Category Archives: Travel

summer is here…

Sorry I’ve been very quiet lately, I’ve had a bit going on in my life generally and time seems to be passing by too quickly.

I have a new boyfriend, although at 27 years old the word boyfriend sounds a little childlike. He is lovely, so kind and thoughtful and he gets on great with my family and friends. I’ll Call him Mr J for now as i’m not sure that he will want me to talk about him, I don’t think he’s found my blog yet although I could be very wrong. ( Hi if you have found me)
It’s only been a month but it feels like i’ve know him for years and we get on so well.

I still need to meet his family and friends properly as we just havnt seemed to find the time to meet up with them yet.

Me and C went on a fantastic holiday in Towyn, North Wales at the end of last month with Danii and my cousin Ste as well. ¬†We had loads of visitors and got to have a catch up with friends, new and old. We made the most of a wet caravan holiday (took me back to childhood ūüėÄ ) playing in the arcade and jumping in puddles.

Here are some of my favourite pictures from the week.

We made a flag :D

We made a flag :D

Frozen frustration!

Frozen frustration!

Missing their friend :'(

Missing their friend :'(

The play area, who cares about a little water!

The play area, who cares about a little water!

I can see you!

I can see you!

Just had to be done ;)

Just had to be done ;)

On the Ferris wheel.

On the Ferris wheel.

TICKETS!

TICKETS!

This next one is my favourite thanks to a little filter ūüėÄ

wpid-wp-1468942893982.jpg

Don’t they just look so cute! not a care in the world, just looking out at the sea.

C breaks up from nursery on Thursday then the real fun begins, 6 weeks with no school! Although I still have work :( so I need to sort the babysitting list out.
My mum is my usual childcare but she isn’t too well at the moment so roped Mr J in as emergency childcare for today. ( didn’t I tell you he was good, think I got lucky with him) need to try and sort something else out though for other days.

I have also started a separate blog about my journey to becoming in nurse as I start my training in just 2 months time, I will be posting on Not Just a student nurse so pop over and have a little look and give me some love over there.

I’m going to try blogging more to keep a journal of the years if nothing more.

Love to all, Ellie
xxxx

Less that 3 weeks till NYC

It’s only 20 days till Danii and I will be jetting off to the city that never¬†sleeps.

I have to say that I am starting to get a little excited even if little miss C told me today that she doesn’t want me to go away on an airplane.
I know that she will be safe with my parents, her dad and his parents while i’m off on my “tot free travels”, this is a holiday that my best friend and I have been planning for years and are finally in a position to take before we both start off on courses were we will have no free time.

I am a planner and worrier when it comes to travel. I check my bag about 4 times before I leave the house to make sure that I have everything we need, passports, information, tickets etc.

I like to know what we are doing on what day and have a rough itinerary.
This holiday will be amazing, we have bought the 3 day New york pass which will let us get into a variety of top attractions, such as top of the rock, the empire state building and Madame Tussaud as well as using the bus tours for 48 hours.

I’ve been looking at trip adviser for the hotel we are staying in and there are a few mixed reviews so i’m hoping that it is a good one, anyone ever stayed at the Hudson in New York?

What is your New York City must do for two young ladies?
Any good bar suggestions or must visit restaurants?

New York, New York…here we come!

So a few years ago my best friend Danii and I planned to go on holiday in New York City, We looked at flights and hotels, we talked about what what attractions we would visit.
I then found out I was pregnant so he plans got put on hold.

Finally nearly 4 years after we first talked about going on a girls adventure in NYC we are booked and going!
In less than 9 weeks time!

It’s all been talked bout and booked really quickly, we were actually meant to be going on a holiday in south wales, but it seemed to be stalled and no plans were being made. So we though about looking to go to New York.

We had a look online Thursday night and said we would have a proper look this weekend, but today mum wanted to visit Laura Ashley in Speke so I nipped into the Thomson shop next door.

I nipped in and just asked about any deals for early May, One of the lovely ladies working in there called Lisa took my details and had a look for me.
She found a fab deal going on the 5th May for 4 nights flying direct to JFK airport.

It was just too good to be true cost wise so I called Danii to check and we booked it there and then!

So its official in less than 9 weeks time we will be jetting off on a toddler free, long awaited girls only holiday.

So any suggestions of must do’s in NYC?
Hints and tips you can give us?  

