Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Jump Nation Manchester

Sunday we needed to get out the house. Christmas had just finished and it was the lull between Christmas and New Year. Daddy M was working and the girls had been up very early and I was close to pulling my hair out well before 8am. Thankfully we had arranged a play-date with some of J's school friends before the end of school to meet at Jump Nation in Manchester. Perfect timing.
 
We have never been before so was unsure of what to expect. My girls love bouncing on the trampoline in the garden so I knew they would enjoy it. On arrival to Jump Nation Manchester we had to sign a waiver saying we were fit to bounce and explaining the safety rules as trampolining is an "extreme sport". Once we were signed up, we popped our socks on. These need to have rubber grips on the bottom (can be brought for £1.50 a pair if you don't have any.) The kids were soon ready and raring to go.

 
 When we walked into the arena... WOW!! I have never seen so many trampolines before.
 
 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

NHS Varicose Vein Surgery - my journey

Its been a bit of a whirlwind the past 10 days. If you follow my blog you will know I have had a varicose vein on my left leg which has been there for as long as I can remember. Well over 12 years. This week it has gone (hopefully) so thought I would document what has happened as when I tried to search recovery I was only being directed to forums which were hard to follow any one persons journey.

Monday, 7 December 2015

I met Father Christmas at Hamleys... again!

Last year our visit to see Father Christmas at Hamleys was amazing. So much so I blogged about the whole experience here. I know it is hard to find somewhere so magical that when I found somewhere I wanted to shout it to the rooftops. This year we returned again expecting the same standard. How disappointed was I?
 
It was the same set up of the elves meeting us, taking us upstairs, dinner, Christmas list writing, stories with the big guy, and then 1:1 time but the magic just wasn't there. This is what happened this year, compared to last year.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A holiday wish: Getting splashed by Shamu

J's wish this holiday was to get soaked by Shamu. Her wish was granted.
 
We visited SeaWorld Orlando not really knowing what to expect after Disney. We were pleasantly surprised. The parks were quiet and clean and the animals were impressive. I am not going to go into the documentary bad naming SeaWorld, I think that has already done its damage, and I saw nothing that should be bad mouthed to be honest. Yes, the animals should be in the wild, but seriously now let loose? I'm not so sure. They seem happy and if an animal doesn't want to do something, they don't force. (An example was with the Dolphins, needing rope as reins put around the nose, one dolphin shook its head to refuse and the rope was thrown backwards and something else was done instead).
Instead I am going to capture the memories we experienced.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Our Florida holiday - a quick intro...

We have just got back from the very hot and sunny Florida. We went away for two weeks with Daddy M's parents again just like two years ago, but did things differently this year. We learnt from what went well and what didn't with three generations under one roof from our holiday together two years ago. The main thing was that second car... its a must so we can do different things and get our own space. As much as I love them, its great to get out and about just the four of us too, for example Disney World.
 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

NF Adventure Farm at halloween

This Halloween we were invited back to National Forest Adventure Farm. We went last year for our very first time, and loved it. There is so much to do when you get there it was an obvious yes please. We knew from experience to go dressed up as although it is on the farm there is also lots of themed activities going on too.
 
 
J recycled her Zombie bride costume she made last year, whilst S went back as the same witch as last year too! Oh we do like to recycle here! They were then set for the day!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

J's 6th Birthday

J is officially six. Seriously where has the time gone? Last year we celebrated her fifth birthday early in the summer holidays making use of the garden we used to have, and the summer weather. This was great until it was her actual birthday. She wanted another party as all kids do, and wanted another big party. It just wasn't going to happen. This year it meant that she wanted that big party as she had to wait even longer for it. For the past six months she has been talking about her birthday and how amazing she wanted it. I think we did a pretty good job at making it THE BEST SIXTH BIRTHDAY she could wish for.
 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

MACHINES Congleton... a gym like no other!

Since the start of the school year I have been taking some time just for me. I was planning to keep it a secret and just see where it took me but I am enjoying it so much I just had to share. If you are local to Congleton or Macclesfield it may benefit you too! So, what have I been doing for just one hour a week that is improving my mental well being AND my physical health at the same time?
 
