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Old 23rd August 2008, 23:55   #1
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Default Summer Holidays - A caravan, dinosaurs & Legoland

We've been back for a couple of weeks now, and I thought I would share our summer holidays with everyone. We had 3 lovely weeks in the U.K, hope I can do it justice.

We left Doha with temperatures reaching almost 45C and humid, and landing at Heathrow to 15C, was a shock to the system. We went through immigration effortlessly (I still have a few years on my visitor's visa) and then we collected our bags. While Craig found the stop where we would catch the courtesy coach to the hire car company, I stocked up on some snacks & drinks for the boys, as well as bought a sim card (10). Got it topped up at Boots, and then we went to wait for the bus. We had hired a VW Passat through SIXT. We got to the depot, he finished signing the papers, and we loaded up the car. Got the boys settled in, punched my friend's address into the satnav and we were off. This was the first time we had used a car wit satnav, so it was a real luxury. Normally I am geared with a folder of all the directions/instructions, and we plan our trips in advance. This was great! I could actually relax and enjoy the drive, Craig would not be stressed because I wanted him to follow the exact directions & hopefully we wouldn't get lost.

The drive from Heathrow to Maidenhead took about 40 minutes, and we were pleasantly surprised when we reached their house. We hadn't seen our friends since we had all met in Goa almost 5 years ago, so it was really great catching up. Their sons are 7, 6 & 11 months old, so our boys got along just fine. After an hour or so of catching up with all the gossip & news, we got the children ready & we were off to the station.

We bought day tickets on the circle line, and took the tube first to Paddington station, and then changed trains to go to South Kensington.
At Paddington Josh had to buy a souvenir and a gift for his aunt, and take pictures. One point to note was that the London underground is not a place to travel with littlies, especially if you have strollers. We had to climb up & down 2 flights of stairs, we got given absolutely awful looks, like we were aliens. What were we doing on this busy staircase, where everyone is obviously so busy and we are trying to struggle with 2 buggies, 3 boys, one granny, 2 flustered mums and one poor dad. Oh well, like my friend said, they have to deal!


By the time we reached South Kensington station, it was almost 1pm, and we'd been in the U.K. 5 hours now. My friend walked us to the National History Museum, and we arranged to meet at the garden 5 hours later.
The museum is just amazing, the building has gargoyles right at the top near the roof, and we were just standing there for a few minutes, drinking it all in.

We stood in the queue and bought a museum guide, and then we were in. Went through security and then Joshua said, LOOK! There they were, the bones, the skeleton of the Diplodocus. Just like it looked in the film, Night at the Museum. The next few hours just flew by. Craig & I were amazed how much Josh knew, how much he was absorbing. Jamie, being only 25 months old, didn't fuss once. He was in awe of the bones, the displays & the size of everything. He kept making growly noises and trying to ask questions. It was just super. Considering we had been travelling for a long while now, they were just great, not complaining. The dinosaur displays are fantastic. The fossils, the recreation of what a T-Rex would have looked & sounded like, the interactive displays where children could 'touch' the skin of a T-Rex, or measure the thigh bones.

I must admit, dinosaurs are a favourite in our family, before Jamie was even born, he was given gifts of blankets & clothes with dinosaurs on them, and Joshua reads up on them. So we didn't realise that we had only 2 hours left and we still had heaps to see. A quick whizz around the gift shop, and he decided he wanted to buy cookie cutters, as then we would always have dinosaur memories. Then we went on to see the fossils, the bugs, the birds, and then to the Red Zone. There they walked around sculptures, saw a piece of moon rock, saw a Mastodon skull and crystals & rocks.

By this time I was really tired so I walked back to the park, for a much needed caffeine/nicotine break. Then I saw this car, the licence plate was cool.

It was really nice just being able to sit outdoors, under trees and just relax. Not do anything.

Craig & the boys joined me a while later, and we sat and shared a coffe while the boys ran around. We waited for our friends to finish their visit to the Science Museum, and then we all trudged back to South Kensington station again. Everyone was tired, we were even more so. We decided to stop off at Paddington to grab something to eat, as well as we get some nappies & toiletries at Boots. Our friends asked us to spend the night at their house,which was greeted by whoops of approval by the boys. After an assortment of sushi, sandwiches, croissants, donuts, coffee & some colas, we all set off for the last leg of our journey from Paddington.

We bypassed 3 trains till one stopped, and it had a carriage that didn't look too full. So we got on, this nice gentleman with a bicycle helped us on and we found some seats. The 3 boys were busy chatting, they were all fuelled thanks to 'Krispy Kremes' and we were just shattered. Craig, Jamie and I dozed off for this leg of the journey, and then we all got sleepily off the train and walked back to their house.

We were almost there when I put my hand inside my pocket & realised my mobile phone wasn't there. So waited for Craig & Oni to catch up, asked him if he had it, he didn't. He rung it right away, and a man answered. Turned out to be the gentleman from the train, he had found my phone and tried to find out if anyone knew where I lived. Unfortunately he had rung people in India, none of whom answered, given that it was half 8 at night. Craig got his address and then drove off to find his house, which was a good half hour's drive away.

