Either it’s raining very hard here or Darth Vader is in my kitchen. I’m not scared though, as I have had Pomme Bears and everyone knows they give you special powers. Cough.
Anyway, now I am somewhat recovered from my weekend of madness and my ‘wobble’, let me tell you more about the Drayton Manor Bloggers meet up.
It’s weird meeting people you feel you have a friendship with online. Good weird, but still weird, and as it turns out we were all a little nervous, but we needn’t have worried.
The fabulous and very intelligent Dan (he’ll like that), was just as lovely as I imagined he would be. Likewise his wife Kerry and their kids Evan and Amy. Miss M was extremely chuffed that Amy took her hand a couple of times and has already asked when we’re seeing our friends again.
Ian aka Single Parent Dad, who managed to convince the nice people at Drayton Manor to allow us in for free apparently without any sculduggery on his part…(no honestly), was as cheeky in real life as he is online, but was possibly out done by the adorable Max who impressed me with his knowledge of dinosaurs and his general cuteness.
The fabulous Tara seemed quite possibly the calmest one amongst us and both Rosie and I agreed that we’d love a cuppa and a good natter, or possibly even a few glasses of wine with her and her husband Steve, who has actually inspired me to pick up my book and write again. Their two kids were also fantastic, and from the sound of her text they had a brilliant day and got very very soggy.
So what was it like?
Well we spent most of our time in Thomas Land which was perfect for the little ones, and some of the not so brave adults amongst our party, and included rides involving buses, trains, cars, planes and helicopters to name but a few.
A highlight of this was seeing my 4 year old managing to drive her own vehicle in an almost orderly fashion…
Snort, it’s lucky the staff are obviously part mountain goat or there could have been a bit of chaffing here. I was slightly miffed by this though…
Our journey by train to the picnic area was made more entertaining by the driver’s invitation to ‘enjoy having a ride on Rosie’, and our comestibles were serenaded by some very noisy yet attractive goats, as well as choruses of “Sit down and finish your dinner now,” from perspiring parents attempting to make a slightly squished cucumber sandwich seem as appealing as this…
Even some of the grown ups were not immune to it’s charms. Sighhhh. Everybody wave at Rosie.
After lunch we wandered through the zoo, something I had been really looking forward to, and while it was smaller than I expected it was extremely enjoyable. Miss M did pronounce one of the animals to look “a bit dead”, an opinion Ian and I had also shared though he carefully used the word ‘deceased’, but I’m sure it was just sun bathing really or we’d have alerted a policeman.
As Miss M is a cat lover she was thrilled to see several examples of the wild kind, and this one made my day…
..although there were actually two of them, which had me thinking, ‘are they both called ‘Geoffroy’s Cat’, or is one called ‘Geoffroy’s Other Cat’? And who is Geoffroy? And why can’t he spell his own name? And does anyone remember Henry’s Cat or is that just me?
Miss M was thrilled to be led by Amy to see the camens, and I was equally thrilled that Kerry queued for ice cream for us while I took Miss M to the loo, so we were able to sample a rather fabulous waffle cone which I ate before I could find my camera.
After a couple of other child friendly rides, Rosie and I took our two monkeys on the tame but fairly big Big Wheel which gave us some spectacular views of the park…
Then Rosie and Dan went all mad brave and decided they needed to be hurled about in the air with their legs all a dangle. Seriously, I never knew my friend was so blumming brave…
Amazingly The Maelstrom suited their urge perfectly. I couldn’t go on as, erm, someone had to watch the kids. I know, good of me.
After a spell in the soft player area , it was officially time to go. Faces were beginning to get a little sulky, voices a little squeaky and eyes a little heavy, and that was just the adults, budabum.
As Rosie and I headed home with IJ and Miss M nodding away in the back, we agreed Drayton Manor was a quite fabulous place to visit. A little on the pricey side perhaps, but with its bright spacious layout, friendly staff – who were represented by all ages rather than the usual gum chewing teenagers who you often find manning such places – it’s definitely somewhere we’d like to visit again.
My one concern was that if I’d had both my children with me, then Miss E (almost 9), who was kept away by a school performance, would have been left a little wanting. While she’d have played quite happily in Thomas Land at first, I do think she’d have become quickly bored with it and other than the Log Flume and Rapids I don’t think many of the other rides would have been for her. I’m not sure if Tara found this with her 6 year old so I’ll be interested to read what she has to say, but for me, there’s a gap from about aged 6-12 years that isn’t really catered for.
Apart from that it was brilliant, so thanks for a wicked day Drayton Manor, and I’m sure we’ll come back one again.
Oh and the British Mummy and Daddy Blogger’s Carnival is hosted by the gorgeous Brit in Bosnia today. Go over and take a peek if you get the chance. You won’t regret it.