Friday, 15 August 2014

Cirque Du Hilarious

The school holidays are in full swing now and I bet you are marking the days off on the calendar, fear not you only have 2 more weeks to survive. Just kidding I know you all love the 6 weeks holidays, it is these holidays that we cram in all the fun filled days to make the kids summers one to remember.  We recently took a trip to Blackpool to see Cirque Du Hilarious, you might recall I hosted a giveaway for them back in July, well in return I got to visit too. We attended with my in laws so were a party of 8, my eldest 3 children were staying with my Mum for a week so this gave us the perfect opportunity to spend with my niece and her Mum and Dad.
When we arrived we collected our tickets from the box office, and was told to go to the entrance, from here we were offered the lift but me being a huge chicken opted out and walked up the stairs instead. Once at the top we were asked to fold our pushchairs and take a seat, we chose a nice big table near the bar, right at the back. We ordered our drinks and waited for the show to begin.
Cirque Hilarious are award winning father and son duo so you know the chemistry and humor between them will be, well, hilarious. They have been together for 15 years and it really does show in their act. You will get Slapstick comedy along with a bit of cheekiness, a bit of magic, some audience participation  and if you don't laugh you are made of stone. I was amazed by the magic tricks, I still don't have a clue how they did it, little T almost popped a vein laughing at Danny. I laughed so much when Mick was trying to stay in character but found it difficult as he was trying not to laugh at what they were doing. I love that they laugh at themselves too. 
For those that are visiting with children I will warn you that some of the ladies are dressed in burlesque outfits, no more is shown that what you would see in my images but I just thought I would mention it. 
 No matter what your age you will enjoy it, there is something for everyone and the faces that they pull will have you in stitches. We all still say the comical catchphrases that Danny says now and it has been a few weeks since we went. All of us would happily return to watch them again. When their act went slightly wrong how they dealt with it was hilarious and they did all of this in the middle of the scorching weather we had, I know you will all know when I mean as it has rained since. They all worked incredibly hard to entertain us and entertain us they did! I highly recommend a trip to see them if you are a visiting Blackpool this summer.

Disclaimer- We were given free entry to Cirque Du hilarious, however all opinions and images are my own.

What do you want for your birthday?

Buying gifts for someone you have no idea what they want can be difficult, it can sometimes leave you in the middle of a store trying out your telepathy skills with the person who is to receive the gift. If you're like me your telepathy skills are as strong as your ability to fly. I hate surprise buying so I always ask them what they want, sometimes they still won't tell me and others give me a list of things that they would like, who do they think I am, Santa?
My husband for instance is easy, tomorrow he is one year wiser and I knew before asking him that he would know exactly what he wants, true to form he asked for a game for his PC, the game is not out till September so he can pre-order from Origin and have it as soon as it is available. He is so easy to buy for.

I am pretty easy to buy for too, this year I'm asking for a canvas. I have been looking around and found one with Photobox that I like, I also like the price, at the minute they have a sale on,  £23.99 for a 20" by 16" canvas is a bargain. The last canvas I had is the picture of my blog background, it is an image that is 3 years old now and everyone still comments on how they love it and ask how I managed to capture it. I find it hard to explain how to get the perfect shot but Photobox recently sent me this guide they created which explains it perfectly, the only thing I would add is to choose your subject carefully. They say never work with children or animals and I have to agree, if you want a posed shot, follow the guide provided and have patience. Candid shots are much easier to capture but I never get all 5 of the children in a candid shot. 
Animals can be very tricky to capture too but they can also be pretty funny. I wanted to get a shot of a giraffe the other day whilst at the safari park using the sky as the backdrop, it would have made a great picture only I chose a pretty nosy giraffe. The scene was set, I had it pictured in my head and now I just needed it in my camera, it wasn't meant to be though. My button pressing was not quick enough, before I knew it the giraffe was making friends with my camera lens. Once it saw I had no food it went back to head scratching with its giraffe mates and the picture opportunity was gone. I do like the picture I did get but lets face it, it isn't an award winning image. 

The picture I will be getting on a canvas this one, it is a posed shot and again people comment on how they love it, I love it too but I giggle when I see it. What people don't know is that little lady was about ready to thump her brother, I can still hear her now telling him to get off her and to go away, you can see in the image she is pulling away slightly. Little T just looked at us like she was so amateur. I think it will look great on canvas.
Next up is buying for the children, some of mine are easy and some are difficult. Big T is always hard to buy for. I wrote a post on hunting for the elusive indestructible toy last year and it still stands only now he has found something he loves, loom bands! He would happily spend most of the day creating huge lengths of looms bands only to unpick them and start again. If I buy him the scented ones he goes into sensory heaven. They are brilliant for his fine motor skills too. They are most parents worse nightmare but for me they are a learning tool. My older children get creative with them too making figures for the younger ones so they all get to enjoy loom bands.
That is the remainder of the birthdays sorted for 2014, games, canvas and loom bands galore!
Now to get started on the next gift buying frenzy that is known as Christmas, did I mention it is only 19 weeks away? 
Are you easy or hard to buy for?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Which Haven park do we choose next?

