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October 2021 | Looking Back

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We had a very busy October with us all doing lots of stuff as a family that we had planned. Some of the things we enjoyed had been booked for a long time so we were just so grateful that we were able to go. No one knows what the next couple of months might look like here in the UK as the Winter kicks in so we tried to enjoy it as much as possible.

paper plane
We started the month with a date night for a Chinese and then off to a charity quiz night. John and I were absolutely rubbish at the quiz although John did make the best paper plane. His plane that went the furthest out of about 40 so he won a prize. He won a juicer. We didn't win at the quiz but it was lots of fun. 

Boy looking at  sign

Boy looking at  sign

Music wall
Around Springtime we took part in a Percy The Park Keeper Trail in Tatton Park. It was a lovely trail around the gardens and we got to explore, do challenges and meet Percy himself. There was a new Autumn trail to experience at the park this month called After The Storm. The trail was really good and was free to enjoy or you could buy a trail map for just £1. We got to see parts of Tatton Park we hadn't seen before. 

woman standing in front of a show poster
empty theatre seats
Tell me on a Sunday stage
We went to the theatre for the first time in what feels like forever and it felt so good to be back watching a live show. Unfortunately there were only about 100 people in there, which was just so sad. I can't even say it was the show as it was the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic, Tell Me On A Sunday. I guess people may not feel comfortable heading to such an intimate setting yet. However I absolutely loved the show and Jodie Prenger was amazing.

Blackpool Tower illuminated

Boy looking at the illuminations in Blackpool


We made our way up North to visit Blackpool to see the Blackpool illuminations. We try and do it every year and it has become a tradition. We always do the same thing every year but the boys still enjoy it. We head to Coral Island to play some games and try and win some goodies. Then we usually go to the chippy for dinner because you can't go to Blackpool and not get fish and chips. As we are Merlin Pass Holders we then visit the Blackpool Tower to see the illuminations from 380ft in the air. After that we drive through the lights all the way along the golden mile. 

kenyon hall farm

kenyon hall farm

pumpkins

boy in a pumpkin patch
Pumpkin Picking was the start of five days of Halloween and was so much fun this year. We managed to pick some really nice pumpkins at Kenyon Hall Farm. Tickets sold out very quickly so we were lucky to grab some before they did, however we actually realised that you only needed the ticket to visit the pumpkin field, everything else was available at no cost with lots of pumpkins already picked for sale. You can also enjoy the play area, cafe and shop too so I won't be too stressed next year if we don't manage to get a ticket as there is still lots to enjoy. 

Carved pumpkins
Only one thing to do after you've picked your pumpkins, time to carve them. From left to right is big J, mine, John's and little J's.

boys walking through a light tunnel

a boy bowing to buckbeak

a wand fight

A wand fight
After our pumpkin picking day and pumpkin carving night we headed to the Harry Potter Forbidden Forest experience. We had tried not to see anything about the trail online as we didn't want to spoil our experience so didn't really know what to expect. It was absolutely amazing. The trail was at Arley Hall and Gardens National Trust property which was magically transformed in to all things Harry Potter. The rain poured down however the trees proved to be amazing umbrellas so we didn't feel it until we headed in to the open. It was an unforgettable experience and worth every penny.

scarefest sign

alton towers pumpkins

Mixtape at Alton towers

boy standing outside trick o'treat town
We made it to Scarefest at Alton Towers after almost being put off by the rain. We are so glad we still went as the rain stayed away all day and we had a really fun packed day. The morning was a slow start with queuing almost 2 hours for Mixtape but after that we managed to get on all the rides we wanted, visited the new Trick O'Treat Town which was a really fun experience for all the family and rode Galactica and Wicker Man in the dark

boy dressed as a scary pumpkin

man and woman dress for halloween
We finished off our Halloween themed half term with two Halloween parties. 

I hope November is as fun as October was.

Michelle
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September 2021 | Looking Back

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I love looking back at our month to see all the things we got up to and what has happened over the past 30 days. The main thing for us this month was settling back in to the back to school routine. Things are going well for little J, he is really enjoying it. Big J doesn't start university till this month but hopefully he will settle well and enjoy it too.

two boys walking in to Oktoberfest


We had a last minute trip to Oktoberfest at Alton Towers which was definitely a highlight. Alton Towers is one of our favourite places to visit and although Oktoberfest isn't a new event for the resort it was our first time visiting.

