Wanderlust Kids #5

It’s that time of the month again for #Wanderlustkids and June has gone faster than I can keep up. Thank you to everyone who linked up their great posts to Wanderlust Kids last month. There have been babymoons, family holidays and hints and tips posts. Here is a synopsis of everyone’s post that linked up, in case you missed them last month.

Charlene of High Heels and Fairy Tales shared her post about their family holiday to Solana Beach in Mauritius. It sounds and looks amazing with very thoughtful kids club workers. It’s definitely on my to-do list.

Kiri from Kizzy, Izzy and Baby shared her post full of hints and tips to make the most of your visit to Legoland, Windsor. She had a great tip about getting wristbands for your kids to write your name and number on in case they get lost. I think I’ll be using that tip in future!

Lisa from Baby Loves Travel shared her post about a toddler’s visit to Shepreth Wildlife Park, which she found was a good place as a destination for a multi-generational family visit. Her only disappointment was the food outlets on site.

Denise of This Irish Family shared with us the 5 products you NEED if you travel with kids, such as ear plugs (we haven’t had to consider these with BattleKid as so far he’s been ok with his ears on airplanes) and Cozyphones with I’m seriously considering for BattleKid for when we travel to the USA in August.

Tooting Mama visited Roland GArros for a charity tennis event where world-class stars play championship-level one set matches. Her kids loved it and weren’t bored since the matches were short. Great way to introduce kids to the world of tennis.

Sinead of Shinners and the Brood shared her 20 things to do in Galway with kids and just in time for the summer holidays too. I never knew there was that much to do in and around Galway. I’ve been to Salthill and Leisureland but none of the others. This post has been added to Pinterest for future reference!

Rupreet of Rupeat shared her post about their recent babymoon to Dubai. They stayed just outside of Dubai and it looks like a lovely place to holiday with great food, apart from one night.

Laura of Musings of a Tired Mummy shared her post about spending time in Dymchurch, Kent, and told us of discovering that the beach was sandy and not pebbles as she had first thought. And I love her choice of nail varnish colour!

Deb of My Boys Club shared part 1 of their family holiday to Loch Ness. Oh my, what stunning scenery. And their accommodation looked perfect, right on the banks of the Loch. I’d love to do the cruise they did combined with the castle visit for some dragon hunting. Scotland is certainly on our family bucket list!

And last but by no meas least, Alana of Baby Holiday showed us how much fun glamping in a yurt can be. They had a great time celebrating their boys’ birthdays and she captured some stunning pictures too. I’d love to do a family glamping holiday.

I really enjoyed reading the different posts everyone linked up and cannot wait to see what will be linked up this month.

This month I am linking up a post I did recently where I got the blogging community involved. As I’ve mentioned before in our Holiday Diaries 2017 post, we are going to be visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time as a family this year and are in planning mode. I found all the hints and tips from my fellow bloggers so helpful.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up (or favourite ones depending on the numbers), linking back to the owner’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment.

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open on the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be about a day out, a family holiday, somewhere new your children discovered or a post with tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will feature some of my favourites, linking back to the owner’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few of the other posts that have linked up and leave a comment.

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached with it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase.

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration.

WanderlustKids

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The Portugal Diaries #3

As we headed into the mountains of Northern Spain to find our accommodation for the night, BattleDad and I commented that they would remind you of the Alps. They were very lush and green, not really what we had been expecting at all. We rather enjoyed the roads heading towards our accommodation, but I was quite worried about arriving in time to feed BattleKid as it was already past 8pm Spanish time when we headed into the mountains.

We were following a river along a road when BattleKid started crying saying he wanted to get out. Around another corner, he started getting sick. We pulled over beside a bridge across the river and I changed him quickly, thankful he had managed to avoid his car seat and tablet which he had been watching. No more Curious George in the car.

Google maps was telling us we had passed the turn off for our hotel, so we turned around and headed 20 minutes back the way we came, only to start going down country and dirt roads, with no sign of a hotel at all. We stopped along one dirt track, let BattleDog out to do his business, and checked the actual address of the hotel, rather than the Google maps which had been sent in our confirmation email. Lo and behold, our hotel, was back the way we had just come from. Typical. This always happens to us!

We followed the new address and you couldn’t make this up. Where was our hotel? At the bridge  where we had stopped at when BattleKid had gotten sick. We had been right beside it and never realised! BattleDad said afterwards he had thought the building beside us had looked rather nice. Only us, it could only happen to us!

