Thursday, 28 September 2017

Meccano, is it just for children?

As usual at the moment things are hectic around the house, so I was so happy to give my Meccano off road racer to TJ for a little space. 
This will be the first time TJ or myself have ever made a Meccano model and my first thoughts were that it looked quite easy and once the model had been finished he could build another one of the twenty-five models.


Emptying all the pieces into the box so nothing is lost, I left TJ in charge of putting together the first few pages of the book. With 406 pieces I thought this may take him a while to complete. 



Finding the pieces and slowly and carefully putting the screws and nuts together. By step 10 TJ was fed up so I took over. Twenty minutes later my fiddly fingers found it difficult to place small nuts around the screws. Finally I gave in and started looking at the tools properly. It was then that i realised that the monkey wrench had various purposes. 


The instructions are clear, and with the picture of the screws and a 1:1 picture of each screw that is needed on the each instruction. The Meccano is built out of black plastic or metal and each piece has a place to go.


 After three nights of spending a little time and doing 6 instructions a time I still haven't finished.


I'm loving the fact that this isn't just a 5 minute job and that it is taking time to build. I like to take my time making things and love a good jigsaw puzzle so this is right up my alley. 
Although TJ has lost interest I'm enjoying making it as it's helping keep my mind off of some family problems of late. 


Monday, 3 July 2017

Lemur Landings Re- Launch

When I said to TJ Lemur Landings at Tower Park Poole was re - launching a updated version of the fantastic indoor play area he bounced around the room saying he wanted to go.
Keeping in mind TJ is now 9 years old and very excited to be going.

When arriving we had a meet and greet with two very cheeky and fun Pirate Lemurs. Lewey and Lola characters were so much fun they had me in giggles of laughter throughout the  time we were with them.  

The new Play village was so much fun although its for small children I had more fun dashing in and out a pretending to be different shop owners and the police. 


Next was the climbing wall with four different sections and light up steps reaching a height of 5 metres. 
There is a weight allowance minimum being 2st and maximum being 17st. 
The best part about the wall is being able to race others to the top and hit the button to stop the timer.
When it's quiet you can have as many goes as you want although when it busy there is a token system working.


TJ was to big to go on the smaller child's adventure area, which looked like so much fun.
The area was raised from the ground and the children had to wear harnesses  




Pizza was served as food at the re-launch and I have to say it was better then Pizza hut's. Our favorite flavor was the BBQ chicken and sweetcorn.  
The pizza's had plenty of cheese and lots of flavor. 













Sunday, 11 June 2017

Day Two Discovery Cove...


What we took with us in our rucksack today: 
*Mobile phone charger.
*Waterproof case for phone.
* Change of clothes.
*Discovery cove cup.

When entering Discovery cove the walk is so peaceful and care free.
Booking is a must and I would recommend to anyone to go. 
The price of the ticket weather you pay to swim with the dolphins or not, includes 14 consecutive  day tickets to Seaworld and Aquatica (you can also pay to upgrade and include Busch Gardens) with free car parking. I fyou choose to go with out discovery ticket passes it costs $18 - $20 a day.

Meet and greet with Lucy the sloth.
 Again this morning we were up super early and got to Discovery Cove for 8.15am. 
There is a buffet that is through out the day providing various foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The food is served from 8.30am - 4.30pm every day.
Not only is there a buffet restaurant there are snack area's  throughout the park which serve snacks and drinks.

First to be in the pool.
We ate breakfast and headed to the locker area's to get sun creamed up and to place the important things in the lockers. These are also free of charge. The sun cream is animal friendly and very thick to put on but works a treat. 

Once the water was tested and we were allowed into the lazy river there was no stopping us.
Bird aviaries here we come. 




Although I loved just sitting and floating and just relaxing through out the day. TJ started to get bored. ( There's only so many times a 9 year old child can go round the lazy river by himself).
After the first attempt to get TJ to come in the ray lagoon with me, where he freaked out really badly and ended up hurting my arms. We gave it a miss till he'd calmed down.



 After another trip around the lazy river it was lunch time.
Now this I've been looking forward to for months as I love their cheesecake and strawberries!

After Lunch there was lots more time to relax and venture around the whole park including a slow walk / swim over the reef. 


