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Butlins with Paul & Linda

We had a very exciting journey to Butlins with a stop for lunch at ‘Poppy’s, a lovely little restaurant where we got to know each other better.  We arrived and settled in and went to explore the camp!   We enjoyed many lovely evening meals which were always followed by watching the fantastic entertainment.  We saw a live singing duo, a live rock band, and always ended up on the dance floor boogying the night away.  Everyone loved dancing!

We had a visit to Hardy’s animal farm which was absolutely brilliant. We saw pigs, cows, sheep, goats, chickens and horses!  We even got to feed some, too.  We enjoyed a lovely fresh sea front walk and enjoyed lunch over-looking the sea. 

We spent an afternoon at the cinema watching The Croods, which was fantastically funny! Back at the camp we were lucky enough to watch a Blues Brother’s Tribute band that was followed by a Jacksons Tribute.  They were so energetic and got everybody up and dancing. 

Some of us went for a lovely relaxed swim, and some of us went to the penny arcade which was fun!  We enjoyed a visit to Nature land and Seal Sanctuary where we fed the seals and sea lions!  We went to the Butterfly enclosure and saw lots of amazingly colourful butterflies.  That evening we had dinner on site in an Italian Restaurant, and then it was onto ‘Reds’ for the evening entertainment. 

We had a great game of crazy golf one morning, followed by the funfair!  We went on the rides and stalls and had a great laugh!  A game of bowling was definitely in order, so we challenged each other and there were lots of strikes scored! 

What a fantastic holiday! 

Spain & PortaVentura with Derek, Phil & Pat

We had the easiest journeys in both directions with not a queue in sight! This helped make it a great experience even for our first time flyers!
Settling in to our beautiful front-line hotel, we set off for a walk along the promenade and found a nice cafe for a late lunch before returning to our hotel for pre dinner drinks and a period in the games room. After dinner it was fun with the entertainments team and we danced ourselves into our beds.
Breakfast the next day was soon followed by a stroll along the front and a restful day of mooching around the town. After lunch it was down to the beach and those brave enough went swimming in the very safe waters. It was breath taking! Some then walked along the water’s edge while others sunbathed and even took advantage of a head, shoulders and back massage whilst on the beach. Once off the beach, we walked into town and had a drink in an Irish bar before heading back to our hotel, where we got ready for dinner. Pre dinner we again spent some time in the games room, playing pool, table-top football and air hockey. Dancing and singing along with the entertainment team was our how we enjoyed our evening.
The next two days we went to PortAventura theme park and had great fun. We got wet several times throughout both days and the brave amongst us went on the biggest rides in the park, of which one (Shambahala) is the highest in Europe. The rest of us were happy with the slightly smaller rides and got just as much fun out of the park. There were Wild West shows, Polynesian dancing and a show with Sesamo characters that were loved by all. We took a train ride to view the park as a whole. Back at our hotel we were entertained by Mexican and another night we enjoyed an evening in the Irish bar with live music.
 On another day we set sail from Cambrils on a catamaran for a two hour trip along the coast line. It was fantastic and we relaxed as we dreamed of more days like this! We dropped anchor and a couple of us jumped into the sea for a quick dip. The captain was kind enough to allow us to steer the catamaran. Afterwards we walked around the shops in Cambrils and had a spot of lunch and finished this trip with delicious ice creams.
Following the sea trip we had a day around the pool and swam several lengths and just cooled off. Some of us also went for a walk around our local area and went into a market to see wonderful frash fish and meat stalls. That evening after dinner, we watched a Polynesian dancing show. It was really good and very funny too.
Our last full day, we set off to visit the old city of Tarragona where we were lucky enough to see an air display. It was a lovely day spent in the old Roman city. Our last night, we spent as usual being entertained at our hotel and dancing late into the night.
We said good bye to our friends at the hotel and set off to the airport for another easy journey home!!


Lake District Activity Centre with John and Wendy

We all  met up at Bendrigg and were welcomed by Liz, our main instructor for the week, who gave us a tour of the Centre before supper. That evening Liz showed us how to safely fire a bow and arrow and after some practice we had a competition which was won by the girls thanks to Natalie’s fine shots!
Our first morning was spent canoeing down the Lancaster Canal.  We fought against strong winds but with determination made it to a sheltered spot for a picnic lunch.  On our return journey the girls hoisted a sail and let the wind do the work but Joe and Paul carried on paddling and made it look easy. We called into a local pub for a drink and then went back to Bendrigg to try out the rope course and tube slide.  These were great fun and Paul’s giggling could be heard all over the Centre! After supper we had an orienteering competition and thanks to Natalie’s keen sign spotting the girls won again. 
The next morning we went to the indoor climbing centre. Our instructors helped us into our harnesses and helmets and thanks to their expert guidance and a lot of determination we all managed to climb the wall, abseil down the slope and even down the free rope. After lunch we had fun zooming down the zip wire and then on the indoor swing we all chose our favourite music to be spun around to - some of us going quite green in the process!  We then had a chance to explore the indoor cave system and hunt there for hidden treasure.  Well done Joe for finding the most.  That evening we sat around the campfire in the Teepee listening to Steve’s stories and jokes, toasting marshmallows and attempting to play the didgeridoo.
The next day was out tour of the Lakes which started with a picturesque walk by Rydal Water.  This led to a spectacular man-made quarry cave where Steve and Tini went inside and played didgeridoos.  This made a really eerie sound that drew in quite a crowd.  Our next stop was the village of Grasmere and it’s famous Gingerbread Shop - the smell was amazing and so was the taste!  We had a picnic on the village green then walked around the shops before heading off to Ambleside.  We explored this pretty town and did some souvenir shopping and of course had to sample the local ice cream!  Our final stop was Brockhole on Lake Windermere and at the visitors centre we learnt about the history of the stunning landscape and did some more shopping before strolling in the gardens.  That evening was our craft night and with the help of Emily, the resident artist, we made some beautiful mugs, bowls and figures out of clay.  John was still creating long after we had all cleared up!!!
Caving was our next morning’s activity so we headed to Kingsdale in Yorkshire where we put on our waterproof caving suits, wellies and helmets and ventured into the huge cave.  We walked through small passages and came to a magnificent underground waterfall.  Paul and Joe managed to squeeze through some very tight spaces and even did some abseiling underground.  Liz told us the story of the giant who lived there and we were able to see him with the help of some shadow puppetry.  We had a picnic by Devil’s Bridge in Kirby Lonsdale then had a walk along the bank of the River Lune before exploring the pretty village with it’s market and of course sampling more local ice cream!  Back at Bendrigg we just had enough time to do some cycling before supper and that evening we watched “The Iron Man” film in the sensory room.
On our last full day we were able to choose our favourite activities so we started with another archery competition.  The girls won this again - Wendy just kept bursting those balloons!  On the zip wire we threw rings at targets and this time it was the boys turn to win.  After lunch we were able to paint our pottery, everyone showing great concentration and producing some excellent results.  Cycling was next and Joe managed to get up quite a speed, it looked like he was trying for the track record!  We finished with the rope course and tube slide with more giggling from Paul.  Our last evening was in a local pub playing pool.  We all improved our game during the evening but Paul was already an expert.
On our final morning Liz presented us with certificates for all our fantastic achievements over the week.   Thanks must go to the brilliant instructors Liz, Steve and Tini for making this such a great experience, to Libby the cook for feeding us so well and to Olivia who assisted us as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Well done Natalie ,Paul and Joe for all your determination and fantastic achievements!