WDW 2016 – day 2 – Epcot

Another day of ponchos and rain covers, the rain seemed a little worse today and we even had to buy C replacement shoe’s when her’s got too wet to wear.

We had fastpasses prebooked for Turtle talk with crush, Test track, and the character spot meet and greet,¬†but because of the weather we couldn’t do test track :( Our fastpass was converted to a choice of experiences¬†fastpass that¬†could be used again a few different experiences at EPCOT.

We went into the lands and seas as they are both undercover and indoor experiences which are great for rainy days.
In the Land we went on living wit htthe land which is a boat ride where you learn about how Disney research about growing food.
In the seas there is turtle talk with crush, and interactive show that C loved and the finding nemo ride, there is also various marine life to look at and learn about.

¬†We did get to meet lots of characters and get C’s scrapbook signed by…

Micky Mouse

wpid-imag5793.jpg
Minnie Mouse

wpid-imag5795.jpg
Goofy
Tigger and Winnie the pooh

Jasmine and Aladdin
wpid-imag5810.jpg
Chip and Dale
wpid-imag5798.jpg

We walked around half of the world showcase and got C’s book stamped in the countries from Canada to America. ( I’ll tell¬†you more about her¬†book in a separate post)
We also picked up a Duffy colour in at the kidicot station in Canada, C loved colouring him in while mum and dad did the O’Canada 360¬ļ film.

We ate in the Coral reef restaurant in the seas in the evening, booked in for  and it was lovely!
Both mum and I had cocktails, mine was called Magical star cocktail, it came with a colour change cube. It was mango and passion fruit liqueur, coconut rum and pineapple juice, but I asked for Orange instead as I am allergic to pineapple.

For food I had new York strip steak, cheesy mash and green beans, It was amazing and the steak was cooked perfectly.

wpid-imag5819.jpg

For dessert I had¬†the baileys and jack Daniel’s mousse,¬†which contains alcohol, I promise I’m not an alcoholic but when your on holiday and don’t have to drive then its the perfect time to let your hair down a little I think.
Sorry for the picture I forgot to take a picture as I was so quick to start eating it.

 wpid-imag5821.jpg

After another busy day someone was very tired and was fast asleep within minutes of getting into her buggy. We then went to get the bus back and could hear the 9pm fireworks starting as we boarded the bus to Port Orleans Riverside.

WDW 2016 – day 1 – Magic Kingdom

Our first full day and it started off not so bring and early at 6am with C eaking up and telling me she was hungry, which didnt surprise me as she slept through dinner the evening before.

We got up and dressed, got our bags ready and put on our ponchos and the rain cover on the buggy as it was really raining.

We went and got the bus to Magic kingdom, we arrived just before 9am and went in. We saw Minnie mouse so decided to queue up and meet her ūüėÄ

     2016-01-27 09.27.46 2016-01-27 09.27.41
2016-01-27 09.27.49 2016-01-27 09.27.59

We then went to starbucks on mainstreet to grab some coffee and breakfast before heading to Fantasy land.
We had 3 fastpasses prebooked
– Peter pan’s flight at 9.45-10.45am
– seven dwarfs mine train 10.45-11.45am
– Enchanted tales with belle 1.10-2.10 pm
And managed to book and extra one for Winnie the pooh after we had used the others for 2.15-3.15pm.

Even though it was raining we managed to get LOADS done during the day, we went on….
Peter pan’s flight – great for all the family, also best to FP as queue’s can get quite long.
It’s a small world (twice) – short queue’s and fast loader, great for everyone
Seven dwarfs mine train – It’s a roller coaster with an over 37″ ride height restriction which C was tall enough for so we got to ride together. Good ride, but need a FP!
Enchanted tales with Belle – We had never done this before so were unsure what it even was but if you have kids under 10 then it’s a must, the interactions with Belle are great and kids get involved.
Ariel’s ride – Fast loader, short queue, lovely ride.
The Barnstormer –¬†littler roller coaster, no queue at all when we went over 35″ to ride.
Winnie the pooh -Really nice ride where you fly.
Dumbo –¬†This had been doubled and a play area added to the queue. We walked on as it was quiet but i can imagine that in high season it would be long!
The jungle cruise – 20 minute queue for use but worth the wait as always a good ride
Pirates of the Caribbean –¬†15 minute wait time but we never waited that long. another good ride and nice and cool inside
The Carousel (twice) – C loved the carousel and the different sized horses make it great for everyone.
Splash mountain – we did baby swap on this ride, mum and dad rode first while I waited with C then mum and I rode. C played on the play area located under the bridge near the exit and had more fun running around with the other kids in there than she had had on some of the rides.
Hall of presidents – Nice to see some american history and have a sit down in the cool.
Philimagic – 4D musical show which is great for everyone.

