My Holiday Wish List

Good morning and happy new week!  I hope this will be a fabulous one for you all!  I have lots planned so will be a busy bee again.  The boys are now with their Dad for the next two weeks of the holidays and I am missing them lots already.  Saying goodbye never gets any easier.

I am delighted to share a post with you today which has been sponsored by www.holidaygems.co.uk

Holiday Gems specialise in holidays closer to home, and offer a wide range of destinations which will entice anyone!  They are currently running a campaign about popular holiday attractions and landmarks – such as water parks like Siam Park in Tenerife and the preserved, walled, medieval Old Town of Alcudia.

Me and Ste have been unable to travel abroad since getting together due to our health issues meaning the cost of travel insurance is very high.  I love exploring new places though and have previously been to America, Greece, Spain, the Canary Islands, France and the Caribbean.  A holiday abroad is definitely on the cards as soon as we can afford to take one though.  Ste has never been out of the UK before and I cannot wait to take him on a plane.  I thought I would share five places on our travel wish list that I would love to visit over the next few years, and are available through Holiday Gems

SPAIN – COSTA DORADO

The boys have asked about going to Spain recently.  I think some of their friends have been and they want to see what it is like for themselves!  I have visited Spain a few times and love that you can get such good weather and the flight is relatively short and ideal for little ones.

“Costa Dorada offers such fantastic beaches that it is unsurprising that most people simply enjoy relaxing on the beach and soaking up the glorious sunshine. For those looking for a little bit more excitement Costa Dorada has excellent facilities for a number of water sports including scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing and jet-skiing also popular are boat trips sailing along the miles of glorious coastline. The region offers excellent options for entertainment for those on family holidays with several aqua parks and theme parks including Portaventura, one of the most popular theme parks in Europe.

For those interested in history there are numerous castles, forts and other medieval remains in the region with an excellent history museum in the resort of Cambrils. Other resorts like Salou offer more modern entertainment with theme parks, restaurants, bars and a vibrant nightlife. In some of the more traditional Spanish villages visitors can experience a true taste of Spain relaxing in the laid back atmosphere of small restaurants enjoying the tapas, fresh seafood and wine and whiling the hours away.”

Me and Ste both have an interest in history so the chance to explore the castles and medieval ruins is very appealing.  We also love a good theme park and so all four of us would have a fantastic time at the Portaventura park as well!  Riley is such a daredevil and the bigger the roller-coaster the better for him!

MAJORCA – THE BALEARICS

Another relatively short flight time and popular destination for families.  Majorca offers great weather in the Summer and lots of fab beaches.

“Things To Do As A Family

Arta Caves

If your family are up for adventure, take a trip to the limestone cliffs of Cap Vermell, which is near Canyamel Beach on the east coast. Lights and music accompany this trip through a labyrinthine network of caverns, with a collection of stalagmites and stalactites resembling creepy silhouettes, funny vegetables and even ghosts.

Katmandu Park

This theme park, voted the best in Majorca and the second best in Spain, is found on the Calvia Beach area of Magaluf. Experience the unexpected with exciting rides, 4D encounters and splash park fun.

Palma Aquarium

A trip to the gorgeous city of Palma is a must – and a visit to the Aquarium should be top of the list on every Majorca family holiday. Wander through the tunnels around the 55 tanks which contain around 700 different species of marine creatures and marvel at the sharks, rays and colourful tropical fish.”

They also have their own version of Go Ape in Santa Ponsa, Jungleparc, which the boys would love.  Full of platforms reached by a range of zip wires, ropes and bridges it would be perfect for an adventure packed day out!  The aquarium sounds amazing too.  I love that there is so much to do for families here.  Although a day or two relaxing at the beach is fun, we do like being kept busy on our holidays

MARRAKESH – MOROCCO

Obviously a slightly longer flight and sa great place to head to for some winter sun.  This is somewhere I have always wanted to visit as I would love to experience the food, culture and visit the ‘souks’.

“Known as the ‘Red City’, Marrakech is famous for its colourful array of crafts, materials, spices and more, on sale in the Jemaa El Fna, and its neighbouring Grand Souk.  The Koutoubia Mosque is another prominent symbol of Marrakech for it stands proudly above the many other colourful and majestic buildings, being visible from almost anywhere in the city. Walking around the exterior of the Koutoubia and marvelling at its structure is something many tourists will include as part of their break. It is also a fantastic landmark used as a base or meeting point for further tours around the city.

