Tenerife Day 4: 26/12/2016

St Stephens Day, or Boxing Day if you are from the UK, and BattleKid was awake by 7am. I hadn’t slept very well at all as he had been having lots of dreams in which he was crying or shouting out. I always wonder what they were about when he goes through them. It doesn’t happen very often but they do. So needless-to-say I was knackered.

We headed for breakfast at 8.30 and then for our morning walk which was becoming a little routine for us. Instead of turning left from the hotel we turned right instead and walked along the seafront until that ended and we headed off-road towards the next town over, Callao Salvaje. This seemed a slightly bigger town with more bars and restaurants in it. We found a playground and stopped to let BattleKid have a go on the swings and slide. He had a great time and was quite happy. We started to head back at 11.30 and ended up taking the long way back due to a miscalculation on my part, oops.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 4

We relaxed in our room, BattleDad snoozing, BattleKid and I playing cars, colouring and reading stories until 1.15 when we headed for some lunch. I was quite hungry after our walk earlier. BattleKid was actually quite tired this afternoon so after lunch BattleDad took him to our room to try and get him to have a nap while I relaxed down by the pool. It was quite nice having two hours to myself to read and snooze in the sun. In the end BattleKid only snoozed for half an hour but BattleDad knew I was wrecked after the night I’d had so kept BattleKid with him to give me some quiet time. I was very appreciative of it.

When they eventually came down we let BattleKid dip his toes in the water but didn’t let him get in fully, to save him getting cold and another tantrum after we took him out. He was happy enough with that deal.

We had our usual evening routine of showers, dinner and a visit to the playground in our hotel before bedtime. It was a rather lazy day all round, with us ending the evening with an episode of Mr Robot. A friend in work had recommended it and I’m glad we eventually took his recommendation and watched it, because it was a great show.

After a rather lazy day, stop by tomorrow to see if we stayed lazy or not!

Cath x

Tenerife Day 3: 25/12/2016

Christmas Day and BattleKid didn’t wake until 7.30am. I wonder would it have been the same had we been at home. He and I went out into the living area to BattleDad and Santa had indeed been, leaving a small pile of presents for him.

He opened his presents which included new cars, some Finding Nemo models and a new shorts set. After presents we headed for breakfast and then a walk further into the town of Playa Paraiso. Again, we had thought this was closer to Costa Adeje than it actually is as it was advertised as such by Thomsons. You have to get a bus or taxi if you want to visit Costa Adeje.

We again passed the Hard Rock Hotel and came across people swimming in the sea, obviously a Christmas tradition. Crazy loons. If the sea was as cold as our pool, then I take my hat off to them!Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 3

We got back to the hotel by 11am, so stopped at the lower restaurant at the sea front and had tea and coffee and cakes. It was quite nice down there watching the world go by. Fueled up I went to our room for pool supplies and we relaxed by the pool until lunchtime. It felt very strange to be sitting by a pool, in the sunshine, on Christmas Day. BattleDad and I were discussing our plans to buy a holiday home in Portugal near my parents once our other house sold. Holiday home talk turned into “why don’t we just go, permanently”. And the decision was made on Christmas Day! Although we still needed to run it by my parents little did we know we had just made a monumental decision about our family’s future.

The breeze around the pool was quite strong and BattleKid had gotten wet so before lunch I changed him into dry clothes and we headed to the restaurant for something to eat. We returned to the pool after lunch and let BattleKid paddle in the kid’s pool, myself and BattleDad taking it in turns to wade around in there with him. Again BattleKid ended up shivering with the cold after about 30 minutes and screamed the place down when we took him out to get him dry and warm. In fairness he wasn’t the only child having a tantrum at being taken out of the pool to warm up.

He eventually calmed down enough for us to get him wrapped up and we enjoyed just chilling on the sun beds in the sun, which was arm in between the breeze.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 3

At 4.30 we went for our showers and to make our Christmas Day calls to family in Ireland. Dinner was at 6pm and in truth was a bit chaotic. It really could have been organised a bit better. It was still a buffet type meal with better options on the menu than regular days but the queues for the meat stations were ridiculously long.

