April Adventures – Play dates, picnics, cake and cars.

I owe two weeks worth of April Adventures… I literally can’t wait to tell you all about what I’ve been up to and the reason I didn’t upload last week.

Let’s rewind back to February. My little nephew randomly asked to go and sleep at one of my friends house for his birthday. I say a friend but definitely more of an extended member of our family and she has a very big fan in my nephew!

It took a bit of organising with so much happening in his, mine and her life at the time – we were literally trying to work out what would be the first weekend we could take him to stay and that happened on 14th April. It was the Easter holidays from school so it meant I could go and pick him up on the Friday afternoon and give him the VIP package for his weekend. We started with playing with the “grown up” lego (basically the lego digger from his uncles collection). Then once Dan had gone to work (night shift) we played on the piano and painted a pot dinosaur money box before having a yummy tea and getting PJs on ready for a snuggled evening. I made up a bowl of treats for a “midnight feast” (which happened at about 8:30pm) to eat in bed and after brushing teeth I read him the Mr Adventure book from the Mr Men series. I honestly have never had to calm a child down before bed due to the huge surged of excited fidgeting. It just warmed my soul to see him to happy.

On Saturday we set off once Dan was awake and the car packed. Serena (our friend) lives in Milton Keynes so we had a very VERY excited young man in the car on the road trip. After 30 minutes we started to hear “Are we there yet” – by the time we got there I was super happily purely because I didn’t have to hear it another time haha. Little B (nephew) found a new favourite song on the way, it was the George Esra ‘Paradise’. He made us play it on loop three times while he tried to sing along (he even tried to deepen his voice to sound like George. – Brilliant!) There was another ‘favourite’ which we had to play looped but I have totally forgotten which one it was.

As soon as we got to MK, Serena was waiting to pounce on us and give the biggest hugs and little B thought it was amazing to see her, her house and Josh the dog!

After a very quick picnic pack up, we headed out to Salcey Forest. We couldn’t have picked a nicer weekend to go… the sun was out, the forest was filled with the sounds of families having fun and I have to admit that the muddy adventure was just so much fun. We did the tree top walk and B thought it was really funny to jump on the walk way to make the wood wobble. On the way, he walked along the trees that had falled/been chopped down. He sat in a den and we played stepping stones across the huge puddles and drain aways. I have to say I thought it was as much fun as B did. I don’t think Serena and I have ever relived being children together… well actually, it was better than being a child because we could fully appreciate the adventure in the eyes of a child and as an adult. Dan was awesome! He went trough a huge mud pit so he could hold B’s hand as he walked along a tree… something that I definitely didn’t have the balls to do! I have one favourite memory of this day. It was the laughter we had testing out which logs to step on to go through what I can only describe as a mud swamp! It was hilarious. Every slip and “oooh” made us all giggle so much. It was especially funny when Josh wanted to go one specific way which us humans definitely didn’t want to go… guess who got that privilege? Dan! The ultimate outdoors legend, Dan did! Ha.

We had such a lovely time out in the fresh air here. It’s my second time going to Salcey forest and I definitely want to make going there a “thing”.

Following our trip here, we went back to Serena and Josh’s house for a bit of a rest and down time before we got pjs on, put clothes on top and headed to the beautiful setting of Willen Lake for a sparky night. This location is soooo close to where Serena lives and it is absolutely stunning! We went to A Pizza This (read the reviews about them here). I have to say, it is such a fabulous idea and makes for a stunning location to have some really lovely food. The fab lady gave us a fleece blanket to snuggle in when it fell a little chilly. We all enjoyed our pizza and garlic bread from them. I mean, what’s more perfect than a sparky night eating a delicious fresh stone baked pizza and garlic bread, drinking a can of San Pelligrino sparkling limonata by a beautifully lit lake with some of my most favourite people? No words!

Serena and I enjoyed a glass of gin and tonic/lemonade once the boys had gone to bed. Dan was so shattered after such a busy day straight from a night shift.

We decided to have a fairly relaxed morning to start the day on Sunday. Serena, Dan and B took josh for his morning walk (in their pjs). This was helpful for me to recharge a little bit. Call it damage limitations.

