Sunday, 30 September 2012

Wales Road Trip!

So this week we left behind the rain in Staffordshire...

Splashing at Tittesworth Reservoir

...drove for a seemingly interminable five hours through *lots* more rain, and arrived in Wales to, er, not quite so much rain but a hell of a lot of wind! We started off in Cardiff on Monday for the Hands up for Home Ed handover at the Not Back to School Picnic outside the Senedd building. The boys' hands...



We made the most of the dry-ish afternoon and explored Cardiff Bay...







... and then made our way to Penybryn Cottages, which were absolutely lovely, and toasty as anything! (Which was good, because it was raining again.) It was the first time I'd been away with all three of them by myself, so it was a bit of a baptism of fire with sleepy kids, huuuge spiders that needed evicting before bed, and a Squidge who realised late at night that he just wanted to be home with Daddy :(


Luckily by the next morning everyone was happy once again, and instead of our planned trip to Big Pit we drove back to Cardiff to go to Techniquest as they'd been really disappointed that it had been shut the day before. And let me say - hands down the best science museum we've been to (including the London one). Every single thing in there is hands-on, and the staff are brilliant, there to help without being intrusive and teachy :) We'll definitely be taking another trip down just to go there again.










Afterwards we wandered over to the Red Dragon Centre and played on the arcade for a while... 


...had a game of bowling (with the boys getting a respectable number of strikes and spares!), and went and saw Indiana Jones at the IMAX (Sprout's latest interest since he started playing the Lego Indiana Jones 2 game last week).


The next day saw a drive westwards, where we stumbled upon this little castle at Llandovery...



...stayed for a bit of a play... 


...then carried on to the Dolaucothi Gold Mine, to where we've been planning a trip since Minecraft sparked Sprout's interest in mining and he asked to go down a gold mine.

Real life minecart :)

Ready to go down the mine

Panning for gold

Playing archaeologists (they thought it quite cool that they've already done this for real!)

Playing Romans, as the mine has been there since Roman times)

On the long drive back up through Wales to get home, torrential rain alternated with bright sun, and we saw looooads of rainbows, some so bright they actually looked like they were glowing neon! Squidge snapped a picture of this double one :)


Later in the week we spent lovely relaxing time with friends, one of whom had brought some insanely awesome bubble mix she'd made...


...and we were also excited to finally receive our MaKey MaKey in the post (we preordered aaages ago!)...


So today we've been playing around with what it can do. We made a video game controller from play dough...


...and a drumkit out of three bananas, a Mummy and a Grandpa. I was the cowbell :) It was as good as imagined, but we had a slow internet connection where we were so we're going to try out more ideas this coming week.

Sprout's been enjoying using the old Zenit B so much that it's been costing an arm and a leg in films and developing, so we invested in a Canon EOS 300D for him this week which arrived today...


Severn Bridge, photo by Sprout on an iPhone

Photo by Sprout on his new Canon

Elsewhere this week, we've mostly been watching You've Been Framed Top 100 Animals (over and over again, which is awesome as it gets the biggest belly laughs ever out of both Sprout and Squidge), listening to Popcorn by Bare Naked Ladies (again, over and over again, with Squidge doing the most brilliant dances to it), playing DLC Quest (which Sprout completed in about 24 hours, but it was fun while it lasted!), and reading lots of Mr Men books (we bought the box set a couple of years ago but they've not been bothered about them until now).

I think a quiet week is on the cards now!




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