At this stage BattleKid had fallen asleep, so we stopped the car beside the hotel and went inside to check in and get our bearings. The manager was most helpful, telling us where our room was, directing BattleDad to the parking ( a very short walk away from the front door) and telling us we had time for dinner as it was well after 9pm.

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BattleKid fast asleep

We got BattleDog and BattleKid upstairs and were wowed even more by our room. The hotel, Casa del Puenta, which I plan to write a review of soon, was simply stunning. An old renovated building, it had exposed brickwork and beams and just screamed character. BattleKid didn’t wake up as we moved him upstairs so I changed him into his pj’s while BattleDad sorted the dog and our bags. We put the Baby Monitor app on my phone and went downstairs to the restaurant.

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BattleDad walking BattleDog before our dinner

We joked that it was our first ever dinner date since before BattleKid was born but it was true! We ordered Sea Bass with Garlic and some water, and my god it was so tasty. It was thoroughly enjoyed after the trip we’d just had. Dinner, which included some homemade breads, and our drinks came to the grand total of just €26. Bargain.

The owner had checked with us as we checked in what time we would be leaving and was a little shocked when we said 6am. Breakfast was between 9 and 11am so we would miss it. He very kindly arranged for the chef (who I assumed was his wife) to make us some sandwiches. She had these ready for us as we paid our bill, as well as some fruit and orange juice. We were totally bowled over by their kindness as they didn’t have to do that at all. You certainly wouldn’t get that level of service in most other places.portugal diaries portugal diaries

After dinner, I sorted out our bags, while BattleDad walked the dog one last time and then I joined BattleKid in bed. I couldn’t sleep much as the street light was beaming in through the window. The next morning, I discovered there was a shutter on the inside which I had missed in the dark. Typical! Had I just turned on the light I’d have gotten some much needed sleep. Oh well, lesson learned.

I had set my alarm for 4.45am (UK/Portugal time) to ensure we were on the road early. It was going to be a long day with just over 600 miles to cover…..

To be continued…..

Cath x

If you missed my previous instalments of The Portugal Diaries you can read Part 1 and Part 2 again.

 

Dragon Hunting at Powis Castle near Welshpool

Powis Castle is one castle that was recommended to us by a work colleague of mine quite a number of years ago. While we longed to go dragon hunting at Powis Castle, it always remained slightly out of reach as it was a bit too far for a day trip from home, being situated in Mid Wales. However, last August bank holiday weekend, we were in Chester and thought it would be perfect to visit on our way back down to Wales. So that’s what we did!dragon hunting at powis castle

We left Chester and took the A5 down towards Shrewsbury before turning off for Welshpool and Powis Castle. Powis Castle is a National Trust site. It was originally built in the 1200’s and the Herbert family took ownership in the late 16th century and it has remained in their family ever since. A medieval castle, fortress and grand country mansion, it doesn’t resemble your usual castles in Wales. It is very much more a stately home and is extremely grand indeed, being the seat of the Earl of Powis.

When we arrived there was plenty of parking in the car park and we walked up the road and footpath to the ticket office where we paid to get in. As the castle didn’t open until 11am, we had 45 minutes to kill and so we found a seat in the courtyard and BattleDad got us some drinks and cakes to enjoy in the glorious sunshine from the courtyard restaurant. We really enjoyed our tea break and admired the grand home from our seats.dragon hunting at powis castle

Our plan was to start our dragon hunting at Powis Castle within the castle itself and if we were out of luck we would check the extensive gardens instead. We started in the drawing room but there was no obvious signs of our hiding dragon.  There was a very nice gentleman giving talks and information about the room and the Herbert family too. We moved upstairs towards the bedrooms, some of which were not open to the public for obvious reasons. In those that were, we saw no sign of the Powis Castle dragon.dragon hunting at powis castle

From the bedrooms we moved downstairs to the kitchen where there were two people giving talks about how the kitchen was run and still is today. Children also had the opportunity to dress up and partake in some activities there but we were on a dragon hunt so didn’t stop. We thought we spotted him in the games room where there was a large billiards table and the cabinets were full of stuffed animals, but, he either wasn’t there, or had managed to evade us as we wandered through the castle. We did, however, leave a message in the visitors book in this room.

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The message we left in the visitors book at Powis Castle.

Having had no luck within the castle (of which you cannot take pictures inside as the Earl still resides there), we turned our attention to the gardens. However, dragon hunting is tiring work, particularly on a sunny day like this, so we paused at the courtyard for an ice cream before continuing our hunt. And I must say the ice creams were very good!

