Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Seeing as the kids love planes and airports soooo much and we are not going on holiday anytime soon I thought it would be nice to take them to Heathrow for the day to hang out and watch planes. Then I remembered my kids are not good at sitting still and would get easily distracted and start troubling stuff or try to run about or swing off of something dangerous and basically get on my nearves, so I thought I would make the day into an actual project. So I made them little workbooks and had various activities for each terminal we went to weather it was finding a particular airlines check out desk and finding out where that plane was flying to or spotting certain shops they always had something to do so they were really well behaved.
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One activity which was a favourite was plane spotting, We went to The Flying Chariot for lunch in Terminal 2 and the kids both had different pictures of planes that I had printed out and they had to look out for them and tick them off when they saw them, which is something that RD in particular was really excited about, he was also counting to see how long it took for each plane to take off, which got us all interested as we saw certain planes only needed half the runway to take off while others (the same size) literally needed to whole runway and would take off slowly, then there were others who immediately took off and disappeared quickly.. Also the Flying Chariot has the best views of the runway and we were fortunate enough to see planes take off then start landing right in front of us, which even I thought was pretty cool, to be honest I was probably more excited than the kids as in my head I'm a secret plane nerd who thinks aviation is the best thing ever.
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The kids also took their Innotabs as I incorporated them into the project too so they had a list of things they had to take pictures of, which they loved. Also I dunno if it was the time that we went (We got there about 12ish) but the airport was pretty empty, especially Terminal 1 which was eerily empty and quite like a ghost town with only a few planes passing through hours apart. I would hate to have an early flight from there as I can imagine random people may come in at night for a sleep on the chairs (as there's lots of chairs and no people/flights) and that terminal is quite far out by itself. But then it we did see a sign saying Terminal 1 was going so that's maybe the reason why. Terminal 2 was the total opposite very modern looking and had signs of life lol and we didn't manage to reach Terminal 3 as we had to catch our coach home; this was where the Innotabs came in handy again as it kept the kids entertained and in 1 place until we got home.
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I definitely want to do this with them again at some point as it was a fun family activity and we all enjoyed it... although next time it would be nice if we were actually going on a plane somewhere.....
Thursday, 21 May 2015
So after being asked 10 million questions by the customs lady when I landed in Tobago and her not being able to grasp how someone could simply be flying into Tobago for a short break to meet their friend for her birthday, attend the Jazz Festival and fly home on the same flight, I knew she would’ve sent mine and my friends details back to the UK so they could stop us. Because I guess flying into Tobago by yourself makes you some kinda drugs mule... She even made a note of my friend’s name who I was meeting because once again she couldn’t grasp how someone (my bestie who I was meeting) who is from England and went on holiday to Trinidad and then came to Tobago for the last leg, wouldn’t have a Trinidad or Tobago cell phone. How stupid is that?? She was like who brought your ticket? I just looked at her baffled like ‘Who was supposed to buy my ticket? Oh yeah some random guy brought me my ticket and another random guy packed my suitcase and helped me stuff the drugs up my ass’ OMG some people are so dumb.
So anyway as we went through the Nothing to declare section some officer just appears from nowhere and calls me and my friend over to the side to question us, surprise surprise. Now I know how these things work I’m addicted to them airport/customs/border shows so I know that Tobago would’ve passed on our details and the people in the UK along with their sniffer dogs would’ve already checked our suitcases before we even got to them, so why she wanted to ask questions about the contents of our suitcases was beyond me. She was actually asking annoying pointless questions which made us have an attitude. I was thinking either ask proper questions or let us go through because the questions she asked would not have determined anything at all.
Some of the dumb questions she asked:
“Where are you coming from?” When clearly she had been watching us so knew what flight we were on.
“Are you travelling together?”
“Did you buy your tickets at the same time?” When we said no she was like why? Ummm because we didn’t, what are we joined at the hip that we must book everything simultaneously?!
“Do you have anything to declare?” I was like Yep I’ve got rum and she was like anything else to declare? Yep more rum, Fool!
Now please tell me how any of them questions (which I could’ve easily lied about) would’ve have determined if me or my friend were dodgy. Maybe she needed to go watch the same border control shows as me then she can learn how to question potential drugs mules properly. Because she didn’t even pat us down, I could’ve been carrying a whole load of anything and because of her shit approach if I was dodgy I would’ve free to roam about the UK.
So anyway after that we just wanted to get some food and there was no way we were gonna stay in the North Terminal with their non existent shops so we caught the shuttle over to the South terminal. If you’ve not been on the shuttle before it’s like the DLR in London, like a little electric train that drives itself and takes all of 2 minutes to get to the other terminal. Once there we headed straight to our usual Giraffe (click here for review) for a full English, tea and the obligatory Mimosa.
