This was a weekend I’d been looking forward to for quite some time: a long bank holiday weekend with the girls, and Easter to boot. I didn’t really have anything planned for the weekend but in the end it turned into a pretty busy time with lots of fun had by all.
Last week I decided, almost last minute, to take Thursday off so it meant I had a whole five days with the girls to look forward to seeing as I was picking them after breakfast on Thursday – this was the last time of doing all the driving as I’d only offered to do that twice.
I hit the road around 6:30am Thursday morning to avoid the worst of the M25 and got to Rochester in plenty of time – a good start to the weekend. I’d loaded up a couple of boxes with some bits from mum’s house that I’d been meaning to take to Aunty Pam’s for quite some time so after picking up the girls we headed over to Pembury for a bit.
The girls had a great time running round the garden and eating biscuits at Pam’s while we sat in the sun having a chat. They’re all keeping well and Andrew’s working to get some money ready for university, where he’ll be getting ready to become a primary school teacher. I say I sat in the sun, the girls had other ideas and had me running round the garden too.
All too soon it was time to hit the road to get home. The M25 was its usual horrible self so we took the back roads from the A3 to try and save too much delay. The girls were happy as they had a DVD to watch.
Back home we had a busy afternoon. We started by sorting out the front and back gardens. I say “we” but what I really mean is I sorted them out and the girls “helped” by getting in the way a lot as they played. I didn’t mind as it’s always lovely to see the two of them playing together.
Gardens done we headed into the village to get the girls’ hair cut. My wife had originally organised for their hairdresser to cut their hair late Thursday afternoon but it seemed silly missing out on a day with them when I could take them here. We had lots of fun in the hairdressers and the girls were as good as gold. This was the first time I’d ever taken the girls to get the hair cut so, in some ways, it was quite special.
Alice brought up a cook book she’s got as she wanted to make some ginger biscuits from it so that was the plan for Friday morning. To be honest, I think she thought they were chocolate as they were brown in the pictures in the book but she still wanted to make them when I explained to her that they weren’t. All three of us made a complete mess of the kitchen making the biscuit dough. Once made and popped into the fridge we had an hour to kill so we walked to the shop to get some bits in and then went to the pub for refreshments and a good run around in the beer garden. It’d been a while since we last went to the pub so it was nice to sit and watch them had fun playing on the swings and slide.
Back home, the girls decided what shapes they wanted to make their biscuits – I’ve got about fifty different cookie cutters of different animals for them – and soon they were rolling out the dough and cutting out their biscuits. Alice did butterfly and dolphin ones and Elisa did teddy bear and rabbit ones. When they came out of the oven they smelt lovely and all three of us couldn’t wait to try one, although they wanted to decorate them with icing first though, but that would have to wait until they’d cooled down.
As the weather was so nice, the girls wanted their paddling pool blown up and put in the garden. This was no easy task as it’s not designed to use the electric pump I’ve got so lung power it was, much to the girls’ amusement I can tell you. Paddling pool sorted and gazebo up to give them some shade, I filled the pool up with nice cold water – too cold it would seem as the girls did nothing but scream all afternoon! They had a riot though and knowing that the weather was supposed to remain good I left the pool where it was in case they wanted to play again another day.
Dried off and changed the girls then had lots of fun decorating some of the biscuits with the little tubes of icing we’d bought earlier at the shop before it was time for dinner and a little while after bed.
We spent most of Saturday in Reading shopping. Not knowing what I was going to get when it came to the girls’ clothes – my wife has had some funny moments with their packing recently – I thought it would be wise to get them some summer clothes and sandals to stay at my place, in case the weather turned out good and all they had was big jumpers and jeans to wear, like the other weekend.
The girls had a lot of fun choosing their own dresses, sandals, sun glasses, sun hats etc. and were really well behaved the whole time we were walking round the shops. Good job as Reading was heaving with people!
Shopping done and lunch eaten, we headed back to the car but before leaving town the girls had a good play at Christchurch playing fields as they’ve got a great play area there and, completely unknown to me before getting there, a reasonably sized paddling pool. As you can imagine it was pretty busy there but the girls had lots of fun, even if they were a bit disappointed about not being able to go in the paddling pool. Maybe another time?
If they’d not had enough time running around already, when we got back home they got changed and went out to play in the paddling pool again and after that, we went round the play area with Anna, Harry, Katy, Stewart and Vicky from next door until it was time to head back home for some dinner. Before going to bed the girls left a carrot out for the Easter bunny, clearly hoping it would mean more chocolate left for them in the morning!?
As expected, the girls were too excited to sleep in so we went downstairs early for them to find the eggs and chocolate the Easter bunny had hidden round the house for them. They had lots of fun trying to find them all and were thrilled to get some new pyjamas from Uncle Russ and Aunty Rachel too – thanks guys. I’ll get them to write you a thank you note and pop it in the post next time they’re with me.
Matt came over early and we headed off to Odds Farm Park for the day. They had an Easter egg hunt on where you had to go round the park following the clues and if you got all the right answers you got a free treat, which was clearly always going to be a little chocolate egg. We were there for a good four hours following the clues, feeding the animals – well, Elisa and I did – and generally having a riot. As there was a pub just up the road, we stopped in on the way home for a refreshing drink and then I cooked a roast dinner for us all – nothing better than a roast on a Sunday!
All too soon it was Monday and I’d soon be taking the girls back to their mum’s. Not wanting to just sit around and waste the time together, we got on the road early and drove down to Hever Castle for the day. We got there shortly before they opened the gardens and already there were quite a few people there – it was only going to get busier!
Again, they had an Easter egg hunt on and we followed the map and figured out the clues to make sure that they got their treat at the end of the day. It’d been a good year and a half since we last went there and again we all had a great day in the sunshine. The girls loved the adventure playground and were a little more interested in what was in the castle this time, asking me who was in the paintings etc.
By the time we left at 3:30pm the place was heaving with people but as the gardens are so large it never really felt too busy. I got the sat nav to avoid the motorways to the girls’ mum’s place and not long after leaving the car park I had two very happy, but very tired, little girls fast asleep in the car.
All in all it was an amazing five days with the girls and we had so much fun. I really am blessed to have such wonderful daughters and we always have so much fun together. It’s always so hard when they go back and I don’t see them for two weeks but this time was worse as I’d enjoyed being with them for so much longer.
Ho hum…only another nine days before I see them again. Until then I can enjoy all the wonderful photos I took over the weekend, a lot of which have now been posted on here so go and check them out.