Road trip for 8 …ooh and a fur baby

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Oooh it seems like forever since I sat down and wrote about our adventures, when in reality it has only been five days.

What an end to the Summer Holidays we had and I don’t seem to have stopped since. I must admit it is really nice to have the kids back in to a routine and Penny too for that matter. The two mornings a week she goes to Nursery have become routine so quick, we are used to having a little bit of free time (as yet we are to plan something with those few hours other than housework). It has been great for her as she has come on leaps and bounds. Within two days she wanted to use the potty and toilet like the other children. Bye bye nappies. We are still rocking one on a night but other than that they have gone the journey.

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I really must tell you about our holiday, it seems a million years ago, but as I haven’t shared our adventures in Scotland it seems like a good place to start……

After having Caitlin and Liam for the Bank Holiday weekend and being super busy getting ready we got up on the Monday to packed cars and all ready to go. The aim was to get up and leave for 1030 but we were far to eager. Having got up, packed the chilled and frozen food, tidied up and hoovered, we were all just sat around waiting to go. So we left at 945, with the aim of stopping a couple of times on the way up to our Haven home for five days.

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The journey up was fairly smooth, we got held up in roadworks just outside Morpeth and as we got past them we had a toilet stop. Berwick saw us stop for our lunch at McDonald’s and we let Louie stretch his legs as well as his vocal cords. We were on target for a 3pm arrival but the time we set off from Berwick and we weren’t far out when we arrived in Port Seton.

Haven, Seton Sands is a mainly flat park and is in the picture-perfect countryside close to Edinburgh (just a 30 minute drive away). Cross the road at the bottom of the park and you’ll find a sand and rock pool beach.

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Having visited another Haven site a few years ago I wasn’t expecting very much but was blown away from the moment we pulled in to the car park. The Seton Sands site is smaller than other sites I have visited and very personal. The staff were friendly from the outset and everything felt very relaxed. We stayed in the Deluxe accommodation and the caravans all had plenty of outside space, you didn’t feel like you were on top of the caravan next door and there was plenty of space to park up both of the cars outside the caravan.

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The caravan was sizeable and the kids all had plenty of space. Mark and I found our bed and with the exception of the lack of bedding for our bed we were 100% satisfied with our accommodation. We both came away saying we would always pay that little bit extra from now on to make sure that we got the bigger van with more outside space and privacy.

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A caravan holiday for me is made when you can lie down on that corner couch and just stare out at the sky. Dream away and relax…Perfection is gained if there is rain to make the caravan seem ultra cosy but in our case the sun was blazing down and it was hotter than Spain…..(who goes to Scotland for sunshine?).

We spent the night relaxed, playing cards and filling our faces as we had Zoo tickets booked for the Tuesday.

After a not so comfortable night (a double bed is not a super king size bed and it being a camp bed the mattress wasn’t the best), although we didn’t expect it to be, we got up and got ready for Edinburgh Zoo.

A few years ago we went up and did Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh Zoo and loved it. Libby wasn’t of an age to remember it and Liam and Caitlin had never been, so I was really excited to see how they reacted to being there.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Edinburgh Zoo, it is very central and on a big hill and when booking you have to book a time slot to view the pandas. We were booked in for 1030 and made it…just.

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Last time we visited we were allowed to go in to the sleeping area for the pandas. This time however the Zoo think that the female is pregnant so the indoors section is closed. We were told that they were currently sleeping and we would be luck to see them.

We made our way round to the male enclosure. The kids were loving looking for them and just as we were about to give up hope we were told to quietly walk around to the female section as she was out. Talk about lucky, she brushed right up against the window and the kids all got a good look at her. Caitlin got an amazing photo of her (I will try and get a copy of it to share with you)

From there, the Zoo went from strength to strength. We were lucky to have such good weather and I think that played a part in how lucky we were to see so many animals. I know a few people who have been this year and said they were disappointed as quite a few of the animals had not been out.

The kids were fascinated with the animals and Penny met her “new best friends” or so she said when she saw all the monkeys. Libby fell in love with the meerkats and so did Caitlin.

Rather than boring you with what and who we saw, here are some pictures of our day…

The Penguins, could have spent all day watching them….

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The walk through Wallabe section, Horse’s in Pyjamas, Koala and Meerkat…

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Seriously, how big are these birds?

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Ants….amazing to see them carrying leaves across our heads…(the smallest thing)

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Monkeys, monkeys and more monkeys …..

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The very handsome Lion…

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One thing I would say for anyone fancying going is to make sure you take a packed lunch with you. The drinks and food on sight are very expensive and for all I had taken a packed lunch, it cost us nearly £20 for 8 bottles of pop.