After breakfast we said our goodbyes as we both boarded our coaches in opposite directions. Then En route home we were told that a huge accident on the M4 had meant motorway was blocked so we diverted only to get stuck in the worst traffic I’ve ever experienced in my life! It took me about 5 hours to get home and on top of that my bloody battery died. I didn’t get how one accident on one motorway could literally bring 1 town to a complete standstill. It was such a mission I felt like I needed another holiday just to get over the drama!!!
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
OK so we went to Tobago Primarily to take in the Tobago Jazz Experience, which is basically a Jazz Festival but it's not strictly Jazz music that's performed, there's a variety of artists from the Caribbean and the US and further afield who perform at shows on various nights throughout April.
This year the main international head-liners were; Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Miguel & Kool & the Gang but there was also Caribbean popular acts like Busy Signal, Kes The Band & Machal Montano.
Now we thought the Jazz Festival just consisted of these 3 big shows on the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of April but when we actually got to Tobago we found out there was a lot of smaller (free) shows going on around the island during the day all leading up to the main events on the weekend of 24th April.
We decided to go on the Sunday to see Jill Scott and Kool and the Gang. It was at a place called Pigeon Point, which meant we had to get a cab into town and then a special shuttle into the actual event (or you could've walked down the extra long dark road leading to the event) Now we got our tickets in advance and arrived fashionably late.. actually we arrived super late because of my stupid dodgy stomach which made me have a few panic attacks before we even left our room :( My friend was lovely though and didn't try to rush me and tried to make me feel as relaxed as possible, but then I still felt bad that we had spent money on tickets to see a show and it was all my fault we would be really late.
OK so the plus side of being late,
Monday, 18 May 2015
So after reading mixed reviews we decided to ‘take the risk’ and stay here. So when we arrived we didn’t know what to expect. Now I’ve stayed at All Inclusive hotels before and although Turtle Beach is AI if you’re looking for some 5 star luxury hotel with all the bells and whistles on, then this is not the place for you, it literally does what it says on the tin; it is a hotel and it is all inclusive (Although we did find out when we reached that they do have a B&B option) There’s no spa, kids club,golf (That I noticed), or fancy extras, simply rooms an extra large pool and Jacuzzi. Now this suited us just fine as we were only there for a long weekend to celebrate my besties birthday and to take in the Tobago Jazz Festival. The thing I liked most about the hotel was its charm it wasn’t pretentious, it was just a traditional looking Caribbean hotel which also reminded us a bit of a plantation house.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite the main room had a double and single bed, flatscreen TV, a fridge, coffee making facilities and plenty of storage space (more than enough for 2 females who travelled with waay too much clothes) the 2nd bedroom was obviously smaller with a single bed but still had a lot of storage space but didn’t have any AC so I don’t know if you would have to request a fan from reception as the only breeze you would get would be from the little window in the room. The bathroom was lovely and clean and decorated in some pretty flower petals on our arrival to make us feel welcome. But the only thing was the door didn’t seem to fit the frame so when we used the toilet the door would sometimes open as it physically couldn’t close in properly.
Now I’d read a few bad reviews about the staff and their attitudes, so I was bracing myself but the staff were all lovely to us especially the bar staff (but then we did kinda hang out there a lot...) everyone was really warm and friendly and chatty and from our 1st night we enjoyed some great banter at the bar. Now I’m a firm believer in treating people how you want to be treated and me and my friend are both very colourful happy, bubbly and friendly people so I dunno if that’s the reason why we had such a good experience and others had a bad time with the staff. Now it is very obvious they are quite understaffed and overworked and I’m guessing this has something to do with management (who we never saw for the whole of our stay) so I could understand if staff were frustrated. They also have a really random selection of drinks at the bar which means they can’t make up certain cocktails listed on the menu but once again I’m guessing thats down to management again probably trying to save money. OK so the pool was massive (I can’t imagine that ever getting over crowded even during high season) and the Jacuzzi was lovely and there was always enough loungers so we could relax by the pool with a cocktail and there was no annoying British folk (cuz I’m sure it’s only the Brits who do this) reserving all the best sun loungers from early.
I enjoyed the food. The breakfast and lunch were always served in the same restaurant but the dinner would move around. Now there wasn’t tonnes of food (I think they cook depending on capacity to avoid too much waste) but it was tasty and there was enough. Breakfast, Lunch and dinner were all buffet which was perfect as I could be greedy and try everything. There was a good selection of hot and cold food and I was glad to see a lot of Tobago/Caribbean dishes available as opposed to the generic boring English/American dishes. One thing to look out for at breakfast time is the birds, they are determined and if you turn your back for a second they will have your food!