After dinner we had tea and coffee in the atrium before heading up to our room for pj’s, stories and bedtime. We had finally gotten hold of a kettle from the hotel so BattleKid had warm milk going to bed. BattleDad and I then enjoyed another cuppa with an episode of Mr Robot before turning in ourselves before 10pm. Sometime in the afternoon a bottle of Champagne and a flower was placed in our room with a note apologising that there was no alternative room for us to move to. Unfortunately now that BattleDad and I are tee total the bottle was lost on us!

Stop by tomorrow to see what St Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day was like for us.

Cath x

Tenerife Day 2: 24/12/2016

We were up at 7am after a bad start to our Christmas holiday and soon got dressed and headed down to breakfast. While we were glad to finally be eating something decent the breakfast range in this Rui Hotel was not as good as the range at the Flamingo Resort of the Lanzarote Holiday Diaries.

After breakfast we decided to take a walk to the nearest supermarket to get milk, nappies and fruit, as strangely there was hardly any at breakfast. We passed by the Hard Rock Hotel, which is absolutely amazing. We got back by 11am so I decided to sit by the pool with BattleKid while BattleDad went to see our rep to complain about the poor planning the night before and the horrendous bed he was stuck with.

The rep in fairness was quite nice and actually mentioned to BattleDad that lots of people were complaining about the hotel and beds. So much so she felt like packing it in and going home to the UK! Unfortunately because of the time of year the hotel was completely full and there were no alternative beds or rooms available for us. The best she could do was get a mattress topper for him and while it helped a bit, it wasn’t the best solution. We also had to beg a kettle to ensure we could warm up BattleKid’s milk!Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 2

We had lunch at 1 and again the options and range available were not as good as the Flamingo Beach Resort in Lanzarote. This Rui Hotel was supposed to be a 4 star hotel but it was anything but. The flamingo Resort is 6 star if this place is 4 stars. Aside from the bad bed, the wall paper was peeling away from the walls in our room, there were tiles from the door surround falling away, cracked tiles on our balcony and the edging around the pool was lethal. We saw a few toddlers and young kids stub their toes on the concrete edging that was coming away. We had to be extra vigilant with BattleKid around the pool area.

After lunch we got a swim nappy and headed for the pools, which are advertised as being heated in winter. I can tell you they are not. Both adult pools were Baltic and the kid’s paddling pool was freezing, although it was slightly warmer than the big pools. After 30 minutes paddling BattleKid was shivering with blue lips. Of course he just wanted to carry on playing so had an almighty fit when we took him out to warm him up!

Once he calmed down we played around our sunbeds before going up to our room for a warm shower at 4pm. We watched some TV and played cars until we went for dinner at 6pm.

As it was Christmas Eve, Santa was making an appearance for all the children staying at the hotel before he headed off again to deliver presents. He came into the foyer beside the pool, being pulled by some reindeers and he greeted every child and gave them a present before we left to get BattleKid to bed. I’ll give the hotel credit where it is due, this was a really good thing for them to do.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 2

BattleDad had to see the rep, as by 8pm we hadn’t received the mattress topper for the sofa bed. We also didn’t have a kettle at this stage so BattleKid had to have cold milk which he wasn’t fond of at bedtime, being used to warm milk. We were really cheesed off at having no kettle. We watched one episode of Mr Robot before heading to bed ourselves at 9.30pm. We all had an ok night’s sleep and we wondered if Santa would drop anything off for BattleKid as we were away.

Stop by tomorrow to see if Santa visited us in Tenerife!

