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Easter Egg Hunt at Bolton Abbey Estate

Easter Egg Hunt at Bolton Abbey Estate

Easter is the time of year the sun always seems to shine and this year is no exception (so far). Glorious sunshine for two days, and we planned to go to do the Easter Egg Hunt at Bolton Abbey Estate in Skipton. Having been planned for a while today was the day.

The Journey

Bolton Abbey Estate is about an hour from our house so of course this has to be meticulously planned. PG usually has her long nap in a morning and today was no exception. We set off around 9.15 which gave her almost an hour to nap. Little did we know at this point this would be the only sleep she had all day. The excitement of everything meant there was no way she was shutting her peepers for fear of missing something! When we got there we frequented the shop and bought a football (and a tacky bracelet which PG chose herself; then decided she didn’t want it after we’d paid – waste of a quid right there). We had planned to meet some friends but timing issues meant it didn’t really happen and we only crossed paths on our way back doing the egg hunt (whoops!)

Easter Egg Hunt

The hunt is a trail which is a couple of miles walk – a mile each way – which is a nice stroll alongside the river Strid.

You can collect your free Easter Egg Hunt sheet from the car parking kiosk on your way in, or the shop by the Riverside Cafe. It’s a lovely little trail and dead easy to follow, with giant glittery eggs hanging from trees leading the way. The aim of the game is to be on the lookup for bunnies, stationed along the way. Each bunny is looking after a seasonally decorated tree (think eggs, carrots or Easter baskets!) and the idea is that the children count the items in the tree and add it to their entry trail sheet. There are ten bunnies to spot, and eleven glittery eggs hanging from the trees which make up another secret anagram for you to work out when you get to the other end.

The halfway point is a good place to take a picnic and you can eat it by the river when you get half way. There’s plenty rocks to sit on – just keep the little ones close at hand as the river up there is very powerful so you don’t want the curious ones falling in. There’s plenty places to sit away from the river too, for something a bit safer!

The only real blunder was when I lost the damn trail sheet. I’d been left in charge of it for 2 bloody minutes and it managed to blow away never to be seen again. It wasn’t even flippin’ windy!

Once the trail is complete, crack the secret code then hand in your sheet for a chance to win a years pass to Bolton Abbey.

 

Bolton Abbey Estate

A bit about the place itself, Bolton Abbey is a popular spot and so arriving early is a must. The queue to get parked on a nice day later on in the morning/afternoon can get quite ridiculous. There were easily a hundred cars waiting to get into just one of the car parks as we left. Car parking is £10 per car which may seem expensive, however you can easily spend all day here. There’s plenty to do, from walking to splashing in the (bloody freezing) river Strid. The money goes into the upkeep of the incredibly well kept estate, keeping it a treasure of the Yorkshire Dales.

On arrival you will be given a leaflet of information which includes a nice map so you can’t get lost. It also points out the easy footpaths, and the not so easy footpaths. You will see lots of nature as you meander through the picturesque scenery. There are lots of different walks around the estate, plenty of which are family friendly, and some more geared towards the more ambitious walkers. You can even take a BBQ and have your tea in the designated areas – it goes without saying that a lot of work goes into keeping this place so neat and tidy so please don’t litter!!

The facilities dotted around the place deserve a little mention at this point. We found the prices of items in the gift shop, that we looked at at least, very reasonable. The cafe that we saw was very clean and tidy. Unfortunately this weekend the toilet situation was a bit of a problem. The main loos were being refurbished so porta-loos were provided. Everyone hates porta-loos but I don’t think this can be held against Bolton Abbey. Refits have to be done at some point and not matter when they choose it would be inconvenient so may as well just get on with it! Make sure you pay a visit to the stepping stones which are great fun, and go all the way across the river.

 

All in all, a bloody marvelous day. Wifey and I think this will become an annual tradition. I’m sure PG will only love it more as she gets older! I’d definitely recommend a trip to Bolton Abbey, particular on a sunny day. The scenery is truly stunning and if you’re into Geocaching, there’s plenty of that too!

Have a lovely Easter.

Ttfn
Pete

Fathers Day

Fathers Day

It’s finally here! My first Father’s Day! Last year I got a card from ‘beany’ and this year she’s here, for real, to give me presents and let me put my feet up all day. In a few more years she can bring me beer/tea, too, plus other jobs I can think of. Father’s Day technically started a week early when we went to the Baby Sensory Father’s Day special. This was awesome, and it was nice to see so many dads there, who would normally otherwise be at work during the week.

I’d PLANNED to have a lie in this morning, to kick the beast and Wifey out of the bedroom so I could starfish for half an hour before a magic cup of tea appeared 30 minutes later. First thing’s first. None of that happened. PG Tips thought it would be funny to wake up early at 6.30, have some milk and then chit chat until we gave in and got up (I was secretly a bit cheesed off but now I’m a responsible and loving parent I just got on with it, like you do). I made my own brew (Wifey did offer though, just to keep the record on the straight and narrow), and wedged my eyes open with sticks until I’d come round at about 10am (my friends will know I’m currently cream crackered after playing at a festival on Friday night, which was a laaaaate night).