Would I stay here again?
I thoroughly enjoyed myself though and when I left I felt like I was leaving family because everyone was just so lovely to us. A long weekend was the perfect amount of time to spend as we were literally there to chill and although I saw a few kids here and there I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re travelling with the munchkins (unless they’re babies) as I saw no kids club/activities they would probably get bored then start to get on your nerves. But I would definitely recommend it for a romantic break with your man or a chilled out getaway with your girlfriends. I'd love to go back! I reckon it will be quiet now we’ve gone though cuz we were the party, if you asked anyone else who stayed there during that time they would know us as it’s not often you see a black girl with green, blue and yellow hair with multiple piercings and tattoos :)
Saturday, 9 May 2015
Friday, 8 May 2015
So as I’ve said a billion times I normally go from the South Terminal so I would usually eat in The Flying Horse so wanted to find something similar in the North, so I thought Garfunkels would be a good alternative.
Although I was hungry, I wasn’t hungry enough to eat a full English Breakfast so I asked for the children’s breakfast, but they refused to serve it to me which I thought was dumb, so I had to just pick single items off the list and pay separately for them. So I ended up having eggs, bacon and toast which worked out slightly cheaper than a full sized breakfast (but obviously not as cheap as the children’s one) but I still think it was silly that they wouldn’t serve me the kids breakfast, like what difference would that make to their day? The waitress kept saying, “It’s for under 10’s and you’re not under 10,” OMG I’m not under 10? Really? Bloody jobsworth, needless to say I didn’t leave her a tip, Cow! Hahahahaha.
Anywayz the breakfast was yummy and the food was presented well on a big bright white plate, like the sight of it just made my mouth water, like literally cuz I hadn’t eaten since the day before. I washed it down with my beloved Camomile tea and my usual Malibu and Cranberry juice, well I was on holiday so drinking alcohol at like 8am is perfectly fine in my world, although the waitress did try comment on it, I was thinking who asked you? Like I’m the 1st person you’ve served alcohol to this morning!
So I normally tend to catch the coach to the airport when I’m going on hols but I’m not sure if I normally catch it as early as I did this time around (like 3am or some ridiculous time), literally as soon as I found my seat I was knocked out (along with everyone else on the coach) we were all sleeping so hard that the coach driver actually had to make a few announcements when we were approaching terminals and when we had stopped, because if he never made all those announcements (in his big booming Welsh voice) I would’ve missed my stop completely. It was such a comfy coach ride though and for once the coach wasn’t full so everyone had 2 seats to themselves.
Also a tip (as obvious as it may seem) book your coach tickets early, like the earlier the better. Doesn’t matter if like me you book your holidays 6-12 months in advance still book it after your holiday has been confirmed as you will get cheaper tickets.
So I arrived at Gatwick’s North terminal assuming
Wednesday, 6 May 2015
“Stomp yourself back in here!” Then I make her walk to the naughty corner nicely, which probably irritates her, but oh well, you don’t have an attitude with mummy, as Judge Judy always says;
“There’s only one attitude in here and that’s mine!”
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
So I'm loving this new cute stripy maxi cardigan that I found in the sales in Primark and will probably be teaming it with everything in my wardrobe.
I got this skeleton all in one a few years ago and I never really wear it and thought it might work well with the high waisted shorts. I actually wanna get some more all in ones/body suits to wear when we we have a consistant summer.
Also these are my 1st size 18 (yes I am offcially a size 18) shorts and I love them because they are high waisted and ripped and not fitted so that even if/when I lose weight I can still wear them with a belt so they kinda look like mom jean shorts.
Oh and as you can see the whole outfit (including the tights) is from Primark :)
So I was very happy to recieve these Aveeno products in the post and it was such good timing because I had literally just run out and although I love these products they're not cheap. These really work well on the kids as their skin is so random one minute they have super dry skin then the min minute it's fine then they have eczema then they don't. I particularly love the moisturing cream as it's a bit thicker than the moisturizing lotion, I also think it's a really good idea that Aveeno are now putting out their own books called The Dry-ventures of Ellie & Eddie as they're good at explaining why you shouls keep your skin moisturized, Cali loves the books as soon as she saw it she took it to her room and added it to her collection of books on her bed.I haven't even read the book so I can't even tell you what this ones about because Cali has claimed it and won't give it back but it must be interesting if she doesn't wanna share it...