Serena had planned for us to have our next adventure to a farm park. Rookery open farm. OH MY GOSH I don’t even know where to start talking about this place… firstly let me tell you that if you have children who love animals and adventure play then GO! It is brilliant value for money, you can even take your own picnic and eat it in shelter or out on a picnic table. I want to go back there every week! It’s the only farm that I’ve been to where you can go in and hold/stroke the animals. We got to hold young kids (the goat variety, not human children – that would be odd), stroke and feed huge rabbits, feel the texture of lamb fleece and play with piglets… I mean… ABSOLUTELY NO WORDS! Little B is very used to rural/farm life and loves it but on this trip, his favourite things were to climb the huge (assault course) climing frame in the soft play and bounce on the “bouncylenes” (bouncy casltles). He faced a bit of a dilemma with the ride on equipment (slightly too big for the diggers but slightly too small for the go carts) but still really loved them, especially when Uncle Dan was providing the power and speed! There’s a smaller area of park equipment outside too which was lovely for him to play on as he was the only child using it at that time.

I think Serena’s favourite thing was to bop the piglets on the nose (they liked it). Dan’s was playing with the piglets and mine was stoking and cuddling the kids. It was a whole sensory overload of cuteness.

I found the soft play area difficult to cope with because it was so so loud (as you can expect) so it was a lot for me to deal with and being responsible for B and trying to keep a track on where he was, was a lot for me to deal with because of my brainy stuff but I managed and it really was the most wonderful day. Find a date in the diary and just go! No words are enough for this place!

We ended the most wonderful adventurous weekend with a meal at the Prince George pub and when it was time to say ‘Goodbye’ to Serena and Josh there were real tears from one extremely grateful (and tired) young man. He was drifting off to sleep within 30mins of us leaving! I’d say that means we had one amazing and successful weekend. It was our first time having B for a full weekend away and he was so so well behaved. We have said

it would be a privilege to have him for more weekends.

Now, Lets quickly fast forward to the weekend just gone. (21st-22nd)

Last week was pretty full on for me. I’d go as far as saying it was one of the worst weeks I’ve had in recent months. I wasn’t on best form, I hadn’t had any down time from the weekend and I had a VERY important cake to bake and decorate for my cousins 50th birthday. I had set myself the deadline of Friday as I wanted to have at least one relaxing day before the party on Sunday.

It’s fair to say I set myself a huge challenge with this cake. My cousin requested a surprise, making every idea my own (eeeeek).

So after 5 days of baking, carving, icing and decorating I finally finished the cake on Friday evening (and cleaned the kitchen and living room)! – pics to follow.

That meant that Saturday was free to finally catch up with Dan and see my family. We went to Clumber Park for a family picnic. Dan met us there as he was out riding his bike in the area. I think it was just what we all needed, more fresh air, cucumber filled home made cobs (see LYBS: My hometown (Part One) – learn the local lingo (language) if you don’t know what a cob is) whilst watching the cricket. My sister and her partner brought a colour in picnic rug which kept me and my sister very occupied after little B wore us out playing catch – have you ever played that with a child who just lobs it anywhere?

We stayed until the cricketers went for their tea break which turned out to be perfect timing as it started to rain just after we left.

We visited my in laws on Saturday evening before getting an early night as Dan was at work on Sunday morning.

On Sunday once Dan was home it was time to transport the cake across Nottingham to my cousins house. The cake weighted 1.4 stones (yep it was huge).

Once we got there, I carried the cake towards the house. My cousin and his wife couldn’t believe I had made a cruise ship… they had literally just booked their next cruise the day before and obviously it wasn’t something I knew about. I named the ship after my cousin and went to a lot of detail with the cake. It was the first shaped cake I have ever decorated (have done a few round cakes previously).

I could have easily dropped the cake with the view of his present….. A Ferrari 488gtb with personalised plates!

It is truly an amazing car. I love cars and red Ferraris are amongst my absolute favourites.

I’m really close to my cousin and his wife and see them as older siblings. I’m so proud of him for working so hard to get his goal for his birthday and for keeping it a complete secret from us all since last May! He went to the factory in Italy and designed his own car… that is insanely cool!

What a car!!!

So, that’s just about brought you up to date. I’ve needed this week to recover from the craziness of the last few days… I’ve been really struggling to function like a human but have another packed out weekend ahead. Serena is coming up to visit and we are going corporate to Donnington Park to see The British Touring Cars. Wahooooo so excited!

To see what else I have been up to this month you can find it on April adventures: Our Anniversary weekend.

You can find me on Instagram (littlegoldendaffodil)

H x

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