This week we were off, at home all week. It was um well, great in parts, exhausting and made me even more determined to book another week, actually away!
We decided to break ourselves in gently by having a couple of days “relaxing” at home before organising a few days trips. This sort of worked. We caught up with friends which was lovely and managed to get a few things done in the house. However, Mike and I were on holiday yet for the children it didn’t feel any different – just that there were 2 parents in the house to ask for food! And I realised how hard I find it to actually relax in the house.
So on Wednesday we started our day trips with a long promised visit to Whipsnade for Antonia’s birthday. Of course, we had a to book a slot and all the morning tickets were gone so we had a 2pm entry time. Which would have worked fine until we discovered 30 minutes from home, that two children did not have any shoes on! Cue 20 minutes of attempting to find a “local” shoe shop and eventually running into a Mountain Warehouse get two pairs of shoes. All meaning we arrived at the Zoo about an hour after our slot. Hey ho. This has gone down in Family lore now! It was completely worth it though as the kids loved being around in the open space, racing around trying to spot more animals and just generally being free. And they then particularly enjoyed the rare “treat” of a Burger King at the service station on the way home – er the simple things!!
The next day trip we decided to aim a bit lower and found a National Trust park – Danbury Common – about 45 minutes drive away. It was lovely to get out into a new part of countryside. And although it was super hot the stream and forest helped keep everyone cool. I even managed 15 minutes lying on a picnic blanket under the trees, reading in the sunshine. Yay!
Our final day trip was to the sea. We have all been longing to get to a beach and so decided to aim for Frinton-on-Sea, with about half of the South East of England! It was er busy. And the journey both ways was pretty tortuous. However, the beach was wonderful. The sea was warm, the sun hot, the sand sandy. The kids barely got out of the water all day and it was just really great to be at the beach. I can’t remember the last time I swam in the sea without a wetsuit! Or without shivering on the beach in the wind afterwards. So lovely to feel like we were in a hot country on holiday.
Our week “off” was lovely. Writing this has made me realise how many good moments I remember. And although at the end of each day we still had to come home and empty the dishwasher, the pressure was different. Going out of London was great for us and has really inspired me to make sure we can get away in a couple of weeks again.