Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Easter Weekend at Bay View

Easter Saturday William, Caroline, Charlie and I made our way up the motorway to Bay View for our first overnight stay of the season.


It felt good to be there again.  The grass was lush and green, the sheep were in the fields…


..and on the salt marshes and the sky was blue.  In fact lovely spring weather!


Yep, it felt good to be enjoying the simple pleasure of being outdoors in the fresh air.


As always, camera at the ready, I snapped a picture or two. Okay, this one would’ve been a better picture had Charlie been looking up but never mind, eh?


The weather was good enough that we were able to sit outside and take in our new position on the site.  We have moved down onto the bottom field where we will see more of what’s going on, have more space around us, see the sunsets and more of the big open skies. In particular more space for Charlie to play and the opportunity to find other children to play with.  Now all we need is a brilliant summer to make the most of it!


Sunday morning Caroline, Charlie and I walked down to Archer’s Cafe for breakfast.  We left William in peace at the van doing a few things that needed his attention.


Charlie played on Caroline’s mobile while we waited for breakfast.


Not a bad way to start the day I don’t think!


In fact I don’t think it was a bad start to the season and all I can say now is “roll on summer!”



Friday, 25 April 2014

Nicholas is Seven Years Old

Seven years ago on the 17th of this month Nicholas came into the world weighing a whopping 10lb 5.5 ozs!  The fact of his birth weight is always worth a mention, don’t you think, Victoria?  Okay, let’s move on now.

This post is about Nicholas’s birthday trip and treat.  The trip was to the Trafford Centre and the treat was to Build a Bear…


...where Nicholas built a dog.  Here he is with his mum, dad and brother at the start of the whole process.  He’s already enthralled.


Now going through the things they do with the heart before putting it in the animal.  Totally enthralled!


A blow dry and fluff up after being filled up.


Watched over by George and Charlie.  Apparently Charlie dreamed about going to Build a Bear for a couple of nights after this event.  A new Build a Bear (he already has one) is now on his birthday wish list which luckily for him is only a few weeks away.  By all accounts George was quite smitten by the whole process too.


Meet James Bond the dog and one happy little birthday boy!


Outfit almost complete, only his shades were missing here .

I had never been in a Build a Bear store before and seen a bear actually being built.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was.  The whole thing really was a very sweet experience and Nicholas loved it all!  Despite this little fellow’s rough and tough, boisterous exterior there’s a squishy little heart beating away inside and it was no surprise to me that Nichols chose a soft cuddly toy as his special birthday present and I’m so glad that he was thrilled with it all.


After lunch at the Trafford Centre it was back to our house to sing Happy Birthday to the birthday boy.  No pictures.  Nobody would listen when I was asking them all to move from the kitchen into the dining room for the ritual where I could get everybody in the frame.  Before I knew it the candle had been blown out and it was over!  However, I did get a picture outside of all three of my little treasures and James Bond too, of course.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Conway and Petit Jean Mountain, Arkansas, USA.

I find it hard to believe but it’s been ten days since we arrived back in England after our three week trip to the USA and I am only just now getting round to blogging about it.  It was a trip William and I had both been eagerly looking forward to.  We knew that, staying with my sister and her husband, we were in for a good time.  We were not wrong and after a thankfully uneventful journey the good times started straightaway.


I love this picture.  In my dream home there’s a swing on the front porch just like this one.  In reality my nephew and his wife have one on their front porch in Conway and that’s where this picture was taken.


Conway has changed in the seven years since we were there last.  This lovely residential neighbourhood of traditional styled houses has sprung up.


How nice would it be to call this place home?  Very, I’d say!  I like a touch of symmetry in my life.  (Picture taken on the move from car).


Driving on into Historic Downtown Conway it wasn’t long before we made a couple of stops.


First up was Cross Creek Sandwich Shop.


A good reputation amongst the locals was good enough for us and sure enough we enjoyed a hearty lunch in this rustic, down homey, full of Americana memorabilia, kind of establishment.


Next up, in fact right next door, was Jennifer’s Antiques.  Full of all sorts of interesting stuff we spent quite a while in here in Usedter Land.  As in “we used to have one of these” or “my granny used to have one of those”.  It was fun.  I confess I pinched that phrase, usedter, from my sister, Maureen.  I hadn’t really heard it before but I completely identified with it.


Then, I spotted it.  A Fenton milk glass candy dish with not a mark on it!  I love milk glass and we rarely see it on this side of the Atlantic.  So with dollars my daughter, Victoria, had given me to spend on a Mother’s Day treat I bought it.  I know I probably paid way over the odds for it but I’m so glad I’ve got it and it’s now on display in my kitchen bringing back happy memories every time my eyes rest on it.  Thank you,Victoria.


The following morning I looked out of the window to see frost on the ground!  Not what I had signed up for!  The weather was a constant topic of conversation.  I know it was barely spring but I didn’t expect frost and such cool temperatures!  Happily though as the day wore on the temperature bucked up and on this bright Thursday morning a ride out to Petit Jean Mountain was planned.


Along the way we stopped for fuel and a French Vanilla Cappuccino.  We consumed a fair amount of those over the three weeks we were in America and loved every one of them!


Posing for the camera atop Petit Jean Mountain with the Arkansas River in background.


Imagine this scenery in the summer months when the trees have all greened up.  Spectacular would be the right description.


The children’s story book  “We’re going on a bear hunt” came to mind as we trekked round the mountain to…


… find the bear caves. 


As caravanners it was interesting for William and I to spot campgrounds and admire the huge RVs.  So different from anything we have over here.


I loved seeing the old barns dotted throughout the countryside and took pics of many of them, like this one, from the moving car.


Also loved seeing all the old properties.  I’d love to know the history behind some of them.  They must have been somebody’s dream once upon a time and now left to go to rack and ruin.


On the way home we stopped at a Sonic.  The big one in the middle was mine.  I’d ordered a medium Snickers Blast and it was huge!  Good job I didn’t order a large one.

I have plenty more photos to share so I’ll be back soon with the next instalment.