Sunday, 28 June 2015

Our mini break to Chessington!

When I started my new job, one of the things I wanted to do was make sure that our family time was quality time. I also wanted the children to see that me being at work full time means that we are able to enjoy a few more days out.

So the first thing I did when I got my first months pay was book a mini break to Chessington World of Adventures. Chester had a random baker day coming up so I thought I would make use of that, booking the break for a Sunday night stay, so that we had to full days in the park and hopefully it wouldn't be too busy.

I have to hold my hands up and admit that my expectations for The Safari Hotel were quite low. We have stayed at the Animal Kingdom hotel in Walt Disney World so I find it very hard to try and not compare! But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised, the hotel was lovely, clearly a lot of thought has gone into making it well themed. Our room had an obstructed view on to the 'Savannah' but we were happy that we could see the giraffes, Zebras and an Ostrich from our room, even more so if we walked out to our floors lobby. The swimming pool was fab, the splash area perfect. There were so many benefits and things to do in the hotel we didn't have time to do nearly as many as I would have liked to. But for this stay, the best thing about the hotel for us was the separate sleeping area for the children. It is such a simple idea and I really wonder why more hotels don't offer this. This has to be the first hotel we have stayed at where the children stayed in their beds and actually went to sleep when we asked them! 

We had two awesome days at Chessington. One of the benefits of being a hotel guest meant that we had a different park entrance and were able to go on some rides before regular guests had even managed to walk round to those areas. This was great because although we didn't feel like we rushed about we certainly managed to go on the rides more than once. 

Chester at the age of 6 is a little thrill seeker, he went on everything he was tall enough for. The vampire ride was his favourite and on the Monday we went on it 5 times in a row! I was in no way surprised that Dragon Falls was a close second for him, as he talks about Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World all the time! 

It turns out that Millie is the opposite of her brother and hates all rides that go remotely over 1mph! The first ride we went on was Scorpian Express (think runaway train) and she hated it! She liked the flying elephants but only if we didn't press the button to make them go higher! So basically Millie spent the two days on The Bubble Works, but she didn't complain once, everything she did like, she really liked. Actually a highlight for Millie was watching the Penguins of Madagascar show, we all enjoyed it. 

What Craig and I love about Chessington is that it's not just about rides (this is a relief for us as I was starting to get a headache from all the fast rides Chester was making me go on!) we also spent lots of time looking at the animals and walking around the sea life centre. We were also lucky enough to be at the front of the que for the walk through monkey enclosure just as they were serving the monkeys lunch. That was an amazing experience, the monkeys were so close to us and we got to learn all about their likes and dislikes! 

Overall we had a fantastic couple of days, it was so nice to be able to give the kids a few more 'yes' moments, I think they were amazed when they asked for a slush drink and I said yes without hesitation!   As a family we will certainly be looking to do things like this more often now,it's been a week on and they are still just as excited when re telling the fun they had! 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Chester's football dreams are coming true!

Over the last year or so, Chester has started liking football in a big way. You will probably remember that over the last season we have take him to a couple of Crystal Palace matches which he has really enjoyed.

But something recently has managed to increase his football enthusiasm even more, finally after being on the waiting list for ages, Chester has been given a place on a local Football team! 

The only position available was goal keeper, and whilst that would not of been his position of choice (he is a great striker) he took on the challenge without hesitation. He has been on the team for 2 maybe 3 months and already his abilities and attitude towards football have grown. I am incredibly proud of what he has learnt so far. The coaches do a great job, and some weeks even give him some one on one goal keeper coaching to help boost his confidence. 

It seems that football has taken over his life (and my weekend) he talks about it every day, and apparently he plays it every lunch time at School! 
A couple of weeks ago was the icing on the cake for Chester though... His team had their annual football presentation day. It was a fun filled day full of football, bouncy castles and BBQs! I took Chester along but warned him that as he was new to the team he probably shouldn't expect any kind of trophy, but to be happy for his team mates who had worked hard all season. Imagine his little face when they called his name up and awarded him a trophy along with the rest of his team! It has totally made his year, the trophy has yet to leave his side! 

I think it's really great that he is so pasionate about a sport, as a football loving Mum I could not be happier! 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A seaside trip for Craig's Birthday!

At the weekend we headed to Hastings for a fun filled family day to celebrate Craig's Birthday. 

Craig is especially hard to buy for, he goes through fads more times than the children! So I tend to get him a couple of little presents then try and do something fun as a family for his main present. 

Craig really likes aquariums and because we hadn't been to the Hastings Sea Life (Blue Reef Aquarium) for a few years I thought it was about time we paid it a visit! 

Craig's Parents came with us too, which was really nice. Everyone really enjoyed the aquarium, there was lots to see. 

We also visited the fishermans museum and I wondered why we had never thought to visit before, it was a lovely find. Of course, the children spotted the shark poo and found it hilarious! 

We sat and ate fish and chips by the sea, and Chester and Millie each had a go on a ride. My little thrill seeker Chester went on the caterpillar roller coaster and my more cautious Millie went bobbing up and down on the hot air balloons! We tried our luck in the arcades and played in the play area too. 

We had enough time to go around the aquarium again before heading down to the beach one last time to look for crabs in the rock pools. It was a good job we did this at the end of the day because Chester and Millie took it upon themselves to splash each other with water! Needless to say they were both soaked, it was a good job I took spare clothes for them! 

It really was a lovely family day, the kind I really look forward to now that I am working full time. Craig had a great Birthday and really enjoyed the day out that I planned for him.