Friday, 25 October 2013

"Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit."

I don't tend to write overly lengthy posts unless its a personal one about Mrs M or the boys and how I'm feeling etc. I do this mainly because I don't want you all to get bored or seem like I'm just going on. I wrote this post a few weeks back but im only just getting round to reading through it and posting. As I was away for a weekend I thought I'd give writing a long post in parts a go...

We've had some fantastic opportunities through the blog, been to some great places and have received some amazing products, but what has made it great is the new friends we've made along the way. It's always nice to hear from PR companies wanting to work with us but its so much nicer when it's another blogger. A few months back I received an email from Rebecca over at The Beesley Buzz asking if we would like to go away with them, they had recently become bloggers for Center Parcs and were asked if they would like to bring along another family on their weekend away. I was genuinely touched that they had thought of us but was also quite shocked, although I write, I don't tend to read many other people's blogs, I don't like sitting in front of the computer if I'm not writing. I had spoken to Rebecca occasionally since we both started blogging for Nuby but I didn't expect for one second that they would want to meet us (I'll be interested to find out 'why us?' This weekend).

Well It's now 3:30 and I'm sitting outside Seth's school waiting for our weekend to begin. I can see him and Mrs M walking down the road and Opeie is already asleep in the back (he's got the right idea). We're off to Longleat and I'm hoping its a smooth journey down (I'll write some more once were there)....

The Journey was actually stress free apart from Opeie throwing up about 20 miles away from Longleat (luckily he caught most of it on the iPad screen, oh joy). We arrived about 6:45, the weather was looking pretty bleak but we were all in good spirits. 

As we drove up to our cabin we could see Rebecca in the kitchen cooking and the kids running about, its a very odd feeling meeting another blogger, when you read about someones family and what they get up to it can feel like you have been friends with them for years but meeting in person is a little like meeting someone famous. As expected they were very friendly, the kids were great and you could tell they were a very happy and loving family. Richard helped us in with the bags and we had a little chat before heading to our cabin to make some food. Center Parcs had organised a HUGE amount of welcome food for us which was so kind and unexpected.

The cabin was beautiful and clean, with very up to date decor, what i loved most was the placement of each cabin, even though there was a cabin either side of us the positioning of each one made it feel like we were the only cabin in the forest which to me gave it a very private and romantic feel.

Mrs M made a beautiful tea of salmon and scallops but forgot to put the extractor fan on in the excitement so within the first hour of being there we had an (Ear piercing) smoke alarm blaring away and i couldn't get it to stop (oops). Eventually it stopped but the ringing in our heads continued for some time. We unpacked our bags a little and the boys changed in to their Pj's, it was time for cuddles. 

They were both very excited and running about the cabin, The cabin is huge and because Opeie still co sleeps we ended up with a spare room. Because he co sleeps (and is a terrible bed hogger for a 2 year old), we moved one of the spare single beds to our room and made ourselves an uber bed (i was looking forward to a comfortable nights sleep, not sleeping on the edge of the bed).

Around 9 there was a knock at the door, it was Richard letting us know he was moving the car (as you can't park next to your cabin's at Center Parcs). The car park was a fair drive and in the dark i knew the walk back was going to be interesting, there are buses that run to every cabin but we decided to walk and it gave me and Richard a great chance to get to know each other. Instantly we found something in common, we both have very poor navigational skills in rain and darkness. My take a step back and let the other person guide us has never let me down before so i went with that option (at least i had someone to blame if we were out all night). 40 minutes later we found our way back to our families (it will be nice tomorrow to see what Center Parcs looks like in the daylight). The shower was lush and i was happy to get into my PJ's and have a cuddle with Mrs M. As soon as i have finished this part of the post I'm off to try out our make shift mega bed, goodnight...

Had a great nights sleep but was up at 5:30ish an hour and a half before everyone else (dam body clock). Mrs M cooked an amazing breakfast which set me up for the morning. Mrs M is taking full advantage of the kitchen here so I'm just leaving her to the cooking as its been yummy so far.

Seth wanted to write a little bit this morning...

"I have been so excited and everyone is happy. The Kitchen is attached to the lounge. there are ducks and a pond and we fed them and yesterday we met the Beesley's. I hope we get to see the Beesley's again after Center Parcs they are nice."

We headed out with the Beesleys just before 9am and caught the land train to the plaza area, the boys were so excited about the land train bless them. They run every 20 minutes and being able to sit there and watch the world go by through beautiful scenery was great but we were desperate to pick up our bikes so that we could make our own way around the forest. We were booked In for a game of bowling and then planned to go swimming. The boys were getting competative which was fun but Opeie and trinity were a little restless, it was early so it was understandable. 

I say restless with Opeie but it didn't prepare us for what was brewing. Our time ran out on the bowling before the end of the game which we were all a little disappointed about, you get 45mins but if you're with young children it just isn't enough time to play.

