Bluestone Day 4: 12/10/2015

After a good sleep and cuddles in my bed for 20 minutes we joined BattleDad and had a bop. Afterwards we got up and I started getting things packed as we waited for the others to get up. I did another round of breakfast sandwiches for breakie before we cleaned up the kitchen.

At 9.15am I got us dressed and we started packing the Landy as soon as BattleDad arrived back with it. At 10.20 we left Bluestone and headed for a Farm shop near Crosshands with W and S.

Until next time Bluestone
Until next time Bluestone

We had tea and cakes before browsing the shop. I picked up some lovely burgers to have that night for dinner, along with some stewing beef, sausages and fresh vegetables. It was a great find and somewhere I think we’ll visit again.

Farm shop near Crosshands
Farm shop near Crosshands
Fun over tea with BattleDad
Fun over tea with BattleDad

Another hour on the road and we arrived home. BattleDad had to get to work so I tried to settle BattleKid for a nap but he was having none of it so we went down to Cyfarthfa retail park and browsed Boots and Matalan.

We had an early dinner of burgers, mash and gravy which BattleKid tucked into. We all had an early night as we were knackered and I was back to work while BattleKid was back to nursery the next morning. We had another great weekend in Bluestone and are looking at our diaries for early next year to see when we can pencil in our next visit!

Next on the agenda is Ireland for my sister’s forthcoming wedding next week. It’s all go in the BattleHousehold!

Bluestone Day 3: 11/10/2015

BattleKid woke just after 6am and we had loves in my bed for about 20 minutes before we hopped into bed with BattleDad for bop time. We got up just after 7am and headed upstairs where the George hat was found and BattleKid stuck his head out for it to go onto his head. He’s permanently attached to the hat!

Breakfast with a George hat on is more than acceptable at 21 months old!
Breakfast with a George hat on is more than acceptable at 21 months old!

I made us breakfast sandwiches with bacon, sausage and egg once everyone was up and they were tasty if I do say so myself. I hadn’t had one for ages! After breakfast we got ourselves ready to go to the Blue Lagoon for a swim. BattleKid had a whale of a time. His confidence in the water is growing thanks to our Waterbabies classes. He thoroughly enjoyed the lazy river with BattleDad and kept saying “again”. Unfortunately W only joined us after 40 minutes as he had to go blow up a floatation device for L and he wasn’t a happy camper when he came in. We got out shortly afterwards as BattleKid was starting to get cold, much to his disgust. He wanted to stay in. We got dressed and walked back to the lodge for our showers. Sunday carvery was booked for 12.30pm so we had to get a move on.

W and L came down with us while S had her shower. However due to no phone signal at the Farmhouse Grill restaurant she couldn’t get hold of us to see if she should join us which was a pity.

New look farmhouse Grill restaurant
New look farmhouse Grill restaurant
Sunday carvery
Sunday carvery
The pork was excellent
The pork was excellent

BattleKid and I had the pork and we both ate really well, having worked up an appetite during swimming. While he played on some John Dere tractors in the kids play area beside our table, us adults sneaked in dessert. I went for the lemon tart which was nice but not as nice and BattleDad and W’s chocolate overload (with popping candy)! I should have had that!

John Dere Tractor
John Dere Tractor
Lemon tart
Lemon tart
Chocolate overload
Chocolate overload

After we finished dessert we paid up and headed back to the lodge to a slightly disappointed S. She and W took L back out to spend some family time together while BattleDad and I read BattleKid a story on our bed which I had bought in Window on Wales in Solva the day before. His eyes started blinking and the head was nodding so I read it again and to our surprise he fell asleep. BattleDad put on some white noise on his phone and we drifted off to join BattleKid in the land of nod. 2.5 hours later we woke up! That’s the first time BattleKid has ever fallen asleep on our bed listening to a story. May it happen many more times!

When we got up BattleKid was a bit cranky but we moved upstairs to play with him while we waited for W and S to get back, and once the George hat went in his head he was fine. We had a cuppa while we played cars, bikes, and built towers for him to knock over. W joined us soon after as he’d actually been asleep downstairs. We decided to take our tea outside to the picnic table while BattleKid had a tea of fruit and snacks. It was lovely sitting outside for a while and S arrived back from the playground with L while we were out there.

