It is very rare that we get to spend time away from Dolly. I mean, we both work full time so the time we spend together at the weekends is invaluable. Every now and then it’s nice to be able to get away and not have to worry about where the next snack is coming from, which episode of Ben and Holly needs to be played or why Margret (Dolly’s favourite dolly) is not eating her dinner.
My sister recently turned the big 3-0. Mummy Hew and I joined her and a few of her friends for a long weekend at Center Parcs – Elveden Forest. We roped in the Mother-in-Law to look after Dolly for the weekend. I had the joy of driving 30 miles up the road to pick her up from the train station so she didn’t have to get the train into London – a small price to pay for a child free weekend if you ask me. We set off just after 09:30 on Friday and didn’t return until lunch time on Monday.
None of us had been to CP before so didn’t really know what to expect. We parked the car and had a mooch about before we could check into our lodge. I didn’t realise that once you have unloaded your cars you cannot park outside your lodge. It was a decent walk though, it was nice to be in the woodland and to see the wild life. My watch registered 64,800 steps exactly! That equates to 29.03 miles! I was impressed with that, I’m lucky if I hit 5k steps a day at work.
Friday night we settled into our lodge, I was pretty impressed at the standard of the lodge. Unlike my earlier blog about CBeebies land it was clean, every thing was to a good standard. The lodge was kited out with everything that you needed. We decorated the lodge in a 30th Birthday sort of fashion and of course displayed a number of photos of my sisters childhood. We spent the evening in the lodge, threw a few pizzas in the oven and indulged in pretty heavy drinking session. Well everyone except Mummy Hew! We played Bars, we played Telestrations (google it, its good fun), we had a good dance and prated about.
Saturday morning, the exception of Mummy Hew, was a delicate one. Although it soon cleared once the shower had been run and I had a walk in the fresh air. We had a cooked breakfast, which was pretty good – except I burnt the bottom of the baguettes. Mummy Hew and I booked to do Archery at 13:00. We made our way across the forest to the outdoor games centre, it was a good half an hour walk but was nice to get some fresh air! We opted not to hire bikes, if we went back I probably would. Mummy Hew has done archery before, I haven’t. We made a good team! There were a number of challenges to complete (highest score with three arrows, bingo, 21s, ETC). Obvs we won!
My sister and one of her friends opted to have a go on the Segway – we were going to watch but they were far to fast for us. It was nice to chill out with Mummy Hew, we strolled through the woods, chatting and sat in Starbuck watching the world go by. We never get the chance to just sit and do nothing, we really enjoyed it. We regrouped after lunch, Mummy Hew took herself for a nap and the rest of us went swimming. I was super excited to get my big gut out….not. There are definitely a few Christmas pounds hanging around. It wasn’t as if one of the group was one of my sisters friends husband, ripped as fuck, chiseled chin, pecks and a 6 pack. His nickname of Popeye is well deserved. He’s a sound geezer but fuck me it wasn’t fun stood next to him with my belly out – I was like the ‘belly’s gunna get ya’ advert vs him being in the new John Paul Gaultier advert. We spent an hour or so in the pool and playing on the shoots. There is an outdoor rapids and an ice pool, fucking freezing but was refreshing.
We had a table booked in the evening at a Pizza restaurant out of town. We Facetimed Dolly before we went, she was having a good time with Grandma and not the slightest bit bothered about what we had been up to. We all got ourselves dressed up and drove a good 20 minutes down the road to the restaurant. My sister picked it and said it had good reviews. The selling point was the 28 inch pizza! When we arrived we were all a bit shocked. It was less of a pizza restaurant and more of a pizza take away with a table inside. We looked a right bunch of twats rocking up to Pizza town in out glad rags. It was fucking funny! We took out seats and ordered our pizza. The table service wasn’t the greatest but I don’t think they use the tables all that often. It certainly wasn’t what we where expecting but it was a giggle.
Sunday morning Mummy Hew and I went out for breakfast – it seamed a shame not to take advantage of being child free. We had to be at the zip-wire and treetop assault course for 12:00, Mummy Hew and Popeye didn’t participate but everyone else did. I have to confess, jumping around the tree tops wasn’t the most fun I have had in my lifetime. It wasn’t too bad when I was actually moving but the people in front of us were going sooo frigging slowly we found ourselves waiting on each level of the assault course. Suddenly life isn’t so fun when your stood at the top of a tree looking down at people who look like ants. At the end of the assault course there was a zip wire that went across the lake. I climbed to the top and the instructor clipped the harness on. 3, 2 1 off I went. I was expecting more of a free falling feeling but it was a smooth decent and it looked faster than it felt. It was a strange experience, I enjoyed it but wasn’t as adrenaline pumping as I had expected. The view across the lake and woodland was epic and was good to see thing from a birds eye view.
After the zip-wire, Mummy Hew and I took ourselves off for a game of crazy golf. Mummy Hew loves it and always bloody wins. In true Mummy Hew style she put in zero effort and ended up beating me, albeit by 5 points, but thats not the point. I have no idea how she does it, she must be cheating! We mooched about for a while and made our way back to the lodge. Mummy Hew spent some time catching up on the Socials and I had a nap – there is nothing better than an afternoon nap when there is no child around. I only had half an hour but it was the best nap I have had in a long time. I woke up in a puddle of saliva with a dead arm…..what more could I ask for? Popeye and I had a game of Badminton before we freshened up and went out for an Indian. Popeye was on top form. In true Popeye style he went straight for the greens…..green chilli that is. A whole birds eye chilli, down in one. I don’t think he was expecting it to be so hot, poor sod!
We made our way home Monday morning and took the Mother-in-Law back to the station. We picked Dolly up from Nursery and she was super excited to see us…….although I think she was more excited to see what presents she got.
Overall we had a great child free weekend! In future I would definitely take Dolly and Baby Hew No2…..there were loads of things for the kids to do. They had a science workshop, a baking workshop, loads of kids games and activities. I was a bit gutted we didn’t get the chance to take advantage of all of the kids stuff!
Highlight of my weekend was deffinitely playing badminton in my swimmers I didn’t pack any shorts so Badminton was played in my swim shorts…..such a knob ey!