We also went on the magic kingdom railroad train.

We went for lunch in the starlight cafe in tomorrow land, main, drink and dessert for a Quick service credit.

C eating chicken nuggets

C eating chicken nuggets

My pulled pork sandwich and fries

My pulled pork sandwich and fries

Here is a selection of photo’s from the day.

2016-01-27 09.58.00 2016-01-27 10.31.06-1 2016-01-27 10.35.53 2016-01-27 11.43.58 2016-01-27 11.45.24 2016-01-27 13.15.59 2016-01-27 13.27.10 2016-01-27 13.32.02 2016-01-27 13.37.24 2016-01-27 13.40.32 2016-01-27 13.45.39 2016-01-27 15.26.09 2016-01-27 15.38.10

¬†For tea we had booked Be our Guest for 6.40pm, this was a resturant that we hadn’t tried before so I couldnt wait.

We arrived about 15 minutes earlier and checked up, then walked over the bridge to wait inside.

2016-01-27 18.24.24 2016-01-27 18.28.15 2016-01-27 18.36.49 2016-01-27 18.36.54
I have to say that it was amazing!
For starters I had French onion soup and mum and dad shared a meat platter,
2016-01-27 18.55.48 2016-01-27 18.57.46 2016-01-27 18.56.04
For my main I chose the steak which was rare, it was perfectly cooked, mum chose the lamb and dad had scallops, we had ordered C mac and cheese with brocolli but she fell asleep before it arrived.
2016-01-27 19.36.28 2016-01-27 19.39.30 2016-01-27 19.36.35 2016-01-27 19.35.45 2016-01-27 19.35.33
For dessert I had the grey stuff, it really is delicious, mum had a pastry cream cake and dad chose the lemon meringue cupcake.

2016-01-27 19.57.13 2016-01-27 19.57.36 2016-01-27 19.57.23

After we finished and paid we met the breast before leaving the Magic kingdom and coming back to the hotel.
We arrived about about 9.30pm and settled in for the night.

WDW 2016 ‚Äď Travel day EPCOT (part 2)

We left the hotel at about 6 and walked to get the bus from the south depot to EPCOT.

Port Orleans is located in the Disney springs area of Disney, next to the Epcot resort area so it only takes about 10 minutes to get to and from the park on the Disney transport buses.

When we arrived in Epcot we tried to wake C up as we wanted her to see Disney since she was so excited to arrive on holiday but she was flat-out, and refused to wake up.
As is our tradition we went straight onto spaceship earth before going for a walk around the world showcase.
2016-01-26 19.14.26

We had a meal booked in Mexico’s La Hacienda de san angel for 8.30pm, so wandered through Mexico, ¬†Norway, China and Germany, looking in the shops. We arrived back in Mexico about 8.15pm and book in at the restaurant, as C was asleep they allowed us to take the buggy to the table, usually buggy’s are parked outside.

We were seated very quickly for the meal, drink ordered taken and corn chips brought over for while we waited. We had a good look at the menu, both dad and I ordered the taquiza, which is a sample platter of 4 different tacos whilst Mum ordered the tacos de camarones (shrimp tacos).

2016-01-26 20.39.39 2016-01-26 20.39.35

There was also refried beans and rice on the table to share, it was lovely, I wasn’t a fan of the fish taco but loved the pork one.

We ordered dessert, dad for the chocolate mousse, mum ordered the puff pastry apple turnover whilst I went for the caramel flan, I didn’t like mine the texture was strange so mum being the lovely person she is swapped with me ( Aren’t mum’s great ūüėÄ ) ¬†The fireworks were on during dessert and we had a great view from our table.

2016-01-26 21.00.13

We are on the Disney dining plan (DDP) so our meal included a drink, main and dessert for 1 credit each ( tips and alcohol not included)
I think the DDP is a great investment as it is paid off after only a few meals. If we didn’t have the plan the meal would have come to about $110 plus an 18-20% tip, as it was we just paid for the beer and left a tip.