Sunset over Bluestone. The picture doesn't do it justice.
Sunset over Bluestone. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

I took BattleKid rabbit spotting on the suggestion of BattleDad as dusk was coming in and we saw 3! This was the first time we’d done this together, just me and my boy, animal watching and I loved every minute of it. It started getting a bit chilly so we took the boys inside to relax for an hour before bedtime, but not before I took a few pictures of the sunset. It was a lovely time all of us chilling together.

Once the boys were in bed BattleDad and W went to Llanddewi Velfrey to collect an Indian takeaway from a place called Chameli’s. I have to say the food was really good. So if you’re ever in Bluestone I can recommend them for an Indian. You do need to collect it yourself so bear that in mind. But it’s worth the 10 minute drive.

After dinner we had another round of Catan which S won and another game of Ticket to Ride which W won, again! I do enjoy playing both games. At 11.15pm we turned in and I slept well in the spare bedroom with BattleKid.

Gateholm Lodge
Gateholm Lodge

Tomorrow it’s time to pack up and head home as it’s Day 4 at Bluestone.

Bluestone Day 2: 10/10/2015

BattleKid started crying from 5.30am and wouldn’t settle back to sleep even in my bed. BattleDad eventually took him at 6.30 so I could try get another hour or two. I was wrecked! I managed to get a little bit of sleep until I finally got out of bed at 8.20am. It wasn’t proper sleep as the Gateholm is upside down living like the Ramsey we had last time and the floors upstairs creek a lot. So I didn’t managed to drop off fully. However, the rest did me some good. I didn’t feel too exhausted.

Breakfast
Breakfast

We had a cup of tea when I got up before S cooked us breakfast of pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup. It was really nice. We had started having this at home after she mentioned it last time they stayed in ours and I never tire of having it for breakfast. They had discovered it on their honeymoon in Canada.

After breakfast we had a shower and got dressed, ready to go out. We decided to head out of Bluestone itself as BattleDad and I have never been around West Wales, so W and S offered to show us a few places. We first drove to Newgale Beach.

Dead dog on the way to Newgale!
Dead dog on the way to Newgale!

When we arrived we parked beside the surf shop and took a quick look inside. BattleDad and S were on the hunt for hats as it was rather cold and windy. While in there we spotted a monkey hat which looked very like Curious George. I just had to get it for BattleKid. We showed it to him outside and he promptly removed his pumpkin hat and asked for “Jorge” to go onto his head. This was the first time he had ever ASKED for a hat to go on his head. He normally hates hats and tries to remove them at the first chance he gets. But nope, George went on and there he stayed!

New George hat
New George hat

We climbed over the rocks and took a nice stroll on the beach, me taking intermittent shots on my dslr. The light wasn’t great but I still managed one or two nice ones. While strolling on the beach BattleKid discovered shells for the first time and we collected a few, which I plan to wash and put into his memory box.

With my boy
With my boy

After our stroll we decided to head for St. David’s for lunch as it was getting close to the kids lunchtime. S warned they might stop suddenly if the pottery shop in Solva was open and stop we did. Solva is a lovely little village on the road to St. David’s from Newgale and we ended up staying there for lunch.

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BattleDad had spotted a “fresh crab sandwiches” sign outside some lovely tea rooms so we went in after visiting the pottery shop for our lunch. It was the loveliest tea rooms I’ve ever been in. I had a cheese and pickle sandwich and a huge pot of Mocha Chai tea, which was heavenly. BattleDad and W had the crab sandwiches while S had the Welsh Cawl. BattleKid ate well, was well-behaved and in great form despite being up early.

Lunchtime selfie
Lunchtime selfie
The Old Pharmacy Tea Rooms
The Old Pharmacy Tea Rooms

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Gorgeous china tea pot and cup
Gorgeous china tea-pot and cup
A tea strainer and all!
A tea strainer and all!
The Old Pharmacy Tearooms
The Old Pharmacy Tea rooms
The sign which made us stop for lunch
The sign which made us stop for lunch

I think the snooze BattleKid had on the drive to Newgale helped to keep him in good form over lunch. We had a really lovely lunch together and all of us were relaxed, including the boys. We agreed we need to do that more often!