Now that the dream of a lie-in was well and truly binned off it was present time! If I’d have been a bit more with it I don’t think I’d have been able to contain myself. Today is the day I’ve looked forward to for so long. Another day in the annual calendar when I get PRESENTS! Woohoo!

We were off to a fine start with the card. “To Daddy from your Little Monster” (got that right), with a monster drumming – very me.

The presents were cool too! A picture of Phoebe G for my desk, in a “I <3 My Daddy” frame – that’ll be going straight to work tomorrow. It’s amazing what a nice picture can do on a stressful day at the office.

I also got a personalised Peppa Pig book which originally caused a bit of a stir. A week or so ago I took great pride in telling Wifey that Peppa Pig is crap because it doesn’t even look like a pig. I must say however that the personalised book is actually really cool. It’s all about daddies, and paints me in a really good light (on most pages, one or two make me out to be a bit lazy which is bollocks unless it’s sunday night when I’m not moving for anyone).

Phoebe – as seems to be the norm these days – has been a superstar most of the day and was very into her Sunday dinner at Nana and Pops’ house. Carrots, green beans, Yorkshire pudding. You name it she nommed on it.

All in all, a spiffing day (albeit a little expensive after deciding we needed a pram that folds up reallly small now that Phoebe G is in the sit-up bit. We went for an M&P Armadillo City and managed to get it for an effective £104 from Boots due to various offers. More to follow on this when we’ve actually used it!)

I’ll look forward to more Father’s Days in the coming years. See what presents I get when the little critter chooses her own presents! PG you and Wifey are my absolute world. Thanks for an ace first Father’s Day (now get to sleep!)

Ttfn

Pete

 

The Five Month Milestone

The Five Month Milestone

It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was writing the four month milestone post. Where the last 30 days have gone is anybody’s guess, but if you find them, can you let me know?

Just a mere month ago Phoebe G was just about managing to sit up for a few seconds before tippling over, now all she wants to do is sit up on her own, balanced by her little chubby legs! We’ve not quite managed to roll over yet but are getting closer by the day. It’s got to the point she gets popped on her tummy and she gets so wound up by it she writhes around like a snake trying to push herself over. She hates been on her front for some reason, perhaps that will pass with time. It’ll be interesting to see if she eventually chooses to sleep on her tum when she can decide for herself!

5 Months Old Today. Party!
5 Months Old Today. Party!
The way she plays with toys has also come on immensely in the month just gone. She is such a curious child, exploring how everything works. She’s got some toys meant for bigger kids, such as the Melissa and Doug Rainbow Caterpillar, and it’s quite phenomenal watching her pull the cogs off and sort of turn them (she gives it a damn good go!). The mini monster is still really into her sensory play, which is something we encourage hugely in our household, and why I still bang on about Baby Sensory classes to anyone who’ll listen (which, by the way, I don’t get to go to now due to being back at work sulk sulk). I guess all parents say the same thing, but my girl is so bloody clever and I’m convinced she’s a bit ahead of where she’s supposed to be. We gave her a spoon the other week with a tiny bit of dairy free ice cream and she put it straight in her mouth and knew just what to do with it (we’ll be starting baby lead weaning soon so she’s had the odd lick of things here and there). She just stares at us (and often screams) when we eat now with the biggest food envy face you’ve ever seen, so she’s pretty much ready. She’s also started holding her bottle herself (not for the full feed yet) and putting it in her own mouth, rather than us having to shove it in for her!

Ice Creaaammmm!
Ice Creaaammmm!
Other things Phoebe G is now thriving at are controlling her hands, using both of them really well to pick this up and work with the toys she has to play with. She’s also quite good at making choices now. Presented with two toys she thinks for a moment then goes for one, rather than just trying to grab both. With Wifey being a teacher she points all these little things out which to be totally honest I might not pick up on so quickly, so it’s quite handy!

The BIG event of the month was her christening which was yesterday. She was very well behaved and only had a little whinge when she was handed over to the Rev. She soon settled and we had a lovely day. There’s a couple of pics below and the little beauty! Thanks to everyone who came to share in her special day. We were all knackered by the end of it and slept well last night!!!

The item of the month we want to forget is jabs round three. Jeez did she suffer after those, poor lamb. She’s all fixed now but got a stinking cold afterwards so we went through a fair bit of calpol to try and keep her happy (didn’t work according to the noise that came out of her mouth. We could have collected her tears in a bucket)

I’m starting to wish this growing up would slow down a bit. To anyone who has just had, or is expecting a baby, make sure you cherish every second when they are so small. It’s precious time that flies by! Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely now Phoebe’s personality is starting to come out and she can be a right diva, but the tiny human we had has vanished in the blink of an eye, we have to call her a big girl now she can sit up by herself.

Anyway, we’re into month five so it won’t be long before the weaning begins and we’ve got a house covered in food (not to mention the new style poos that’ll be popping out of her backside, I’ve only just got used to the smell of formula poos (no joke I had to hide my face in my sweater to stop my eyes watering)!!)

Over and out. As promised there’s a post coming up about homemade toys, so watch the blog this week!

Ttfn

Pete