 Such an amazing day was had at Discovery Cove and we cannot wait to go again but until then I have so many brilliant memories that I won't be forgetting in a hurry.





Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Day One, Our first full at Disney World


We took in the rucksack today: 

*Poncho's - always carry these no matter what the weather!
* Two frozen water bottles - yes you can get it free in the parks but you have to queue.
*Snacks in pots -strawberries and raspberries.
*Plasters. 
*Sun Cream. 
*Two Autograph books - carried ours in a zip lock bag in case it rained.
* Two sharpies Pens different colors.

Also made a note of where we parked and took a photo from the rear of the car (for the plate and car make and model for if we got lost). Trust me it's horrible if you get lost at Disney World car park!


 I don't think we've ever been so excited to be anywhere as much as we were today. TJ and I were up and out of the hotel room by 7am, arriving on Disney Property before anyone else! I think there were about 15 cars in the parking lot which all belonged to security or cast members i'm assuming.


We got to the parking lot before the ticket booths had opened and very naughtily skipped paying the entrance fee. $20 saved to buy a special treat for TJ for the day. 


  We parked near to the preferred parking area in the row 204 which worked out as being less then 100 steps to the little under pass.
 We slowly walked to bag check at the entrance of the monorail and boat dock area at the ticket and transportation centre. 
The security officers were still setting up for the day ahead. we chatted to a family of 6 that were originally from Utah and discussed the 9 hour flight from Gatwick to MCO compared to their 2 hour flight. It was nice chatting to them and whenev er we saw them throughout the day we'd wave and say hello to each other.

Before the Grand Floridian of the Lake and Contemporary Resort. 
Once through bag check we headed to the docks to be told the boats weren't open for another hour so we hopped on the monorail that goes to all the hotels.
The views from the monorail were lovely. 
The Grand Floridian and wedding chapel.
By the time we'd gotten to the park entrance scanned our wrist bans and took a few photos before the park opened there were around 5 families waiting along side us.
TJ found a nice shady spot near the maps and we relaxed for 10 minutes before being told that we could walk down Main Street USA. 
TJ and I skipped down Main Street to take a few selfies with no one else in the way of the castle, it actually brought tears to my eyes that we were finally here!
At this point of the morning we both decided we were hungry so I checked the Disney App to see if there were any spaces for breakfast at Crystal palace. I love This restaurant not only because of the all you can eat buffet but for the character meet and greet. 

Again we were among the first families in the park, which was brilliant as we were the third in line to be sat down at the restaurant. 
When you arrive be sure to get your autograph books and pens out ready as the characters will sign and take photo's . 
TJ had a home made atougraph book with each characters picture and name on so all that needed to be done was find the page and take the photograph.
Tigger is still the best character to meet in Crystal palace as he always seems the most energetic and interacts with bouncing and playing whist he is greeting guests.


After  eating we ventured our way to Adventure land to get to Pirates Of The Carribean, Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. I'd used the Disney App to book fast passes for Thunder Mountain, Speed way and Buzz Lightyears space blast rides. 
Managing to go on the busiest rides all before 11am is such an achievement in Magic Kingdom. So we were both really happy.
Taking time out from the hustle and bustle we queued for the transit authority ride which is so relaxing and noticed Buzz Lightyear signing autographs below - our next stop.

Our first evening in Orlando


We stayed at the Ramada Gateway on West Irlo Bronson Highway. Although not the most expensive or the best that money could buy, TJ and myself loved every minute of being there.
Check in went smoothly and so did finding our corner room. Expecting the room to be smaller then a postage stamp like all the English hotels, we were shocked to find our room had 4 rooms. Bathroom, wash area, bedroom and a kitchen area which consisted of a mini fridge (with a freezer), coffee machine and storage along with a dining room table.
The room was awesome and soon after we found we'd opened the cases blew up the pool toys and went into the pool to relax for a short while. 
Before I realized it was almost 9.30pm and our first day in Orlando was almost over.


Quick stop at the local Dollar tree to get the basics ( plastic bowls, bottles of water, spoons and a carton of milk). Dollar tree is about a 8 minute drive away making it easy to get to and even better when Super Target and Publix is opposite and next door.
Publix next to buy some snacks for the parks and basic food to eat in the room - of course Chips Ahoy original and m&m's were on my must have list.