After the game was over though we headed next door to the pool.  Opeie was acting really out of character and ended up having his first full scale meltdown. We're not 100% about what caused it but we think he may have an issue with being in small places with lots of people, plus I think he was still tired. We changed for the pool but then had to get dressed and go as we just couldn't calm him down. Seth was a little upset but being the great brother he is he understood.

We thought it would be best to get him back to the cabin and down for a nap so we walked over to the cycle centre to pick up our pre-booked bikes. The cycle centre was great and packed full of different bikes. Seth chose a tag along but then changed his mind when he saw Opeie in his trailer. Opeie's mood completely changed and he said 'wow this is cool' and he was right, having the bikes to ride about on was one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I'm not sure a break to Center Parcs would be the same without them.

Although the cycle centre and our cabin were at different ends of the forest the ride back was really enjoyable. The scenery was picturesque and the boys loved every moment of being driven around like the pope. Back at the cabin we had lunch and then Opeie had his well deserved nap, it's hard work being chauffeured around obviously. After lunch Mrs M did some writing while Opeie slept and me and Seth went adventuring on the bikes, we had a couple of hours to kill before going out for tea with the Beesleys. We had a good cycle all around the forest which was a lot of fun and considering there were a few hills it seemed like little effort peddling.

11pm: we've been back from dinner about an hour which was really nice, we had a reservation at the grand cafe and it was a really great night, it gave us plenty of time to chat with Rebecca and Richard  , they really are great people and we all got on so well (unless of course their post says differently, we'll have to see). The staff in the restaurant (well actually all over Center Parks) were amazing and so helpful, they did all they could to cater for Mrs M and Opeie's dietary needs and not once did we feel like we were putting them out. It was a nice relaxing atmosphere and everyone was in great spirits. I really loved that Seth and Opeie got on so well with Joshua and Daniel it really made the weekend so much more enjoyable. I was a bit worried before we got there but they hit it off straight away. After dinner we headed for the land train back but it was packed so myself and Richard being the gentleman that we are offered to walk back with Trinity in the pushchair so that the others could get back quicker, turns out that with our athletic legs and Richards new finally tuned on board Satnav we arrived at the cabins at the same time. Everyone was shattered so we said our good nights and headed to bed.

Mrs M has always said that I walk about with my head in the clouds and to say I'm unorganised would be an understatement. While we were heading out to dinner last night it came to my attention that our weekend break was until Monday, oops. How I missed that I don't know but that's me down to a T. Sadly we couldn't have stayed until Monday because of Seth's school so we had to make the most of our last day. Our morning started with some unlikely visitors.

After Opeie's meltdown at the pool I clearly had some making up to do for Seth as he was desperate to go swimming, so after meeting up with Richard, Joshua and Daniel we jumped on our bikes and headed to the Plaza, I take back what I said about Richards finely tuned satnav, he took us on an epic journey with a huge up hill struggle, Mrs M looked like she was going to black out when we reached the top. We got to the pool and Mrs M went off with Opeie (to avoid a repeat of yesterday's drama). Seth was so excited and although stripping down to just shorts is so out of my comfort zone I had a great time and we'll definitely be doing a lot more swimming once were home. The slides were great and Seth loved the rapids so much we went on three times.

While me and Seth were at the pool Opeie took Mommy for a spot of shopping.

We had planned to drop the bikes back after swimming and drive the car up to the cabin to load our gear in preparation for heading home after lunch. There was a bit of confusion about whether we could drive the car up but a quick trip to the main entrance and they fully explained what to do, The staff at Center Parcs are so helpful. We got back to the cabin as Richard was meeting Rebecca off the land bus so we all arranged to have one last meal together before we made our way home. Mrs M put on a lovely spread and the Beesleys brought some food round too, it turned out being a lovely meal together. They even kindly brought the boys some gifts, not sure how they knew we like spider-man so much? They must have read it somewhere.

After lunch the boys happily played together which was great and we had a brief play at the park before loading the car up. We had had such an amazing weekend. Center Parcs is such a great place for families and has definitely changed my mind about holidays in this country. We are so thankful to the Beesleys and Center Parks for the fun we had but more importantly for bringing our two families together. Who doesn't love new friends. We really hope that at some point in the future we can return the kind gesture and take the Beesley family along with us on something were doing, who knows maybe Center Parks again at some point as there are loads of activities we would love to have a go at.

Thank you Rebecca, Richard, Joshua, Daniel and Trinity you really are a pleasure to spend time with xxx

Check out what Rebecca had to say about our weekend away over at The Beesley Buzz.

1 comment:

The Beesley Buzz said...

that is so utterly lovely!!!! You guys were all amazing - it really is what made our break so very special to meet you!!! I still haven't got around to doing the blog post about us all meeting as I am determined to do a separate one specially about it as it was soooo great to meet you. You have some great photos and I love how you wrote it up in pieces as the time went by - it really brings back all those wonderful memories. Yes we will definitely have to meet up again sometime. xxxx

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