We started by taking a right from the entrance to the gardens and headed towards the lake that sits at one end of the gardens. We checked all the holes and cracks in the walls where a dragon might hide but still we couldn’t find him. As we rounded past the lake, and before we headed up a small hill to the side of it, BattleKid spotted him hiding at the foot of a rather magnificently big tree. He was hiding on the ground among the foliage.dragon hunting at powis castle

We had found him! However, a little boy just ahead of us wasn’t too impressed that our dragon hunting at Powis Castle was more successful than his, as I overheard him say to his mum “that boy has a dragon, I want a dragon”. Oops. Satisfied with our result, we took a short stroll up the hill and discovered the Ice Cellar of the castle. I had never seen one before and was quite surprised by it. You can only look through some gates into it and you cannot see the floor but it gives you an idea of what one from centuries ago looks like.

Our visit to Powis Castle was a success and it was a castle we had wanted to visit, so we could now tick it off our list.

Things to note if you go dragon hunting at Powis Castle:

  • It is a National Trust site. Cadw membership cards aren’t accepted.
  • It costs £12.50 for an adult and £6.25 for a child to visit the whole property (without GiftAid) and a family ticket costs £31.25. To visit the castle only prices are £6.35 (adult) and £3.17 (child), for the garden only £9.21 (adult) and £4.60 (child), and for the winter garden £6.20 (adult) and £3.10 (child).*
  • The Castle opens from 11am to 5pm, as does the museum, shop and garden shop. The gardens open from 10am to 6pm, with the garden coffee shop opening from 11am to 4pm. The restaurant opens from 10am to 5pm.
  • Parking is free, and there is ample parking. There are electric car-charging points in the car park and some spaces for disabled badge holders.
  • Dogs are allowed on the lead in the car park and courtyard only. There are strictly no dogs allowed in the deer park.
  • There are baby changing and feeding facilities on site.
  • There are toilets available on site.
  • There is a children’s quiz/trail and also games on the great lawn (although we didn’t see these as we didn’t visit that end of the gardens).
  • NOTE: the castle is not very wheelchair accessible, nor buggy accessible. The ground floor is, but that’s where it stops due to the historical nature of the castle. The garden has a step-free route which is highlighted in the leaflet available at the ticket office. For wheelchair users there is a virtual tour of the upper floor rooms available at the ticket office.
  • Guided tours are available.

We were glad we got the opportunity to go dragon hunting at Powis Castle and even better to combine it with a great weekend away. I am not sure we would have visited Powis Castle had we not been travelling back from Chester. We had glorious sunshine during our visit and the ice cream was most welcome and delicious.

I can highly recommend a visit to Powis Castle if you ever get the chance. We did not get to explore all the grounds as they are quite extensive, especially for little legs but it would make a great day out for the whole family. Maybe bring a picnic to enjoy somewhere in the gardens if you visit.

Thanks for reading the next post in our Dragon Hunting Series. I hope you enjoyed it. If you missed our previous ones you can find them in the Dragon Hunting Series. And if you’d like to have a sneak peek at Powis Castle, we filmed a little vlog of our day out dragon hunting at Powis Castle (below).

Cath x

*Prices correct at the time of writing this post.

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dragon hunting at powis castle dragon hunting at powis castle

 

Saltrock T-shirts Review – For the Summer and Beyond

I will freely admit that until recently I hadn’t come across Saltrock T-shirts and Clothing but when they got in touch to see if we’d like to receive some of their t-shirts for review I jumped at the chance. You see, I had a good rummage through their website when they got in touch and was immediately drawn to the huge range of t-shirts they have for the whole family.

Saltrock t-shirts

We picked out some t-shirts for all of us, placed our order and then patiently waited for them to arrive in Portugal via a very good friend of mine who agreed to act as intermediary.

And when they arrived just over a week ago I was beyond excited. Firstly, because it was my first blogger mail here in Portugal and secondly because I couldn’t wait to open the parcel and see what the t-shirts were like in real life. I had been so impressed by the range of styles and colours that I hoped they lived up to my expectations when we got them in our hands!Saltrock t-shirts

Saltrock Clothing was started in the late 1980’s by two South African brothers who, travelling the world, ended up in Cornwall seeking ‘waves’ and they never looked back. Running short on funds they started using their creative minds to print original, surf-inspired designs and gathered a loyal following from the South West surfers. The brand soon grew and is now a well-recognised British brand that is loved throughout the surfing community and beyond.

