We have 10 days left of our 6 week holiday here on the South Coast of England and so far we have had the most incredible time.
If you don’t follow me over on Facebook or Instagram you won’t know that quite a while ago myself and Paul (hubby) decided that me and the boys would spend 6 weeks in the UK at my parents house whilst he stayed in Gibraltar due to work he wasn’t able to join us for the full length of time we are here, he did however manage to get a few days off of work and was able to fly back and spend 6 days with us; the time went ever so fast though and before we knew it we were saying a very teary ‘goodbye’ knowing we wouldn’t see him again for 5 weeks.
This has been the longest stretch of time the boys have gone without seeing dada and the first few days were extremely hard, Jasper cut a tooth so wasn’t sleeping well at night and with sunrise being at around 5.30am here it means 4 out of 5 boys are up with the sun so after hardly any sleep and getting up extremely early in the morning I was surviving on coffee to get me through the day. The boys were also super emotional, I think the early mornings coupled with disturbed sleep due to Jaspers cries and knowing it would be quite a while before seeing dada again was all a little too much.
Fast forward 4 weeks and everything is so much more settled, even though I’m asked on a daily basis sometimes up to 6 times a day ‘how many more days till we fly home and get to see dada’ emotions are no longer running high. Jasper has cut his tooth so has returned to sleeping all through the night and even though the boys are getting up at the same time as the sun the days are so much more manageable on a full nights sleep.
Since arriving in the UK the weather has been amazing and on a few occasions the temperature has been hotter than Gibraltar which has been a real bonus as I haven’t hired a car so we have been walking to most places or catching public transport however the last few days the weather has cooled down considerably and we have had a few days of rain since being here but hey im not complaining.
Enough of my sleepless nights and the weather….Here’s what we have been up to!
We had never been to Moors Vally country park and Forest so when my cousin, his wife and three children asked if we wanted to join them for the day I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and I’m so glad we went. The boys had an absolute blast and I would be lying if I said I didn’t also, it was so nice seeing them just being children collecting sticks or from the photo you can tell they were more like logs.
There are so many parks within the forest which you can get to by following the play trail and there is even a miniature locomotive which was a real hit with Jasper as he is a massive Peppa Pig fan, which if your anything like me and have a toddler who is a Peppa Pig fan after watching it on repeat for the last 6 months you can understand my excitement that he has now started to like Thomas the Tank also.
Whilst here we’ve also had chance to visit Southsea Castle and we had such an enjoyable day even though it was a little stressful trying to keep an eye on five excited kiddies who seemed to be all running in different directions and wanting to sit on canons.
The castle is captivating and the day we went Henry VIII was walking around the castle courtyard which then sent the boys imagination into overdrive; however the conversation quickly turned to fire-breathing dragons, the normal things my boys want to talk about.
You can’t go to the UK, have glorious sunshine and not go to a splash park. We are really lucky that my parents house is around a 35 minute walk to the nearest splash park and it’s a walk that the boys are quite happy to do. It’s the first time any of the boys have been to a splash park only because, well there isn’t one in Gibraltar and more than often when we come over to the UK it’s only for 10 days so we are running around trying to fit everything in and see as many people as we possibly can or the other reason is it’s normally winter when we are here, so there is no way I would be standing in a splash park which to be fair isn’t probably even open in the cooler months. Back to the splash park…The older boys had so much fun on the little slides especially since their swim shorts were already wet, the speed they picked up sliding down them was quite nerve-racking to watch; Jasper however was just happy playing in the water jets and was having so much fun running through them.
The array of parks within walking distance of my parents house is great and we have enjoyed on days when we haven’t wanted to do too much packing up a picnic and just walking to one of the parks to spend a few hours playing on the play equipment and kicking a football around. I often find in Gibraltar the parks aren’t really aimed at older children however I haven’t been to a park here that doesn’t have play equipment aimed at pre-teens which makes it so much easier when taking all the boys to the park.
The few days we have had rain here The Wendy House play café and indoor shopping centres have come in really handy, now I’m not really a fan of shopping with children it often brings on the comments like ‘argh do we have to’ which just by that comment alone I know it’s not going to be a fun experience but anyone who knows me personally knows I’m a massive Costa fan and the boys seem to have caught the Costa bug, so with a promise of a sit down half way through and a BabyCcino I can normally get away with a quick look around a few shops.
On days when I can’t face looking around another shop and the boys just want to play The Wendy house play café has been a life saver, before going here I had never been to a play cafe before and now having been to one I can’t understand why every town doesn’t have one! Since we are staying at my parents house the boys don’t have that many toys to play with, which can become a problem when boredom sets in as that’s normally when the arguments begin so being able to take them here has been a god send. It’s lovely being able to sit and have conversations with other mum’s whilst the children can let their imaginations run wild; last time we were there Owain, Kallum and Oliver set up their “own cafe” and were serving other children cake whilst Jasper pushed himself round on a wooden ride-a-long and Josh being that little bit too old sat with me.
As well as the above we have also been to a Families day at my dads work, a family wedding and spent afternoons playing in the garden.
Have you ever found yourself saying when on holiday a week just isn’t enough? I’ve come to the conclusion that no amount of time is enough, not even 6 weeks. The time has gone so fast and the days are just slipping past but I am looking forward to going home.
Paul has been so busy redecorating the house and has been sending me constant messages with updated photos as well as photos asking what cushions I prefer for the sofa and other various household related things, so I’m really excited to see what he has been up to and obviously super excited to see him.
I’m also looking forward to see the boys faces when they see dada waiting for them outside arrivals in Gibraltar airport.
As a whole we have had the most amazing time here on the South Coast of England making memories and having adventures!