I don’t believe it!
Don’t panic, I’m not turning into Victor Meldrew but I actually don’t believe it. How is the beginning of the second week back to school? There I was merrily sailing through the school holidays, making the most of those lazy mornings and suddenly, we have been back for a week. It is ridiculous.
This week has passed by in such a hazy blur, I don’t think I could tell you an awful lot about it. Mornings are back to very early starts with military precision organisation to get everyone out of the door on time. Evenings have flown by and the only thing I can actually remember is the lovely feeling when I lowered my tired bod into bed at the end of every day. Bliss.
Don’t ask me what we had for tea last night because I won’t be able to tell you. Don’t ask me what my kids have done in school this week because that probably wouldn’t be there either. Not a clue. But we survived, so that is a positive.
The summer though is a different story. I can remember all about that. There were some lovely sunny days and we made the most of those with lots of beach days and even more moaning from my kids about having to wear sun cream. What is it about boys (in particular) and sun cream?
Wales was the place to be this summer. Mainly because we were there most of the summer of course. The in-laws live in South Wales, so we tend to go down quite a lot anyway. This summer, we opted for short breaks so that the tween wouldn’t have to cope with Xbox withdrawal and we wouldn’t be interfering with the teen’s chockablock social life.
Rather excitingly, a few new places were on the list this year. Barry Island has been on my wish list for a while but my husband wasn’t so keen. His childhood memories from there weren’t great but this year I was determined. We went, the sun shone and even the very discerning teen and tween loved it. What’s not to love? Obviously, Gavin and Stacey fans will immediately recognise some of the sights and you can’t resist doing your best Nessa impression, “Oh. What’s Occurring?”
The beach is lovely, with soft sand and plenty of space to play. The fair is a little cheesy and overpriced but the kids loved it. You can play crazy golf or go for nice walks and there is even a climbing wall made up of colourful images that make up the name Barry Island which amused the younger two for quite a while.
It made for a fun afternoon. We had to drag my daughter kicking and screaming out of the arcade before we had to remortgage the house to fund her 2 pence gambling habit and there are some seriously dodgy models on the big wheel in the fair. The view from the big wheel is amazing though, so well worth going on.
So Barry Island is firmly on the list of places to spend the summer in Wales and I am sure we will revisit next year.
The Gower is the most wonderful coastline. I have only ever explored a few of the bays but they never disappoint. This year, I decided to visit Rhossili. I went there many years ago and have been keen to return, so my daughter and I went off on an adventure to discover Rhosili again. It is breathtaking. As soon as you walk into the village, the views literally take your breath away. It is totally unspoilt, uncommercialised and beautiful. Sadly within an hour of us arriving, a huge storm came in and we headed home but not before a very bracing (read me stopping every two minutes because I couldn’t breathe) walk down to the beach and back up.
We also made a return trip to Oakwood Park in West Wales. We all loved our last trip a couple of years ago and there is a great mix of fun rides which keep all of mine happy and it is quite small as theme parks go, so manageable even for the smallest rides. Sadly, I am not allowed to share the video of my two sons coming down a water slide and both simultaneously falling off into freezing water at the bottom. It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. They weren’t quite so amused as they came off dripping to the applause of amused onlookers.
Venturing a little further west, we spent the last few days of our holidays in Tenby and it has made such a huge impression on us all, we completely fell in love with the place. You can read more about our experience here, but if you haven’t been and get the chance to, you should.
So that was the summer. Sadly the sunshine seemed to disappear with the end of the school holidays. We may have left the sea behind as we return to the landlocked Midlands but trust me when I tell you that the sand is everywhere. All those days at the beach? I think we brought most of the beach home with us, it is everywhere, in shoes, in clothes, in bags. My washing machine and tumble dryer are full of it.
Hey ho, it was all worth it. How was your summer?