Welcome back to Part 2 of my Norfolk Holiday diary. When we left off, time was rushing past and we were half way through the holiday. Still, there were plenty more adventures to come, so let’s jump right back in where we left off.
Day 5 – All aboard!
When I was younger, holidays to Norfolk means sailing along the Norfolk Broads. When I first started holidaying with Mr Mess, I couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that he planned to go to the Norfolk coast and stay on dry land? What is this utter madness? I didn’t even realise Norfolk had land-based activities?
We’ve had numerous trips to Norfolk, first as a couple, now as a family but finally, FINALLY, I got to show him out to do a Norfolk holiday the right way. Yes, we went all Swallows and Amazons and hired a boat for the day.
My dad had the most experience on the Broads and so we nominated him Captain for the day. It was a little bit of a palaver trying to get two small children, two slightly mobility-challenged ladies and the complete stock of Tesco Direct onto a rather small boat but we managed! It was a team effort. We cast off the anchor (in a manner of speaking) and we were off!
As soon as we were on the water I felt a sense of utter calm. (Well, when I wasn’t trying to stop the girls throwing themselves overboard!) It was easy to remember how much I’d enjoyed family holidays of old. Mr Mess tried his hand at piloting our vessel and seemed totally at home there. We even started discussing the possibility of a full boating holiday. Maybe we’ll be blogging about that one day? We’ll have to wait and see.
Back on dry land, we headed home for a spot of dinner and then went back to the Lighthouse Inn for another evening of solid children’s entertainment. Tonight’s performer was a guy we’ve seen before – Dave Doughnut. He does a varied show including games and magic tricks as well as a traditional punch and Judy puppet show. Both girls sat mesmerised and watched the whole thing and Bug still regularly talks about the show, much like Moogle did when she was younger.
Day 6 – Back to Wroxham
We had promised the kids another full day at Wroxham Barns, so today seemed like the ideal day to go back for another visit. We arrived quite early and purchased our wristbands for the farm which meant we could come and go as we pleased.
The girls enjoyed feeding the animals and playing in the soft play centre for a couple of hours before they were red-faced and worn out. Then it was time for yet more fun at the fair as we used up our remaining tokens on the fair ground ride. I particularly enjoyed the tractor rides where we paired up in teams – Daddy and Moogle against Mummy and Bug and raced (at a snail pace) around the track.
It was a blazing hot day and everyone was getting a little fractious, so we told the kids the (not entirely) fabricated story that we had to leave Wroxham for a little while to get petrol and more pennies. The drive there and back gave everyone the chance for a little break and both girls had a little snooze in the back seat.
We had arranged to meet my parents in the restaurant at Wroxham Barns for an afternoon tea at 2.30pm. It became clear that the girls weren’t going to be able to last that long without a drink and a snack, so Mr Mess made the excellent suggestion that we pop into The Pantry cafe for some light refreshments.
Together we shared some crisps, popcorn and cake (Bug commandeered a cupcake as big as her head!) and a few drinks while we waited for the rest of the family to arrive. Nana very kindly gave us more pennies for ride tokens, so we just managed to squeeze in a trip on the pirate ships before it was time to take tea.
After a slight seating issue on our visit earlier that week, we’d actually booked ourselves a table to make sure we could all sit together. The afternoon tea was amazing – certainly one of the best I’ve had (and I say that as somebody who has partaken of a lot of afternoon teas.) We ordered a tea for two and there was plenty for the four of us.
The sandwiches were generous and rustic. The scones were enormous and delicious. There was a lovely selection of mini cakes and treats. Best of all, we were given a cake box to take home all of the goodies we couldn’t manage to finish, so didn’t have to feel like we wasted anything.
After our tea, there was just time for a little more play before the farm closed for the day. Luckily we had an exciting evening at the cottage planned as it was time for #The Girl Gang movie night. I was a bit bummed to discover that we had missed the first half hour as it clashed with the Great British Bake Off! Luckily the film we were watching was “Guardians of the Galaxy which we all know back to front so it didn’t take us long to catch up on the chat.
We even let the girls stay up late to watch with us, as it’s one of Moogle’s favourite films and Bug loves Groot and Rocket Racoon. We all had a fantastic evening, giggling about the film, me chatting on Twitter the Girl Gang. We even had a bit of a midnight feast featuring leftovers from the afternoon tea. Definitely one of my highlights of the holiday.
Day 7 – Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
The final full day of our holiday was spent predominantly by the seaside. We wanted to make sure that the girls had their complete fill of beach fun, and the grandparents wanted to join us for the day.
We started off in the morning at Dunbar Cottage and the whole family, grandparents included headed down to our beach for some fun and frolics. My dad is something of a connoisseur of sandcastles and he got to show off his skills to the girls by building a masterpiece. The sun was really shining so there was plenty of opportunity for splashing and paddling in the sea
After lunch (and a bit of a nap for the whole family) we drove over to my parents’ chalet for the final time on this holiday. We took the kids down to see the beach at Mundesley, which was quite a trek along a clifftop but we all survived. (It was touch and go with Moogle and her moaning)
By now the weather was getting a little blustery so we decided not to stay too long. The girls had a lovely run around, and a quick game of “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” before we made the journey back to the cottage for tea. Mum had cooked up burgers and chips for dinner so we enjoyed a feast, then said our goodbyes for the last time on this holiday.
We decided not to go out on this final evening, instead having a peaceful time at Dunbar. The girls watched films in bed while Mr Mess and I began the mammoth task of packing up to go home.
Day 8 – Homeward Bound
Ah, Day 8 and our holiday has sadly come to an end. Mr Mess took Moogle for one last frolic in the dunes while I finished off the packing and Bug…well, she was just Bug.
It really didn’t take all that long to cram all of our belongings into our car and bid our fond farewells to Dunbar cottage. It really is starting to feel like a home from home and hopefully we’ll get to stay there again soon.
As we didn’t really want the holiday to end, and we had a few tokens left over we took one last trip to Wroxham Barns. We nipped to the shops to purchase some holiday gifts for the family members who couldn’t join us and the girls got their last few precious rides.
Finally, we couldn’t put it off any longer. It was time to say goodbye to Wroxham and admit our holiday was finished. All that was left to do was make the long journey back home! Of course, we found time to squeeze in one more trip to Little Chef, drawing out the fun for as long as we could.
Although it is always a shame to see a holiday end, I do love that feeling of being back in your own home (with WIFI!). Not so much, the feeling of unpacking all the dirty laundry! And so ends my holiday diary. I hope you enjoyed seeing what we got up to. It seems like forever ago now as we creep closer to October. Summer is definitely over.
Let the Autumn posts begin!