This time last week: Butlins – Getting stuck in!
Last Tuesday our day started out really well with a scrummy breakfast at The Yacht Club. Breakfast is always a meal which goes down well with our Beans and it was great to watch them tucking in. Curly took charge of drinks and made sure that everyone had what they wanted. Little Bean was delighted to be able to do her toast herself in the conveyor style toaster (with supervision) and she eagerly prepared more for Beanie Boy too. When exactly did she grow up so much? I lost count of the number of courses that Curly ate, I think it went something along the lines of; a bowl of cereals, eggs, beans, bacon and sausages followed by toast/croissants and/or pancakes. For me it was a healthy small bowl of muesli followed by a freshly prepared cheese and ham omelette whilst Hubby went for a cooked breakfast and between us we kept Jelly Bean topped up on a variety of cereals, fruit and toast. If only all meals could be this simple and stress-free!
Curly’s plan for the day began with the Football Coaching which he had really enjoyed last year and he couldn’t wait to get back. For Little Bean the plan had been to take her to the Beach House for an Arts and Crafts session but as is usual for us, we arrived too late and the session was full so she couldn’t go in. Initially, she was extremely disappointed but the great thing about Butlins is that there is always ‘something’ which you can do so her disappointment faded the second she saw the rides and soft play. Whilst Hubby ushered the Beans from one ride to another I took Jelly Bean to play in the Toddler Soft Play which he loved. At the moment Jelly Bean is obsessed with balls of all colours and sizes so he was delighted to find these cups and balls to play with, they kept him amused for ages.
We walked out of the Skyline the long way around to get some fresh air and straight away Little Bean remembered the Dune Buggy’s. She asked if she could have a go. It was hilarious watching her as she screamed and laughed the whole time. Her laugh is infectious and it’s not often that you see her really laugh, she’s a lot like me, a very serious little girl but when she laughs her face lights up and you can’t help but laugh along with her. Watching her driving around was one of those moments.
The thing with Butlins is that all the time you have to keep your eyes open at all times as you never know who you’re going to bump into or what you might see. There are street performers who have a whole host of ‘acts’ that they do throughout the week, we spotted these pirates chasing each other around. Later in the day whilst in the pool, two came in wearing suits and bermuda shorts and held up score cards for those coming down the slides. We also saw a robber with a swag bag being chased by a Policeman on a mini Penny-Farthing bicycle. We ran into Ludo who was feeling particularly mischievous and kept knocking Beanie Boy’s cap off his head and then stopped off to see the Skyline Gang. Beanie Boy has a glum face because he thought Bud hadn’t spotted him but of course he had, that’s the great thing about all of the Skyline Gang they never let any child go unnoticed!
The Beans’ long day and late night on Monday was clearly catching up on them so I took them back to the Hotel for a reviving nap whilst Hubby checked in on Curly’s football session but not before he had popped downstairs to the Soho Cafe to grab me a cheeky Rocky Road cake and a Cappucino to fuel my brain cells so that I could work whilst the little ones slept.
After their naps we spent an hour or so in Splash World. Curly said goodbye the second we got in there and went to find his friends. I think given half the chance he would stay in Splash World all day. Now that Little Bean has confidence in the water thanks to her swimming lessons she got stuck straight in with the slides but Beanie Boy was a little more cautious. Going swimming with three small children is very difficult. Jelly Bean is definitely NOT a water baby yet, he screamed the moment his feet touched the water and he clung to me like a limpet for the entire time that we were in there which meant that Daddy was in charge of Little Bean and Beanie Boy. They had quite a few rides on the large white wavy slide which is perfect for the less confident swimmers as it comes out into a shallow pool at the bottom. Our only real complaint in the pool area was that the showers were extremely hot, way too hot for the little ones so they had to wait until we got back to our room. (There are no pictures of SplashWorld as naturally photography is banned but check out the Butlins website to get an idea).
Later we donned our gladrags for an evening of fine food and fun in the form of Cirque du Hilarious. We were booked into Turners Restaurant which we loved. The staff were amazing in there, very helpful, friendly, great with the children and attentive when they needed to be. The decor was beautiful and there was plenty of space so you didn’t feel like you were ear-wigging on the people’s conversations at the table next to you. The food was yummy, even the Beans managed to find something to eat thanks to the great children’s menu. Little Bean chose Fish Fingers but they were actually whole pieces of fish in smaller portions, Beanie Boy chose nuggets and for Jelly Bean we ordered Macaroni Cheese which he couldn’t get enough of. I chose Smoked Salmon which was delicious and served with scrummy potatoes and seasonal vegetables.
Butlins recognise that keeping the children entertained and happy is one of the key elements to a happy family holiday because if the children are happy, the parents are happy. They provided the children with packs of crayons and actvity sheets which doubled up as their menu. You could fold the menu up to make the origami game of old (I have no idea what it’s called) but the children loved it. Also great if they can’t decide on which dessert to have as this could choose it for them. Jelly Bean was happy to sit and colour for the most part but did become extremely ratty before we had finished our meals so Curly kindly took him for a little walk to calm him down and even the waiters did their best to make him smile.
The finale to our evening was probably one of the highlights of our break, Cirque du Hilarious was just brilliant. It is mainly a father/son act which mixes magic, daring stunts and comedy. Everybody loved it and even people that I spoke to days later were still talking about it. Danny (the son) is a cross between Norman Wisdom, Frank Spencer, Lee Evans and Joe Pasquale who are some of my favourite comedians. He haphazardly messes up his father’s magic tricks, wears funny costumes and is most definitely the clown of the show. The children loved him so much they all asked for one of his badges at the end and asked if they could come back to see him the following night. Naturally they were very disappointed when told that he wouldn’t be back during our break.