What we did last weekend

Saturday, 20 July 2013
Last weekend was a real whirlwind and it's clear that D has been tired out by it - he's fallen asleep in the car every evening this week!

We left for Butlins Bognor at about ten on the Friday.  The journey from ours should take about two hours but we got caught in the Festival of Speed traffic near Chichester and some unexplainable traffic on the M3.  Not the best when the heat was approaching 30 degrees and the air con isn't quite as cold as it could be.  We made a quick stop in Lilly's in Wickham for a shared teacake and waffles well covered with banana and toffee sauce.

We eventually hit Butlins just gone 1 and headed immediately to check in.  As Premier Club members, we have our own dedicated check-in desk and we were delighted to discover that we had been upgraded.  Weirdly, we ended up two doors up from the last time we were there.

Although the weather was gorgeous - one of the things that is great about Butlins is that there is so much that can be done both inside and outside that the weather really doesn't matter.  D loves the horses that he can sit on - we now have at least three different photos of him on them at different ages.  A hit.

The new funfair was wonderful - it's far more retro and far less tired than the offering at Minehead.  The opportunity to have a go on trampolines is of particular amusement/enjoyment - elsewhere you'd have to pay for the privilege of five minutes - here your five minutes is free.  Such a popular option. You also have the opportunity to play (and pay for) funfair classics like hook the duck.  As we were leaving we saw the Big Tent being erected.  Will be interesting to see what happens there.

Inside there is the mini funfair - it amazes me that this small boy here was terrified of the planes when we first took him.  The ride had to be finished early as he was screaming in terror.  These days he wants to go higher, faster, further.

The shows are excellent fun for D and each time we go he's a little more engaged and aware of what's going on.  Having said that, I think we didn't see so many shows this time.  My favourite - which we don't have any good photos of - was Cirque du Hilarious.  Although some elements were a bit nudge nudge wink wink/have you met my mother-in-law humour, the stunts and circus acts were incredible.  Sasha, standing on a platform on rolling tubes on rolling tubes going in the other direction, playing the guitar and travelling through a hula hoop.  Amazing.  

Other shows worth a mention are the Mike the Knight show and the Bob the Builder show - both held D entirely in their thrall.  He also loved the new show where Bonnie Bear was captured by a dastardly pirate and his two reluctant sidekicks.  My minor complaints about this were that this was an additional cost - £15 for the three of us.  Due to circumstances out of their control, the main entertainment of the evening had been postponed until the following evening, meaning that all that was available was the paid for entertainment.  I also felt that the offerings in the foyer were very sugar orientated - nothing that I felt happy letting D have.  Minor complaints though as we could have popped to Spar or brought something that we felt happier with.  In the end we plumped for the chocolate covered raisins and gave him a couple of handfuls.

I love to take a look outside of the camp for even just a little bit to see what's going on and with the beautiful weather, it would have been wrong to miss out on the beach with an icecream in hand.  D was a great fan of his Nobbly Bobbly and I went for an extremely tasty rhubarb crumble and custard icecream.  

A new thing was taking part in some of the activities available, a treasure hunt around the site and on Sunday an opportunity to play football.  The boy has skill - his kicking is quite successful and he loved trying to tackle and head the ball.  I'll be trying to find him a football class at some point over the summer then!  His celebrations after a goal were so cute: - 

Other things we managed but didn't picture included watching the karaoke, playing in the sand in the play area and swimming.  The latter involved a heart-stopping moment where D decided he wanted to 'dive' which he believes is just falling forward in the water.  Really must make sure that we take the armbands with us next time.   Then, of course, were the meals - Turners, Kaleidoscope and The Beachcomber.  All meals were reasonable but Kaleidoscope has a place in husband's heart.  Sadly though, none of it comes without a diet-related cost - I'm up a lb this week.

D and husband awaiting the roast dinner at Turners.  

I should just briefly mention the staff at Butlins - nothing is any trouble for them and they are all so happy.  They even clean with a smile and seem to be acutely aware that they are playing a large part in your holiday.  

We've already booked a holiday there with husband's family next Easter and I have no doubt we'll manage a mini-break at some point between now and then.  Although we had to leave a day early to return to reality, the three days were so filled that we didn't feel too sore about it.  

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