After our meal we strolled back to the bus stop to go back to the hotel. We went to the shop on the way back and got some milk and picked up our refillable cups and arrived back at our room about 10.30 pm.

We went straight to bed then as we had been up since 6 am UK time and it was then about 4am UK time! a 22 hour day is enough for anyone but I find going out and getting used to local time seems to help prevent any jet lag.

I’m wearing a fitbit band as well on our holiday so i’ll try and include a step count for each day

not too bad considering a lot of the day was on a plane

not too bad considering a lot of the day was on a plane

Thank you for reading, I’m going to try to update at least once a day but I have 2 days to write. If I get a chance I’ll type them and get them up sooner.

WDW 2016 – Travel day/Hotel (part 1)

First off i have to admit that I started to try this up last night after we arrived but ended up falling asleep after our long day, you’ll understand after you read the day we had.

We had a very early start, up at 6am after not getting to sleep until after 2am. After I got dressed I woke up C who lay back down and asked for ” one more sleep”, eventually we were up, dressed and ready to leave.
2016-01-26 06.52.03
We were picked up at 7am and after packing the minibus and nearly forgetting a case we were off. We were travelling to Manchester airport using MCLK travel for our transfers, about 10 minutes into the journey dad realised he forgot his backpack, luckily it didn’t contain anything vital as we couldn’t go back for it.

We arrived at the airport at about 8.20am and walked straight up to the desk, we got priority security as we had a buggy and again walked through, so off we went through duty free to find somewhere to get some breakfast.

2016-01-26 09.05.48

We decided on the spinning jenny, big mistake. It was horrible I wouldn’t suggest going there at all. they made so many mistakes with the order and the eggs seemed to be made of rubber they had been under a heat lamp for so long, for ¬£11 it was awful!

Our flight was 11.15am so we did some shopping and looked around before going to our gate 208.
2016-01-26 09.59.49

We boarded quite quickly as we were flying premium economy, when we booked our seats we could only get seats in different rows 2 in row 17 and 2 in row 18. Luckily the couple in row 18 agreed to swap so we could all sit together.

2016-01-26 10.41.48 2016-01-26 10.39.53

It was a loooong flight over 9 hours with a toddler! ¬†C wanted the toilet/ to walk around/ food/ a drink etc every 2 minutes or so it seemed, she was happy to sit and watch her tv or play o nthe tablet for a few minutes byut quickly became bored. Given it was limited space and such a long time C was really good but didn’t sleep for even a minute, she got very fed up in the last half hour as she was soooo excited to get to Disney.

We arrived at MCO 3.30pm local time (8.30pm uk time), getting through immigration and getting our cases was so quick. We decided against putting them on the baggage belts to change terminals as last time it took over an hour and a half to get them back, and just took them on the monorail with us.

We picked up our Alamo rental car and dad upgraded to hold all 5 of our cases,¬†our hire car is huge so I’m not sure if I have the confidence to drive it this time.

We drove to Disney along the 417, C kept asking if we were there yet until she fell asleep 2 minutes before the Disney sign came into view!

2016-01-26 17.05.18
2016-01-26 17.06.16
Checking in at Port Orleans Riverside was quick and easy even with a new trainee being taught waht to do, we got our magic band and room information and headed on over to our room in building 17.

After putting our cases in the room we headed out to go to EPCOT at about 5.15pm (10.15pm uk)

I’ll write about our evening in EPCOT and eating in Mexico and post soon but for now I need some sleep

Night
xxx

Just hours and counting! ‚Äď WDW 2016

Well the toddler and my parents are all in bed.
I on the other had am sat up worrying, this is what I’m like before I go, I always panic that I haven’t remembered something important.
So I think¬†we’re packed.

All together we have…
1 car seat
1 buggy
1 toddler snack bag
2 autograph books ( mine and C’s)
2 laptops
3 tablets ( one toddler one)
4 passports
4 hand luggage bags
5 cases
and what feels like hundreds of clothes items
for just…
3 adults and a toddler .

I have no idea how to pack light, and I have no idea how we are going to get through MCO with all that…up an escalator!