I am attending a gym like no other, as it is more like a studio. There is no treadmills in rows nor the posers that like to show off in front of the mirror, neither is it so big that you are just a number. When you join you become a member of the family, somebody worthy or their time to train you correctly. Sounds corny doesn't it? But it works. The place is Machin-ES .


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Abbotsbury Swannery and Children Farm

Whilst we were in Dorset on our holiday this summer we visited Abbotsbury Swannery and children's farm making use of the Tesco club card deals again. We went along with Nana too with the hope to catch them at feeding time. We arrived around lunchtime at the Swannery and realised the feeding time was not on until 4pm. To bide some time we decided to try out the children's farm too. A little walk (longer then it makes out) down a country lane and we arrive. S was in a foul mood this day due to the lack of sleep, however she perked right out of it went she got to feed a guinea pig. Just look at that cheeky smile as she tries to force feed it a carrot...

Monday, 31 August 2015

A summer full of milestones!

This post is all about J and her new skills she has learnt this summer!

J has been taking part in swimming lessons for almost a year in the hope that she would be able to swim confidently with no arm bands for our big holiday this coming November. Usually 14 months would be plenty of time. Unfortunately her swim school changed instructors approximately six times in the 11 month period. This summer my aim was to try and get her booked in else where after complaining and just being told, "yeah we have had a high rate of staff turn over, but what can we do about it?"  

Friday, 28 August 2015

A day out at Farmers Palmers

This summer saw me and the girlies return "home" to the South Coast. We visited for almost two weeks which meant we had a lot of days to fill with entertaining the girls. One of these days I wanted to try out Farmer Palmers. My niece and nephew loved it there when they were younger so wanted to treat the girls to a fun packed day too.
 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Longleat Safari Park in the rain

If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you will know we have recently been away to the South Coast. We spread ourselves wide whilst being based in Poole taking advantage of being closer to some attractions that we love. Whilst down there we booked to go to Longleat Safari Park. We went last September with a group of family, which you can read here. This time around it was just myself and the girlies. We took advantage of the Tesco club card deals again and pre-booked the date before even going down south. The day we decided to go the weather was not on our side. It was cold, wet and miserable and it was due to stay all day long.
 

Monday, 17 August 2015

Snow park at Chill Factore Review

This week we took J to Chill Factore in Manchester. She has done so well with her first year of school we thought we would treat her and a friend to an hours play in the snow park with Daddy and myself taking advantage of a family pass. This meant that S couldn't go, but due to her being 3, and not liking slides we thought it was best she did a more suitable activity with Grandad M instead. Thank you Grandad. J has never had both Daddy and myself all to herself before so it was a real treat.
 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Tara Binns Eagle-Eyed Pilot review

We were sent Tara Binns Eagle-eyed pilot book to review mainly because Daddy is an airline pilot and they wanted his opinion on the book. We read almost every night to the girls just before bed and its nice to get a new book every so often to keep our minds fresh more then the girls.
 

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Aber Falls

This week saw us driving across to Wales to review the YHA near Bangor. We made the most of the nice weather as we knew it wouldn't be around for long so headed down the extremely narrow roads to Aber Falls. The girls enjoyed the waterfall so much at the three shire head that we wanted to see another. The photos for this day out speak for themselves, we had so many smiles and giggles just by letting the kids be kids. I hope you enjoy our memories....

Being a stay at home mum is tough!

Ok, my official job tittle is a "stay at home mum". Some think it is easy. The dream that we all envisage. Baking sweet cakes, singing nursery rhymes and attending play dates all with happy smiles and no tantrums. That is the dream. I have tried being a part time working mum so have dabbled at both.
 

Friday, 7 August 2015

YHA - Youth Hostel Association family review!

This summer holidays with the building work taking place in the garden, and Daddy M having to study for his twice yearly exam in peace, has meant that I have had to take the girls out of the house. Thankfully the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) asked us if we would like to review a hostel of our choice. I have stayed in hostels as a child with schools and remember having ten giggling girls to a room. This had me wondering how family friendly it would be, and so I though we would put it to the test, and if all else fails at least Daddy had some time to study whilst we had a girly break.
 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Three Shires Head with children

Its been a long time since the girlies and myself went out for a "long" walk. J always seems so tired with school, or S refuses to leave. Chores need doing or the rain comes in. We had no excuse today though with the weather dry but overcast. I just had that itch to get outside. I didn't tell the girls how long the walk is, just that's its long, there will be sweets and a waterfall.
 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Summer holidays with friends

