Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Legoland - Windsor

We went to Legoland...

This weekend Oliver, Isabelle my mum and I spent two days at Legoland Windsor.  It was our very first trip to a Legoland and we were all very excited..... apart from the daunting 193 miles I had to drive to get there..(I think if ever we return I will look at trains or other means of transport 🤣), Ste currently works weekends so my Mum got dragged along with us - unfortunately for me, she's petrified of driving on Motorways. 
Oliver has been wanting to go to Legoland from being a small child, so I thought his 10th Birthday was the perfect opportunity for us to go and possibly one of the last years he would actually enjoy it.

We booked our stay and park entrance through the Legoland website which was very easy to navigate and gave detailed information and images of the different themed rooms and the different hotels available. We gave Oliver the option of which themed room he wanted to stay in, of course, he picked an adventure room... The only issue we had from the website was an option to book the pirate burger and swim (we booked for 6pm not realising this was just the swim time and the pirate burger restaurant closed at 6pm, maybe we didn't read the small print but it didn't obviously specify that these were separate - Luckily they honoured the vouchers for the burgers the day after so we didn't miss out).

When you arrive at the hotel you cannot check into your rooms until 3pm and have access to the park when you arrive, however, you can leave your luggage at reception and they will take care of it until you are ready to check in - which I felt was a nice touch; however the car park for the hotel is only a stones throw away so we decided to leave the luggage in the car and return for it when it when we decided to go to our room.

The rooms were decorated absolutely brilliantly, Oliver was in awe when he walked in - He loved that in order to open the monkey chest he had to figure out the room in the puzzle (he adores quizzes, puzzles, fact finding and general research). Once he'd figured out the code from the puzzle, inside the monkey chest was a little gift for each child, a Lego parrot for Oliver and Duplo for Isabelle which can be assembled to create 4 different things - For me, the room was probably the best thing about the trip
🤣, the beds were comfortable and both the children and adults loved the décor. 

As with another blog I've recently read since I returned, I feel my expectations of Legoland were a little too high. I hadn't read any previous reviews nor spoken to anyone who had actually been before so I didn't know exactly what to expect... but it is Legoland - surely it's going to be more amazing than amazing?!… I expected MORE Lego.. I anticipated everywhere I looked for there to be models or even giant, colourful Lego bricks scattered around, but nope... there were some bits every now and again, but nothing in comparison to what I expected.
Some of the rides expected queue time was also 75 minutes 😱, now with Oliver and his autism anything above 10/15 minutes is a no go, and I dread to think what the queue times are like in peak season - so if you are thinking about going to Legoland I would definitely recommend paying a little extra and getting the Qbot (queue jumper) to save a long, long wait. 

On our first day, we all thoroughly enjoyed 'Atlantis' a Lego 'submarine ride which explores an amazing Sea Life aquarium. Isabelle absolutely adores fish so this was by far her favourite thing about the trip (besides the food). I know Isabelle is still very young, but I do feel like there could be more for the little ones, especially in the Duplo Land section of the park, she got bored very quick and there wasn't much for her to be entertained by. This was also my mum's favourite thing about the park - she isn't a fan of rides and liked that it was something we could all enjoy as a family.

When asking Oliver what his favourite thing about the weekend was he said it was hard to pinpoint one thing exactly, however one of his favourites was definitely the model studio. It was fascinating to see all the different models structured from Lego and Oliver came out full of inspiration and ideas of what he could potentially create.
Although for me I was a little disappointed with the park and felt underwhelmed by Legoland, Oliver had such an enjoyable experience which was the most important thing... He's not stopped talking about it since we got home and has been telling his school friends all about it and showing them the different purchases he made with his birthday money.
Overall I feel Isabelle was definitely too young to enjoy anything there besides Atlantis and had we waited another year or two I don't think Oliver wouldn't have enjoyed it as much either.

Our Overall ratings of Legoland Windsor:
Oliver's rating: 10/10
Grandma's rating: 9/10 
Isabelle's rating: 3/10 (The only number she currently says, so maybe a little unfair 😂)
My rating: 6/10

I'm hoping to get around to taking a trip to Peppa Pig Land, Sundown Adventureland or somewhere similar later on this year - Hopefully Isabelle will have a more enjoyable experience and the whole family can enjoy our time together. 

Friday, 8 March 2019

International Womens Day

International Women's Day and what it means to me!

International Women's day means so many things to so many different people.
Throughout history, women all over the world have lead purposeful actions to remedy gender inequality in the hope of a better future.  A better future for them, their daughters, their granddaughters and future generations of all women.

It was the Suffragettes who started International Women's Day, with the first officially named "International Women's Day" event held in 1911. The Suffragettes started in the early 1900's and forged a purposeful action for equality.
Still to this day, International Women's Day continues to be a global platform that unifies and drives action for gender equality, while celebrating the social, cultural, economic and political achievements of women.
Throughout the years the world has witnessed such a great shift in society regarding women's equality, however the unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.... However, because of the great work of our female ancestors, girls are now welcome in schools, women can now work and raise a family, women can vote and have real choices.

With IWD approaching, I asked on one of my Instagram profiles "which women inspire you and why?" and I have received so many fantastic response such as:
  • "Angelina Jolie - Despite all the bad press, adopted third world children" - I don't need to comment further on this - taking care and loving someone else's child as if they were your own is such an incredible thing for any one to do!!!
  • Lots of responses of people saying their mum's were inspiring women to them - which I LOVE! My mum is definitely my best friend and a real source of inspiration for myself.
  • "Myself, because I'm bloody brilliant" - LOVE this - self love is important for anyone and for women to realise how brilliant they are is wonderful to see
  • "Michelle Obama, she did so much as first lady" - My favourite quote from Michelle Obama is 'Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in peoples lives' - definitely an amazing women!
  • "Oprah" - As a women she has overcome so much from being raised in a poor background and sexual abuse.
  • "Ellen DeGeneres" - not only is she an activist for gay rights, she has given so much to people in need and does so much for countless charities!
So many women have so many inspirational stories and women who they look up to, and I personally think it's important to teach our daughters the history of women so that as they grow up they will appreciate the struggle females have had to go through to get to where we are to day and to appreciate the accomplishments of her friends and other women who she may encounter in her lifetime.

Make a difference and make everyday international women's day - celebrate other women and not put them down. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal safe and rewarding!

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