Monday, 20 June 2016

Devon - Top family things to do

Visiting Devon this summer.

Here's my top family things to do.

Paignton Zoo - 2,000 creatures, six animal habitats, Jungle Express train, indoor play areas. A great family day out. My daughter loves the Red Panda! so cute.

Paignton Zoo





Cockington Country Park - Excellent cream teas & large grounds to let kids run free.

Cockington Village

Brixham Harbour - Lovely for a wander.

Bigbury-on-sea Beach - Huge clean beach.

Goodrington Sands - One of our favourites not as busy as other beaches. Has a pub, small arcade, shop, cafĂ©, playground, rock pools, beach huts, beautiful beach & you can watch the steam train go past or hop on & travel to Dartmouth.  Train is a bit pricey but lovely.




Paignton Pier & Geopark - The Geopark is new and is a fab outdoor play area that caters for most ages.

Canonteign Falls - Amazing 70 metre waterfall & lovely walks. There's also a play area for the kids.  Its just beautiful.

Canonteign Falls

Pennywell Farm - Hundreds of friendly animals, play areas and games. Hands on activity every half an hour and 4 FREE rides. We loved the goats.

Pennywell Farm

National Marine Aquarium -My daughter loved it here. See if you can spot Snorkel the turtle.

National Aquarium


Stoke Gabriel - Excellent crab fishing in a beautiful location only found it this year.  A lovely tucked away spot.

Have you been to any of these?

Where's your top Devon family attraction?

Emma xxx

Friday, 17 June 2016

Mother's day vs father's day


Mother’s Day vs Father’s Day

The morning breakfast –

Mum:

Kids wake you up at the crack of dawn. After much shoving, moaning & duvet hogging dad says “Let’s give mum a lie in.” He kisses you and you smile sighing deeply and spreading out in the bed. They all trundle downstairs. Few minutes later you hear cupboard doors banging and yells. “Where does mum keep the small saucepan?” Followed by “Quick sign this card. Where’s a biro?”

Eventually peace resumes until the smoke alarm goes off startling you. “Don’t worry just burnt the toast.” A yell up the stairs announces. A few minutes later the door bursts open. A lovely breakfast is presented to you. You appreciate the gesture but would have preferred another hour’s sleep. The kids drink most of your juice, eat half your toast but you smile lovingly as a bunch flowers are offered, your youngest gives you a beautiful card they made a school and your partner gives you a hastily wrapped package which is a CD of a group you only vaguely recognise.

Dad:
Kids wake you up at the crack of dawn. You quietly and quickly shoo them downstairs. Your partner barely notices. You give the kids some cereal, have a quick shower, nip out quickly to buy a newspaper and then make a proper breakfast. You take it upstairs were your partner enjoys the peace, paper and food and kids remain downstairs watching the telly. The present you bought is a new pair of trainers he’s been looking at for weeks.


The Day-
Mum:

Later you go to visit your own mum taking the youngest child with you. You partner gives his mum a brief call and then settles in front of the football. On the way you detour to get some flowers, a little bit of shopping and petrol. You tell your partner you’ll be back by 5 and then you can all go to your favourite restaurant for dinner. You don’t see his panicked face as you leave. At your mum’s you end up making lunch, doing the dishes and having a lovely chat.

Dad:

Later you go to visit your own dad taking all the children with you. You end up going to the retail park as the eldest suddenly announces he needs new football boots. Your partner is at home watching the football. He’s had a brief chat with his dad which mainly consisted of the football scores and an accumulator bet. You ring his favourite restaurant to double check the booking for this evening. At your dad’s you make lunch, go for a walk with the dog and have a nice catch up.

The Evening-

Mum:

You get home feeling tired and flop on the sofa. Your partner makes you a cup of tea and sighs. He’s forgotten to book the restaurant and they are not reserving anymore tables. Inwardly you seethe but outwardly say a takeaway will be fine. After a lengthy family discussion you settle on Pizza which is your least favourite. On the plus side your partner did remember your favourite wine although you suspect he popped out to get it earlier and no one has to drive. After pizza and wine you fall asleep on the sofa.

Dad:

You get home feeling tired and flop on the sofa. You offer your partner a cup of coffee. After a brief rest you all get ready and leave for dinner. Your partner is thrilled you got a table has several beers whilst you sip coke being the designated driver. Once home your partner kisses you, thanks you for a wonderful day and falls asleep on the sofa.


A few days later -

Your partner has booked your favourite restaurant as a surprise and you are genuinely touched. You have a lovely time especially as it’s not that busy. At home you sort out the washing and your partner puts the kids to bed before getting you a drink and you settle down to watch your favourite programme.

Emma xxx






Sunday, 12 June 2016

Los Zocos Costa Teguise Lanzarote Review

We have just had a brilliant 10 nights at Los Zocos. The reviews I've read are v mixed but here is my opinion.  Firstly if you don't want lots of kids around do not travel in half term or go to a family themed hotel!

Check in was awful & first impression terrible.  Restaurant was shutting & not even a welcome drink of water. 4th bed unmade & no sheets. However after this everything was great.

Rooms fair sized with big balconies & amazing black out curtains. Fresh sheets & towels regularly (although our towels were brown & a little old. Why would you choose this colour?)

Living room/2nd bedroom

View from balcony
Food was typical AI got bit samey but always something there to try. The restaurant does get v busy so not relaxing but this was the same at other places I've stayed.  The other restaurant with the boat in is much calmer/quieter.

My children loved the pools. Very safe with shallow areas for tots. My son loved the large 0.90 metre pool as he could stand easily & no sudden dips. Could maybe benefit from a slide or 2 but great. Did feel cold but fine once in & didn't bother the kids one bit.



Pool bar serves burgers, chips, pizza, hot dogs & after 3pm crepes which my 9 yo loved. All good but I'd have liked to see some jacket potatoes as well maybe with tuna, beans etc. There is some salad but limited. You could eat in the main restaurant but we couldn't be bothered to get dried & dressed.

Location is brilliant. Over the road from shopping centre & 5-10 minute walk to the beach.  Lovely walk into the square & chemist nearby. Bus stops & taxi rank just outside.

My children loved the Thomson kids club & would have attended more but we had 4 day trips booked. 2 hour sessions at various times. The 4-6pm slot children can go with their siblings which mine loved.  This does get busy so get there on time as they sometimes have to turn people away. Thursdays kids club is closed. I hadn't realised & turned up wondering where everyone was.

Posing in their kids club to shirts
We didn't watch much of the evening entertainment as it was very very loud & my 5 yo didn't like the noise. It could be turned down a bit. The 2 shows I saw were good & 9 yo loved them.

I would return to Los Zocos as fab location & v clean with good pools.




Note you need to pay for the TV and safe. We had free WiFi for one device.

A few little tweaks would give it 5 stars from me. Some self service taps in the pool bar as queues sometimes huge, couple of slides in the main pool & a sports bar/lounge area. The agua marina wasn't open in the day so the pool bar was your only option so could get bit samey/busy.



Whilst in Lanzarote we went on several trips I can 100% recommend the catamaran trip Graciosa Sail. Brilliant day & organisation. Jameos del Agua is beautiful & well worth a trip we went as part of a tour & would love to have eaten here & stayed a little longer. Book with Low Cost Holidays in the shopping centre they do great deals and everything was well organised. The grand tour was very informative & you saw loads of the island but was a bit too long for us and 1/2 day would have done.

Have you been to Lanzarote? What hotel did you stay at?

Emma xxx