Sunday 24 November 2019

A Child-Free Trip to Tunisia

It is often written about how mothers these days are tired to the point of exhaustion and I totally feel that, so when I was offered the chance to get away for a few days I was pretty excited.  I was nervous about leaving the children of course, until recently I had only left Cora overnight once and Ed isn't used to doing the school runs but I knew they would all be OK and the thought of some winter sun and cocktails on a beach was too much to keep me here.

After a night in an airport Premier Inn, my mum, sister and I boarded a flight to Tunis, Tunisia and left the cold, wet UK behind.  We had booked into Les Orangers bungalows and villas, a five star all inclusive hotel but we were still amazed when we arrived at the most beautiful reception in a large gated resort.  It was luxury from the moment we stepped through the front doors to be greeted with cocktails and our rooms were huge with large balconies overlooking the gardens and sea.

We spent 4 nights in Tunisia and it was amazing.  The resort was stunning and so quiet as it was heading towards the end of season.  The staff were always there for anything we needed, the food was fresh and there was so much choice and there was always someone offering me a cocktail.  We tried out the spa, the indoor and outdoor pools and spent our evenings listening to the live music in the bars.  We explored a little around the local area and got a taxi for a day to see the capital Tunis, the historic ruins of Carthage and a lovely town called Sidi Bou Said where everything is painted white and blue.

I felt like I could really relax, I had naps, I read books and I swam.  I missed my family of course, but I loved having some time for me too and I came back feeling refreshed and with my vitamin D topped up!  I would highly recommend the resort we stayed at as a great base in Hammamet for a child-free trip. 

Tunisia was such a fascinating place to visit and I would love to go back and see more, especially the Sahara desert. It is such a culturally different and wonderfully colourful country and gave us a little taste of Africa.  I didn't take my camera but of course my phone was always with me for taking pictures!

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Wednesday 13 November 2019

Freedom // Frugi

All clothing featured was gifted by Frugi

At the grand age of 32 I finally passed my driving test.  I started learning 15 years ago on my 17th birthday and after many, many lessons and several tests, I eventually gave up.  I had my last lesson a couple of weeks before Dylan was born and once he arrived the idea of leaving him to get back in the learner car wasn't appealing.  The years carried on and I had no desire to drive.  I didn't feel like I needed it in my life and we have a wonderful public transport system.

Finn was born in 2015 and he and I spent many weeks in hospital, with Ed bringing the bigger boys over on the bus each day to visit us.  This is what inspired him to finally learn and by the end of that summer he had a licence and we had a car.  He gave up working in an office to work from home and for the past few years there has been a car sat on the driveway, pretty much unused during the week.

For my 30th birthday he got me lessons but it took until February this year for me to decide it was something I actually wanted to do and to send off for a provisional licence.  I then had to retake my theory test and start at the beginning again with learning.  It was scary and I was petrified but I wanted to do it this time and I was determined to keep going.  I still wasn't expecting the examiner to turn to me with a smile though, and tell me I had finally, finally passed.  

I have been driving for a few weeks now and whilst I still feel nervous sometimes and a little hesitant, it is starting to feel more natural and I have been taking the children out on my own.  It has opened up the world a bit and I love the freedom we have to go to new places and leave whenever we want.

Frugi sent the children all some clothes that will be perfect for a Christmas or Boxing day outfit as well as some of their colourful wellies and we headed to a local-ish nature reserve that I have never been to before as it just isn't that easy without a car.  There were dinosaur trails to follow, fairy doors to find and plenty of sticks around that made amazing magic wands for budding witches and wizards.

We love Frugi for its colourful designs, soft organic cotton and how well things last and all three boys were amazed at how soft the cords were.  I like how Cora's dress matches Dylan's shirt and how easy everything is to pass down when they outgrow it.  All four are wearing their usual sizes here and most things fit well, although I would probably size up in the dress.  We will definitely bringing these outfits back out for Christmas! 

And when we were done, our wellies were covered in mud, fingers grubby and stomachs growling we could hop back in the car and drive straight home.  I took so many photos and I am awful at editing which ones stay . . . 

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Monday 11 November 2019

Kalyves Beach Resort in Crete

We paid for our own flights but everything else was provided by Seacrete Hotels

During our recent trip to Kiani Beach resort, we spent a day at their sister hotel, the Kalyves Beach Hotel just along the coast in Chania.  Kiani Beach was a very family focused resort and we were keen to see the differences between the two all inclusive hotels as I had heard wonderful things about  Kalyves Beach.

We were greeted with such warmth and the hotel was situated right on the beach.  It was much quieter and calmer than Kiani Beach but still with so much for families. We found it more relaxing and if I was visiting without the children then this is the hotel I would choose.  There were two outdoor pools as well as an indoor one and the kids loved the indoor pool as it wasn't quite as deep as the other hotel and the bigger boys could stand up in it.  I loved the fact that it was right on the beach and couldn't resist a swim in the sea.

A river runs alongside the hotel and feeds into the sea and the hotel restaraunt borders it meaning you can sit outside and watch the ducks as you eat.  They get fed at lunch time and the children loved helping out and throwing in some food.  

The restaraunt served delicious food with a great vegetarian selection and all the desserts looked amazing! There was a bar outside with the same service we had at the sister hotel and plenty of places to sit.  The children love taking Uno on holiday and we had plenty of games sat by the pool enjoying some cold drinks.

There are lots of cats around Greece and we found one with a few tiny baby kittens which the children absolutely loved.  I must admit I was very tempted to take some home with me.  One of the things we really loved about Kalyves Beach is that the small town is right next door so there is much more to explore.  The town is small and colourful with shops and restaraunts and plenty of flowers and you can also walk along the coast.  Everyone we met was so friendly and ladies came out of their houses to offer the children sweets and to speak to them.  As we walked along the coast a man called us over whilst he was fishing and spoke to them in brilliant English about how he was catching the fish and what sort of species you find in the area.  There was such a lovely attitude to families and we loved seeing a little more of the area.

There was lots of evening entertainment at Kalyves beach as well as sports activities and a playground on the sand.  We all loved the hotel and the boys especially kept asking to visit again.  I think that Kiani Beach was better suited to our larger family as it is more family focused but I loved Kalyves Beach and it would be a great hotel to go back to as the children get a bit bigger.

Of course there are plenty more photos from our day at Kalyves Beach Hotel and you can see more from other bloggers who stayed there like Pink Pear Bear and You Baby Me Mummy

You can read about our experiences at Kiani Beach Resort Here and about our day in Chania here.

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