Bluestone Day 4: 13/06/16

BattleDad and I were up before 7.30 as we needed to be on the road by 9am. You check out of your lodge in Bluestone by 10am but can use the facilities until 3pm. However as BattleDad was flying to Paris for work from Cardiff at 3.30 we couldn’t hang around.

While BattleKid had his milk I got dressed and packed up our things in our room before making a start downstairs. Once everyone was up I quickly made scrambled eggs and beans to use up some food and helped tidy up the kitchen. We packed up the car, said our goodbyes to W and S, thanking them for letting us hijack their weekend and got on the road just after 9.

We were making good time too until we came up behind a police convoy escorting wide and long lorries on the A465 and we followed them all the way from Neath to Hirwaun. Thankfully they turned off there and we got home just before 11. 2016-06-13 10.33.21I made pizza and chips for lunch and BattleDad said his goodbyes to BattleKid when we put him down for his nap before 1.

BattleDad left soon after and I caught up on washing before collecting the dogs at 4pm after BattleKid had woken up. Another brilliant weekend in Bluestone had come to an end and we are already looking forward to our next visit in November when we’ll be visiting the Kingdom of the Elves! That’s going to be exciting. However, next up for me is both #BML16 and a quick trip home to Dublin (operation depending) at the start of July before we head to New York in September. And let me tell you, that is coming around quickly!

Thanks for reading another set of Bluestone Holiday Diaries.

Cath x

Bluestone Day 3: 12/06/2016

After a restful night all round we woke just before 8am and decided to have a quick slice of toast and head to the pool early to avail of the guests only time slot between 9am and 10am, after which time Bluestone open their pool to non-guests as well. We got there just after 9am and the pool was lovely and quiet. It certainly pays to be the early bird. There were a few families there with young children like us, and both BattleKid and L showed off their Waterbabies moves before we let them relax and just enjoy themselves.

BattleKid insisted on going through the lazy river time after time in between enjoying the waves. He had no fear of jumping into the waves or rolling around in them, even when his head dipped under the water. L was the same and it’s testament to their Waterbabies classes which they both attend on a Sunday morning, albeit in different pools.

Once we’d finished in the pool we got dressed and BattleDad took BattleKid back while I did my run. I ran the long way down to the village from the pool and 3 times around the lake before heading back to start brunch. We had bacon, eggs, beans and toast and let the boys play for a bit before putting them down for a nap.

BattleDad had one too, as did S after some cake, while I read some of my Blogosphere magazine and wrote some notes for a forthcoming blog post. W prepared for our Star Wars game later, while also helping me with my blog notes by doing a bit of research for me. He’s a good lad is our W.

The boys were woken at 4pm after long naps and we decided to get them dressed and head to the playground before having dinner in the Village. They had a ball going on the swings and slide and I got a chance to properly test out my new camera, a Canon G7 X Mark II. I had brought it to Folly Farm and tested the zoom capabilities but the visit to the playground gave me a chance to test the continuous shooting modes, which there are two of. And I have to say I am well impressed by this camera. It’s the perfect bridge for me between my phone and DSLR and so far I’m thrilled with it. It’s definitely coming to #BML16 with me!Bluestone June 2016 9

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We opted to have dinner in The Knight’s Tavern as BattleDad and I had never been there, despite going to Bluestone twice before. The Knight’s Tavern is the Village pub and is deceptively big inside. Initially you think it’s small until you see a whole other room off to the left. We ordered dinner and the boys were kindly given colouring papers and crayons by a waiter to keep them entertained while we waited for our food. Once BattleKid got bored with that BattleDad took him outside rabbit spotting.Bluestone June 2016 12

And I have to say the food was delicious. I got the shepherd’s pie for BattleKid and I, while BattleDad had the scampi and chips. All our food was tasty and to our surprise BattleKid tucked into BattleDad’s scampi! When we finished eating we moved outside to the beer garden to finish our drinks and BattleKid had a play on the grass.