This year is officially the first real summer holidays we have had. OK, we have had them whilst J attended nursery but school is official, you cant just pull them out for a day out with no worries. We also get into a routine of not having them around 5 days a week for 8 hours a day, so when they are suddenly thrown back into the mix with the attitudes they have learnt from school, and the new found boredom of having nothing structured to do we are left pulling our hair out.
 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Maize maze at National Forest Adventure Farm

The maize was up and over the girls heads, the hot sun was beaming down on us. The dirt track was dry even though it rained earlier that morning. We could hear voices, but saw no one. Armed with a rucksack full of juice, full bellies and a flag on a pole if we needed help we were lost. Where were we? We were in the middle of a maize maze. Not just any maze. It was a HUGE over 3 miles worth of trail maze at National Forest Adventure Farm to celebrate JCB's 70 years.
 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Rainbow Promise

Last week saw J become an official part of girl guiding. She took her rainbow promise. I was a brownie when I was younger, and although I can not remember much of it apart from the hideous brown calottes, I remember being told that I could no longer be a brownie due to my behaviour. I later re-joined as a girl guide and those memories I do remember. They were filled with giggles, learning new skills that sometimes can not be taught at school and gave me something to do after school apart from just "chilling out".
 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Eurocamp Avant Accommodation Review

It feels so long ago now that we were on our holiday in France. The purpose of our holiday was to review the three bedroom Avant accommodation with Eurocamp. This style accommodation is new for 2015, and we were one of the first to step inside. Our accommodation was in La Pointe, St Giles which is in Bènodet, Brittany.
 


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Photo albums with Snapfish

Everyone has a camera these days. Whether it be with a phone, a compact camera or a DSLR. Its great photos and memories can be captioned anywhere from holidays to sports days, but what do you do with your photos once you have clicked and possibly shared on social media? The majority of ours are just stored on our computer and I dread to think what will happen if we ever get a virus or get burgled. All those captured memories lost forever. My nan asked me a few Christmas's ago what I do with them, and she couldn't believe I didn't pop them in a photo album.
 

Friday, 26 June 2015

CHILL FACTORe Arctic Adventure Playground review

It doesn't often snow in England, and certainly not when there is a heat wave looming, when all you can think about is how to cool the hot sweaty fed up children down. What if I told you there is a place you can have fun and "chill out" in Manchester? Though you will still need to wrap up warm. Well there is a place that can do just that, and its just had a great new make over. Its the NEW Arctic Adventure Playground also known as Mini Moose land at Chill Factore. It is perfect for children aged 4 and under.  We actually spent S's 2nd birthday in the playground at Chill Factore and had great fun. Now its even better.
 
Chill Factore Jan 2014

Friday, 12 June 2015

Brittany Ferries with children.

We have just got back from our first family trip to France. We sailed from Portsmouth into St Malo and returned from Caen back into Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries. The flexibility to choose different return ferries made our holiday experience more flexible.
The St Malo ferry was an overnight ferry. This did have me very anxious as to whether the girls would sleep or just be too excited and be bouncing around.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Spinnaker Tower Review

We left early, very early on the day we needed to catch our ferry to France. This was essential to make sure we didn't miss our boat. We all know the motorway system around the UK; one accident, and it goes to a standstill. We were lucky, despite the rain our journey from the North West to Portsmouth only took 4.5-5hours with a quick stop for lunch. This meant we had a few hours to explore Portsmouth a little more. I am originally from Portsmouth but it has changed so much since I have been away. Spinnaker tower has now been built, and has been standing high and mighty for 10 years. It has been on our bucket list to visit for a few years, so this was our perfect opportunity to explore a national icon.
 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

A summary of our Eurocamp Holiday in France

Holidays. The thought of them brings a smile to your face. Memories come flooding back from previous trips, and thoughts of what to do on your next break "away from it all" sets you off daydreaming. Reality... packing, planning, exhaustion and lots of washing afterwards. Is it worth it? Well, we wouldn't keep going on them if it wasn't would we?
 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Lego Discovery Centre

A few weeks ago, we were invited to LEGOLAND Discovery Centre for the launch party of the new Duplo village. Unfortunately this fantastic party clashed with Grandads birthday get-together, thankfully, we were able to come and visit another day to try the new area out.
We decided to visit on a busy half-term afternoon, as it was the only convenient time we could do. As we arrived, it was buzzing, kids running around happy and excited, some intensely building models, and others waiting patiently for the 4D short film to start. LEGOLAND discovery centre is on a much smaller scale then LEGOLAND Windsor but all undercover. This makes it a great day out come rain or shine.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

National Adventure Farm, May half term...

