Bluestone Day 4: 22/06/2015

BattleKid woke somewhere before 7am after another awfully disturbed night. I got his bottle ready at 7.30am and he took most of it and more importantly kept it down. I packed our clothes up and once BattleKid was done we moved upstairs so I could get breakfast on for everyone.

BattleKid hardly ate a morsel. He was off his food. I just hoped it was nothing more than him getting over his chest infection. He was still on his antibiotics with a few doses left.

Once breakfast was done we set about cleaning up and packing our stuff up as checkout is early at 10am at Bluestone. I had thought that was a bit early until I saw the number of lodges the cleaners have to deal with. It’s understandable why checkout is 10am and check in is 4.30pm.

Morning Dew.
Morning Dew.

Once we had cleaned and packed everything into the cars, we said our goodbyes and all headed for the hills. We all had a lovely, really relaxing weekend despite BattleKid not being too well. So much so that we’re planning our next visit already in October!

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Things to bear on mind if visiting Bluestone, particularly with friends and infants:

  • If sharing a two-bed with another couple in a Ramsay with infants, be aware that both rooms are en-suite so to use the bathroom you’ll need to tip toe in the night so as not to disturb your sleeping little ones!
  • Bring your own mugs if you like large mugs of tea or coffee like us.
  • Bring extra black bags. You are provided with a spare but we actually found it wasn’t enough.
  • I’m planning on bringing my own pillow next time as I didn’t find their pillows very comfortable.
  • You are provided with a small washing up liquid but if you’re eating on or washing bottles bring your own as you might need more.
  • Bring hand soap for the bathrooms as none is provided.
  • Kitchen towel isn’t provided and always comes in handy.
  • Pack for good AND bad weather and bring walking shoes. In my hasty packing I didn’t bring walking shoes and not enough layers and tops. I’ll be packing earlier next time.
  • If sharing with another couple and you’ve two infants, it might be best to bring your travel cot. There was only one in the lodge, and only one high chair. Thankfully S had brought her own travel cot but we asked for another high chair which was brought down quite quickly. You may be able to request another travel cot but we didn’t check.
  • Book a buggy in advance if you can and also meals if you want to eat out.

Other than that I would highly recommend Bluestone in West Wales for a break, especially a weekend one at first. There’s plenty to see and do, as well as the rest of West Wales being on your door step. We had great plans to go to Tenby and other beaches but never left the Bluestone resort itself. That should tell you everything you need to know! I can see Bluestone becoming a firm favourite of ours for a break away as a family or with friends, especially as it’s not too far from where we live. Bluestone gets a big thumbs up from us!

Next month we are off to Slovenia with our other friends G and T (no pun intended) and their teenagers L and T. We’re looking forward to it and hopefully the plane journey will be a little less painful than the one to Lanzarote as it’s only 2 hours long. Wish us bon voyage!

Bluestone Day 3: 21/06/2015

BattleKid woke at 6am despite a woeful nights sleep and BattleDad offered to take him and get him his bottle to let me lie in. Within half an hour he was back, with BattleKid only in his nappy as he’d gotten sick halfway through his bottle and got it all over himself and BattleDad. Happy Father’s Day!

We put him in new pj’s and thankfully he settled in bed with us for an hours sleep. It must have been his stomach hurting during the night which had kept him awake. At 8am I took him upstairs to have some toast and water while BattleDad had an extra hour and a half sleep. It was only fair seeing as it was Father’s Day. BattleKid managed his toast and half a bowl of dry Shreddies and happily pottered around playing until W came upstairs and joined us. I was grateful he said he didn’t hear BattleKid during the night. It’s always my worry that he’ll disturb others when we’re staying with people or have people staying with us at home, especially if BattleKid cries during the night. But thankfully neither W nor S heard him and he also didn’t disturb baby L. I also made two quick signs and took pictures of BattleKid holding them to send a Happy Father’s Day wish to both grandfathers.

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Once everyone else rose, BattleKid and I gave BattleDad his card and present before we all set about getting ourselves ready to go to the Blue Lagoon, the water park. We took the buggy up and got ourselves ready in the family changing cubicles which was a novelty for both sets of Mums as it’s usually us on our own in the female changing area sorting out our boys for swimming. The Blue Lagoon is a freestyle wave pool with various slides, choots and a lazy stream included. There is also a baby paddling area which we went into first while we waited for the waves to stop.

