We had a lovely family day, the boy's bought in their handmade cards, it was lovely as Alex made such a beautiful one at school. Still no flowers, chocs, or cake or anything else though-James can't have got the hint...again!
We spent he day with my parents and headed out to Bristol Zoo, it was a really cold day so a lot of the animals were hiding but it was a really great outing. I'd not been there since primary school-I had images of it being bigger, but in fact it's quite a small zoo and it's funny seeing all the houses around it too.
We were extremely lucky to see one lion, he even walked right in front of us, I don't think her of them made an appearance the rest of that day!
The gorilla enclosure was really brilliant, although I always feel a bit odd watching the gorillas as it feels like you are staring at humans in some ways with all our similarities. We watched the talk & feed which was really interesting and was a great opportunity to see them all.
The boy's enjoyed the penguin and seal area-especially when the seals were play fighting! The both loved walking under the water too.
As it was cold the reptile house etc was perfect to warm up!
We also all had a bit of a race to see how fast we could run (it was meant to be for kids but me and mum also had a go), I was just pleased I won and that it warmed me up a little too!
Sam loved the monkeys, and Alex found a drill that was less than impressed when Alex waved to her-but the boy's found it hilarious when she would hit the window each time he did it.
We popped into Ikea afterwards as I needed some more frames for my business, and then headed back for a perfect family roast.
Last weekend it was nice to take some more time out. We went to the Isle of Wight after Alex finished school-one advantage of him finishing early on a Friday! We went with James' family and shared a lodge with his sister and her boyfriend at Woodside coastal retreat.
We turned up to the lodges when it was dark so didn't really know exactly where we were as such, so it was a fabulous surprise on the Saturday morning opening the lounge curtains to find a sea view and blue skies too!
The lodges were really lovely, decorated fantastically and kept nice and clean with everything you need- I would definitely recommend.
We took it easy each morning but packed a lot in, in the 2 days there, We had planned on going on the steam train on the Saturday but it was only open Sunday's (Sam was so upset about this bless him and nearly cried, he kept asking to go on the train the rest of the day!), instead we took a trip to Amazon Zoo.
A small zoo but nice enough for a few hours, there is a good park on site too, and if you are staying for longer you can have a free return pass valid for a week too. The lemur enclosure was great, they were jumping up on a few of us and also there was a tiny 6 week old baby jumping around too! Everyone found the talking parrot great too; I'm not sure if we timed it right but all the animals seemed really active, I for one have never seen a red panda wandering about as they are usually asleep!
We quickly popped to the Garlic Farm too, and tried a few samples, their makes are delicious, I think I would like to actually eat here one day for lunch-it smelt amazing.
We then had an early dinner at the White Mouse Inn, perfect for families as there is a decent sized play area-with a view of the sea too.
After dinner we popped quickly to the beach to watch the sun set, and wow the temperature dropped when it did!
The Sunday us 4 and James' sister and boyfriend popped to the beach which was less than a 2 minute walk from the beach, the boy's had great fun throwing the stones in the water whilst I had fun collected a bucket-load of shells, I say bucket-load but we had no bucket we had to use Alex's coat hood (he never wears his coat as doesn't feel the cold).
Then much to Sam's happiness we went to the steam railway, he was in his element with his wooden train whistle too, I think he thought he'd made the sound once when in actual fact in was the train's which was quite amusing.
They had some falcons and owls there when we visited, and Alex was brave enough to hold one (certainly helps having his young uncles to copy sometimes I think), I was really surprised he did it, i think he was proud about it too, he chose to hold Elsa the barn owl.
We then had lunch with everyone at James' parent's lodge and enjoyed another hour on the beach before the ferry. It certainly made the journey go quicker when a cruise liner went past and the boats played horn wars with the boat horns, the boy's (James included) loved this.
It was so nice having a couple of weekends to forget about the housework, school home work, and the 'to do' list, it was definitely needed-even if it does build up for afterwards!