Cath x

Dragon Hunting at Abergavenny Castle

We are regular visitors to Abergavenny as it is only 15 minutes from our house. We often pop down on a Saturday for breakfast in our favourite café before running some errands, like depositing money in BattleKid’s bank account or getting his ever growing feet measured in Clarks. A few times we’ve gone dragon hunting at Abergavenny Castle after we’ve finished and BattleKid loves this little castle.Dragon Hunting At abergavenny castle

Abergavenny Castle is a ruined castle which was established in 1087 by a Norman Lord. Now a Grade 1 listed building, it is quite small and is located beside one of the main town car parks. It had a stone keep, towers and ditch fortifications. It housed both the family and the army of the Lord of the Castle. In the 19th century a lodge was built on top of the motte as a hunting lodge for the Marquess of Abergavenny and today acts as the castle museum.

Abergavenny Castle was also the scene of an infamous massacre over Christmas in 1175. The whole castle was destroyed in 1233 by the Earl of Pembroke and eventually rebuilt in stone. The walls you can see today are the remains of a stone hall built between 1233 and 1295.Dragon Hunting At abergavenny castle

Whenever we go dragon hunting at Abergavenny Castle, we always go clockwise for some reason, starting along the ruined walls. We check the holes and nooks and crannies in the walls for the dragon. We check the outside of the walls and also gated entrances.

We always check around the edge of the motte where the lodge now stands and also in the trees in the gardens. There are many a ruined wall with holes to check as you never know where the dragon might be hiding.

On our most recent adventure dragon hunting at Abergavenny Castle, we started at the main ruins and BattleKid checked all the usual places. Not finding the dragon where he initially thought it might be, he took a moment to reflect and think hard about where he might be hiding. Cue camera time for me!Dragon Hunting At abergavenny castle

We walked along the bottom of the motte and then made our way up it to the ruin wall that runs perpendicular to it. Lo and behold the dragon was hiding in one of the holes in the wall. BattleKid was delighted to find him at long last. He gave him a hug and then promptly tried to put him back where he found him.Dragon Hunting At abergavenny castle

Although this was a short expedition of dragon hunting at Abergavenny Castle, it was no less fun than previous visits for BattleKid. Happy that he had found his dragon he didn’t let go of him until he fell asleep in the car on the way home. Dragon hunting is tiring work you know.Dragon Hunting At abergavenny castle

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

  • Abergavenny Castle ruins and the museum are free to visit and are located near the main car parks of Abergavenny town.
  • There is limited free parking within the grounds itself. The nearest car park is a pay and display carpark.
  • The museum is open from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and 2pm to 5pm Sunday between March and October. Between November and February the museum is open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
  • There are various exhibitions, both temporary and permanent, within the museum. Check what’s on by visiting the Abergavenny Museum website.
  • Note that the grounds of Abergavenny are quite uneven so are inaccessible to wheelchairs and buggies for the most part.
  • There are Family Backpacks available in the museum for families to use free of charge during their visit (free to use with a returnable security deposit such as car keys or mobile phone). These include replica artefacts, historic games, information sheets and activity sheets and binoculars to make visits more interesting. We haven’t used these but they sound brilliant for slightly older children than BattleKid’s 3 years of age.

We always enjoy ourselves whenever we go dragon hunting at Abergavenny Castle. I would recommend you visit Abergavenny Castle if you are in the area but it wouldn’t quite make a full day out unless you plan to get one of the backpacks and bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds (tables available at the back of the castle). It is quite small, but that said is easily enjoyed for an hour or two for a spot of dragon hunting. As we haven’t ventured into the museum I cannot comment on it.

We generally go dragon hunting at Abergavenny Castle after running errands after breakfast. It’s a nice way to round off a visit to Abergavenny. Have you visited it?

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

Dragon Hunting At abergavenny castle

Linking up with:

Cuddle Fairy

Wanderlust Kids

A Wanderful Childhood – Global Mouse Travels

Tenerife Day 1: 23/12/2016

Our flight this morning was due to leave Bristol at 11am so we left the house by 7.00 to give ourselves plenty of time to check-in and get some breakfast before we left. We arrived at the airport before 8.30 and dropped our car off at the Meet-and-Greet, which is an excellent service. It is located at the drop-off car park and means a very short walk to the terminal. We’ll be using this service from now on as it’s worth the extra few pounds. They take your car and park it for you and it’s at the same place waiting for you when you step off the plane.