When we got back we had some tea and had a walked over to the Clubhouse and again it was lovely, the amusement arcade was small and everything was clean, bright and welcoming. The entertainment staff were great with the kids. We were all very tired so decided to go back to the caravan and spend the day on site on the Wednesday.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent on site. We vowed we wouldn’t spend much time on the site but the kids wanted to explore, they wanted to go swimming, visit the beach, go to the park and spend time at the clubhouse and arcades.

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The kids had a fantastic time over the two days collecting shells, splodging in the water and playing at the park. We went over to the clubhouse on the nights, after having takeaway for tea, Mark got himself taken up on stage to take part in the shows twice. The big ones both met girls and swapped numbers with them, so that was them sorted.

Back to the takeaway for the minute we had Fish and Chips one night and on the Thursday night we were keen to try. Now for anyone of you that should happen to be visiting Seton Sands, please try Carlos….simply the best Kebab I have ever tasted.. (After a few glasses of wine on the Wednesday night Mark and I had a hankering that needed to be filled).

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All to soon Friday was upon us and it was time to come home. I won’t lie coming home wasn’t something I wanted to do at this point. I was so relaxed but needs must. We set off home and stopped along the way where we had stopped on the way up.

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By far Haven Seton Sands is the best site I have visited and we  would go back again.

Now all we have to worry about is where do we go next year?

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Girly Day Shopping

I have so many posts in progress but none that I am happy with just yet.

Today it was time for a break and Libby, Penny and Myself went on an expedition to buy something arty and crafty for Libby to do. (Regan was off to his Dad’s for the day/night so a girly day seemed like a perfect idea)

Bit off the beaten track for us we ended up at the Metro Centre.

Now no trip out with the kids is complete without a trip to McDonald’s.

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There are days I wonder what I did to be blessed with such amazing children. They both sat good as gold and ate their happy meals, not that may not seem a big thing, and for Libby, no it is not, but to get Penny to sit still for more than five minutes is a hard task.

Next stop was The Range.

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I have only been in a few times myself but have noted on both occasions that Libby and Mum would love the Arts and Crafts section. We spent a good 45 mins looking around what they had to offer.

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If you have never been and like a reasonably priced place that sells a bit of everything then this is the place to be. I love a shop like this, one of those one stop shops, especially come Christmas, The Range will be perfect.

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So back to our treasures, Libby found a Princess set, at £1.99, you cant go wrong, she is loving colouring in at the minute and this is perfect. We also came home with two Finding Dory balls.

(Excuse the photo quality of the picture, will add one when we have built it up)

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Their pet range is also impressive (camera on phone decided not to work so pics of that) but the zoo got a treat each too.

Next stop ASDA.

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This month I was determined to get at least one the them al of their uniform sorted so that I did not have to rush around at the last minute looking for stuff in the right sizes. Its a nightmare that I am sure most of us have experienced at some point, if not most years.

Anyway, last year I bought the majority of stuff from ASDA and it has lasted Libby all year. So I thought I would see what they had to offer this year. I wasn’t disappointed.

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Twin Pack of Sweatshirt Cardigans £6.00

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Frozen Sweatshirt Cardigan with Elsa detail £5.00

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Twin Pack Polo Shirt £3.00

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Jersey Skirt £4.00

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Frozen Jersey Dress with Elsa Detail £7.00

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Jersey Pinafore Dress £6.00

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Pleated Skirt £4.50

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Boys Twin Pack Short Sleeved Shirts £5.00

Last year I purchased Libby’s blouses and polo shirts from ALDI, and for all people may avoid them they washed and washed and washed again. These also lasted her all year, so I bough her the pack of two blouses last week at a price of £1.99 for two.

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After leaving the Metro Centre we called in at Team Valley and visited the Hobbycraft store.

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Another first for Libby and she was completely taken aback by what they had to offer.

There are some good 3 for 2 deals on at the minute which offer things to keep the kiddiwinkles busy over the holidays. We however cam away with some felt tips (£2), crayons (£1) and some paper (£1), (3 for 2) and a Barbie Sticker book (£3).

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They had a range of activities on instore to keep the little ones busy but mine weren’t interested in anything other than spending money.

Last stop was Sainsbury’s, where we stopped and ended up going in to Argos and taking advantage of their 3 for 2 on all toys offer buying Lego and My Little Pony’s. (As well as some nibbles and wine for me 🙂 ).

Just a little one so I ould share my bargains…..again sorry for the picture quality as my camera fell out with me on the way home …..xxxxx