Archives September 2018

Amsterdam Day Trip

This trip was born out of me and Michael deciding where to go on holiday next year. Living under the Luton Airport flight path, Rita loves watching all the planes that come over. Having decided that we won’t be going abroad via a plane next year Michael came up with the idea of going on a day trip to a destination for the day (and also to cut down on costs). Having a browse on a low-cost airline Easyjet appeared to be the best value going to Amsterdam. So we booked it! After, informing a close friend on what we were doing for my birthday her and her daughter also decided to tag along as her girl loves planes also.

2nd October arrived and we had 5 very excited people going to Amsterdam.

We arrived at London Luton Airport where we meet up with Hazel and Ivy (our friends). We had a smooth transition through the airport and boarded our plane. But we did manage to get some beautiful pictures of their first glimpse of the plane we would be travelling on.

The pilot gave a shout out to Rita and Ivy on their first ever flight. Rita loved every moment of the flight from taking off and engines gaining speed, to the clouds and spotting objects on the ground as we descended nearer the airport in Amsterdam.

The passport control in Schiphol Airpot was lovely. Rita and Ivy both got stamps for their passports to remember their first ever ‘trip abroad’.

Once in Amsterdam, we took a simple short train ride to Amsterdam Central Station. The first stop we went to a wonderful little cafe. We then made our way to our pre-booked Canel Cruise operated by Lovers Cruises. The tour was 1 hour which took us along the waterways of Amsterdam. We were informed about the canal flushing, why houses had poles on the outside and why there were many houseboats.

Soon it was time to go home, the time had gone so quickly. There just wasn’t enough time to see everything you wanted. The train back to the airport was busy as it was in the middle of rush hour home. Again, Schiphol was easy to navigate through. Again, the girls managed a final bit of plane spotting before boarding the flight back to London Luton.

Soon, we were back in Luton and the day was over. It was a long day for us all but one of the most enjoyable days we have ever had. Rita now continuously is asking to go back on a plane! So perhaps another day-trip or mini-break might be booked soon.


Butlins Bognor Regis Review

Butlins Bognor Regis

As a family, we recently took a trip to Butlins Bognor Regis. We usually go Butlins Skegness 3/4 times a year so we were excited about exploring this resort. On this trip, we took my husband’s 90-year-old grandad too. Butlins is a family-friendly resort providing a ‘Good value for Money’ Holiday. Bognor Regis is located on British South Coast. On this resort, it has three hotels, apartments and room only accommodation. It provides entertainment for all age ranges and there are different break types available for example ‘Just for Tots Week’. We opted for a ‘Term Time Mid-Week Break’. On this site, it has Skyline, Fairground and Splash Pool as well as various other shops and eateries.

Accommodation

We stayed in the Wave Hotel and Apartments on the Resort and within this, we had a two bedroom apartment. The apartment we were allocated was 533 on the 5th floor with an amazing view overlooking the sea and Butlins. The accommodation was very spacious for a family of four. We had a double and twin bedroom as well as a kitchen and lounge area. Both bedrooms were a good size with storage for all our items. The double room even had a balcony that wrapped around the apartment. The hall had good space to put all our coats, shoes, suitcases and pushchair. The kitchen/lounge area was very generous and any family with children had plenty of room to play and run around. The kitchen had everything you could need to self-cater such as an oven, microwave, dishwasher and utensils.

Eateries

When you book a Butlins holiday you can opt for one of their dining plans (basic or premium dining) or self-cater. Past holidays we usually book the premier dining, however this time we decided to self-cater for ease of pleasing all ages within our party. On the Bognor Regis site, there were lots of places to choose to eat our evening dinner from.

From prior research, we wanted to try “The Diner’ an American themed restaurant. I was very impressed by both the service and quality of food. We were assigned a friendly and welcoming waiter called ‘James’. He was bubbly and gave good recommendations for the food. The food arrived swiftly which was great especially with a 3-year-old. Everyone in our party was amazed by the portion size and value for money. The quality of the Hamburger and Chicken Breast Burgers were fantastic one of the best we have ever had. On receiving the bill at the end of the meal there was a nice touch of a small pot of jelly beans for each of us. This made my child very happy.

As a family, we also tried ‘Papa Johns’ Pizza restaurant. Again were greeted by a friendly and very helpful waitress. This restaurant has two options either an ‘all you can eat buffet’ or a menu you can choose from. The best value for us was an extra large pizza and two sides free though not advertised anywhere!!! Again the food arrived very swiftly, hot and very tasty.

Both restaurants suited everyone in our party that we visited both twice during our stay.

As well as there were numerous other places, for example, Beachcomber and Pub & Kitchen (pub dining), Traditional Fish & Chip Resturant, Burger King, Rosso Lounge, Buffet Resturants (Dining Plan restaurants). Plus numerous cafes, bars and ice cream parlour too.

Entertainment

On the Bognor Regis site, there is a vast amount for all ages to get involved with.

Splash: This is the swimming complex. I was surprised by the size and amenities as they are opening a new swimming pool easter 2019. It had a good range of flumes and slides including ones designed for young toddlers, Jacuzzi area, wave pool and a toddler splash area with slide. My daughter (aged 3) had a good time exploring all of it. The only downside was that it was dated and some of the facilities were no longer working. But this can be overlooked as the new one is opening soon which from the model looks amazing for toddlers, children, teenagers and adults.