The resort planned five huge events this year starting with Mardi Gras (which was amazing), Oktoberfest, Scarefest, Fireworks and Christmas. I am hoping we get to visit the last three as they are always a great day out. 

boy with a 1.4m wristband on


While we were at Alton we got little J measured and he has FINALLY reached 1.4m. He absolutely loves rollercoasters so he was over the moon and couldn't wait to try out a new ride. He chose Galactica and loved it so much he went on it twice.

McFly on stage


Another highlight was seeing my favourite band in concert, Mcfly. We booked the tickets almost two years ago so it was a very long wait but it was definitely worth it. Unfortunately Tom who is one of the lead vocalists caught Covid so had to isolate. I was really gutted as I wasn't sure what the concert would be like without him but his band mates stepped up and also brought in a little Tom from the band Chapter 13 to help sing Tom's parts.

McFly on stage


I've been going to McFly Concerts for as long as they have been putting on shows and I never get bored, they are amazing live. 

In Other News

We have had quite a few social events to go to this month so it's been a busy one. I don't think there has been one weekend when we haven't had something planned.

John and I joined the gym at the very beginning of the month and pleased to say that after 30 days we are feeling much better in ourselves. We've been to a variety of classes and also swimming and really hope we keep it up. 

Little J's football has started up again. They played two matches this month, lost 6-3 in one match and then won 2-1 in another.

We started and finished all three seasons of Manifest. I really enjoyed it at first but then it got a little crazy but I stuck with it. John loved it and he cannot wait for the fourth and final season next year. 

How was September for you?

Michelle
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August 2021 | Looking Back

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I said last month that August will fly by and before we know it the kids will be back at school and yes, I was right. Days, weeks and even months can drag sometimes when you are in work however as soon as you are off they whizz past. I really can't complain as we had an absolutely brilliant Summer and it has probably been my favourite Summer for a long time. 

standing in front of the disneyland paris castle



toy story land disneyland paris

One of my favourite memories from this Summer was booking a very last minute to Disneyland Paris. It had been about 18 months since we visited a Disney park and as soon as they announced that France had been removed from amber plus we booked. It was the best Disneyland Paris holiday I think we have ever had. Everything went so smoothly and although we had to wear masks and the castle is under refurbishment it was every bit as magical as I remembered

hotel cheyenne


We tend to visit Disneyland Paris around Christmas time so it was nice to enjoy the parks in just t-shirts rather than jumpers, coats, hats and scarves. We stayed in Hotel Cheyenne which is the only Disney hotel we hadn't stayed in before so it was a nice experience.

hyper space mountain


This visit was the first time that little J went on every ride we did except for Indiana Jones. He was so brave and went on Hyper Space Mountain and The Tower of Terror.

We had a truly amazing time and it was just what we needed. 

jumping in to a foam pit

We visited quite a few indoor play centres this month including Flip Out, Kick Air and our local soft play. We love visiting indoor play centres, they are perfect for wet days, to burn off any extra energy and to spend time with friends. 

legoland discovery centre



legoland discovery centre

John and big J were in and out of work all month so I had planned a few days out just for little J and I. We went to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester followed by a visit to Sealife which is just next door.

sealife centre


As Merlin Pass holders we can visit the attractions throughout the year as and when we want however I still prebook our tickets as they can sell out very quickly. 

John and I enjoyed just one date day this month but it was a good one. We headed to Breakout which is our favourite escape room. We chose Detectives Office and we did manage to escape with just over a minute to go. 

salthouse dock

albert dock

afternoon tea


We then hopped aboard The Floating Grace for afternoon tea and a cruise around the docks in Liverpool. I love afternoon tea and John had found this unique experience and it was a lovely way to spend a few hours. The food was delicious and the sights were stunning. 

dinosaur trail


A few years ago we did a trail around Blackburn looking for Lego Paw Patrol models and it was one of our favourite days out that Summer. This year it was back so we headed back to Blackburn but this time we enjoyed the Brickosaurs Brick Trail looking for huge dinosaurs. It was lots of fun. 

pennington flash

pennington flash

pennington flash

pennington flash


We headed outside quite a few times this month however a highlight was Pennington Flash. It's advertised as a 2 mile walk around the flash (like a large lake) however it was about 7km for us but I think we may have took a few wrong turns. We reached the Liverpool Leeds Canal which was lovely to walk along. We actually saw a boat going past which little J loved as the captain waved at him. 