Back to the pool again to eat in the warm air and bed. 

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Thomas cook flight to Orlando MCO

Our check in with Thomas Cook didn't quite go as smoothly as I'd liked the food for the flight, extra clothes I'd packed for my son just in case and the book took us over the weight limit for his back pack. Despite saying the food would be eaten for breakfast the check in lady was having non of it. Asking me to remove it. I found it really distressing given the fact that on the sheet in front of her it also stated we had a disabled allowance. But it made no odds. After placing a few more items in to the suitcase and carrying the food in the carrier bag it was in we were allowed to go.
I know it's their job to ensure that the weights are correct but I think what annoyed me the most was the condescending tone. 


 During the 9 hour flight, we saw a lot of sea and beaches off of the coast of England and the US.

The food was served up around 2 hours into the flight and first round of free drinks within an hour and a half. The choices of drinks were tea, coffee, water or orange juice. There was the choice off buying an alcoholic drink which wasn't too expensive.


TJ's meal was served hot with hard bread roll, butter, a dark chocolate pudding.
I was surprised when he ate all the pasta.


After eating his pasta he then ate my sausages and mash potato. These were again served hot with the additional extras. I managed to try some of the sausages and they were very nice. Highly recommend to any flyers.
The movie choice for the basic package wasn't the best as there was a choice of 2 movies. and 4 television shows. Luckily I took my tablet with a few movies and other shows I wanted to watch on.
TJ read and colored in for an hour then re-watched the same movie he'd already watched again. Guess he must've liked Rio. 



View from the plane of Kennedy space centre was spectacular. 



The staff were lovely and couldn't help out any more with TJ then they did.
We sat the last row of the plane on the left hand side and found there was plenty of leg room. So much so TJ colored on the floor beneath the seat for a little while.
The onscreen map we found brilliant as it kept us up to date with time to land and all other flight details such as speed, temperature and distance travelled.

For the price of the flight I was extremely happy and glad I saved the extra pounds for spending on various other treats over the holiday.

The beginning of the holiday starts TODAY!!

After months of planning the holiday started and better yet the boy still doesn't know.
After finishing school and saying bye to everyone (not forgetting the dogs) for our one night away, we were off two suitcases, two backpacks and one teddy bear named Threadbear.

Two hours and 18 minutes we were pulling in the valet parking at Gatwick airport which is a breeze to find and even easier to find a place to park. 
Once parked we emptied the car of any food and bags and headed to the desk to leave the keys and sign the forms. Unknown to me until this point I could've had my car cleaned inside and out for when we returned at a small extra cost. This would've been perfect if I hadn't had it clean the day before we left Poole. 
The check in to the valet took less then five minutes with minimum paperwork to fill in as it had previously been booked.
When staying at the Bloc hotel, and booking valet parking make sure you ask as you can get 10% off the total.

The Bloc Hotel.
 After Walking across the road and the terminal building we were on a roll with two bags each to manage. Finding the hotel entrance was really easy although the signage was a little confusing to begin with as TJ read it as go straight and not up the escalator.
Once at the top of the escalator the Bloc Hotel is on your left.

 The small reception that looked like a small cosy box to two very nice staff, who were very helpful and polite. Whilst one distracted TJ I found the paperwork to check in, and was directed towards the elevators and room. The elevators will only work with the room keys when trying to access different floors which we didn't realise for a few moments. 

Along the corridor and to the end we walked and accessed our room which had a fantastic view of the runways. 

The room was lovely and clean with a double bed fitted in an alcove area, a television built in to the wall at the foot at head height. One of the ceiling lights is along the far wall of the bed which I found to be bright even though it was a purple color.

The bathroom was a wet room which I didn't realise had two different showers. The showers are controlled by the same tap and whilst investigating the taps I managed to get soaked in the process. 






The tablet that is on the wall by the bed controls the lights all around the room and the thermostat.

 

Checking out of the hotel was as easy as ABC gather your things, head down the elevator and drop your key in the box by reception. 

This was a lot less stressful then any other hotel I've stayed in the night before. Next time I go away I'm definitely booking to stay again.