Reader, followers, friends will know that my home is Bristol and, well I love it. So being the festive period we journeyed from the Midlands to Bristol for a quick 48 hour pit stop.
We set off boxing day to stay with my Grandparents. Who incidentally are legendary. At 82 and 87 they didn’t shy away from putting us up. We’re not exactly a peaceful bunch, with the one two year old combo. Bracing the m5 on boxing day wasn’t the smoothest of journeys, the world and his wife were on the roads and with 50 mile an hour road works filling the motorways it took a little longer than usual. Nonetheless we arrived relatively unscathed.
The day was spent stopping the babies bringing destruction on my Grandparents 1970s shrine, keeping ornaments, silverware and china in their place and in one piece. The children loved the attention from their great grandparents and I do believe my grandparents loved having their great grandchildren and of course granddaughter as guests, even if it was exhausting.
The night was a little boozy when more family came over and the bubbles started flowing, but it was certainly a laugh. Largely at my uncle’s expense, but it is usually at me so I’ll take that. Anyway the kids slept, all night, until 8 bloody 30, which was like christmas (not literally) and once up we packed our bags to spend a night in the centre. I make it sound easy but packing bags, travel cots, loading the car is actually a bloody tedious, tiring and long job when travelling with two such young ones. Especially when it all had to be unpacked 20 minutes later and carted up 7 flights of stairs…
We booked a night in the SACO apartments. When looking for somewhere to stay we debated spending over the odds for a two roomed hotel room but we just really did want to spend that kind of money. So instead we stumbled across these apartments. I am not exaggerating when I say they were incredible. We had a one bedroom apartment in the very centre of Bristol. It came complete with a kitchen, with washing machine, dishwasher, coffee machine, every appliance you needed. The fridge was also stocked with milk, water, orange juice, bacon, eggs, jam, porridge and weetabix. It was all finished to an incredibly high and modern standard and you just could not fault it – or the sky TV that it included. What’s more all the space gave the kiddies plenty of room to roam about and not to mention sleep – we didn’t have to all share one room. Hallelujah. If you are travelling with kids, especially those in a travel cot – I would highly recommend SACO apartments, they are worldwide.
Once unloaded, the entire car, up 7 flights of stairs – there was a lift, fortunately, we went for some lunch. This was pretty unsuccessful. The now walking boy does not like to be penned into a high chair and instead wanted to explore the entire restaurant. As did his sister. You can imagine everyone was thrilled at two toddlers charging round the restaurant. They didn’t want their over priced food, obviously, and Mr Tammy and I had a pretty awful tapas. All in all £40,00 not to well spent.
Mr Tammy then took refuge back in the apartment to snuggle up with the footy – again curtesy of the Sky TV in the room. Finding the Birmingham game wasn’t really happening in Bristol for some reason… The kids and I took one buggy and sought refuge somewhere. We ended up in the the Aquarium, which they actually enjoyed, probably because they could walk round the whole thing. I am not sure they cared about the fish all that much.If you’re visiting Bristol with kids then the Aquarium is OK. Especially if they are under 3 as it is free, I wouldn’t have been too happy if I had paid for us all to enter, seeing as we finished it in under 40 minutes. There is also the M-Shed museum which is certainly worth a visit with children, the SS Great Britain and @Bristol science museum – all within walking distance of each other and all great activities for little ones of all ages.
We didn’t however walk to any of these places (other than the Aquarium) as A) I had one buggy and a two year old who was tired and didn’t want to walk, I suspect because her brother was in the buggy and that pissed her off. B) She kept telling me wanted a poo C) Both kids were unbelievably miserable and D) she found a merry-go-round type ride in the German market that cost £2.00 a go and decided that was where she wanted to be. Even after taking her home post football, we went back out to let her have another go. We must have spent a fortune on that ride but it was the only place she was happy. The boy was unhappy to be left out, but cried equally when he went on the ride… He was essentially never happy. Thank god for Gluwien. So Mr Tammy and I necked the Gluwien, dared to show them the Ice Rink at which point the girl toddler has a meltdown because she couldn’t go on it so we upped sticks grabbed a subway and retreated to our apartment for bath and bedtime. It had been a long time coming.
We dined on wine, subway and stared blankly at Dirty Dancing that was on telly for the 57th Christmas running. We had debated stopping by to see my Auntie and Uncle again before travelling home, but a little scarred from the previous day we decided heading straight home and seeking some home comforts would probably be the best plan.
It really wasn’t all bad, admittedly the afternoon in the centre was a little trying but some days just are with the little ones. It was lovely to see family and we really did have a good catch up and giggle on boxing day so it was totally worth it.
What did you do? Did you visit family? Did it go well? Did you go away? Were your children as delightful (ahem) as mine? I’d love to hear from you.