This weekend my aunt, uncle and cousins came down to our neck of the woods for a mini holiday. I’m not saying anything about where they stayed, OK, I will. Lovely caravan, with plenty of room but the place itself, good ol’ uncle D described it best as ‘The Inbetweeners caravan park’. Very true, plenty of adults filling their tanks with the 2 for 1 beer offer and teens smooching all over the place. Look away children. It’s safe to say, their evenings were mostly spent in their caravan watching movies with their wine.
Anyway, Monday was their final day here and the last thing on their ‘Kent Bucket List’ was a trip to Leeds Castle. I actually missed the castle visit and only managed to enjoy the grounds. Here’s why:
- True to form our toddler fell asleep the second we pulled in to the carpark. I daren’t wake him up, see here for our horrific experience when a toddler is woken. My mum also sat with me while we waited for him to wake up. She snapped a muscle in her leg, still decided to turn up for our day out, she’s a trooper. We may not have eaten without her too, she makes a very tasty and large picnic feast.
- Our tickets were ordered that morning online. So once everyone had ditched us in favour of the castle, they received everyones tickets including mine. Off they then went, with my ticket, while I was sat in the car watching my toddler snooze. I still insist I’m the winner here. Mr Firstooth then calls ”The man in the ticket office knows we have your ticket, just explain who you are and he said he will let you in”. Ok, that sounds easy. Find the man in the ticket office, explain who I am, I get let in.
- It’s been half an hour waiting in the car and I’m fairly confident that half an hour is enough to top the toddlers energy levels up. I’m right *high five* we have a very happy toddler on our hands. Since my mum has snapped her calf muscle, she’s having to hop her way alongside us to the ticket office. Now I’m looking for a man. I can’t see a man. There is NO MAN in this office. This ‘man’ must have said whatever to get rid of our big crowd so he can piss off on his lunch break because he clearly wasn’t here. So I approached a woman and explained the situation. She ‘ummed‘ and ‘ahhed‘ for a while and then disappeared to check with her supervisor that it was ‘ok to be let in’. It was. Rolls eyes.
- I received a text from my dad saying we should hitch a ride on the train to the castle to save poor mums leg on that long, hilly walk. 50p a ride. Neither of us have money. Shit. This means we will just have to walk it. We then experienced a moment that can only be described as a dramatic, short scene from a war film. Her leg was just far too painful, ‘go on without me’ she said ‘I will be fine’ she said. ‘I’m not leaving you like this’ I said ‘stay here’ *chuckles* she had to stay there, she couldn’t move. I quickly begged a wheelchair from the ‘rent-a-chair’ spot and re-appeared with the goods, hurrah. Shuffle yourself in mum, hold the toddler and lets go. *punches the sky in celebration*.
- The wheelchair I had accumulated was one that I had to push. At this point I could partially ignore how sweaty I’m becoming from pushing the chair up numerous hills and trying my best to not just let go when we go downhill, that would have been a funny scene, if there wasn’t a pond at the bottom of the hill and my toddler wasn’t also in the wheelchair. This whole situation was so bloody hilarious. You wouldn’t find a woman more fit and healthy than my very own mother and here she is, being pushed in a wheelchair by her very unfit daughter. We laughed the whole journey at the thought of everyones reaction when they see us. Perhaps looking slightly mental to onlookers.
- They were all surprised to say the least. They were also impressed with the castle, we didn’t manage to view.
The rest of the day was spent enjoying the grounds, watching shows, chasing birds, eating ice-cream and playing in the park. Brilliant park, they have a zip-line for toddlers as well as older children (and adults), me and the toddler enjoyed plenty of slide rides, climbing up the wooden castle fort, peering over the wooden tower wall, waving at everyone who were seemingly bored waiting for us to have our final ‘woo’ down the slide. Over-all, a great day out, but I won’t bore you with all of the loveliness of our family, we can remember the fabulous day we had. Apart from my poor mum, who really did just have to ‘make the best of it’.