After lunch S and I went into Window on Wales and I bought a present for BattleKid for his birthday (I’m struggling with ideas for it), a card for my sister’s forthcoming wedding and a one cup/teapot combo.

Solva shop front
Solva shop front

Once we had finished our spot of shopping we joined BattleDad and W at the car park and BattleDad suggested I walk to the end of the car park while he got BattleKid into the car and I was thankful he did as there were boats there. I’m a big fan of boats, particularly traditional fishing ones and I got a few quick snaps on my phone. I even found one with my mum’s name on it!

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After leaving Solva we headed to St. David’s but both boys were asleep in the cars when we arrived so we didn’t stop and instead headed back to Bluestone. I napped on the way back while BattleDad drove and I was thankful for it. When we arrived back BattleKid was still asleep so I sent BattleDad down with W and S to get a nap while I waited in the car with BattleKid. He stayed asleep for am extra 40 minutes and I was glad I had data connection on my phone I tell you! When he woke we walked down to the lodge to get ready for dinner which was booked for 5pm.

I felt guilty about the timing of dinner as there was a Wales rugby match on at the same time. I had offered to change the dinner booking but W and S said not to, that they’d keep track on their phones.

Ready for dinner
Ready for dinner

We had dinner in the Oak Tree restaurant and I can fully recommend it if you ever visit Bluestone. All the food was delicious and tasty and the service was excellent. I was unsure if BattleKid would eat much so ordered him half the lamb cawl to start and he devoured it. I also ordered him the chicken and pesto mash from the children’s menu and that was just as well received by him. I was surprised but glad of him eating well! As for me I shared the antipasti platter with BattleDad to start and had their monkfish special for my main: monkfish in pancetta with spinach and cannellini beans. OMG it was so tasty! We all were stuffed and happy after dinner. I was glad we did 5pm so that we didn’t disturb too many other diners. While we were in there there were three other families having dinner but when we left a few adults-only groups started coming in so I was glad we were leaving as they were coming in. They could have their dinner in peace, haha.

The hat went back on after dinner!
The hat went back on after dinner!

After dinner, the George hat went back on and we headed back to our lodge. It was pj’s on all round and bottles for the boys after we did a bit of tower building with L’s stacking cups. BattleKid had great fun knocking them down and even L started getting into it after being unsure at first. He’s growing up so fast and it’ll be his first birthday soon! Time flies. After the boys went to bed we took out the games and started with Settlers of Catan again with cuppas all round, decaffeinated this time though! BattleDad won that game before we moved onto Ticket to Ride. I nearly won that until W made his last move. He scuppered me finishing a route which would have meant I’d have won. I ended up on 134 points while he got 137. Damn!

We headed to bed after that game at 11 and I decided to go straight into the spare bedroom with BattleKid. In went my ear plugs and I went to sleep pretty quickly thankfully. I slept well. It must have been the fresh air we got at the beach.

We had a lovely day and finally got to see a bit of West Wales. I can see us doing a week-long stay in West Wales in the future.

Pop by tomorrow for Day 3 of this visit to Bluestone.

Bluestone Day 1: 09/10/2015

Unlike our last visit I decided to work a half day as my number of annual leave days are now few and far between. I had pretty much sorted everything the night before so once I got home we’d just need to pack up the Landy and get on the road.

I wasn’t particularly busy in work. In fact it was very quiet as there were a few people off. I finished at 12.30 and headed home in the S5, having taken BattleDad’s car so he could drop the dogs to kennels in mine. Halfway home on a dual carriageway I hear an almighty clunk under the car that scared the s**t out of me. I slowed right down and gingerly made my way to the side of the road where I called BattleDad to tell him what had happened. In the fright of it I somehow managed to hurt my shoulder too. We eventually made it home and BattleDad went to nursery to pick up BattleKid. Once at home and after a cup of tea and some painkillers, we saw that whatever had been on the road that I had hit had caused a puncture in┬áthe rear drivers tyre as it was right down. BattleDad was glad I was ok but a bit annoyed at the inconvenience, especially as he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it until Monday, when he should have been travelling back to London.