We were so lucky to be able get the phone, that someone was honest enough to return it. He refused a token reward, Craig said he seemed offended. Bless him. In this day to find someone like that is refreshing. By the time he got home, showered & changed it was past 11, we were all ready for bed. That was the end of day 1.
I will upload photos later, for some reason I am unable to upload any right now.
More later.
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Old 24th August 2008, 11:34   #2
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The boys walking to the station, this is such a lovely picture
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Waiting for the train
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Outside the museum
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The dinosaur displays and Joshua
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Old 24th August 2008, 14:13   #3
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Default Day 2..

We woke up earlyish, and after showers, breakfast & getting ready, my friend drove us to Dorney Lake, where the students from Eton College have their regattas, and also where the 2012 Olympic rowing will take place. It was beautiful, and so green. We drove around Maidenhead and then it was time to load up our car again and say goodbye.


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We headed off towards the south west, and the drive was really pleasant. The boys were happy enough in the backseat, watching a dvd and then they fell asleep. We stopped at a restaurant on the motorway, just outside Bristol, to have some lunch. They were ever so good with their food, so they had their first Jaffa cakes as a treat. To those of you who don't know them, Jaffa cakes are a thin layer of sponge, with orange marmalade/jelly on one side and then the whole thing is dipped in dark chocolate. Decadent, low calorie,and oh so moreish! They cost a lot here in Doha, so they gorge on them in the u.k.



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The boys wanted a comic book each and I bought a book, and then we headed down to Plymouth. Even though I have been coming here for years, it's still exciting, so familiar and soon we were counting down the miles before we reached 'noona papa's house'. Josh calls his grandmothers Noona, as a baby he could never say Nana or Gran, so he called them Noona & it stuck. Grandad's go by Papa.

Craig drove us the scenic way, down the Barbican, past the Hoe and then we were on their street. Joshua couldn't walk fast enough, and he raced up the 3 flights of stairs to meet his grandparents. Jamie was shy, and then petrified as Craig's parents have a big old doberman and a silly fat cat.

Cups of tea/coffee and more Jaffa's later, we were chilling out watching telly, catching up on all the news. Craig's sister came over with her boys, Sol is 2 and Rhys who would turn 1 soon. It was great to see them, and also to see how well Sol & Jamie got along. They both jabbered away, and it was so lovely. Josh went off for a walk with his papa, to walk the dog and Craig & I went to get his favourite meal, an English Chinese . Just like I love to eat a biryani everytime I visit Pune, he likes his egg rolls, special fried rice and garlic chicken. So about half an hour and 35 later, with enough food for 8 people, we head back home. Stuff ourselves silly, a perfect end to a lovely day, and a great start to our holiday.

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Old 25th August 2008, 12:46   #4
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Default Day 3.. The moors, the Barbican, some bikes and old buildings

The next morning, we hit town. Craig & Josh trawl the game shops, toy shops, and we do the usual, visit TK Maxx for bargains, buy some more books & toys, I get my hair cut and we have a maccy D's for lunch. The boys run around, enjoying being outdoors, and then when we get home, we just chill out. Tiredness is beginning to catch up on us, and I hit the sack by 8pm. On Sunday, Craig & I went into town to this great recyle games shop. You can buy used games - ps2/3, wii, psp, nintendo plus dvds, phones etc, all in great condition with a 2 week guarantee. Also, if you want to trade in the games, you get a discount on your next purchase. So we bought 5 games for Josh's psp (30) and a couple of dvds and then went back to pick up the boys.
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We were all going out for a family lunch, and would meet Craig's uncle. We drove out onto the moors, and even though it was still quite cool, it was a lovely sunny day. We had a superb pub lunch at The Halfway house, some great wine. After lunch we let the boys loose in the beer garden while we all caught up, over coffees. Take some family pics..that's Craig's mum, sis, uncle & stepdad.
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Later, we went to visit at U. John's caravan, and spend some quality time with him, as he would be going back to work after 2 days. Also he was letting us use his caravan in Cornwall, so we were getting the permission letter etc. Took some pics of his car & his friend. Both of them buy new cars every year or 2..and they are almost 70!

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By the time we left we decided to go to the Barbican, and walk off our lunch. It was so busy, people at the cafe's and bars, sitting outside enjoying the sunshine.

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We walked around, and went and had our first fried meal. Fish & chips, & battered sausage & chips for the guys. Then ice creams. Bliss. Walked about some more, and then back to the car.