Besides walking tours, shopping and sightseeing grand palaces and gardens, Marrakech also attracts visitors for its excellent array of food and dining options. There are street cafes, restaurants, food stalls and an excellent night life and atmosphere to complement. Music is key to Moroccan entertainment and many bars will stay open late in the tourist areas.”

There are definitely family friendly destinations in Morocco, Agadir probably offering more for children travelling with you.  However, this is somewhere I have always wanted to visit with the children when they are older, or as an adults only holiday.  I would be terrible at bartering but the souk markets have always held appeal for me.  Me and Ste both enjoy our cooking too and it would be great too explore the street cafes and stalls for a real taste of Morocco.

DUBROVNIK – CROATIA

When I was younger one of my favourite Derby County football players was Igor Stimac who came from Croatia and it has been somewhere I have wanted to visit ever since!  In recent years it has become a popular holiday destination from the UK, with a relatively short flight of around 2 hours and a host of beautiful spots to visit.

“From Gothic palaces to Roman cathedrals, Dubrovnik is steeped in history. Wander the city’s winding cobbled streets and you’ll come across many diverse architectural styles. One landmark you cannot miss on your visit is Dubrovnik’s Ancient Walls – the vast structure was built in medieval times to protect the city.”

As I have said previously, both me and Ste have a huge interest in history and Ste, in particular, loves anything to do with the Roman period.  Dubrovnik’s Roman cathedrals would definitely be a huge appeal for him!

EGYPT

As history buffs, Egypt has to be on the list.  The flight is around 6 hours and the weather slightly hotter so probably not ideal for families with very young children, but we would love it.

“The Ancient Egyptians were a true powerhouse in their prime, comparable to the influence of the Roman Empire. Because of this there is a dense population of mind blowing historical monuments in the country, which makes sightseeing a huge part of holidays in Egypt.

The most famous city in Egypt for history is the capital of Cairo. Located just outside of Cairo and visible from some of the closer Egypt hotels is the Giza Pyramid Complex. This is where the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is located, along with two other pyramids. Not far from the Giza Pyramid Complex is the Great Sphinx of Giza, the largest monolith statue in the world.

Inside Cairo itself is the Egyptian Museum, which specialises in Ancient Egyptian artifacts. Located in the Egyptian Museum is the Gold Mask of Tutankhamun. This 11kg gold death mask is one of the most famous symbols of Ancient Egypt. All of these experiences, coupled with the fact that Cairo itself is a world class city, makes the capital an ideal destination for Egypt holidays.

Away from Cairo, the city of Luxor, known as Thebes in ancient times, is a must see for history enthusiasts on holidays to Egypt. As well as containing the Luxor and Karnak Temples, Luxor is home to both the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, where Pharaohs and their wives were buried in tombs after pyramids fell out of common use.”

Leo did a huge school project on Egypt last year and loved speaking to my Grandad about when he and my Grandma visited Egypt around 30 years ago now!  The pyramids hold a strange fascination with many people and would be an absolutely amazing place to visit.  The beaches are absolutely spectacular too and fans of water sports would be well catered for.  Many of the hotels have private beaches that lead straight off the hotel complexes which is perfect for popping back for shade, food and drinks!

I hope you enjoyed my top 5 holiday wish list.  How does yours compare?  Let me know in the comments somewhere you would love to visit soon.  Thanks to Holiday Gems for sponsoring this post and do go and check out their website if you are looking for your next foreign holiday to book!

nat

Thirty Two Things I Want To Do In My Thirty Second Year

So tomorrow is my birthday and I am turning 32…urgh!  I decided for my birthday post I wanted to look ahead and make some goals, so I have created a list of 32 things I want to do in my 32nd year.  Hope you enjoy a read and fingers crossed I can complete them all by next year!

bday2

  1. Complete my current degree module
  2. Make a solid start with my next module and stay on top of the workload
  3. Read at least 50 books by the end of the year
  4. Start a sign language course
  5. Blog to get 300 subscribers
  6. See more of friends in other cities
  7. Complete a craft project
  8. Attend the PW ball
  9. Do some fundraising for PW
  10. Work on bringing pilates into my daily routine
  11. Complete CBT
  12. Decorate the boy’s bedroom
  13. Go on a romantic break away with Ste
  14. Visit at least 3 places I haven’t before
  15. Start saving to take the kids to Disneyland Paris
  16. Pay off at least half of my current debts
  17. Volunteer work
  18. Get a laptop of my own
  19. Approach my hospital about training healthcare assisntants in stoma care
  20. Write a piece for a newspaper/magazine
  21. Get my divorce finaluised
  22. Attend/arrange some IBD/stoma meet ups
  23. Talk to Arthritis Care about providing support to children diagnosed with arthritis
  24. Begin posting regularly on my YouTube channel
  25. Visit a Christmas market
  26. Take the boys to – West Midlands Safari Park, The Deep, Blackpool, Cadbury’s World, Sealife Centre Birmingham, Legoland, Sherwood Forest, Eureka and more
  27. Twinning outfit with Layla
  28. Help potty train Layla
  29. Sort out my garden
  30. Take the boys for an impromptu day trip to the seaside
  31. See the Blackpool Illuminations
  32. New Year’s Eve party