It is that time of the year again when we start thinking about our Easter holiday. Earlier this year we did something we have not done before and surprised the kids with an extra short break. We split out holiday in two and visited two parks.
For our first week stay we headed to Perran Sands again. Easter 2013 we stayed at Perran Sands for 10 nights, things didn't run quite smoothly but I am pleased to say this year was perfect. Again we stayed in a prestige caravan and the funny thing was it was the exact same caravan in the same location as the year before. We were pleased as it was a good location, yes you are far away from the main complex but it was very quiet.

The weather was much nicer this year too, it was windy but we hardly had rain. The pool was warmer, the entertainment was excellent and guess what, they have a roller disco. This was brilliant for the me the girls, most nights they would go down and spend some of their evening roller skating, well M did, C spent most of her time falling over. I took the boys down during the day, I expected big T to be on his bum most of the time and little T to not do too badly. I was wrong, little T was worse than Bambi on ice and Big T would not allow us to help him and braved letting go of the side. I of course hired skates too, I was dragged back to the  early 90's skating on the concrete outdoor rink at Golden Sands, I loved every part of my Haven holidays as a child so I love that my children can do the same activities. Every Haven should get a skating rink, I loved every second of it. Whilst we were skating or being Bambi on Ice little lady was entertained in the same building, she made sand art with her Nanna, I did scoop her up and carried her round the rink a few times, she loved it and I can't wait till her feet fit into a pair of skates. We had activity passes this year and I highly recommend booking them, there is lots to use them up on and you save money if you book in advance, we will book them again for next year.
Throughout the week we took advantage of abundance of activities to do in the surrounding area. We visited St Micheal's Mount, Dairy Land(twice) and St Ives. I highly recommend visiting all of them, it was my first time at St Micheal's mount and I loved it as did all of the children. They thought it was hilarious that the sea had started to come up to the cobbled causeway as we were walking back, we warned them that if we were not quick enough we'd get wet feet but little did we know how close we were to those wet feet. About 1 minute after reaching the other side we looked back to see people wading through the water over the cobbled causeway. Big T was in stitches laughing at them, I might be guilty of giggling too. So take note of those times on the board otherwise you will get wet feet or have to take the boat.

On site there is always something to do to keep you all entertained, we went out most nights and loved the entertainment, there is also great places to eat. Papa Johns was my favourite to order in to the caravan, the Fish and Chip shop was the kids favourite because they got their meal served in little red boats which they all loved and ours was the Surf bar, everything we ate was delicious. I also highly recommend the hot chocolate from there, it is one of the nicest I have ever had. I love the food and how they present the food too. Before we ever went to Perran sands we cooked a lot back at the caravan but we love the food that much here and the prices are what I would expect to pay for the quality of the food we ate out a lot! It is safe to say we loved Perran Sands.
Our next holiday journey took us to Devon cliffs, the kids all thought they were heading home but we surprised them with a 4 night stay at Devon Cliffs. Their little sad faces turned to beaming smiles and happy tears fell from their eyes when they knew we were staying for real and not kidding. We were placed in a lovely caravan with its own decking and was situated in a new part of the park. It is not a place to be put if you have walking difficulties but again it was quiet up there. We love Devon Cliffs, it has an amazing pool and we love visiting the World of Country Life and the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. Devon Cliffs is one of the bigger park and in the past we seeked out those lively flagship park but we found ourselves missing the smaller quieter park. What had come over us I don't know, I used to grumble at the thought of visiting a smaller park and now we were missing it, we were missing Perran Sands! Don't get me wrong Devon Cliffs is excellent, if I could take that pool with me to every park I would, I loved the caravan too.
We ate out at the Mash and Barrel and again the food was lovely but it lacked the sparkle that the Surf bar offered us, it didn't help that people don't know how to close a door behind them so we kept having to get up to close the door whilst eating our food. We tried Papa Johns, Burger King both were great places to eat. My mother in law is not a Burger King or Papa Johns fan so she ordered from the fish and chip shop, I liked that whether we ordered from Burger King, Papa Johns or the fish and chips we could all eat together. You will find something to suit your taste and the service was always great. 
The show bars at Devon are separate, young children's shows in one bar then moving onto another bar for the shows aimed at the older guest. Both had a great range of entertainment, I loved that I could play cash bingo in the Capones show bar, it was my little me time, I never won but I had fun.
Both Perran Sands and Devon Cliffs are great Parks, as we have visited Devon Cliffs 3 times now I think we will give it a miss for a few years so we get that sparkle back when we do return because it is an amazing park. I would go back to Perran Sand next year because there is still so much more to do in Cornwall and I love the park. So what do we do, 10 nights in Perran Sands or go for 7 nights there and 4 nights in a completely new park, maybe Rockley Park?

What ever we do we need to make a quick decision so we can book exactly what we want.