Once they had we went into the big pool and had a splish-splash Waterbabies style with our boys, practicing “in the pool we go kick, kick, kick”, “Hold on, hold on, hold on” and our underwater swims. Both boys had a blast, so too did the kids, haha! After about 30 minutes BattleKid started getting cold so we took him out, had a warm shower and got dressed and waited for our friends to come out.

Poor BattleKid was looking a bit wobbly on his legs so S and I got dropped off at the lodge for showers with the small boys while the big boys went for more cake supplies. BattleKid and I got out of the shower just as BattleDad arrived back and we got BattleKid dressed and put him down for a nap. He protested briefly but was soon out for the count.

While the two babies slept we had tea and cake and a chill out before we were due for dinner. We got BattleKid up about 1.10pm, got him dressed and we took the buggy down to the Village for our Sunday carvery at the Farmhouse Grill. BattleKid and I had pork and it was very nice. I wasn’t too worried about him not eating much after his episode first thing that morning.

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Our Sunday lunch was really nice and it had been ages since BattleDad and I had a carvery. Afterwards we took the long way back to our lodge so I could see more of the resort. It’s quite big and although the resort may have been fully booked, it never felt like there was a lot of people about or on top of you.

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As BattleKid had slept late we decided not to put him down that afternoon. He seems to be in that in-between stage of sometimes having one nap and sometimes two with us. Anyway, when we got back we took the boys out the back of the lodge to the garden area as the sun was starting to come out, finally. S and I got our cameras out to try to get a few snaps of BattleKid and baby L. The adults munched on ice creams we had bought in the Village after lunch while the two small boys enjoyed playing in the grass and watching the bubbles we Mums were blowing for them.

My happy boy!
My happy boy!

Once it was coming up to baby L’s tea time we moved indoors and the Dads had naps while S, BattleKid and I pottered in the lounge upstairs. BattleKid wouldn’t eat much at his dinner time at all and I didn’t force him. After the Dads woke up we got BattleKid ready for bed and he managed to take most of his bottle. He went down at 6.30pm and there wasn’t a peep out of him for a while.

Once baby L was down, BattleDad and W went to get a Chinese takeaway in nearby Narberth, and S and I relaxed and chatted. The food was really nice and I couldn’t remember the last time I had a Chinese meal.

Afterwards we had a game of Settlers of Catan, which I won by the skin of my teeth, followed by a game of Ticket to Ride, which I also won. I also set an all-time new high score record of 163. I had to get two very long routes right at the start which I really didn’t think I’d complete but I did. And after picking up a few more destination cards I found the initial completed routes helped me finish 3 more with only one connection needed for each! It’s the first time in ages I’ve won a game on our games nights with W and S, and the first time I’ve ever won two in a row.

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We had a lovely day and evening, only slightly marred by the fact BattleKid had another awful night. It was very disturbing all round and I think we were all looking forward to our own beds the next day!

Tomorrow is home day!

Bluestone Day 2: 20/06/2015

After a relatively good sleep BattleKid woke at 7am and we went upstairs to give him his bottle. The Ramsay Lodge which we were staying in is an upstairs living style with the bedrooms on the ground floor. It’s unusual but made for a nice change. Both bedrooms are en-suite. The view from the living room was amazing. If you didn’t know you were in West Wales you’d think you were in a log cabin in the Alps somewhere, that’s what Bluestone reminds you of when you first see the lodges.

Admiring the view from our Ramsay Lodge.
Admiring the view from our Ramsay Lodge.

The morning didn’t look great in terms of the weather but we hoped it would improve. After chilling out with BattleDad and W for a bit I got breakfast sorted while BattleKid pottered around. After bacon, scrambled eggs, beans and toast we decided to get dressed and go for a walk. We headed towards the Village and decided to book our place for Sunday carvery. Lucky we did it when we did as we got the last available slot for Sunday.

