Now don't get me wrong, Christmas is a lovely time filled with family, friends, food, drink and presents. But the days are mostly all inside, especially with the weather as it was over Christmas last year, spent putting together and trying out the kids new toys and watching films with popcorn. There may be the odd pop to the shops or going out to try the kids new ride on's but there not for long periods and not exactly blow away the cobweb trips, well they weren't for us anyway.
There is only so much time you can spend at home and only so much the kids can tolerate of each other in such a confined space before everyone goes a bit potty. Up until today we have been in and out the house since new year with preschool runs and errands, so today was the day for some fresh air and some time to blow away the cobwebs of Christmas.
As you may have read and seen, we love the outdoors and especially our local Arboretum but we haven't been there since before Christmas due to seeing family and just not having the time to drive half an hour to spend a few hours as our Christmas diary was packed. I made plans to go with my best friend and her daughter to the Arboretum today as today was the only day both boys are home from preschool.
When making the husbands packed lunch I made ours too, packed up the bag, wrapped up warm and jumped in the car. But just as we were about to drive away the heavens opened so with a quick coat change for me we were off. By the time I had picked up my friend and got to the Arboretum the sun had come out but the wind had picked up, but as we opened the door the extent of the wind hit us. My friend nearly broke her finger by trying to stop the door from being pulled off it was that strong. But with hats and gloves on, off we headed in search for the Gruffallo as we do every time we come!
The wind was howling, literally, and the little ones were nearly getting knocked off their feet but that didn't stop them from running and jumping into every puddle in sight. We chose to go around the Old Arboretum in the hope that the trees would provide some shelter from the wind and they did. As soon as we were in the trees all we could hear was the wind howling outside but it was bitter cold. This didn't stop us and off we stomped to find the Gruffallo, at a faster pace than usually due to my toes losing their feeling! The kids were having a whale of a time, along with some tantrums from my boys which is a standard on our days out.
We found the Gruffallo and the famous stepping stones that all the kids love. After a few laps of that we were off in search of the café this time and hot chocolate!
Our plan had been to grab a hot chocolate and eat our picnic on the tables next to the café but it was far to bitter so after purchasing the hot chocolates, that I think we all needed, we headed back to the car to eat our lunch. Well in the end we went back to my friends house to have an indoor picnic as it was a lot less hassle than trying to feed 3 children in the car.
Cobwebs well and truly blown away, off we went for a nice warm picnic with a nice hot cup of tea.
These are the days I hope the boys remember when they are older and I hope the Arboretum will hold fond memories for them. I want them and their best friend to look back and chat about 'our days out with our mummy's'.