Last week, I was very excited to be invited along to Bluestone in the very far reaches of West Wales as a Bluestone Blogger, and attend the Bluestone Kingdom of the Elves!
December is, traditionally, a bit of a chilly and wet affair in Wales. I lived there for three years, I remember it well. Whilst I suspect they may have got to the bottom of the list of potential Bluestone bloggers, this didn’t phase me.
After all, what else would a mentally sound person do in the very middle of winter than drive five hours to a resort famed for its outdoorsy lifestyle and nearby beaches? I said yes immediately. After all, there was no way it could be worse than my previous holiday.
Daddy had to work, so I took my parents. Or more accurately, they took me.
It was a long drive. A really long drive.
When I lived in Cardiff, getting to the Severn bridge meant we were on the home stretch; if you needed a wee, you might as well hold it. Pro tip if you’re travelling to Bluestone: Do not get excited when you pass over the bridge. You have far to go.
When we arrived it was almost half four and already dark. People were sitting in their cars, waiting to be let into their lodges. We thought screw that, and went to get some food at the rather fun Wildwood Cafe in the Adventure Centre. I may have had a pint. All was well with the world.
Whilst making our way out of the building, I spotted something intriguing and foolishly opened a door to peak inside; like soft play moths they were in and their shoes were off before I could object. Having sat in a car for most of the day, I thought it was a good idea for them to burn off some energy so my parents departed to find the lodge and get unpacked, whilst I remained (it was empty and there was WiFi) and dealt with a particularly heinous nappy situation before negotiating my way to the lodge in the dark with the toddler trailing behind.
We were fortunate that our lodge wasn’t too far away, as we hadn’t booked a buggy.
Another word to the wise, you should probably book one of these to get around the site particularly if you have kids. My two walked their little legs off while we were there.
On our first day, typically, the weather was truly awful.
With no spare, we had no choice but to stick on the puddle suits and make our way to the car and out of the resort in search of underwear that wasn’t trying to kill me, as well as some food for the week.
Oh, how the kids loved puddle jumping. Thanks, Peppa Pig. How they laughed as they splashed. How we laughed as the small one landed face first in a huge puddle. Until we realised he was bleeding. That’s the kind of thing that can scar a child I’m sure (mentally. I really hope not physically).
He spent the rest of the holiday with a huge bump right in the middle of his forehead; it’s going to make the Christmas pictures very special.
Anyway, we made our way to the biggest Tesco I have ever seen in my life where I bought a nice new bra and forgot everything else we went in for. In an unsuccessful bid to get out without tantrums, I told the big one we would go swimming when we got back, and so that’s what we did.
The pool was, thankfully, lovely and warm and there were two shallow pools suitable for toddlers as well as a gently sloping main pool. We stayed until it got dark, and then walked home which took about sixteen years and a lot of bribery.
We all went swimming, had lunch at the pool and then visited the soft play area (where big one learned to pedal a tricycle; proud mum moment) before making our way to the Kingdom of the Elves to rescue Rudolph. It was a magical experience and the big one especially loved every minute. Massive respect to the elves who kept their cool despite some provocation (not by me, I promise).
Afterwards, we headed to the Bluestone village to watch the light display, which was lovely.
The next day was dry, and so we decided to leave the resort to explore.
We started off in Narberth, the local village, which has a absolutely stunning number of pubs – probably about one to every thirty residents at a guess.
We skipped over to Tenby where we visited the beach, and battling against the wind and the chill, made sandcastles which the kids loved. I would love to go back to the beach in better weather although I imagine there would be more than one other couple and a sad looking dog there.
I’m not going to go into how badly the small one slept the whole time we were there, and how he woke us all up repeatedly, every night.
This is not Bluestone’s fault. Let’s just say four nights of sharing a room with him was probably enough for me, and as much fun as we’d had, I was looking forward to going home and seeing daddy.
But first, the five hour drive. The sooner they invent teleportation the better; I think we can all agree science has really let us down there. To break up the journey on our way home, we stopped at Caerphilly and wandered around the town and the castle.
Afterwards, we got stuck in a lot of traffic on the M25. The big one had to do a wee in a traffic jam and the kids both fell asleep much later than is good for my sanity. My poor dad drove us safely home, and then after a cup of tea went on to drive himself and my mum the hour and a half back to theirs. Daddy went out to watch Star Wars leaving me stuck in their room waiting for them to fall asleep for hours. HOURS.
All in all though, we had a great time.
I’d absolutely love to go back in the spring or summer and see that beach, and check out more of the local area. It was most certainly the most enjoyable family holiday I had in 2016.
We got to stay at Bluestone for the week free of charge as part of their blogger outreach programme, but obviously they had no say in what I’ve written here. You can check out their holidays here!