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    15 Awe Inspiring Things to Do with Kids In Iceland

    Twenty years ago I met two awesome Icelandic girls. Once we made beds at the Grand Hotel by day and explored Brighton’s bars by night, now we are all grown up with kids.  Iceland has called me over to see them three times now, once when Mr A won tickets to the Air Waves festival in Reykjavik, once with an old teaching friend in the Summer and last year in March on a press trip.

    Now I really want to take my kids to meet my Icelandic friends’ kids. I’ve seen enough to know my family would absolutely love Iceland’s incredible natural phenomenon and history. Iceland is firmly on our family bucket list.

    All of my travels in Iceland were South, the Golden Circle is an area packed with incredible natural phenomenon, but there is so much more to see. I have my eye on Route 1 road trip taking in the whole fantastic island. So here are some of my favourite adventures from my 3 visits that I know kids will love, plus some I need to go back for…

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    Get them reading more with First News Children’s Newspaper Subscription Offer

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    Did you know they discovered space dust on the rooftops in Paris and Berlin, that dates back to the birth of the solar system? I read it in First News this week. We’ve been testing out this newspaper for 7-14 year olds, and have a fab subscription offer to share so you can hook your reluctant readers or challenge more confident readers, without having to remember to go to the newsagent every week and the best bit is pages of enticing reading material the whole family will enjoy, for a bargain price – it’s a no brainer in our house. You can even try 5 issues for £1! Continue reading

    Santa’s Lapland Review Day 3 – Snowy Fun in Saarisellka and the Northern Lights

    Our third day in Saariselka, Lapland, was a chance to explore the resort which had plenty to offer. I didn’t think we could top Day Two, our Search for Santa day, but yet again, the most perfect family snow day unfolded.

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    After a much needed post Search for Santa day lie in, we fuelled up on brekkie, again a buffet with something for everyone. For me it was a chance to try delicious Finnish breads, I am a sucker for trying new baked goods when travelling.

    As the dawn broke around 10am we started to build our snowman. The views were spellbinding, the skies the most breathtaking combination of turquoise and rose I have ever seen.  I have never ever seen skies that colour, they blow away the hideous grey soupy skies that have driven me to despair in the UK. It seems strange to travel to Finland, that has even less light than the UK in Winter, when you are prone to the Winter blues as I am, but I felt totally different here, completely recharged by the electric skies, sparkling snow and crisp air. Continue reading

    Santa’s Lapland Day 1 – Journey to Lapland and Arrival At Santa’s Hotel Tunturi, Saariselka

    We slipped off early one morning, leaving the UK to last minute present shopping, to make our journey to the frozen North. Sleigh bells were ringing, calling us out to snow covered Lapland, a landscape as crisp as a newly decorated Christmas cake, adorned with fir trees and log cabins. We’d come to pay homage to all that signifies the Christmas of childhood dreams, to sledge, snowball, sleigh ride and Santa seek from Santa’s Hotel Tunturi. Feverently wishing every scrap of Christmas dreams, every slither of Christmas mythology, every glimpse into our imaginings of Father Christmas himself, to be brought to life…all four of us, from 8 to 42 years old.

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    Favourite Places: The Old Railway Line

    After the school run I sometimes walk Max back down the old railway line. It's so peaceful after the morning rush. I got up earlier today, after the carnage that was last night's bedtime, and it's made a massive difference.

    Max the greyhound and I climb the steps onto the railway track. At the top an untouched silvery path beckons to us, frozen still, Narnia like. I take a breath, look left to right and smile, giddy with excitement as I realise I have the whole frosted track all to myself. It’s a feeling I haven’t felt much in winter, but when little things in nature begin to thrill me, I know I am finally kicking off the winter blues. Continue reading

    10 Awesome Moments from Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando

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    Last time I looked at Universal Resort Orlando as a whole, the hotel, parks and dining. This time I promised to share the moments that really moved us at the two parks – Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Orlando – the magic that brought completely uninhibited smiles, cracked any scepticism and allowed us to play together and to suspend our disbelief. There are too many to choose from, but I have picked ten awesome moments that I believe really crystallise what Universal Resort Orlando is about. Continue reading

    Review Part 2: Welcome to the world of Universal Orlando Resort

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    In my last post I left things at the Galaxy Bowl – my 7yo offered to take my go as I was eating still, and got me a strike – result! We’d arrived at Universal Orlando Resort Cabana Bay Beach resort hotel, chilled out in our rooms and started to explore the hotel a little. Today I want to explain what’s on offer across the whole of Universal Orlando Resort and what makes the parks unique. And who better to do it than a theme park cynic? That’s me of course.

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    We all woke up early on our first day, still on UK time, it was still dark and we lay in bed watching the sun gently warm up the palm trees. Florida sunrises are unforgettable, tinged with promise. I swallowed motion sickness tablets and a berocca to gently encourage my body to embrace time and motion… Continue reading