Super stay-cation

Here’s a picture post so I don’t forget all the ace things we got up to in our second week of holiday. After our trips to France and Northampton, we mostly stayed in London – but we packed a lot in (and Matt was amazing as I spent much of the week in choir rehearsals for the Prom).

We started the week at Battersea Zoo with our friends Caroline, Sam and Una.  Alex and Sam are “best friends” and Sophie and Una are starting to interact more.  I’m glad it’s a fairly self-contained place as the children spent much of their time running in different directions.  They loved it – although it must be said, they were more interested in the playground areas than the animals!

batterseazoo

Of course, everyone loved the meercats – especially the tunnel under their enclosure!

batterseazoo2

Alex and Sam begged and begged for the coins needed to take on the water canons in the play area – and were so good at lunch I gave in:

batterseazoo3

The children just about long enough to eat some lunch – but they were soon back in the brilliant playground.  It’s a fabulous place – we’ll definitely be back soon.

batterseazoo4

On Tuesday we headed to Berkshire to visit Matt’s dad.  We met him at The Lookout – a really child friendly section of forest packed full of bike trails, walks, high ropes plus a great adventure playground and nature centre.  We met Matt’s cycling-mad Dad there to see how Alex fared on the beginner mountain bike trail.  I just love this picture of three generations of Agar cyclists!  Sophie was very keen to join in, but she had to make do with a trip to the playground while the boys attempted the trail.

cycling

Alex did brilliantly, managing to cycling most of the route on his own.  So proud of him!  Here’s a bit of footage of him speeding along the trail.

We had a quick lunch and catch up with Dick and Michele before hitting the road back to London in time for a park playdate with Alex’s friend Ralph:

ralph

Last week, we finally got round to visiting the top of the Shard – we’ve been meaning to do it for ages, but the sudden realisation that the already super-expensive entry cost gets even more ridiculous for children four and over,  a sense of urgency took over!  So with the weather clear and bright, we coughed up £50 (ouch) and sped up the tallest building in Western Europe!

It was incredibly expensive – but, it was quite a view!

shard

The children ran a bit wild up there, but they loved it.  So many trains and boats to spot from so high!  When we weren’t running around after the kids, Matt and I really enjoyed looking for our favourite London landmarks from the air – it really was stunning.  Really want to go back at night. I bet that’s spectacular!

Shard2

Just before we came back down, I snapped my new favourite picture of my family – love these guys!

shard3

Towards the end of our holidays, my prom choir rehearsals ramped up a bit, so Matt did some solo childcare – taking the kids to Vauxhall City Farm for the first time amongst other things.  They had a great morning making mud pies, painting and of course petting plenty of animals.

vauxhall

In between rehearsals, we had a fun morning in South Kensington, visiting the Natural History Museum with Caroline, Sam and Una.  It was incredibly busy being the middle of the school Summer holidays, but we managed to look at the dinosaurs without losing any children, and explored the current Mammoth exhibition.  I attempted to capture a pic of the four little ones together – pretty unsuccessfully, but here they are nevertheless!

mammouth

Alex and Sam are so similar!

mammoth2

Once we couldn’t face any more crowds, we crossed the road to the Victoria and Albert Museum for a (horribly expensive) lunch and splash around their fountains and pool.  Sophie was on fine form, smiling at everyone as she splashed her way around the circumference.  It’s fun watching the smiles form on peoples faces as she walks past them with a cute grin.

VandA

On the final day of our holidays – and once my prom was finally complete – we had a brilliant trip down to Godstone Farm, one of our favourite places for a day trip.  We were meeting my old friends Kate and Marie and their families, along with Katharine and Emilia who’d been staying with us for a few days.

There’s so much to do there that we barely saw any animals!  All the little ones enjoyed the toboggan run on their bikes/cars!

godstone

Thankfully a rain shower persuaded the children to stop doing that, and we dragged them inside to meet some gorgeous little animals!  Cue smiles all round!

Godstone2

More rain meant an undercover picnic lunch and an extended play in the massive softplay barn.

Godstone3

We didn’t take nearly enough photographs given how rarely we all get together – but it was such a treat to see the gang, and a fun end to a really busy, but enjoyable fortnight away from the office!

 

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