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We drove up to Durnford St. where mother lives, but decided we wanted to walk some more. So walked up to Devil's point. We met up with Papa walking Fitz, and sat down and had a chat. Then Josh went off with him and we continued to walk. From Devil's point you can see Drake's Island, where they used to have a prison. Accross the river Tamar you can see Mount Edgecumbe in Cornwall, and beyond the breakers built by French prisoners, you see the English Channel. It's beautiful and so peaceful

We make our way towards home and then decide to go into the Royal William Yard. It used to be the headquarters for the SBS but now they are restoring and have built apartments inside the barracks. A little bit of history:

The impressive Royal William Victualling Yard was designed by Sir John Rennie (1794-1874) for use by the Admiralty as a victualling depot for the Royal Navy. It extends to about 16 acres, of which 6 were recovered from the sea by levelling the remainder of the site. On June 3rd 1824, in the reign of King George IV, the Royal Assent was given to an Act of Parliament authorising the purchase of land at Cremill Point for and the supply of water to the new Yard. Work started in 1826 and in the following year the Duke of Clarence laid the coping stone of the sea wall. This was laid 11 feet under water by means of a cast-iron diving bell only 6ft x 4ft. In the course of its construction it is estimated that 300,000 tons of rock were displaced. The works were executed by the contractor Hugh McIntosh under the superintendence of Sir John Rennie and Mr Philip Richards (who was paid 400 per year and given a house) and cost about 2 million. The Yard was completed in 1835, by when the Duke of Clarence had succeeded to the Throne as King William IV and as a result of an Admiralty Order dated 3 December 1833 it was named the Royal William Victualling Yard after King William IV, the last Lord High Admiral. The granite entrance gateway in Cremyll Street is in the Greco-Roman style. Over it there is a 13 feet 9 inch high statue of the King William IV in Portland stone, surrounded by carvings illustrating the trades that flourished inside the walls -- butchers, bakers and coopers. Note also the carved ox heads and crossed fouled anchors, both symbols of the Naval Victualling Board.
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Old 25th August 2008, 12:58   #5
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By reading your travelogue, i realised that women take their work [ writing travelogue] more seriously than man.
Nice well informed neat travelogue.
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Old 25th August 2008, 13:28   #6
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Thanks.I think? I could make it brief, but we did SO much in 17 days, so I thought we'd share. If it gets boring please let me know
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Old 25th August 2008, 15:03   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar View Post
. If it gets boring please let me know
we , men are bit lazy on writing part. very few members on this forum write detailed travelogues and are more happy with posting pics.

But reading travelogues from you and girlieonwheels, i realised the neat and sincere writeup from women and i am appreciating it.

Please carry on, we are more happy about reading than just watching pics.

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Old 26th August 2008, 14:12   #8
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Great going!!!

I am eagerly waiting for the Legoland part
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Old 26th August 2008, 18:46   #9
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Wow thanks for this travellogue i wont be taking a holiday for quite sometime. I loved the pic of the 3 boys walking together the best and also the Red devil too. Waiting for more now.
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Old 27th August 2008, 14:08   #10
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Neat & very detailed writing. Enjoyed it sar. Keep going.
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Old 27th August 2008, 15:51   #11
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Default Day 5 - Cornwall & a Caravan

Thanks maddy, that was one of my favourite pictures. To me it was the simplicity of childhood, but you know what, they were discussing psp & wii games !

So, Monday morning, we were all packed (again) and ready to go. Made sure we had directions and after hugs & kisses to the grandparents, we set off for Cornwall. It was a lovely morning, and the drive down was just superb. We crossed the historic Tamar bridge, which separates Devon from Cornwall & then it was just picturesque.

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Some of the roads went through the forests and it was like we were driving through a tunnel of trees. An hour or so later, we were driving through the little town of St. Merryn, up little windy roads and soon we were at Harlyn Sands Caravan Park. Craig signed us in, got our park passes and then we went to the caravan. The whole park has static caravans, that are used for 10 months of the year, and then there is a field where people can camp, drive up with their mobile caravans, cars and pitch up. It has a laundrette, showers, a small shop, a clubhouse with an indoor pool and a restaurant.

The caravan is fully equipped with flatscreen tv, dvd player, satellite tv, the kitchen is fully kitted and it can sleep up to 6 people. Craig's uncle bought it so the family can take turns at having a break, and we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy this. We unpack and turn on the gas & water supply, clean up a bit and then go to the restaurant for a quick meal. Then the boys play in the park.

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The rest of the day is just spent chilling around, settling in and enjoying the fresh air.
Some pictures of the caravan & the boys in the park.

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The sun doesn't set till after 9pm, and the boys just don't go to bed. Finally, everyone crashes. The next morning we wake late, and enjoy our first fryup breakfast, bacon, sausage, eggs, toast - divine!!
We drive to Wadebridge, halfway back to Plymouth, to do some grocery shopping at Tesco's. We stock up on food & drink for the rest of the week & then head back to the park.
More sunshine, sitting in the park & reading a book, it was perfect.
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Old 27th August 2008, 17:43   #12
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can't see the pics.
only last three pics are visible.
is it just me or others are facing same problem?
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Old 27th August 2008, 22:13   #13
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I don't understand that! When I previewed the post, it had all the photos. I then submitted it as usual, and when I have checked back just now, they aren't there. Strange. I will try and upload the missing ones later tonight. Maybe it's a problem from my end??
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Old 28th August 2008, 01:44   #14
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from what i have heard, if you use same file names for the pics, the older ones are replaced.

great travelogue there. keep it up.
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Old 28th August 2008, 10:52   #15
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Hopefully these will get uploaded.

The Tamar Bridge crossing into Cornwall. Country Roads
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Entrance to the Harlyn Sands Caravan Park

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The Caravan

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Inside the caravan : Kitchen/Lounge/Dining area & Spare bedroom
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