our Easter holiday fun at Duinrell, Holland

If someone had suggested we take a family holiday to Holland a few years ago I probably wouldn't have taken their advice. But someone mentioned it last year, I looked into it and found Duinrell. From what I could see it was a holiday park with a theme park and water park on site. The price seemed to fit into our budget so I took the plunge and booked it!

Well, I am so glad that I did! 

Looking into travel we decided it was best for us to get the Eurotunnel. It was a 3.5 hour drive from Calais to Wassenaar (the town in which Duinrell is situated). Most of which was motorway driving so quite easy. The children were occupied with films on the iPads, which really helped too! 


The whole week was just amazing from start to finish! There was so much to do onsite, we barely had time for anything else! 

There was plenty of rides, enough to keep all ages entertained. Millie absolutely loved the Rick the Frog Rollercoaster (this was probably not its name that's just what she called it!), they had a couple of small train rides, one of which took you into a friendly troll cave, which she adored and the other (in her words) wiggles along the track! 

Chester is a thrill seeker and he loved Falcon (very similar to Saw in the UK). The water ride Splash was also a big hit, I didn't mind it either as you could choose to go in a covered or an open boat! Plus another coaster called Falcon was another hit. 

The ride photos were only €2 to get sent to you via email, which I felt was amazing value and meant that we got to download and keep some fantastic moments caught on camera! 

I can't remember the name of this water ride, but it was a firm favourite with all four of us...

The water park 'Tiki Bad' was awesome! So many flumes and slides, again all ages were well catered for. Chester loved the flumes, and all of us really loved the Lazy River! 

In the evenings we either went swimming or went to The Plaza, which was the main centre of Duinrell.

Millie loved 'The Pub' because she loves to dance! The food choices at Duinrell were great and fairly priced, as was everything else to be honest. The mini bowling was just €3 each and the Midget Golf was €1 each. Which meant that we could say yes more often than no!

We also ventured outside of Duinrell and I am going to write seperatly about those days out soon. But for now here are a few more pictures of what the children have called 'the best holiday we have ever had'....... 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Fun at the farm...

Last weekend my Sister treated Chester to a trip to Alton Towers. So it was only fair that we treated Millie to a day of fun too. After lots of debating we decided on the Rare Breeds Centre which is not too far from us and costing only £6.50 each to get in!

It was an absolutely amazing day. There was so much to do we will actually have to go back! 

Millie absolutely adored the 3 week old piglets and this is where we spent most of our time... 

I really loved that it was all very relaxed and hands on. Millie really loved petting the animals, she found it hilarious that the cockerel allowed her to stroke him! 

There was such a big variety of animals, Millie was amazed by each and everyone, she even felt brave enough to look at the reptiles! 

The play areas were great, one kept Millie so entertained that we didn't have time to explore the other! 

We got to have a ride on a tractor/trailer

Watch a birds of prey show

And we even completed an adventure course on Troll Island! 

It was a really lovely day, my only regret is that we didn't go there sooner! We will certainly be back, Millie hasn't stopped talking about the piglets, and we know that Chester will love it too!