Out and About Once More

I always find it hard to get back into the swing of things at the weekends when the children go back to school. The week kind of sorts itself because it has to. Reading books, spellings, clubs, homework, work and sleep all find themselves falling into place, there’s no choice really is there?!

At the weekends though it always seems to take that bit longer. After 6 weeks off, and in our family, that’s 6 weeks off for everyone (hubby and I are both teachers), the first couple of weekends are generally spent flopping and trying to recover from the week! Sometimes this leads to sofa time rather than active time, so thank you to #CountryKids this week for spurring me on to get some outdoor time!

My friend got married over the summer in America and last weekend was the celebration in London. I blogged just yesterday about how we well and truly have the travel bug, so although we could have just had a day trip, we decided to make a whole weekend of it, leaving straight after school on Friday. We all had a fab time exploring London, with some beautiful parks, but our favourite part (apart from seeing my friend married and happy of course!) was exploring Portabello Road market – not quite ‘Country’ but definitely outdoor fun. We also had a compulsory stop at the Hummingbird Bakery which is now quite possibly my favourite shop ever!

Living where we do we’re very lucky, so in addition to our adventurous weekend, we’ve also had fun making the most of the weather in both the woods and the seaside – the children discovered a dead jellyfish and were most excited by this. Is it just my children who get excited by things like this?!

I’m looking forward to linking up with Fiona’s #CountryKids over at Coombe Mill and seeing what you’ve all been up to as well – it’s been too long!

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Catching the Travel Bug!

It’s wrong to describe it as a regret because I wouldn’t want to change a thing about what I have now, but looking back the one thing I wish I’d done was travel. I mean properly travel. My Mum is petrified of flying so I never left the country until I was 19 when I successfully auditioned for a choir who went on a number of international tours. However, my Mum’s fear of flying transferred on to me so I turned down all the longer flights – looking back I can’t believe that I could have travelled all expenses paid to Japan, America and Mexico to name but a few and I said no!

When I met my husband, he also couldn’t stand flying so we never really went on holidays just the 2 of us, something we both now regret. We never really felt the urge to go away so just didn’t! Again, we both now can’t believe we didn’t jump at the opportunity – what were we thinking?!

When we had the children, we wanted to make sure that they had experiences they would remember and vowed that we would go on holiday at least once a year. When they were small we went camping in this country, camping in France and did little mini breaks. When money was tight we had some really cheap breaks cashing in on Tesco Clubcard points to get some nice days out too.

Eventually, when the children were 5 and 3 we took them on a plane! We braved it and went to Majorca for a week and that’s where it all started – we were hooked! Aside from my son cutting his head open on a shelf in the room (yes not even whilst having fun in the pool or anything!) and being told he couldn’t swim for a week (the duration of our stay!) we had the best time ever, and thinking with the glass half full, the medical treatment my son received was the best service ever, he was stitched up within 20 minutes of his accident. We stopped at the travel agent on the drive home from the airport and booked our next holiday!

Since then we’ve been back to Majorca and this year for the first time, the 4 of us left Europe as we went to Turkey. These holidays are proper fun in the sun types of holiday, but given that my husband and I are both teachers we try to get away for a few days in almost every school holiday. It’s amazing how your perspective can change. I used to long for the holidays to have a rest – now I feel like I’ve wasted the holidays if we don’t go away somewhere!

It doesn’t always cost us a lot of money and we try to mix things up so that sometimes the holidays help the children learn something. Last year we went on a road trip to Edinburgh staying in 6 different £29 Premier Inns and completely abusing our National Trust membership as we stopped in Birmingham, the Lake District, Liverpool, Blackpool and of course, Edinburgh. The whole week was planned with military precision but only cost us £300 for the whole week – not bad for a family of 4!

We’ve already planned holidays to Normandy, Amsterdam and Egypt over the next year as well as mini breaks. Sometimes I get down about the fact that I always have an endless list of work I need to do, and even though I’m not physically in work I still have things I have to do, but somehow the thought of having somewhere to go where I will be with my special 3 people, no iPads, chores or emails to interfere spurs me on.

We’ve well and truly caught the travel bug – if only we could now win the lottery too!