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Spotting baby dragons (frogs)

After this we had a quick walk towards the forest off the side of the lake to hunt for dragons. We saw baby ones (frogs to you and I) and BattleKid was delighted with himself. We also saw lots of rabbits and BattleKid even tried chasing one but he got away sadly!

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Chasing rabbits
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Last ride in the buggy

We headed back for pj’s, milk, stories and bed before us adults played Star Wars again over tea and chocolate. We had a thoroughly relaxing day and it was the perfect end to another great weekend in Bluestone.

Cath x

Bluestone Day 2: 11/06/2016

When BattleKid woke up BattleDad kindly took him downstairs for his milk and let me have a much needed lie in. I woke at 8.15am and although I could have easily gone back to sleep, I knew everyone else was up so dragged myself out of the bed, grateful of the extra hour BattleDad had given me. Once I’d shaken off my bleary-eyed state I cooked us all bacon and pancakes, served with strawberries, blackberries, Nutella and maple syrup. And yes I had all of these on pancakes at the same time, and it tasted delicious. A nice mixture of sweet and savory. Try it if you don’t believe me! BattleKid enjoyed the Nutella on his pancakes and ended up with a chocolate covered face! Nice start to the morning at Bluestone.

After breakfast we got dressed and decided to head to Folly Farm for the day. Our friends had kindly exchanged Tesco vouchers towards the tickets, and as the weather on Sunday wasn’t looking too bright, we decided that Saturday was the better of the two days to visit Folly Farm. It was drizzling as we got ready so we weren’t holding out too much hope as we prepared to leave. We had to dry the buggy off with a towel so as to prevent us all getting wet arses as we went to collect the cars.Bluestone June 2016 6

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is less than 10 minutes drive from Bluestone and was not at all like I expected. I’ve written a full review of our visit to Folly Farm which will be coming soon, but suffice to say we had a brilliant time. When I had heard the name Folly Farm, I assumed it was a little petting farm but it’s a whole hell of a lot more than that I can tell you. We arrived shortly after 10am and thankfully the rain had stopped and we didn’t leave until 4.30pm! We had spent the whole day there and hadn’t felt the time rush by us. It really was beyond our expectations and I can highly recommend you visit Folly Farm if you ever stay at Bluestone or visit West Wales. It’s definitely worth the money and will be a place we’ll return to again in the future, even if we’re not staying at Bluestone! I’ve put a few pictures from our day at Folly Farm at the end of this post and more will be featured in my forthcoming review post.

The two boys didn’t sleep at Folly Farm, there was too much to see. However, as we were stood outside the gift shop waiting on BattleDad to get his pick’n’mix, they both fell asleep, completely wiped out from a full day’s excitement. How they had stayed awake that long was anyone’s guess but both were sound asleep, even as we transferred them to their car seats. We headed back to Bluestone and let our friends take the buggy back to the lodge while we chose to walk a sleeping BattleKid back in his buggy to prolong his nap. I thought at one stage he was waking up but he just had a little cry and was back to the land of nod soon enough.

While the boys slept, us adults enjoyed some chips, dips and drinks around the huge table while we chatted. It was nice to finally sit down after all the walking we had done. At 5.30 we woke the boys and neither were too happy about the situation. BattleKid soon chirped up a bit and played with L. We decided to get a Chinese for dinner so BattleDad and W dropped into Narberth for it. BattleKid actually enjoyed some Chinese and helped himself to quite a bit of BattleDad’s noodles, despite having some on his own plate! After dinner, at 8.30pm, much later than normal, we got BattleKid into bed. L took a lot longer to settle and as a result we never got to play any board games that night. We chatted in the living room for a while over a cup of tea before turning in early ourselves.

We’d had a great Saturday and all commented how good Folly Farm was. Keep an eye in the coming days for my review post of our visit.

