Wednesday 22 March 2017

"My dreams were at once more fantastic and agreeable than my writings."

I've started so many of our blog posts off with "Home schooling is amazing" or words to that effect. When we first made the decision to educate Opeie from home I knew it was going to be the right decision and I had my romantic ideas about what it was going to be like, but nothing really prepared me for the fun and excitement that was going to happen from that first term. Having control over how your child learns is really empowering and although I still have my 'Should I be doing more?' moments occasionally, Opeie's interest in everything and his happy, confident personality says it all, we definitely made the right decision.

Last week was one of those awesome opportunities and Opeie and I jumped at the chance to spend a few days in Bournemouth. I'd never been before and I love going anywhere new. Opeie, like myself, really enjoys our 'adventuring in a new city' routine, spending a day or two before researching the area to find out where we can visit. It doesn't always turn out how he plan and we definitely aim to cram a lot more into our days than we can physically achieve but it is always good to have a list of places to hand that are of interest to us.

It was our first time staying in an Airbnb and to be honest I was a little nervous. I'm definitely a fan of having my own space and I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about being in someone else's home. It turns out though that Uli and her daughter Eva that we were staying with were awesome and really made us feel at home, we had only been there about an hour and we were Micro scooting along the promenade with Eva, which was great.

Our plan (as always) was to make full use of those amazing wheels of ours and have a Micro scooting break. We had planned out rough routes between all of the places we wanted to visit and after chatting to Uli added in a few more that didn't pop up on '20 things to do in Bournemouth'. It's always handy to chat to the locals. I wanted to take full advantage of being on the coast with the scooters so on the first evening there I decided to venture out alone to see what was going on. Turns out nothing was, Boscombe was so quiet. I scooted along the promenade for 5 miles and then up a hill and 5 miles back along the street, it was so peaceful.

The following morning we kicked off our itinerary with a visit to Oceanarium which was great as it was on the seafront and was surrounded by lots of space to scoot. Opeie is a huge fan of penguins and could have happily sat there for the afternoon watching them. There was something about visiting an aquarium right next to the sea that made it that little more magical for him.

Opeie had never been on a pier before so being able to scoot along it, out over the sea was really exciting. The weather was a little overcast but nothing was getting in the way of our fun.

One of the great things about Bournemouth and the surrounding area is there are so many places to take fun pictures. Everywhere you look there is something that can be used as an interesting backdrop.

While chatting to Uli on our first night there, she told us that Mary Shelley was buried at St. Peters church in the centre of Bournemouth. I was surprised that that hadn't popped up on our Search when researching the area. That night as Opeie fell asleep pretty early I lay in bed and read up on Mary Shelley and her interesting life. As we were scooting through the town I filled Opeie in on some macabre stories and we visited the tomb. I'm not sure it was the highlight of Opeies scooting adventure but he was definitely interested in the story of her husbands heart.

We had made the mistake of driving into the main area of Bournemouth in the morning after, getting stung by the parking charges. What we didn't realise until we got back to Boscombe that afternoon was that we could scoot from Boscombe pier to Bournemouth pier (roughly 1.5 miles). So that's exactly what we did that afternoon, stopping off at the beach to build sand castles and splash in the sea. That evening we went out to dinner with friends which was great. Opeie was shattered by the time we got back and went straight to sleep, surprisingly I followed soon after.

The following morning, after a recommendation from our friend Duncan we drove over to Hengistbury head. Opeie had packed his Binocs (as he likes to call them) for a spot of nature watching and while heading there we drove past a juggling shop, so we popped in and picked up a frisbee (I used to love playing frisbee when I was younger). Hengistbury head was very windy but it was beautiful. I'm not sure Opeie was impressed by the 3.3 mile walk and in hindsight, we should have grabbed the scooters to take the edge off, this was made worse when we saw our only other Micro scooter of the trip whizz past us (I think we need them permanently attached to us).

By the time we got back to the car Opeie had only one thing on his mind, eating chips on the beach (which has become a tradition with every beach trip). We sat on the beach for ages just chatting about all sorts, Opeie as always had a barrage of questions and I did my best to answer them (Google may have backed me up though). With only a few hours left before we headed home, I asked my little sidekick what he wanted to do? "Can we get some nuts please dad?" The day before we had watched a lady in the pleasure gardens feeding the squirrels, who were very tame and climbing all over her, Opeie wanted some of that action so we bought a big bag of monkey nuts and headed to a squirrel heavy grassy area. 

Opeie was in his element and would have happily sat there for hours feeding them one at a time. I tried my best to coax them on to the scooter for a shot but they were having none of it. They were so gentle the way they put their paws on our hands to take the nuts. This was the perfect way to end our three days in Bournemouth.

As always our adventure was amazing and our fun time was magnified by the magic of Micro scooters. I often wonder how we ever got by without those awesome wheels of ours. Well, it's definitely getting warmer which means one thing for Opeie and I... Camping scooter trips. I can't wait to start pitching that tent of ours, so stay tuned for more scooting fun over the coming weeks.

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