The first thing that struck me upon opening our parcel was the bright colours and the quality of the Saltrock t-shirts. They feel really good quality and are made mostly from 100% cotton, which is a must for me now we’re based in Portugal. The designs on the front were great too and I couldn’t wait to get out with BattleKid to model them.

And we did just that. BattleKid and I first wore one of our Saltrock t-shirts when we went to discover our first beaches here in Portugal early one morning. We went early so we could avoid the hot sun later in the day and I have to say I love Saltrock Clothing. The t-shirts are true to their size, if even slightly big and are so well suited to summer especially. We had fun discovering Fabrica beach in our new t-shirts.

Saltrock t-shirts
Too cool for school in his Saltrock t-shirt
Saltrock t-shirts
Collecting shells on Fabrica beach

As a family we have also worn our Saltrock t-shirts to another beach this week at Manta Rota. This time we all wore one of our t-shirts and even BattleDad is well impressed with them. He thought his looked a bit big but it fitted him really well in fact. We had fun on Monday evening at the beach in our new Saltrock t-shirts.

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The boys rocking their Saltrock t-shirts
Saltrock t-shirts
Monday evening fun at Manta Rota
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I’m loving this Saltrock t-shirt, especially the colour

Saltrock t-shirts

So far, our t-shirts have been washed once but they washed well and on a first wash did not lose any colour or shape, which is great. I’ll update this if necessary after more washes but I doubt I will need to.

What I love about our Saltrock T-shirts:

  • Excellent quality clothing.
  • Great range of colours, designs and sizes for the whole family.
  • Feel and look great.
  • Value-for-money.
  • Wash really well.
  • Sizings are true, if slightly big.
  • T-shirts are either 100% cotton or a high percentage cotton/polyester mixture.
  • Great for summer and beyond.
  • Surf-inspired designs look great on the beach!

What I don’t like about our Saltrock T-shirts:

  • Nothing at all.

We ordered some Saltrock t-shirts from the boy’s t-shirts range for BattleKid, from the women’s t-shirts range and from the men’s t-shirts range for BattleDad, proving they are a brand for the entire family.

These t-shirts look great, feel great and are very comfortable. Teamed with a pair of shorts and flip flops they complete the perfect summer beach outfit. I am so happy with the t-shirts we received from Saltrock. I’m also thrilled to find a British clothing brand that speaks both quality and fun and I think we’ll be ordering from Saltrock again.

I cannot recommend Saltrock t-shirts and clothing enough. The Battle Family have been very impressed with the t-shirts we have received and we’ve had a great time modelling them at the beach for this review. No doubt they will be well worn this summer and for a long time to come.Saltrock t-shirts Saltrock t-shirts

And what’s more, Saltrock are offering all my readers 10% off any order placed using the unique code below! And, they regularly have promotions and sales on their website so you could combine the two for a great bargain. So, what are you waiting for? Click the link below to get your unique 10% off code and check out Saltrock for yourself!

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

*We were kindly sent an e-voucher to spend at Saltrock Clothing to receive some products for the purpose of this review. However, as always, these are my own honest thoughts and opinions of the products.

**This post contains an affiliate link in the form of the unique code. This means that I will receive a small percentage of any sales generated through the use of this code. This does not effect your shopping experience or the price you pay.

Saltrock t-shirts Saltrock t-shirts Saltrock t-shirts review

Living Arrows 26/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

Last week while BattleDad was in Paris for work, BattleKid and I started to venture out and about a bit more. We were up early one morning so I decided to head for the beach before it got too hot for us. We were in the car by 9am and headed for Cacela Vehla which is only 10 minutes from our new place. There actually isn’t much there apart from a church, police station and a few restaurants, but it has a lovely view of the Ria Formosa.

living arrows

There was a walkway down towards the shore via steps, but I noticed a warning sign for snakes and thought there’s no way we were going down there alone.

So instead, we got back into the car and headed for Fabrica which our neighbours had mentioned to us. This is a small beach, with water taxis available to take you across to the Ria Formosa. BattleKid and I just had a walk along the sand, dodging the small fishing boats. He also had fun filling his pockets with shells, stopping every few meters to collect more. Unfortunately they were all falling out of his pockets when he sat down to put his shoes back on.

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We were back home by 10.15am, which was just as well, as the temperatures crept up to 37 degrees that day. Hot, hot! But we had a lovely morning at the beach, and fully intend to get a boat across to the Ria when it starts to get a little cooler.

Linking up with Donna of What The Redhead Said. If you’d like to take part or see some other Living Arrows posts, please click the badge below.

Living Arrows