Fairground: There are two areas to the fairground. The main part outside and the Little Stars one located inside the Skyline Pavillion. The main one had a good choice of rides from Dodgems, Traditional Carousel, Swing Chairs, Helter Skelter. These are designed for children over 90cm. My daughter spent the majority of her time at the fairground. The Little Stars funfair is designed for under 5’s as adults cannot go on. A good choice of little rides from aeroplanes, Cars and Teacups. The staff are fantastic with the children making them laugh.

Shows

There is a wide variety of daytime and evening shows for all age groups. Daytime entertainment comprises of Teletubbies (Big Party Show), Mr Men & Little Miss, Billy & Bonnie Shows. They are on throughout the day. These are ideal for children under the age of school.

Evening entertainment suits all ages. On our break, it usually started off with the Tots disco in the Skyline followed by a Skyline gang show. The Skyline Gang was excellent watching. The Gang had plenty of energy, enthusiasm and interacted well with the audience. Three out of the four nights there was one of these. Later in the evening, there was a singing act such as Sound of Freddie Mercury, Elton John and Spice Girls Tribute act. Cinderella Rocks in the Pantomime which they are showing for 2018. It was fantastic watching and the great grandad, as well as my 3-year-old, loved it. The cast was amazing and was well acted.

Other evening viewing that was available was Mr Potato Head, Silent Cinema (The Greatest Showman), Dangermouse and game shows.

On special weeks such as ‘Just for Tot’s’ or Summer Break etc they can have headline guest appearances such as Justin Fletcher, Steve Mulhurn, Diversity

Play areas

Inside the Skyline Pavillion, there was a large soft play area. This was split into two areas. One for Children under a metre and ones over a metre. As my daughter is quite small she couldn’t go into the over metre section which was disappointing. At Skegness the soft play is open to all age groups hence more exciting for those children who are slightly shorter.

Throughout the resort, there is a couple of outside play areas. One located by the Pub & Kitchen and the other at the Beachcomber. Both areas have slides and climbing frames.

Activities

Butlins

Bognor had plenty of activities for children, these were a combination of free and some for an extra charge. Free activities included Messey Play designed for under 5’s, Mini Bow, Mini Tennis, Mini Fencing, Fun Football. During the day the children also get the chance to meet their favourite characters.

Paid Activities: Archery (Aged 8+), Precise Target Shooting (12+), Pottery Painting, Adventure Golf, High Robes, Go karts, Segways and Driving School.

Other

Bognor also has a Spa which you could use at an extra cost of £20 for a session. Also available on site is a Hire Hub, A fairy Make-Over shop, Gift Shop, Launderette, Guest Services, Booking Shop and Mini Supermarket for all the essentials.

Summary

  • Great Value for Money
  • Family Friendly
  • Great Location on Sea Front
  • Plenty to do
  • Great choice of accommodation for all budgets
  • Excellent choice and quality of food.

A Little Info about Butlins

  • Butlins Bognor Regis opened 1960
  • 1999 saw the introduction of the Skyline Pavillion
  • 2005 The Shoreline Hotel opened at Bognor Regis, 2009 Ocean Hotel & 2012 Wave Hotel
  • Three Resorts (Skegness, Bognor Regis, Minehead)

To read more about Butlins and book one of their fantastic holiday breaks, please visit the Butlins Website


Who I Am, Where I Am and Why I Am

I am a mum to one beautiful daughter and have a wonderful husband. I also have my fur companion Whisky, a Jack Russell X Dashshund. Since loosing my guinea-pig in 2015 I now foster them for a local charity until they find their forever home.

I’ve got a degree in Tourism Management, and it was in my placement year in London I met my husband Michael. As a commuter people rarly speak to each other on the train, however this man quite smiling to me each morning whilst on the same slog into work. This was in the August when I first started my placement and after a couple of months I never saw him again… until spring April lunchtime. I decided to take a different walk round High Holborn. I was in a world of my own when I accidently bumped into a man which looked strangely familiar. Having taken me a few moments to place this familiar face I remembered it was the man that smiled at me on the train… after exchanging numbers arranged to meet at a bench in Lincoln Inn Fields in Holborn. We then met everyday since on the same bench for the rest of summer until I went back to university. 9 months later Michael took me back to the bench we used to meet at in Lincoln Inn Fields to propose. There was a beautiful plaque asking ‘Will you Marry Me’. After saying yes he whisked me off to one of my favourite places in the world Disneyland Paris, And been together sharing our life journey ever since. The ups and downs of the challenges that came across our path.

When we were young!

Also as part of my degree I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to undertake the Summer Exchange within Walt Disneyworld, Animal Kingdom Tree of Life. I would recommend this programme to any young adult. It was amazing and met some life long friends. I embraced all aspects of the programme ‘graduating from the Disney University’. I got the see any of the evening displays at the parks as well as the July 4th celebration.

After living for a brief period of time in Leicestershire we decided to relocate to Bedfordshire.

we were blessed to find out we were expecting due in January 2015. However, this bought complications during the pregnancy and delivery. During the first scan they informed Michael and I that there was a high nuchal fluid which may have meant a high risk of Downs Syndrome, Edwards or Patau Syndrome. The bloodwork came back we had a one in eight chance of Downs. We had to make the decision whether the risk of miscarriage out weighed the risk of knowing the result. We decided to go ahead and take the risk so we could plan for all eventualities. The results were clear for all syndromes and that we were expecting a girl. I was over the moon as I wanted a girl.

Our beautiful baby girl Rita arrived on the 11th of January 2015.  Weighing 6lb 4oz and perfectly healthy after a 45 minute labour! We got to the hospital with just 2 minutes to spare.

Our beautiful Rita

In my next post, I shall inform you all about the next chapter of our life, dealing with the difficult discovery of my Asherman’s Syndrome.

See you next time!

S x