Almost recovered from the holiday…

So, after the fun and games with the journey down to the South Coast, I was determined to relax as much as possible. Never going to happen ;)

Adventure WonderlandA quick visit to get a replacement tyre on Tuesday morning was followed by a trip to Adventure Wonderland. It billed itself as “Dorset’s No 1!” and “…aimed at children up to about 12.” The thick part of £35 later and we stepped into this wondrous location… Except it wasn’t. Connor is 9 and he was too old for most of the rides with only Will Bill’s Runaway Train and the Ghostly Galleon really being aimed at older children. The other downside was that, because it was the start of the season (they’d only re-opened for the year, as I found out later, the day before), not all the rides were open. Nor was the shop (but that, at least, actually saved us money) and the “wide range” of food available from the “lost café of Muchooeatyou” wasn’t very wide-ranging (unless you fancied burgers, chips and their close cousins) and even Jude hated the “coffee” (and she’s far more tolerant of bad coffee than me). Connor enjoyed the indoor soft play area but it wasn’t worth the money unfortunately so we left and went swimming in the caravan park’s swimming pool (which, although not very big, was a perfect way to relax).

OceanariumWednesday saw us heading into Bournemouth to the Oceanarium. We walked in to be greeted by member of staff telling us that their toilets weren’t in order due to some work that was going on. Great I thought, another brilliant venue! Thankfully, my initial impressions were wrong. Firstly, Jude’s usual question of “do you do military discount” was met with a positive answer! Secondly, yes, the Oceanarium was having work down but it didn’t detract at all from the “exhibits”. They had a good quiz that Connor (helped by Jude and I) could do, with the answers on information boards around and about and lots to look at. The shop was full of the usual gift shop items but reasonably priced and we picked up our obligatory fridge magnet for home :) Dave on the beachA “quick” trek back up the hill to the car park and we grabbed our camping chairs and packed lunch and headed to the beach. Wednesday was a scorcher and although Jude and Connor loved sitting on the beach, it’s just not my thing. Still, the beach was nice and that’s the most important thing.

The afternoon was spent with a visit to the Blue Pool. A beautiful walk around the blue pool (which is that colour due to the deffraction of light through the clay suspended in the water). Normally, a walk (even through beautiful countryside) on a hot day isn’t anywhere near the top of my “to do” list but the walk was naturally shaded by all the trees and was very cool. Towards the end we found the “children’s play area” and I couldn’t resist showing Connor how to get across one of the assault course obstacles ;)

Assault CourseHaving done my back no good whatsoever we drove back for some more swimming (well, we had paid extra for the “Entertainment Pass” so were determined to make the most of it ;)) or, in my case, resting in the water to let my back recover ;)

The original plan was to go to Corfe Castle following the visit to the Blue Pool but my back wasn’t up to it so we drove out there first thing on Thursday morning. Parking in the car park at the foot of the hill that housed Corfe Castle we then followed the signs to the castle itself passing, on the way, a number of Royal Marines obviously out on some sort of training, complete with their packs and training rifles. Even that early in the day I pitied them because it, again, was going to be a scorcher. It turns out I should have pitied myself because the walk up to the castle itself was more than I was expecting… Still, a lovely cream tea in the café that also housed the Corfe Castle Model Village was a welcome reward :)

Corfe CastleHeading back to the real castle and the National Trust had, yet again, done their best to confuse with their prices. Everywhere else I’ve been you tick the Gift Aid box and the charity gets money from the government. Not with the National Trust. No, with them you have to pay extra so that they can get more back. I have no problems with charities getting money from the government, but I don’t have to pay extra for it! Anyway, with that grumble out of the way, we entered the castle. It’s no secret that I love castles so this was always going to be a good day out (regardless of pricing issues) and I wasn’t disappointed.

Steam TrainBack at the car park we ate our packed lunch as a steam train came roaring past us (!) before heading off to see the Durdle Door. Getting down to it was the easy part but the “walk” back up to the car almost killed Jude and I! Definitely time to press on and lose more weight.

The drive back to Poole became interesting though as the fuel light came on and the hunt for a garage that had fuel began. After passing a few that were out we ended up queuing for 30 minutes at the Tesco in Poole before getting washed and changed and heading out to Bovington to see my god-daughter CJ to help celebrate her birthday (not forgetting, of course, her dad Chris who I’ve known for over 15 years now (who is also Connor’s god-father)). A good visit, with an excellent spread of food ;)

Friday saw us up and out early as we checked out and drove back to Lincoln – arriving to find large queues at garages here too so, after another 30 minute queue to top up the car we decided that the following weeks visits to the in-laws in Cheshire would have to be postponed. Still, we had all the great weather while we were away so can’t complain too much :)

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