Anyhow, with the S5 put to bed we packed up the Landy and set off at around 2.30pm. W and S, who we were going to Bluestone with again, had already set off. 20 minutes down the road BattleDad realised he’d forgotten to pack the board games. Cue a u-turn and journey back home to pick them up. We couldn’t go to Bluestone without any board games. Finally, after 3pm, we were back on the road with an already snoozing toddler in the back. He’d been getting tired as his nap in nursery usually starts between 12.30 and 1.00pm.

We arrived around 5pm and made our way to our Gateholm lodge where W and S were unpacking. I’d forgotten to tell them we had gotten an upgrade so they were surprised to see a 3 bedroom lodge and not a 2 bedroom. Thankfully the check in queue wasn’t too bad this time around. W and S had also picked up the buggy we had hired for the weekend so we just needed to unpack and get rid of the Landy before we could relax.

Just arrived at Bluestone!
Thumbs up as we had just arrived at Bluestone!

Us mums gave BattleKid and L their tea of toast and apple slices while BattleDad and W got rid of the Landy. Afterwards the kids played together while us adults caught up with each other. It was lovely having W there from the start unlike last time and we fell into good conversation over cups of tea and coffee while our boys played together. It was nice to see BattleKid being good and gentle with L. I think nursery has helped in that respect as he wouldn’t come into contact with other children much outside of that environment.

Crawling after L!
Crawling after L!

 

Knocking over towers!
Knocking over towers!

We got the boys ready for bed and gave them their bottles around 7pm before story time. Both went down without too much hassle and it was handy having a spare room to put BattleKid into so we didn’t disturb him going to the bathroom during the night.

George hanging out in Bluestone!
George hanging out in Bluestone!

Bluestone had opened a new eatery called The Chippy since the last time we’d been and we had long decided it was going to be fish and chips on the night of our arrival so off went BattleDad and W for our dinner. It was very nice too and the mushy peas and curry sauce went well with our fish and chips. After dinner we played a game of Settlers of Catan, which I won.

Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan

However I had made the mistake of having a strong cup of caffeinated tea and although we went to bed by 11pm, that coupled with the Belgian chocolates, I couldn’t drop off to sleep. Between that and BattleDad’s snoring I had to move if I was to have any hope of getting any sleep. I went into BattleKid’s room but still saw 2.30am on the clock. It was a nightmare. The next morning didn’t fare any better!

Drop by tomorrow to see what Day 2 of our weekend away brought for us.

Bluestone Holiday Diaries October 2015

After an enjoyable first visit to Bluestone with friends in June, we booked for another weekend in October and it came around quickly. As usual I kept a short diary of our time there which I’ll share with you next week on the blog.

I realised after my first set of Bluestone Holiday Diaries that I never really said much about the resort itself. Bluestone National Park Resort is set in 500 acres of the Pembrokeshire countryside and is a fabulous place to spend time with family and friends. The whole ethos of Bluestone is free range breaks in luxury accommodation and it does not disappoint. You can stay for 3, 4 or 7 night breaks and they have accommodation to suit every party’s needs from studio apartments for 2, to lodges sleeping up to 14! And luxury they are. All are well decorated with all mod-cons. We’ve stayed in both the Ramsey (sleeps 4) and Gateholm (sleeps 6) lodges and both are lovely, although a little strange at first with up-side down living, meaning your bedrooms are on the lower floor and living room/kitchen are upstairs.

Bluestone has various restaurants for eating on the resort, a shop, pub and the Well Spa Retreat if you fancy treating yourself. There is the Blue Lagoon Water Park which has a lazy river and a wave pool and is a great way to spend an hour or two while there. There is an Adventure Centre for older kids which we will visit once BattleKid is old enough.

They operate a car-free zone meaning you deposit your car at the long-stay car park by midnight of the day of your arrival and there it stays until you leave, unless you need it due to mobility issues/disability reasons. They have buggies for hire to get around and these are great fun and worth it in my opinion. You can also hire bikes there if you feel like getting active and forgot your own.

Nearby you have the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast to visit as well as Oakwood Theme Park, Folly Farm and places like Tenby (still on our to-do list).

Bluestone has it all in my opinion and is fast becoming a favourite staycation place for the BattleHousehold.

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