The walk itself wasn't tough however there were parts were we had to improvise as the path was muddy or blocked off completely but it all adds to the fun I suppose. 

In Other News

I was really stressing about back to school shopping however it went really well and we got everything in just one trip. 

I've started planning our days out for Halloween and Christmas. Things sell out so fast so you have to be very early. 

Big J headed to Creamfields for the weekend. It's his first festival but he was very excited as well as nervous but had an amazing time. 

Our paddling pool didn't really get much use this year compared to last year. It's not been that warm at all however we managed to get it out over the bank holiday weekend which was fun. 

How was your Summer?

Michelle
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July 2021 | Looking Back

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I feel like July has flew by and I know August will be the same and before we know it we will be heading back to work and school in September. July was a busy month so it's nice for me to look back at what we got up to. 

Boy looking at a wall mural
We headed into July with no plans and nothing booked but we ended up having a really nice month. July is usually the month we head on a Summer holiday but this year we stayed closer to home but still had lots of fun. 

inflatable slide

inflatable slide

inflatable slide
Little J managed to visit three different play areas this month that had his favourite thing, an inflatable slide. The slide at Jump Maniax was huge which he loved. He even enjoyed racing with a friend he made while we were there. The inflatable slide at Calderstones Beach was lots of fun and he got to share it with his cousins. Then during a visit to Dino Kingdom in Manchester he spotted the slide and bouncy castle in the far corner of the fairground area. He was very happy. 

boy waving an england flag
Little J was really excited about the Euros and managed to stay up and watch some of the matches even the ones that went to penalties. He really wanted England to win but unfortunately it didn't go their way. He's now looking forward to the start of the Premier League and then the World Cup. 

lots of teacher presents
It was the end of another school year for me and it's such a sad time as I have to say goodbye to all my little ones. We were all spoilt this year. The parents were so kind and we got lots of lovely gifts and some personal gifts too.

boy playing in the sand

man and women standing on the waterfront
We decided on a last minute trip to the seaside. It was late in the afternoon when we got there and it was fairly quiet. It was a nice but windy day, a lovely way to spend a few hours. 

playing air hockey

playing Nerf game in arcade
We also managed to fit in a trip to Coral Island in Blackpool. Little J loves it there and was brave enough to go on the ghost train, we played air hockey, arcade games and we won a huge baby Yoda. 

man celebrating birthday

on marauders mayhem at Alton towers

the view from the sky ride
We headed to one of our favourite places, Alton Towers to celebrate Johns birthday. We booked a stay over at the Alton Towers hotel and surprised him with the adult birthday package. We spent the day in the park, early evening in the waterpark and then to the Crooked Spoon for dinner. A lovely way to spend the day. We headed back to the park the next day to do some more rides. 

boy playing on a golf simulator

man playing on a golf simulator
After our second day in the Alton Towers theme park we headed to Goin Golf. We had been invited to visit and try out the Golf Simulators and it was amazing. We didn't want to leave and really over stayed our welcome but it was so much fun. 

boy measuring 1.3m
We finished off the month with a stay over at Drayton Manor Hotel and a visit to the theme park. It's a lovely family park with just a handful of thrill rides. Little J is absolutely desperate to ride the 'big ones' but is just short of the 1.4m requirement. Won't be long though.

In Other News

Big J has been working lots over the past few weeks so unfortunately has missed out on a few of our days out which he doesn't like but we have a full week with him very soon. 

To our surprise little J had to have a filling this month. It was a surprise because he is so good brushing his teeth at least twice a day and isn't a big sweet or fruit eater. He has a very strong gag reflex so had to be sedated but was very brave. 

We had one week of glorious weather which meant the pool came out for the week. I love having the pool out it was a lovely way to spend the first week of the Summer holidays. 

I completed my July book club in plenty of time. This months book was called Beauty Sleep. It was a great read and I would definitely recommend it. 

How was your July?

Michelle
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