This week we have been on a lovely summer break (although it rained 99.9% of the time), visiting the Barnstaple area in North Devon with my family. We found a property to rent for the week through Holidaycottages.co.uk and I have to say it was perfect - the location was central to everything we wanted to do, it was extremely clean, well-equipped and just the right size for seven of us. When we arrived we even had fresh scones ready and waiting, with homemade jam and clotted cream. Are your taste buds tingling yet?
Whilst we are away on holiday, my family tend to like going out and about rather than relaxing inside wherever we may be staying, particularly if we are camping. That's just how we like to do things. So over the week we managed to fit in quite a lot; Exmoor Zoo, Watermouth Castle, Ilfracombe, Woolacombe (I recommend the beach here, if it's a nice day!), Barnstaple and Bideford. It was the most walking and exercise I've done since being pregnant I think. I also must have eaten enough to feed the 5,000 - I literally can't stop thinking about food!
Watermouth Castle was good, however more targeted at those with small children. The 'Theme Park' is made up of small rides that an adult wouldn't really fit into, but the castle and gardens in which it is located are beautiful. My sisters and Greg did go on the toboggan ride though and enjoyed themselves (I have videos, but I don't think they would appreciate me showing them to the world).
The prices for food were really reasonable - I think a veggie burger and chips came to around £6, unlike the over-priced prices you pay at say, Alton Towers - Makes for an expensive day out.
The highlight of my trip was definitely the zoo. Although I don't necessarily agree with the animals being trapped behind fences, in much smaller areas than they're meant to be in, at least they're safe and being looked after. We met one rather cheeky chap having his lunch - see monkey image below - I could have watched him all day. He didn't even seem phased by us staring at him through the glass; I guess he's used to it. I just wanted to take him and all his pals home with me in my handbag, so adorable!
(Scroll to see more photos!)
I did hit a baby milestone this week, with Baby Stephens suddenly becoming a lot more active. It definitely seems like we are going to have a little boxer on our hands. Also, I've started to notice that I can feel the kicks on the outside of my stomach, which Greg managed to also feel. It's really nice knowing that he can now feel our little bean (or not so bean-sized now!).
It might not have been the sandy, blue skies you find abroad (although it can be during the summer, when it's not overcast), but this week away was just what we needed. It was really nice to be somewhere different and away from daily general life.