bday

Let me know what you think of my list in the comments below and some things you are hoping to achieve and do.

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

 

Bucket List

My mental health has definitely taken a downward turn the last couple of weeks. I’ve been struggling with fatigue and insomnia (not the best combination), sore joints and lots of personal things.

Recognising you are in a downward spiral can be helpful but it’s not necessarily as easy as that to start feeling better. I could feel the hole I was in but couldn’t see a way out to starting to feel like myself again. It’s literally like you are sinking and can’t do anything about it apart from hang on and hope everything starts to pick up.

Slowly I’m starting to feel a little better. Yesterday was a slightly brighter day and I am taking that positive and trying to move forward with it. I did go to see my GP last week and she has put my antidepressants up, but it could take a few weeks for me to see the effect of that. Talking to good friends and with Ste has helped me no end this past few days. I feel so lucky I have people I can turn to and trust with my feelings. I often go quiet when I am not doing well, but talking things through really does help. Getting advice, other people’s opinion on a situation or just support and sympathy can be immensely helpful.

And so to last night, me sat on the sofa with a glass of wine watching Katy Perry at Glastonbury. I remembered when me and a friend said we would get to Glastonbury one year and feel a little sad we never have. After the last few weeks and indeed, years I’ve had I decided that I needed to start doing some of these things I’ve always wanted to do. So I started my bucket list. I think it will be something I continue to add to but I think this is a good start and gives me some goals to focus on in the short and long term.

1 – GO TO A FESTIVAL. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Glastonbury, maybe the Isle Of Wight or V. My main worry has always been hygiene and now with a stoma that could be even harder but I think for one weekend I could cope and fingers crossed Stanley would behave!

2 – PLACES TO VISIT – Paris, Rome, Venice, New York (New York Public Library, Botanical Gardens), Pompeii, Northern Lights, Hawaii, Palais De Versailles, National Library of the Girolamini in Naples

3 – SEE COLDPLAY LIVE

4 – GO TO THE LAST NIGHT AT THE PROMS

5 – GRADUATE

6 – ‘PERFECT’ WEDDING – Not necessarily the perfect ceremony but a perfect day just about the two of you

7 – KISS IN THE POURING RAIN – Too many films watched!  A la Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pearl Harbour…

8 – CONTINUE WITH BLOGGING/THE SHOW – Keep trying to positively help, encourage and inspire others

9 – HELP THE BOYS SEE AS MANY PLACES AND HAVE AS MANY EXPERIENCES AS POSSIBLE

10 – OWN A PAIR OF MANOLO BLAHNIK SHOES – Yes I am a HUGE SATC fan!

11 – SEE WEST SIDE STORY ON STAGE – Please, please, please bring it to the West End!

12 – GO PUNTING IN CAMBRIDGE WITH KIRSTY – We planned to once and never did it but really still want to go

13 – GO HORSERIDING – Haven’t been since I was younger

14 – GET A BEAUTIFUL TEAPOT AND TEACUPS/SAUCERS ET AND TRY DIFFERENT TEAS

15 – GET THE TATTOOS I WANT – One around stoma, one for the boys on my back and one on my foot

16 – OWN LOTS OF PETS – Chickens, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoises and I would like a pig

17 – LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE

18 – LEARN FRENCH

19 – SLEEP UNDER THE STARS

20 – WATCH A SUNRISE AND A SUNSET WITH STE

21 – GET SOME SAVINGS BEHIND ME

22 – WRITE A BOOK

23 – DO A GIRAFFE EXPERIENCE AT A ZOO

So that’s what I have come up with for now and I will try and update you as and when I complete things.  Do you have a bucket list?  Let me know in the comments below what is on yours or maybe if this inspires you to write one!

And remember always, when you feel like you are sinking the best thing to do is to talk to someone.  It’s a hard step but really the best way to start feeling brighter.  My inbox is open, as always, for anyone needing a chat.

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