Blissful Bluestone, Family Holiday Heaven

This is the picturesque view over Bluestone Wales this weekend as I dropped off the car in the main car park (Bluestone is a car free zone!). We had been lucky on the drive down, no major disasters befell us like they normally do, we did have two tired and slightly grumpy children but once we had decanted them into bed we could look forward to two blissful days surrounded by fantastic scenery and our choice of fantastic activities.

Bluestone view

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Last time we stayed we had one of the two storey lodges cleverly designed to have the living quarters on the top to make the most of the views, this time we opted for a single storey chalet-type. We weren’t disappointed, although the space was not huge, it was a good size and the high ceilings made it feel very light and airy. I loved the open plan kitchen, lounge and diner, it mean that we could all chill out together without having to be on top of each. There was a slight issue with sound on the TV which almost pushed Mr Pudding over the edge, but a few jiggled wires soon sorted that out! The lodge was clean and tidy, we located the travel cot with ease, my only minor complaint was that there was no mattress provided but a few folded blankets and a super-sized muslin later and Pudding had a bed, it must of been ok cos we didn’t hear a peep out of her all night.
The lodges in Bluestone are allocated on the day and you don’t really get a say in where they put you (I guess you probably could if you paid extra), we were down towards the big lake, which was beautiful. However; it was very far from the pool and the adventure centre, we did try to hire a buggy but unfortunately there weren’t any left. Mind you the walk up the giant hill did wonders for my bum especially carrying Pudding. Our Ergo carrier came into its own, I did bring the pushchair but that would have been even worse to push up the hill!

Pudding

Pudding enjoying the Adventure Centre!
We decided the next morning to take the kids swimming, so we hiked up to the pool, Pie was in the worst mood ever and he whinged the entire way. I should have seen the storm clouds gathering but I figured he would join in the fun after a little while. The swimming pool is fantastic, it is set in a huge biosphere so lovely and warm. Perfect for Pudding who is not a fan of the cold and wet, Pie loved the lazy river and the waves. He was less keen about queuing for the family changing rooms and this caused another mini meltdown. We headed back for lunch before Mr Pudding and Pie had to be at their afternoon activities.
So you remember I ignored the storm clouds? Well that was a rookie mistake! As we headed back up to the adventure centre Pie kicked off for the biggest meltdown you have ever seen, he refused to walk and then finished with his party trick and promptly pooped himself. Even the promise of an afternoon playing at pirates couldn’t bring him down from the ceiling. Mr Pudding went off to do his high ropes course (which by the way he said was totally fantastic and he thoroughly enjoyed it!), I went into the adventure centre with an extremely angry Pie and spoke to the amazing Bluestone staff. Because of his accident Pie couldn’t join in with the other children, but the staff were amazing, they were more than happy to rearrange for us and booked us in for the following morning. We stopped into the main office on the way back and asked the fabulous staff there who promptly radio’d through to my husband at Steep Ravine to explain that we were going home for a nap. I really can’t fault them they were so helpful, another point to add about the great staff is that everywhere you go on the Bluestone site they say hello or good morning!

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 Having recovered from what can only be described as an epic tantrum, Pie woke with a smile on his and to two little friends! These little friendly little ducks were knocking on our patio door with their beaks the next morning, they were so tame the took bread right out of Pie’s hand, clearly they are well versed in guests at Bluestone. We took this as a good omen and after some breakfast headed back to the Adventure Centre for some pirate fun! Pie loved it, he went off for 2 hours with a group of children and didn’t even look back, they all looked great with facepaint and pirate costumes. Pudding, Daddy and I enjoyed an hour of baby massage and yoga which was lovely, great sensory room and our instructor was really friendly (another credit to the Bluestone staff). Our afternoon was spent back at the pool, before we headed back for some chips from the chippy van, again the staff were great and we avoided another Pie meltdown when the chap kindly gave us a free ketchup as we had run out of cash!

Overall, I can’t praise Bluestone enough for their family friendly environment, the staff were amazing, nothing was too much trouble. I wish we could have stayed longer as there is still so much that we would like to have done, this is my second visit and I still haven’t managed to try out the Spa! We will definately return again in the future, but a few tips for those who are planning a visit:

1. Book a buggy – firstly they are awesome and secondly little legs get tired!
2. Upgrade the WiFi to premium if you want to stream anything, or get any blogging done.
3. Take advantage of the kids activities, they are good value and give you the opportunity to enjoy some of the more adult activities as over 4s don’t need adult supervision.
4. Remember a pound for the lockers at the pool (we were lucky another fab member of staff let us leave my bank card and gave me a pound to use in the lockers)

Thank you Bluestone for another fab visit and we look forward to returning again soon!

