We’ve had a very busy week since my last Living Arrows post – last Sunday we drove down to Windsor where we were staying in a hotel for a couple of nights so we could go to Legoland, then on Tuesday we made our way down to Dorset and spent the rest of the week camping…
We hadn’t told Toby and Gabe that we were going to Legoland, mostly in case something Covid-related happened and we ended up not being able to go. I finally caved and told them just before they went to sleep in the hotel the night before we were actually going, but I still don’t think they really knew what to expect!
I’m going to write another post all about our visit to Legoland but safe to say we had a great time. There was quite a lot of queuing and we didn’t manage to make it on to all the rides we wanted to but we were there from the minute the gates opened until the rides closed at the end of the day so we couldn’t have fit in much more!
After Legoland we drove down to Dorset where we were staying on a campsite about 15 minutes outside of Poole. We had a busy few days while we were there. On Wednesday we went to Brownsea Island – my family have always been involved with Scouting so it was really interesting to go to the place where Baden-Powell held the very first Scout camp. Again, I’m planning on writing another post about our visit to Brownsea so I won’t say to much about it here. It was another tiring but enjoyable day though with plenty to do and see on the island.
Brownsea Island is managed by the National Trust and when we arrived we picked up a few different leaflets with trails and activities for the boys to do. One of them was a map of 9 climbable trees on the island with a bit of information about each one. We didn’t find them all but Toby and Gabe had fun climbing the ones we did – Toby in particular has gained so much confidence in the last 6 months, particularly when it comes to climbing things. He was so proud of himself for getting up into this massive oak tree!
On Thursday the rain came so we spent a few hours over a pub lunch then had a very short (and wet) visit to Lulworth Cove. We were pretty lucky with the weather while we were away though – one rainy day in a week isn’t bad for a British summer!
Speaking of rain, we were supposed to be staying in Dorset until Saturday but the forecast for Saturday morning was thunderstorms and heavy rain so we decided to pack up on Friday instead – nobody likes taking a tent down in the rain!
We packed almost everything on Friday morning, just leaving the tent up to dry out after a bit of overnight rain, then we went to spend the day at Monkey World. My mum and dad have been to Monkey World loads of times – in fact they had been there just the week before us. My mum has been watching the TV show about it for years and sponsors one of the orangutans so we couldn’t really be so close without visiting ourselves.
It was quite busy, and Gabe particularly was feeling tired after a week of busy days and late nights, so there was a bit of moaning from the boys. It didn’t help that they had to wear masks while we were there too which they’ve never really had to do for any length of time before.
We all enjoyed seeing all the different primates though and I think we all decided that Peanut and Pung-Yo, the golden-cheeked Gibbons were our favourites!
After our day at Monkey World we went back to the campsite to take the tent down and finish packing before going to the pub for our tea. We got to the boys into their pyjamas in the pub carpark ready for the long drive home. We left Dorset at 7 pm and finally made it home at 1 am after learning a lesson (which we should already know to be honest) that you should never just blindly follow the Google Maps directions!
Anyway, we all had a really good holiday, there wasn’t even that much sibling bickering for once! After the last 18 months it was just nice to have an actual holiday that, apart from a bit of mask wearing, felt about as close to normal as it could be.
We’ve got a few things planned for the second half of the school holidays – the boys are doing a couple of days at holiday clubs, and both Barry and I are having weekends away on our own. I’m going to Windermere next weekend for a couple of nights in a B&B on my own and a day at a yoga retreat and I can’t wait!
I hope you’re all enjoying your summer holidays whether you’re at home or going away somewhere. And if you’re struggling with having the kids at home – we’re half way there, they’ll be back at school before you know it!
This is my ninth year taking part in this linky celebrating childhood, based on a poem by Kahlil Gibran, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” .
If you’d like to see the rest of my Living Arrows posts you can find them all here.