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We popped into the bakery and picked up some lemon cake for later. Then we did a spot of shopping in “The Oaks” where I got us mugs as a souvenir and to have a proper sized cup of tea with our cake as the mugs provided are too small for us. I also picked up two Welsh key rings for my nephew who would be arriving with Lolo on the Tuesday after we got back from Bluestone and a gorgeous raincoat for BattleKid. It’s a pirate themed one and I got it in a size 3-4 as I have raincoats for him in the next two sizes. It’s lovely don’t you think?

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Once we had finished at the Village we walked around the Bluestone Lake which was lovely apart from the midges. BattleKid fell asleep in his buggy for the first time since he was a baby-baby which was great.

While walking around the lake I took note of which lodges I’d like to stay in the future. We also spotted lots of ducklings and some gorgeous water flowers, sort of like crocus flowers. Anyone know what they are?

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After this we headed back to our lodge to deposit our shopping and cake, and S and I took the buggy to find Camp Smokey while BattleDad and W followed with our boys in their prams. Camp Smokey is lovely, nestled inside the forest and serving food and drinks. We decided to stop and have lunch there and had burgers, fajitas and pulled pork between us all. It was lovely just sitting down, chilling out, relaxing and catching up with our friends, all while BattleKid was quite well-behaved.

Camp Smokey!
Camp Smokey!

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After toasted marshmallows on the open fire and “sweets” dessert, we decided to walk off lunch with a stroll along the Nature Trail to get back to our lodge. It was tough going on our Maclaren buggy but it managed and BattleKid giggled most of the way back with the bouncing. The Nature Trail was lovely and peaceful and somewhere we will enjoy going again when BattleKid is older. After our walk back to our lodge I tried to get BattleKid down for a nap but he only managed 40 minutes. We did however get to have our cake and bigger cups of tea before he woke up!

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The fresh air knocked us all for six, except BattleKid, so I tried to get an hours nap while BattleDad watched BattleKid but it didn’t happen as BattleKid was a tired and cranky boy and just wouldn’t give up and nap himself. I gave up at 5pm and swapped with BattleDad. I fed BattleKid his dinner and played with him until 6pm when it was time for a shower. After our shower BattleKid had his bottle which he fell asleep on and we put him down before 7pm.

Once both boys were in bed we made some more tea and started our games night with “Flux”, a new card game W had brought with him. It was quite good fun and we managed 3 quick games in about an hour. After this we decided to dive into a completely new game called “Dead of Winter”, a zombie apocalypse tabletop board game.

Dead of Winter Boardgame.
Dead of Winter Board game.

It took a while to set up and to read the rules and before we got into it we ordered takeaway. The pizzas were really tasty and the chips too.

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After food we got back into our game. It was hard at the beginning and S was quite tired so she went to bed. The three of us remaining decided to try to finish it and unfortunately the board beat us on the last roll of the dice! It was almost midnight so it was time to get to bed as the little boys would no doubt be awake early.

However, BattleKid woke moaning and crying at stupid o’clock and didn’t settle until 5am. Cue a shattered BattleMum!

Come back tomorrow to see how our Sunday in Bluestone was.

PS. One word of warning from this day; if you like large mugs of tea or coffee, bring your own mugs as the ones provided in the lodges are quite small. We ended up buying mugs, although they’ve become our souvenirs from our first trip to Bluestone!

Outlander: TV series

BattleDad sent me a message earlier today to say the theme tune to the TV series Outlander was stuck in his head. We had watched two more episodes this weekend and I’m rather enjoying it.

For those who haven’t come across this little gem, Outlander is a TV series set in 18th century Scotland. I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to give the story or plot away but as I said I’m really enjoying it. We are watching it through our media pc on Amazon Prime, which is quite handy as Amazon Prime puts a little green bar under each episode that you’ve watched so you are not guessing when you come to watch more!

Even though I cursed BattleDad for putting the theme tune in my head I think it’s a lovely song and it always reminds me of home for some reason each time I hear it! So, I thought I’d share it with you today 😉

Bluestone Day 1: 19/06/2015

As recently promised, today we start the holiday diaries of our trip to Bluestone in West Wales last month with friends of ours. It was our first ever visit to Bluestone so read on to find out what we got up to on our weekend in Pembrokeshire!