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

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Farmer in the making?
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Lions at Folly Farm
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Outdoor adventure area at Folly Farm
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Having fun on the Tractors at Folly Farm

 

Bluestone Day 1: 10/06/2016

So time for another weekend at Bluestone had arrived and we woke with excitement at 7am. I got up right away and got the final bits of packing done while BattleDad and BattleKid enjoyed some lazy time together in our bed. Once I’d done with that I cooked us breakfast and then went for my run. I’ve been doing Couch to 5K training for my charity run in July but will not get it completed as BattleDad is now away in France for work for two weeks. But I figured no matter what week I end up on for the Rainbow Run, it will do me some good and I can interval walk and run around Bryn Bach Park next month.

After my run I dropped the dogs to kennels and when I got back, we all had a shower, packed up the Landy and we set of for West Wales just before 11.30am. BattleKid slept all the way to CwmCerrig Farm shop, which is where we stopped for lunch and to pick up supplies for dinner. I love this farm shop. It’s just off the main Crosshands roundabout on the M4 and sells local produce as well as some British produce such as condiments. For lunch BattleDad and I had the steak and onion pie which was really tasty and BattleKid had the turkey dinner and surprisingly ate really well. After a spot of shopping we loaded our supplies into the car and set off for Bluestone, excitement building even more.

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Drinking milk from the jug!

We arrived at Bluestone at 2.30pm and checked in. You can check in from 11am but generally cannot access your lodge until 4.30pm, although you can use the facilities as soon as you arrive. We parked in the car park and went to get our buggy for the weekend having been given some Bluestone vouchers upon check in for inconvenience caused by the fact the lodges located beside us were not complete nor had their grass grown. We were warned there may be some internal work being carried out inside the new lodges besides us and Bluestone very kindly gave us vouchers for this inconvenience which went towards our buggy. I thought this was really good of them.Bluestone June 2016 2

Once we picked up our buggy we went for a drive and stopped off at the village where we bought mugs from the gift shop having forgotten our own. BattleKid spied a ball so we had to buy it for him. After this we headed to the playground for the first time ever, despite having been to Bluestone twice before and BattleKid had a whale of a time going down the slides with a little girl who was playing there too. BattleDad and I chatted to her grandfather while we watched them playing nicely. At 4.10pm we had to drag BattleKid away to go collect our car and get ready to go to our lodge.

We joined the queue at 4.25pm and once the gate was opened we made our way to our lodge, a St David’s lodge which simply blew us away. We’ve stayed in a Ramsey and Gateholm before but the St David’s is a 4 bedroom lodge with tonnes of space and a really nice touch in a play room off the living room. This had originally been an office but after customer feedback Bluestone turned it into a play room and I have to say I was well impressed by it. I took lots of pictures and plan to do a proper review when I get a chance.

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St Davids Lodge

We were just finished looking around our lodge when W and S arrived with L. We unpacked, sorted out bedrooms and I got to cooking us some seasoned chicken breasts, garlic potatoes and salad which seemed to go down a treat. Soon after dinner we sorted the boys out with fresh nappies, milk and pj’s before it was stories and lights out for them. While the boys settled BattleDad had to try sort out his laptop as he had some work to review before his trip to France and it took a while to say the least. While there is wifi in the lodge and we had two premium wifi passes he had forgotten the mouse for the laptop and as the touchpad no longer works on this particular laptop he had to find an app to use his phone as a mouse, which eventually worked.

Work done we were introduced to the Star Wars Imperial Assault board game. Having never seen Star Wars I was a bit apprehensive about what I would think of it but I really enjoyed the introduction game. We then played one mission now that we were familiar and BattleDad, S and I played the rebels against L’s Imperials, and we won. We were thrilled. As it was after 11pm when we finished this game we decided to turn in and said our goodnights.

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Star Wars Imperial Assault Board Game

We had a really relaxing trip down to Bluestone this time, no rushing and a relaxing evening too as we always do at Bluestone. It really is a great place for a chilled weekend not too far from home.

Pop by tomorrow to hear what we got up on the Saturday. Thanks for reading.

Cath x