Sorry, me again, boring the pants off you with my hoards of holiday snaps. This is part two (of TWO. I promise!), where we travelled from Santa Barbara up the Big Sur coastline to San Fransisco. If you’re thinking of a trip to California, this route would be top of my list. San Fransisco is beautiful. And expensive ($15 dollars for a Toblerone. Wowzers.)
See ya next time, summer holidays.
This summer has been so busy for us. We’ve not spent a huge amount of time in Brighton without plans. We’ve been clinging onto the last days of summer for a few weeks now and have been in that funny limbo state between the holidays and the start of school. We have had no routine and haven’t known what day it is, and it’s all about to change again on Wednesday. Wednesday is Harper’s first day of school. Big milestone.
As a final hooray before the reality of school kicks in, we went camping with Harper’s bestie and her family. Now I’m not a camper by nature. The only time I went as a kid was with the Girls Guides, when I got food poisoning and had to go home early. Not the best track record. Last year was the first time I’d been as an adult and with the kids. We went down to Devon very unprepared, without a coat, wellies or a hairbrush. So this year I was totally all over it and made sure I packed my winter coat and wellies.
We’ve spent most of the summer in anywhere but Brighton trying to cram in as much fun before Harper starts school in September. We spent a week in a cottage in Pembrokeshire with my brother and his girlfriend, both of whom the kids adore. I think they actually love them more than us at times!! I tend to be really snap-happy on holiday (who am I kidding, I’m like that all the time!) and shared the first part of the holiday in my last Life In Pictures.
A few weeks ago we thought it would be an excellent idea to drive hundreds and hundreds of miles from one side of the country to the other for a little break. We’re trying to fit in as many breaks with Harper as we can before she starts on her school adventure in September.
So we packed up pretty much all our belongings and drove six hours to Pembrokeshire for a week in a cottage with my brother Darren and his girlfriend Katie. We went to Cornwall with them last summer and thought we’d scared them off holidaying with us because of the lack of sleep. Luckily they were up for more fun this year. I’ve not been to Wales since I went to university in Cardiff and met some of the best people in my life there.
Before Harper starts school in September, I wanted to make sure we went abroad with her before we got stuck in the vortex of school holiday prices… and to spend a bit of quality time together! So last year, after hearing two mums chatting outside of ballet class about their Disney holiday plans, I thought this would be the perfect little trip to go on before the summer holidays started. My husband, however, did not.
So it turns out my kids are bonkers about ice cream. Grayson claims his best friends are inanimate objects – ice cream and onions are his two current favourites. He quite often wakes up really early (sometimes at 4am – tell me this ends at some point) and asks if it’s ice cream time. So when the sun’s shining and we’re at the beach, it’d be rude not to have an ice cream…or two.
So, something big happened recently. We entered a new phase in our family life, and started leaving the house without a buggy, a suitcase-sized changing bag and four coats. And it felt good. Grayson has decided that he’s a big boy who doesn’t need a buggy, and now wants to scoot everywhere. So that’s exactly what we did recently.
Hasn’t the weather been c-r-a-z-y this week. Coats on one minute, then Factor 50 the next, and a total wash-out yesterday. Our Bank Holiday was a long weekend of broken-down cars, sickness bugs and a combined number of hours of sleep you could count on just one hand. We had Nanna and Grandpa coming down for a visit and we showed them a rather wet time in the car park of Halfords. So this Life in Pictures is nothing to do with this weekend, but instead a recent visit to their home in Norfolk!
It gets to this time of year and our Instagram feed is filled up with beautiful bluebell fields with shots of angelic children standing in those fields, looking serene. After trying for two years to get said shots, last year we walked away vowing never again – but surprise surprise we ended up there again a few weeks ago.
I’m always intrigued by how families spend their weekends. As we don’t have DIY to be getting on with or a garden that needs much attention, if any, we tend to pack our weekends with day trips, so it’s a bit of a break from the humdrum of the week. Saturdays are always hectic with classes and chores, so Sunday is our day-tripping day (that is unless Tia and I are working together!)
As soon as the sun comes out and Spring hits, I get itchy feet to go and embrace the season and get out of the house. We’ve done just that over the Easter holidays so this week’s Life in Pictures is a little bit of a bumper one!
Our first stop was Kew Gardens to see the blossom. It’s such a cliche to say but it is one of my favourite sights and it’s somewhere we try to visit a few times a year. I’m not sure if it’s the long drive to get there but one of the kids is always in a grump and this time it was Grayson’s turn.
A few weeks ago it was Harper’s 4th birthday and we celebrated with a superhero-themed party. She’s been planning her party since her 3rd birthday, so it felt like it was a long time coming. And the day before, I came down with a terrible virus, so the whole experience was a slightly surreal, medication-fuelled riot!
These pics are from a little trip we took to Eastbourne last week to see a show with the kids. A show which started at 7pm. Which could have been VERY STUPID. But turned out to be… only a bit stupid. They go to bed at 7pm normally, so I was dreading a tiredness induced shit fit mid performance. But luckily, it went the opposite way and my youngest sat dopily on my lap the whole way through. I love Eastbourne, there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about it. Proper English Seaside, with all the cheesy chintzy stuff that goes with it.
So I’m writing this post a week late. It was Harper’s birthday a week and a bit ago and since then I’ve been stuck in bed with a bug – I nearly didn’t even make it to her birthday party. But for her actual birthday (before the sickness struck) she had a long list of things she wanted to do to celebrate. These included, quote, “having breakfast in bed, riding a horse like a cowboy, playing mini golf, eating ice-cream on the beach, going to Disneyland, speaking French and eating cake”. We had a busy day ahead…