This weekend has seen us go from one side of England to the other and back again. Aside from the overnighters in hotels, we've been outside all the time and it's been brilliant to take advantage of the beautiful, albeit stiflingly hot, weather.
On Friday night we drove to Reading, where we stayed overnight before heading off to the LolliBop children's festival in Regent's Park, London. It was a blisteringly hot day, and someone decided that black would be a good colour to wear. I think at one point I actually almost passed out as my vision was swimming and my head was light. However, I'm made of sterner stuff and don't do fainting. All I needed was an Oreo cookie milkshake and the sight of Messers Maker and Winters entertaining my son to perk me up. (The pint of water and paracetomal may have helped!)
LolliBop is a great festival and I've never been in Regent's Park before so it was refreshingly beautiful when surrounded by the grey buildings of London. The festival is a riot of colour, sounds and entertainment, and we thoroughly enjoyed everything there. However, we were only too happy to be back on the train heading out of the smoke later that afternoon where we picked up the car and drove to Gloucester where we did another overnighter in a different Premier Inn. This one was fantastic and tranquil, in the middle of a lovely country village with a stereotypically quaint pub attached.
This morning we packed up early and headed off to the Forest of Dean to surprise The Boy with a Thomas Days Out trip. The Boy has recently started a fascination with the little blue engine and we regularly have to sing the theme music. Today was no different once he'd found out what was going on. Seeing his little face break out with sheer delight when Thomas chugged into the station made my heart burst, he had the best time riding on a vintage steam train and meeting Sir Topham Hatt.
To finish the weekend off, we drove up to Puzzlewood near Coleford. It's a stunning small forest that we've been to before and is such a gem to explore. At the time The Boy was only 20 months old and fell asleep while we were walking around, so this time I was very eager to show off the wonders of the mysterious woods (used in Merlin and Doctor Who). He didn't disappoint as he traipsed around the moss and mud-ladened tracks, exploring steep paths, stone steps and searching for The Gruffalo at any opportunity!
And of course the weekend wouldn't be complete without a splash in the paddling pool, right before turning his hand to his first ever spot of car cleaning!