After our usual 6.30am wakeup call and morning bottle in Mum and Dads bed, BattleKid and I had breakfast together while BattleDad started working at 7.30am. After toast and tea, we got dressed and I took BattleKid to nursery for the morning so I could get on with things in the house.

BattleKid was well chuffed as we took BattleDad’s car to nursery and he was giggling and ‘vroom-ing” all the way there. After dropping him off I went home and started cutting the grass in the back garden. I wanted to get it done before we went away as Lolo was coming over on the Tuesday after Bluestone and he’s always cutting my grass for me, so I wanted to ensure it was done before arrived so he didn’t have to do it, at least for the first week he was here. Instead he could chill out and relax.

I was almost finished when our house alarm company came to do a routine service and maintenance check, which I had totally forgot about. I had one patch of grass left to do so I carried on while the guy did his stuff, all the while ensuring the BattleDogs stayed outside with me. I cleaned up the garden afterwards and transferred the bags of grass out to the front, ready to take to the dump.

The alarm guy finished up just as I did this so I could carry on with the front garden which desperately needed the grass cut. It always amazes me how quickly it grows when you don’t do it for a few weeks, and the patch out the front took longer than the back! And produced 3 and 1/2 bags of grass when the larger back only produced 3! That’s a lot of grass.

Once I was done and cleaned off the mower I went straight to the dump to get rid of the grass and some cardboard from the garage: another job Lolo always does for us! Thankfully there weren’t many people there, and I was in and out in a few minutes. I quickly went to the nearest supermarket for a last few supplies and headed home to get the dogs to kennels.

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The road to the dogs kennels.

The BattleDogs kennel with a lovely lady called Sue who also happens to be a dog behaviouralist and they love it up at hers. We have been really lucky with her location, she’s less than 10 minutes from our house. As soon as we turn off the road to head to her place, they go mad in the car with excitement.

After dropping the BattleDogs off I needed to pack up ready for our trip, having left it to the last-minute for the first time ever. I also had to hoover the grass that got walked in and managed to fit in a bit of long needed weed killing on the back garden now that the dogs weren’t around. I would really love to find an animal friendly weed killer that doesn’t require the dogs to be quarantined from the area for two days afterwards!

At this stage time started running away from me but thankfully BattleDad finished a work call early so he helped finish packing us. I picked BattleKid up from nursery at 1pm and after a shower each we loaded the Landy up and finally set off just after 2pm. The drive itself was fairly uneventful and BattleKid slept for a good bit of the journey. We did the journey in about 1 hour 40 minutes and BattleDad had to do a work call as soon as we arrived so I took BattleKid for a short walk.

 

My boy and I enjoying the sunshine.
My boy and I enjoying the sunshine.

BattleDad called us back once he was finished and we joined the check-in queue. We didn’t need to wait too long and found our way to the lodge we’d be sharing with W&S. I called S after we checked in to let her know she didn’t need to queue which was handy. We missed our lodge first time round but once we found it and had started to unpack the Land Rover, S had arrived!

We unloaded the cars and BattleDad went to get a buggy for us for the weekend. We chilled and watched BattleKid play with baby L, giving him hugs and kisses. It’s the first time we’ve properly seen him interact a baby. BattleDad said “He needs a brother”. A firm NO was my answer haha. BattleKid also had fun trying on BattleDad’s sunglasses instead of his own Mickey Mouse ones!

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After we gave the boys their dinner we got them ready for bed and BattleKid went down quickly which surprised me. W arrived before 8.30 and I got the lasagna I had prepared earlier into the oven. We had it with salad and garlic bread and had a lovely meal chatting and catching up with W&S.

After dinner we had a game of Ticket to Ride but had to give up the ghost after that as we were all fairly tired.

We were quite impressed with the lodge we were staying in and we were looking forward to exploring Bluestone and seeing what it had to offer the next day!

There are two things to note from our first day at Bluestone. Firstly, if you’re thinking of going, be warned that the check-in queue can get really long, especially after 4pm as accommodation becomes available from 4.30pm on the day of your arrival. Secondly, you need to leave your cars in the long-term car park at night, not at the lodges unless you have disabilities which you require your car for. Therefore, hiring a buggy is a good idea, especially if you have little legs with you!

Tune in tomorrow to see what we got up to on our first full day at Bluestone.