We joined the queue and soon checked in and went through the Fast Track security, another extra we pay for, and were soon sat down eating breakfast in the food hall. We had a nice breakfast, although it was a bit expensive, as once we’d finished and our gate was announced, we started our walk to the gate along with everyone else, keen to get on that plane and head south for a week.

We arrived at our gate just after 10.15am and found a seat and waiting until boarding started. However, this is when the fun started. We noticed some workmen under the plane and my husband and I started wondering why they were there. At 10.40am we found out why. There was a ‘technical fault’ with the plane, as announced by the staff as the boarding gate and there would be a slight delay to our flight.Tenerife Holiday Diaries Day 1

At 11.10am, the captain came to the gate to say that the cable between the thrust and the cockpit was not working and the engineers were looking into it. He was waiting to see if it could be fixed and if not, another plane would need to be brought in. This was not the start to our holiday we envisaged.

Ten minutes later the captain returned to say the company had decided to delay our departure until at least 1pm while they tried to fix the problem. We all started questioning how this fault hadn’t been caught before we had made our way to the gate as in our eyes this was a major fault, not a little one! We were asked to return to the departures lounge and to keep an eye on the boards for updates as Bristol Airport, in their infinite wisdom, do not make announcements unless it is a gate closing!

We managed to get ourselves into the Executive Lounge via BattleDad’s Airport executive lounges card and got ourselves some pastries and tea and let BattleKid start on the snack we had brought. At 12.55, almost two hours after our original departure time, the boards announced that our flight was delayed until 14.50. At 13.45 that time changed to 15.00, the time we should have been arriving in Tenerife to start our holiday.

We left the lounge to get some lunch and only after we had ordered and paid for our lunch did we hear an announcement saying those of us delayed were entitled to a £5 refreshment voucher (which was not announced in the lounge we had just been in). Talk about one disaster after another!

We were finally called to our gate at 15.15 and finally boarded our plane at 15.35pm. And we were some of the lucky ones. Because they had to call in another plane, the only available one was smaller than our original one so roughly 30-40 people were told they would have to wait and get another plane, from another airport.

I think if it had been us I would have just gone home. Can you imagine thinking you’re finally going to be on your way to the sun only to find out you aren’t. Plus we heard rumours that those who were left behind didn’t arrive until the 26th December! Why would you even bother? I hope they got a lot of compensation!

We eventually took off at 4.10pm, finally heading south but still fuming at the chaos. We arrived at 7.50pm and waited almost an hour for our baggage. We made our way through arrivals and BattleDad spoke to the ground staff of Thomson’s to see if we would get dinner when we arrived at the hotel as BattleKid hadn’t eaten anything since lunchtime apart form a snack on the plane. They were extremely unhelpful and completely dismissive. BattleDad also enquired how long the bus would take, thinking we might still make dinner. 40 minutes is what was the response.

We decided to get a taxi to see if we could possibly make dinner. 20 minutes after leaving the airport we arrived at our hotel. Poor BattleKid was so tired that he fell asleep in the car and that was him for the night. The poor egg went to sleep that night without dinner. By the time we were seen at reception we had missed dinner and were told there would be something available in the dining room for us once we had gone to our room to put BattleKid to bed. That was something at least right? Wrong. All BattleDad could find was a few croissants, cold meat and salad. No hot dinner at all as we were lead to believe by reception.

The day just couldn’t get any worse. As the Sofa bed wasn’t really a sofa bed we had to let BattleKid sleep in our bed and BattleDad took the sofa bed. We went to bed at 10.30 and BattleDad had a horrendous night’s sleep due to the awful ‘sofa bed’ he was reduced to sleeping on. Had I known how bad things would have been I’d before we got on that plane I’d have never bothered getting on it! Disastrous day 1!

Stop by tomorrow to see if things improved on Christmas Eve.

Cath x