Our Unschooled Week #58

Having been ill for the past ten days I am doing this a bit retrospectively, but hey ho!  We spent most of this week in Devon on a press trip to Crealy, which was great fun (reviews coming soon!)

So on Sunday we were busy packing for the holiday, and the girls did a quick job drawing for a work project I have coming up.

Then it was up bright and early the next morning to drive to Devon.  Steve's parents live in Exmouth, not far from Crealy so we spent the day with them before it was time to check in.

The girls loved seeing aged rescue parrot, Mister, again.  Much squawking on both sides!

We walked into town so Lara could post her Transformers competition entry form - fingers crossed! - and spotted these pretty murals on the way.

A quick stop in the town centre to see the dinosaurs - Jurassic Coast and all that - before walking down into the gardens to feed the squirrels.  Granddad doled out monkey nuts to eager hands.

Lara was delighted to feed several residents and even got to stroke one.

More dinosaurs at the new playground in town ...

... and even the chance to excavate dino bones.

On our way back along the sea front, Lara spotted another mural, this time of more big beasties, and this one who could be her beloved Heatwave.

And of course she can never resist the lure of a muddy puddle!  While Sophia and Tatiana finally managed to convince themselves that this probably wasn't a Gruffalo arm after all...

We checked into Crealy at about 5pm, and had a quick explore of the area before settling into our safari tent for the evening.

Tatia made a creature to watch over us in the night to make sure not too many bugs came in!

After a bug-free night and breakfast in the sunshine, we hit Crealy with a bang on Tuesday morning.  The slides and soft play proved a huge hit.  I had been a little worried as the outdoor rides were only scheduled to be open on one of the days we were there, but there was plenty for the girls to do.

We had lunch down near the lake where we met this lovey family, before heading off to explore some treacherous bridges spanning a stream.

Lara loved the challenge of all the different bridges to cross, but the other two were a little more reticent, especially after Sophia got wet feet after toppling off one of the stepping stumps.

There was just time to put Steve in jail before heading back to the park.  Unfortunately he managed to find the escape route 😉  Well, someone had to go back to get dry socks for Sophia!

More outdoor play and indoor rides before returning to the soft play and slides until it was, quite literally, kicking out time at the end of the day.

After another dinner in the hot sun, we drove a few miles to Woodbury Common, part of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths.  This Triassic site is over 200 million years old and provides a unique habitat for many rare species of flora and fauna, as well as a useful firing range for the MoD.  Luckily they were nowhere to be seen, so we enjoyed a lovely evening walk, hunting for rare gemstones, birds and flowers on the way.

Wednesday was another lovely day at Crealy - why did I ever think there wouldn't be enough for them to do?!   We started with a more animal-focused start, finding a beautiful intricately made nest on the road on our way in.  How gutting to have spent all that time intricately weaving straw with goat and horse hair, and plucking out your own tiny feathers, only for it to get blown out of the tree!

Tatiana and I absolutely adored the goats, and there was much hugging and kissing of goats and ponies.  I'm not the only one who can't wait till we can get ourselves a field!!

Back to the soft play and slides for more fun and frolics, completely losing Tatia in the ball pit at one point.  Who can see the small blonde child, please?  Such a joy to have the place to ourselves!

Steve stayed with the girls while I grabbed a couple of hours in the sun with my Thermos flask and a book - bliss.  The second chunk of holiday 'me time' this year - unheard of!

In the evening we went back down to Granny and Granddad's for dinner, followed by a fierce skittles match in the back yard.  I think Tatia may have been getting a little tired by this point!

Thursday dawned sunny and warm again, we were so lucky to have such good weather and came home with Devon tans, and tent colds.

This day the outdoor rides were running too and the site was a bit busier but we still never had to queue for anything or have to jostle for space.  Lara loved the carousel and the driving school - 8 times in succession, equalling her Legoland car driving record.

Sophia and Tatiana liked the dinosaur car ride which they took turns to drive me round, and the animals, of course.  But all 3 were more enamoured with the soft play and slides more than anything.

Just look at this beautiful face:

We drove home Thursday night so woke up in the warm in our own bed on Friday morning, but all full of cold.  Grr.  We spent the day at home pottering about and feeling a bit sorry for ourselves, but not much time for that as we were off to see Sooty the next morning.

The show was excellent and the girls (all of us) were in stitches.  Then the opportunity to meet Sooty himself afterwards.  Lara wasn't convinced about having her photo taken with him, but I knew she'd regret it if she didn't so got Steve to wrangle her in!

I don't think she's washed that hand since!  Richard was happy to chat to the girls and let Lara take her time making friends with Sooty.  Very sweet.

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