"I want to hold a spider mummy!" Was all I could hear en-route to National Adventure Farm. It was a big mistake telling little S that it was wild and deadly week whilst we were there, which meant they could get up close and personal with some terrifying animals.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Geronimo Festival review

We had been eagerly awaiting this weekend since January, when we were asked to be Geronimo ambassadors. We heard what the plan was, and it sounded like an amazing day out for families. From our experience, sometimes, the build up is not worth the event, and others, its not built up enough. Geronimo Festival, was the latter.
 
The atmosphere was relaxed. There was no hurrying, pushing, or urgency. We were amazed. We were expecting to need alcohol after the stress of a busy day out. However, the festival was spread out so we were not on top of others, which meant the children could get hands on. It wasn't too far spread out, so the little legs could still get around. It was very well thought out.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Styal Mill, enjoying the great outdoors

The birds were singing their heavenly songs, as the soft breeze cooled us down on the warm Sunday morning. We were in good spirits celebrating Grandad's birthday a day late. The girls were happy to be outside roaming, as us adults enjoyed the slow easy paced Sunday walk and catch up.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Crocky Trail Review

The air is filled with giggles and screams of excited children. Children falling down the revolving tubes, and mud splattered parents over confidently attempting a giddy run through. Will they make it through, without falling hard? Does it matter, if they do fall? Everyone is giggling, smiling and happy at the Crocky Trail.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Diggerland, Where heavy machinery and fun come together...

J eagerly went to measure herself against the minimum height board, and jumped excitedly up and down. There was nothing I could do but stand back and watch as my 5 year old climbed up onto onto the enormous bright yellow, mud covered JCB. Was she really allowed to sit behind the controls of this mean machine, and then take the controls, and drive off out of sight?

Monday, 27 April 2015

Dancing at Pineapple studios, for Annie

The temperatures outside was the hottest of the year, and as we walked in, it felt even hotter. The air was filled with excitement of both the children and the mums, some of whom travelled from miles. The sound of sweaty little feet pounding the floor, round in circles as the giddy children ran of the excess energy. It was then time to get down to business.... "It was a hard knock life".

Thursday, 23 April 2015

A day at the beach, M's style...

In half term last spring, we visited Crosby beach for the very first time. Its where my logo badge was captured. It was a great day out, albeit very muddy, when we were not expecting mud. You can read about it here. We had so much fun, that we decided to go back again this half term, with some different friends then last time, with 3 boys. Crosby beach is famous for the 100 cast iron statues of naked men, which the girls found hilarious last time.
 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Sorry... not sorry

I am sorry I have been so quiet on the blog over the past two weeks. Well, I am not really...
I have been making the most of the precious time with my girlies. We have had a busy two weeks, with lots happening, which has meant in the evenings we have either got in very late, or I just needed to unwind with a few vodkas... I will be writing all our events up very soon, well more then likely next week, as S starts her 15hours a week in nursery, and J returns back to school... I am hoping I will have plenty of time to catch up... But here is a sneak glimpse to what we have been up to this Easter half term... hope you like it...


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Saturday, 4 April 2015

National Forest Adventure Farm Easter visit

We love the National Forest Adventure Farm. We were invited back again for Easter, after our visits in the February half term, and Halloween, and the girls always have fun. There is always something different going on. This visit was all about Easter, and of course spring, with all the baby animals on the farm.
 
