Showing posts with label #FAMILYFUN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #FAMILYFUN. Show all posts

Friday, 13 December 2019

- Portugal -

Back in August, the younger three minibeasts all had their very first trip abroad.
We flew off to Portugal, for a massive family holiday. 
We went with my parents, my brother and his family and my cousin.

We re-booked a villa that we had hired 10 years ago and surprisingly nothing much had changed, apart from we took up more space this time thanks to the additions of all the new children.


The villa was in Moledo,  which is in the North of Portugal.
Filled with beautiful beaches and friendly people


Having our own villa meant we could do what we liked and when we liked. 
The boys all need feeding pretty much non stop or they get hangry, so not having to wait for set meal times worked for us.

As I'm talking about Villas, did you know that Clickstay has 75,000 Villas worldwide to choose from!
Amongst those 75,000 there are some amazing villas in Portugal, which could help you plan your very own Portugues villa holiday.

There was a local supermarket that we all enjoyed visiting, especially the boys as they loved looking at all the fresh fish on offer and all the different sort of sweets and snacks Portugal had compared to back home.

Moledo had lots of different bars and restaurants which we could walk to from our villa, a couple of mornings as we were up before everyone else the boys and I would walk down to one of the favourite bars and they'd all have pancakes for breakfast whilst I enjoyed a nice strong Portuguese coffee.
The bar also had a very long Gin list that Kelly, my mum and I tried to work our way through.
Pretty sure we nearly succeeded too. 


Being within walking distance of two different beaches we thought we'd probably spend most of our time down on one of them, but the kids loved being by the pool and playing hide and seek in the garden.

The kids pretty much took the lead on how the day would fold out and we were all pretty happy with that, if the kids wanted to stay by the pool there were enough adults to keep an eye out if some others wanted to go into town and do a little bit of exploring.


One of the best things about the villa was that the wifi wasn't on and the TV didn't have any signal which meant the kids couldn't get sucked into screen time and they actually spent most of their downtime colouring in or making up games to play together.
It was great to see them all having fun together without the aid of a console or iPad in their hands.



Towards the end of the holiday, we heard about a festival going on in a nearby town, so we packed up the van and headed over to Viana Do Castelo and witness their amazing Feasts of Nossa Senhora da Agonia.


The Feast of Senhora da Agonia is probably the most famous pilgrimage in the region.
 It is celebrated over the weekend after 15 August (day of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin), and usually includes ethnographic parades, processions on land and processions on the River Lima with decorated boats. The streets along which the religious procession passes carrying the image of the Virgin are decorated with carpets of flowers.

The cult devoted to Senhora da Agonia dates back to the 18th century. It is associated with the devotion of the people engaged in fishing, who gave thanks or celebrated the graces received in times of trouble during storms and shipwrecks.






We all loved the drumming and the boys loved watching the groups dance around the square.
The drumming was so loud we could hear it even when we were down by the river.
It was an amazing day out and one I'm sure the boys won't forget any time soon.






The boys spent two weeks perfecting their dive bombs and learning to swim in the sea, eating fancy fish meals that my brother who is a trained chef lovingly cooked up for them.
They learned little snippets of Portuguese which Rupert loved showing off to the locals.
They spent two weeks with their cousins who they hardly see since we moved away from London.
We had midnight parties where they all showed off their very amusing dance skills.

We left our normal day to day routine back at home and the boys took a while to adjust but it was lovely to be stress-free and soaking up the sun rays whilst the boys all had a blast just being kids!




I definitely feel villa holidays are for us, as we just wouldn't even fit into one hotel room.
I feel there's more freedom with a villa holiday.


Do you prefer a Villa holiday or are you an all-inclusive holidayer?

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Day Out // ... Mountfitchet Castle ...


During our half term, Noah went off on holiday with his cousin Sam glamping in Lincoln so we were down one kid.
I was pretty much working every day but on the two days off I had we decided we do something a little bit different and go a tad further afield. 

So on Tuesday my first day off, we jumped in the car and headed to Essex.
Two hours later we were at Mountfitchet Castle.


Mountfitchet Castle is a unique time capsule.

With its commanding position overlooking the Stort Valley, the Castle is situated on its original site which is steeped in history.
Formerly an Iron Age hill fort, this historic site was also a Roman signals fort and later a Saxon and Viking settlement before being attacked in 1066 by William the Conqueror who built a wooden Motte and Bailey castle here.
Mountfitchet Castle was also briefly used by the Royalist Army to King Charles in the English Civil War (17th C). 
The Royalist forces held out at the castle when they were laid Siege to by Cromwell.
The grounds were cleared to reveal the original earthworks and mounds and after years of battling with planners, in 1980 the work began to reconstruct Mountfitchet Castle. After many years of work, the restoration of Mountfitchet Castle was completed and was opened to the public in 1985 and is unique as being the only wooden Motte and Bailey reconstruction on its original site anywhere in the world.
This historic castle enables the visitor to travel back in time to 1066 Norman England. Explore the Castle and roam through the Norman Village hidden behind the castle walls, wander in and out of the many houses and view the scenes, smell the log fires burning and experience the ambience of an ancient bygone lifestyle. A living history, hands-on and interactive experience.




We started off in the Toy Museum and Haunted house, we all really loved seeing all the toys, the boys all loved the Star Wars and Doctor Who collections.

The boys, however, weren't so keen on the Haunted House, Alex even cried halfway through! 
So we quickly turned on our phone lights and zoomed them through to the otherside.
Once through they all cheered up.
*









When we arrived there was a school trip going on, so the grounds were full of children, but it didn't phase the boys and they got on with what they wanted to do.
The school kids were all very polite.

After lunch, the school kids all went back to school and the grounds became very empty, the boys pretty much had free range.

We went back around so the boys could do some bits that they had missed, like go inside the jail and play with the mills.

Also, once the school kids had gone the Deer came out to play!
They were super friendly and even fed straight from our hands.
That was probably my favourite part of the day.














Mountfitchet Castle is definitely worth a visit with the kids.




The staff were all really helpful and friendly.
We had a fab time and will probably go back again with Noah.



Friday, 18 October 2019

... Pumpkin Patch Fun ...

Hellooooooo.

Yes, I know I've been away for well over a year, but I'm back now!

I had a break from the blog as life got a little bit hectic with work, Uni and family life.
A lot has happened in the past year and I will write a proper catch up about all of that in another blog post.
But for now, this is just a short one about our fun at a pumpkin patch over at Undley Farm in Suffolk.



The boys have always enjoyed visiting Pumpkin patches and we did it a few times when we lived in Kent but have never done it since we moved to Norfolk.
Last year we grew our own in the garden so there was no real need to go and buy them.
 This year however only two grew in the garden, and after seeing a friend post some pictures I knew the boys would enjoy it. 


It only took an hour for us to get there, most of the drive it was chucking it down, but fortunately for us, the weather dried up as we arrived.
The inflatables weren't on as it was too wet but the boys weren't really too bothered by that, as there was plenty of other things to do once we had finished pumpkin hunting. 




We each picked a pumpkin each and then we decided to get a massive white pumpkin for the whole family.
I think it will look pretty awesome once it's carved.


In total we spent just under £30 on a ridiculous amount of pumpkins as Ru sneaked in some diddy ones towards the end.

I now need to think up lots of uses for the pumpkins we aren't going to carve.
If you have any good pumpkin recipes I would love to know.


Happy Pumpkin Picking if you're heading off to a patch this weekend.