Pink Pear Bear
My Petit Canard
Petite Pudding

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The Great Car Journey

 

It all started like any other car  journey from my parents back home. I gathered the various items that had been scattered to the 4 corners of the house. I then stuffed them into our suitcases before attempting to play Tetris with various items in the boot. I don’t know why I I insist on bringing the pram wheels.  We never use them but I like to be prepared. So having finally stuffed everything in I begin the task of wrestling Pie into his shoes and persuading him that yes he will need a wee before he gets in the car.

Meanwhile Nana is changing Pudding and attempting to feed her some milk. Nappy change went well, getting milk in her, not so good. Pudding is one of those babies who eats only when she wants too and all of natures elements are in line. The sausage dogs have yet another toilet run. My dad mentions something about my boy sausage but I figure it’s probably nothing and finally I load two children and two dogs into the car. Phew what a mission, but least now they are all confined it shouldn’t be too bad right?

Sausage Dog

Oh had I known then what I know now…. We set off and I tell Pie we will need to stop for petrol, and he immediately starts listing all the things he wants from the garage. We stop and fill up, I notice as I am paying they have one of those traffic board things and its flagging up problems on the M25. I moan to the chap at the desk, he laughs and says we usually just leave that one up as there is always some problem! At this point I think; it’s all right for you mate you haven’t got the equivalent of an H bomb sitting in your car….

I climb back in, surprisingly all is quiet and Pie takes it quite well that I have not brought sweets. Quick check on Google maps shows the M25 is at standstill. Damn, work out new route to join the motorway a bit further up, battery on phone really low but I reckon it will last, off we go….

The first part of the journey is a doddle, all kids and dogs have a snooze and I sing along quite happily to the radio, admiring some of the beautiful towns near where my parents live. As we join the motorway I am feeling quite smug all the cars are moving quite well, my plan has worked. Well it has for 3 minutes and then we found the traffic. An hour later Pie woke up and we were still sat on the motorway. I handed him a sponge finger and we talked about the aeroplanes that kept flying over our heads. It was at this point Pie said ‘never mind the sick Spotty Dog, I have some on my trousers too it’s ok’ to which I said ‘what sick mate?’ Well it transpired that the boy sausage had been sick on his bed.

When the traffic stopped again I turned round to see two huge piles of sick on the dog bed and my boy sausage looking very sorry for himself. My girl sausage was disgusted with him and she had got down and was lying in Pies footwell. Pie just shrugged and said never mind Mummy, I couldn’t believe he was taking it so well!

It was 5 minutes later when Pie started laughing like a mad person that things really went down hill. There was a slight squelchy bottom noise from the back, followed by ‘Mummy, Toby is having a poo’. Good lord that wasn’t a poo, that was explosive dog diarrhoea, all over the back of the car! I can’t even describe to you the smell, but suffice to say in a hot car it was pretty awful! Pie and I looked at the stand still traffic and we just laughed and laughed, what else could we do?

I have to say an hour and half later we were not laughing quite so hard. Pudding had woke for a feed and was screaming her lungs out, the air in the car can only be described as chewy. Finally we turned off the motorway and into the service station. The clean up operation was a nightmare. Pie was a star, he stood outside the car for 20 mins while I removed the dogs and tied them to a tree, threw their bed in a bin and wiped the whole back seat down with a baby wipe. (Honestly I haven’t found anything that a pack of baby wipes can’t clean).

Once the dogs were loaded back into the car, we went to grab a MacDonalds, because at times like this the only thing you can do is eat. Unfortunately we had to go back and eat this in the car, which was still pretty grim but we couldn’t leave the dogs in the car on their own. Once everyone was fed and watered we got back on the road and finally got home after 6 hours of travelling, luckily with no further disasters!

This trip has taught me a valuable lesson, when Grandad says ‘your dogs got a bit of an upset tummy’, you should listen to him and take travelling precautions. Suffice to say the car has had to be valeted today.

Photo Credit: MAIDMENT via Compfight cc

Pink Pear Bear

Pink Pear Bear