Our day didn't start as smoothly as yesterdays trip to Liverpool, with S deciding she didn't want to go out today, and stripping off just minutes after I had got her dressed, in a way to sabotage our efforts. We also ran out of squash, and my girls refuse to drink water, so we had to nip to the shops first.... this all meant that with the hour drive to get there, we arrived just before lunch. We looked at the timetable of events, with various events at specific times, we didn't want to miss anything that the girls really wanted to do. We started off with feeding the animals in the barn, which costs £1 for a cup. The cows knew what the cup meant, and ran straight over to the rail nudging the girls. Both girls found it hilarious. I know that cows don't have top teeth so cant bite, so encouraged the girls to feed by hand.... I managed to capture the moment.... J has fed cows before, but she obviously forgot how wet they are... check out her face.... you can just imagine the EEEWWWWW......
 
 
S didn't want to just feed the cows, and after we saw some of the slightly older lambs being fed pellets, we tried too...
 
 
After the feeding of the animals we headed to the outside paddocks where there was meant to be pony grooming. This is on twice during the day, one being at lunch time, the other right near the end of the day. This was the one activity that J jumped up and down to do in excitement. We headed out, and asked if we were in the right place, 15 minutes we waited, with other families joining in the wait, before we all gave up.... no one showed up at the ponies for the grooming. J was devastated and started crying.... after mentioning it to the original member of staff, he went to chase it up... came back saying they were with a sheep who was giving birth so couldn't come. However, we spoke to another member of staff a few hours later, and she said no lambs were born today! Either way J was very upset, and they had about 7 unhappy children who waited for nothing.
 
 
On passing the animal barn again, the petting zoo was open, and the guinne pigs were out for a stroke, this made a perfect distraction, to get J out of her crying state.
 
 
Closely followed by lunch. The Adventure farm is great for picnics, with picnic benches outside, or under cover in the barn. Since Halloween they have tented it up even more to keep the wind out, and its even warmer... the girlies didn't complain once about eating outside, rather then in the café.
 
 
After lunch we decided the trip to see the Easter Bunny was a must. This involved a bumpy tractor ride, (makes it more fun!) which was running constantly up to the opposite side of the farm. The girlies loved the longer journey, and all the board animals they had to spot and shout out. It built a great atmosphere on a packed tractor. When we got to the other side, it was a small woods. We were given a pencil and an answer sheet. On our little walk, there were 7 questions, all around the subject of rabbits, with a riddle, and game from the mole thrown in too.
 
 
At the end of the little walk, which took no time at all as the girls whizzed through it all in excitement, from one board to the next, was the Easter bunny waiting just for them.....
 
 
 
It was then back to the main farm, scoffing the chocolate they were rewarded, on the tractor. The next activity the girls wanted to do was make their own cress head...
 
 
 This went down very well, with the girls making their own faces on the cups, filling them up, seeding, and watering afterwards... we now have them on our windowsill. If they grow, we can take a photo and pop them on the Facebook page, in hope of winning a competition.
It was almost time to bottle feed the lambs, this really is a must at spring, but J had time to squeeze in a barrel ride first. S was insistent that she would NOT ride it today.... instead she picked through the gravel on the path deciding which stones she wanted to take home....


We then made it to the animal barn again just in time for them to bring out the milk. The barn was very busy, and this meant that the bottles had to be shared. They have bottle feeding three time during the day.... J loved it, S was more interested in watching them, but did have a go....


 
 After the feeding of the lambs, and of course the hand washing, we had one last hunt to do. Around the fun field, and yes it is a field packed with lots of fun things, we had to find the names of 12 characters, to get a prize on leaving. This helped J practise some of her reading, and S recognising her numbers. With all the too-ing and fro-ing from one board to the next, S went through a puddle of mud... she is no Peppa pig, and stopped and exclaimed she was stuck.... I was not in wellies, and not impressed....  but of course I had to snap a picture of her moment in hilarious distress....


It was then time for some serious fun, before the drive home. There is so much to do in the fun field. The girls chose the giant bouncy pillow. It sure is giant, and very bouncy....


...before trying to make a sand castle...


It was then getting late, and it was time to go home ready for tea... but not before collecting the prize for the last hunt...


It was a great day out, and I would highly recommend. Which ever season you choose, there is always something to do to keep you there for a day.