They are all under weight at least ūüėÄ

wpid-imag5630.jpg

¬†I should really go to bed now since I didn’t go to sleep until after 4 am last night. We had a call at 11.30 last night to say my nan had been taken into hospital with a suspected stroke. She had a TIA ( mini stroke) and is fine now but it was a bit of a worry, today has been stressful but I just cant sleep.

I don’t know if its excitement or nerves but I have to be up in 5 and a half hours at the latest.

My next update will be from Florida
xxx

3 days and counting! ‚Äď WDW 2016

Only 3 more sleeps and we are getting very excited, but still have too much to do!

The house needs a good clean, and although I have piles of clothes ready to go into cases as Tom is in the middle of flooring the loft I haven’t been able to reach the cases to get ¬†them out yet.

It’s Saturday night, C is in bed sleeping, Tom is in his friends ( even though he was ment to be helping me get the cases out!) and my parents are in Wales celebrating my nan’s 80th birthday, I should be doing something productive to get us ready to fly out but I cant seem to get the energy or motivation to do it, I’m blaming two training sessions in 2 days for the lack of energy.
Maybe a cup of coffee will give the the energy to do it.

ONLY 3 SLEEPS!
OMG!
*breaths*

I have sorted out some more of the scrapbook for our upcoming trip, I’ll take it with us as it doubles as an autograph book.
I’ve decorated the outside,
wpid-imag5606.jpg

wpid-imag5607.jpg
marked out sections

wpid-imag5608.jpg
wpid-imag5611.jpg
Washi tape is great for page tabs to mark where sections begin
wpid-imag5609.jpg
and added some things to certain pages, princess stickers, world showcase land stickers, etc.

wpid-imag5610.jpg
wpid-imag5613.jpg

I hope that I manage to finish this scrapbook as I was rubbish at it last time and didn’t complete it. So watch this space!

Have you ever made a scrapbook for a Disney holiday?

2 weeks and counting! ‚Äď WDW 2016

Well I didn’t manage much of a countdown with everything that happened in 2015 so I can’t believe that its already down to just 2 weeks!

I hoping to do a lot better at documenting our holiday on the blog than I managed last time but since Florida is such a full on holiday we don’t usually have a spare second to do anything other than sleep, shop, go to the parks, eat, have fun, smile, and enjoy our family time.
I will make a conscience effort to try and update as often as possible so that our family at home can see how much C is enjoying herself.

The check lists so far :-
Done

Passports – had these already so just had to get them out the draw
ESTA’s – again already valid from our last trip to the US.
Park Tickets ( Universal and Disney) – Disney were included with the Hotel but got our universal tickets via Attraction tickets direct and they arrived really quickly.
Hire Car– In with the virgin package, but I’m not driving this time.
Consent letter – yes I actually need C’s dad’s permission to take her out of ¬†the country, well US immigrations at least need to see that he has agree’d to it.
Fast passes¬†– Being able to book fast passes for rides 60 days in advance is a god send meaning I have bagged an Anna and Else meet and greet slot for C. Fast passes also mean that we can do the bigger rides that C cant do or those that will have long queues ( not that the queues are that long in January) without too much waiting for the impatient toddler and grandparents ( I’ll see if they read these and if I get away with that lol ;P )
Advanced dining reservations – or ARD’s to those in the know. We have prebooked meals in some of the Disney ¬†restaurants and I cant wait to go to them.

To do

Buy a buggy bag¬†– we have a car seat bag but really we need a buggy bag as well for when it is put into the hold. I’ve been looking at this one on amazon.
Photocopy C’s birth certificate. – again for immigration in the US to prove that I am C’s mother as we have different surnames.
 Cases РWe need to get them out of the loft and decide which are best to take.
Sort the house РMy best friend is coming to stay here and look after Freddie while we are  on holiday so we need to make sure that the place is habitable for her.
Sort clothes¬†– I still need to decide what to pack ( and buy some new things to take) but¬†C’s clothes have been ready for a while.
My hand luggage РI really need to decide what to take to keep me entertained :p
C’s hand luggage – As well as the usual colouring books and never seen before trinkets to entertain C. I was hoping to take her¬†new Vtech Innotab that I bought for Christmas as in flight entertainment for her. ¬†There is a problem with the learning lodge system (that I discuss in this post) which means that it is still not working and there is no date as to when it will be I’m not sure what I will do to keep her entertained on our 9 hour flight.
Pack! 

Any suggestions for flight entertainment for a nearly 3 year old?