*We were given complimentary entry, in return for n honest review, all photos, words, and opinions are my own.
 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 3 April 2015

Beauty and the Beast at The Epstein Theatre review

Our half term started off wet as we headed to Liverpool for Beauty and the Beast. The spectacular pantomime version of the family classic is bought to the Epstein Theatre this Easter by LHK productions.
We all know how the story of beauty and the beast goes....  A vain and handsome Prince is tested by enchantress who seeks shelter. Disguised as an old woman, the enchantress begs for help only to be turned away by the selfish Royal. Seeing that Prince is rotten to the core, with no love in his heart, the enchantress curses him and the entire contents of his castle. The Prince is transformed into a fearsome Beast.  The only way to break the spell is for him learn to love another and earn love in return before the last petal from the magical rose falls. But who could ever learn to love such a fearsome Beast?
Starring 5ive pop sensation Ritchie Neville in his panto debut as Anton, Grease is the Word’s Alison Crawford returns to the Epstein as Belle and the hilarious Michael Chapman as Dame Dolly Doughnut.
This panto, wasn't like the exact 'Disney' story that the girls love. It's mixed with the classic songs like "Be our guest", which got J dancing off her seat, along with modern songs and references to 5ive songs too.
There was good old panto innuendo, which kept us "grown ups" giggling, and the girls were unaware, as well as songs to sing and clap along too, and of course shout back, "bonjour Louey".
There were plenty of surprises too, like when the Official Village Idiot ran through the audience, (just the row behind us), with Anton, following right behind, had the girlies is stitches of laughter. They slipped in one of my favourites songs for panto, the song "if I wasn't a panto star, I would be...." which again, caused ALOT of giggles from the entire audience. I wont spoil the surprise for that one...
It was a great show in the grade II listed theatre, that sits 400. The seats were surprisingly comfortable too. The option to loan booster seats for 50p also came in handy if someone tall is sat in front of the children. Grandma and Grandad were both laughing and enjoying the show too. It was great to come to an event where all three generations really enjoyed themselves. Little S (3yrs)managed to watch the entire show (apart from a quick toilet break) and J was just mesmerised.... I wasn't sure if it was the popcorn that tempted us as we walked in, or the "compulsory panto children's hand held flashing lights" that helped, but after seeing the stars afterwards, im pretty much sure its because she was watching a "Princess".
Apologies for poor quality... snapped on phone!

After the show, we were able to get photos with the main line up. The beast was no longer the beast, and was now the handsome Prince. All dressed up after the wedding.


...and probably one of my favourites of the day, just caught, as J ran off to speak to Belle, after a few moments chatting, a real heart felt hug... Thank you Alison, she really does think you are a real princess. I did mention to J that Anton was a pop star, but she wasn't star struck, although she did say he was handsome...

It was a little strange seeing a Pantomime at Easter, as it is usually at Christmas, but it was a lovely afternoon. I suppose it doesn't really matter when it is. We all walked away with smiles, and a great start to our Easter holidays. If you would like to visit the Beauty and the Beast at The Epstein, they are there until the 12th April, and tickets can be bought here.
*We were given complimentary tickets to view the show, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Our wet adventure to Liverpool


Today was the first day of half term, and we started it with a bang. We were off to Liverpool, via Manchester, on the train, two there, and two back. Our train left our small town station, just after 9. How we got there, all packed with a picnic, and layers of clothes, and nothing forgotten, and more importantly, with no raised voices, I have no idea. But we did. The girls were very excited, and bought along "Belle" with them, to show the real Belle later on. They pointed out the baby lambs en-route, along with the theme tune of the day "Wonder Pets". Sorry to everyone on the train, that will now have that song stuck in their heads.
 
 

Grandma and Grandad, jumped on the train number two, the stop after us, and after hugs, smarties and a coffee, we were all happy, despite the rain. The next stop was Liverpool itself. It was still raining, we were in Liverpool for a theatre show at 2pm, but decided to arrive early for a picnic and a few geocaches, so we headed to the docks. Last time we visited, it was so windy, S didn't get very far, before running in the opposite direction. This time, there was no wind, just rain. Along the docks, we found the buildings, I vaguely remember from my young childhood, when I lived in Liverpool for 18months.


Along just a little further, was statues... the girlies liked trying to copy the pose.... and the rain wasn't stopping the laughter....


...and trying to speak in the mega phones, without standing in the puddle.....


...on the hunt for a geocache, we found, what the girls called the "rainbow ship" .... it certainly stood out on this grey day with the grey buildings behind....


...the girlies thought they saw "big ben".... they are still obsessed by it now, and J was able to tell us the time despite the very low cloud....


...before we decided it was too wet for our picnic, and headed to find somewhere to eat instead, passing more boats and ships.....


....the girlies still managed to find Easter eggs, despite them being on a sign, anyone would think its Easter?.....

...we finally decided on Nando's for lunch, as we all like chicken, and its diet friendly... although J suddenly turned fussy whilst in there, and decided she no longer liked mayo on her burger, however, the lovely member of staff Lindsay, took J t the kitchen and got her a new burger with no mayo(and got her more colouring in sheets, J loved going with her for them)... THANK YOU!!! She really went the extra mile making J's day...

 
..We were then of too The Epstein Theatre, to see Beauty and the Beast. It was great fun, and a perfect way to fill a wet afternoon. There was lots of giggles from all three generations, and dancing, and clapping.... The girls loved meeting the stars afterwards too...
 
 
That then finished our adventures in Liverpool, so we headed back to the train station, where we met up with Mummy 3+1 dog who also went to the theatre... and our two trains back home. We made it back home just in time for hot chocolate, and a slightly later bed time, with no tantrums, and not too many tears.... (almost none, but the mayo incident did cause a few!! I blame the school for tiring her out, Teehee!)
 

How have you spent the first day of Easter, and half term?? Have you ever been to Liverpool, what would you recommend seeing when visiting as a tourist??


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

'CLAWS' has arrived at Manchester Sea Life

Last week we were invited to the Sea Life Centre at the Trafford Centre, in Manchester. They were launching the new exhibition, 'CLAWS', and they wanted US to be one of the first to see it.


'CLAWS’, which is replacing the stunning and hugely popular starfish exhibit, is on its way from Sea Life Paris and displays some of the world’s most exciting crustaceans.
 
 
The Rainbow Crabs dazzle with their vibrantly coloured shells, a fresh water creature they feed on nuts.  
The small but powerful Mantis Shrimp has a punch as powerful as a .22 bullet, they can even break bones with it. They stun their dinner with it as their claw travels at the equivalent of 100kph. On the night we visited, I heard it crack a mussel, but didn't actually see it, It really did sound just like a gun had gone off.
Stunning to look at, the rare albino lobster, is a white version of the traditional native lobster you may see at your local seafood restaurant and would traditionally be a blue-grey colour.
The Hermit Crabs are also interesting creatures, they live on the land and require a humid environment which includes both salt water and fresh water, without these key features they’ll struggle to survive. Hermit crabs will leave their shells to find a new home which is larger and has more space to grow.  J found these really interesting, and sat and watched them for a good while.
 
 
 A Giant Tasmanian Crab, which was caught in Australia and destined for the dinner table before Sea Life rescued it in 2012, will join the exhibition in two weeks time once he’s been granted a passport to travel. Claude, as he is better known, will eventually weigh in at an astounding 13.5kg and will be just under a metre wide once fully grown. I was gutted we missed him, but the girls were happy with the giant crab on the wall...
 
 
After the talks, and demonstrations of the mantis shrimp, we were then able to touch and stroke the crabs, in the touch and feel pool. The staff were really good, and popped some in bowls for the girls to be able to reach comfortably, and explore with ease.
 
 
 As well as the new residents, the aquarium has 5,000+ creatures to discover including sharks, seahorses, octopus, jellyfish and rays.  The girls loved exploring the aquarium. I was whisked away for a special dive, which I will blog about separately. Daddy held the fort with the girls, as they discovered all about the turtles, which both girls are now obsessed about.
 

The girls also checked out the many tanks, and discovered all types of different sea creatures...



As well as letting their hair down in the soft play...


Being treated to face painting...
 
 
And learning about the size of other fishes, including a Tiger shark. This is the jaw of one, and as demonstrated, it could have swallowed J up, but would have struggled on a grown man, due to the shoulders, the staff were great at getting the girls intrigued.
 
 
 The exhibition launches in time for Easter so families can have fun and learn during the holidays whilst being truly amazed by the magnificent marine life.
Online tickets start from £9.95. Children under 3 years go free. *Online prices vary depending on the time slot chosen, and can be booked here.
 
It was a great evening, and we all really enjoyed it....