Ice bar birthday drinks!

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A trip to Below Zero ice bar in London seemed a different and somewhat novel treat for my daughter’s birthday and an opportunity for me to tick this one off my list!

We arrived in sweltering temperatures of +31 degrees so it was a good day to spend some time hanging around a bar made from ice and drinking a pina colada from an ice glass! We had to ensure we were wearing gloves to pick them up so that our hands didn’t freeze to the ‘glasses’ and as we drank from them the rim of the thick ice glass slowly began to melt!

 

 

 

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Segway experience

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Chris and I recently did a segway experience, a thoughtful joint Christmas gift from my lovely step-daughters Annabelle and Charlotte!

We spent an hour doing some initial training and then riding around a track while balancing on the segways. The concept was easy:

  • Lean forward = go
  • Lean backward = reverse
  • Lean left = go left
  • Lean right = go right

And it didn’t take long before we were both whizzing around on the segways 🙂

 

 

Wood carving

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I tried wood carving for the first time during last weekend’s camping adventure! As part of a small group my friend Mark used his expertise and showed us how to create wooden masterpieces from small branches! I used a sharp knife and two hours later was the proud owner of my very own hand made spatula:

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Camping in Wales

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Our tent!

As I mentioned in my ‘being grateful‘ post I enjoy camping as much as staying in a 4 or 5 star hotel. Sometimes the home comforts and luxuries you experience in a decent hotel are a lovely and welcome treat. However many hotels and especially branded hotels are all the same and… they are all a fairly bland square box of cream and beige! They don’t beat the real sense of adventure you experience in the great outdoors… sitting around the campfire with great friends, chatting, banter, wine and a BBQ…

Chris and I have just spent a brilliant weekend at the edge of the Brecon Beacons on a wild camping bushcraft weekend! Full details will be available on our travel blog in due course…

 

 

 

Afternoon tea in Victoria, Canada

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This was something I wasn’t expecting to complete while on a recent cruise! I had no intention of an afternoon tea however while on the cruise I met Melinda and Linda who had both booked afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada for more or less the same time. They didn’t know each other beforehand so this was something of a coincidence. They explained that this is ‘the bucket list thing to do’ while in Victoria and is based very much on the British influence of afternoon tea in the city. Great! I was in! Well, thankfully with a bit of sweet talking from Melinda the Empress kindly fitted me in when I turned up on the day. And what a lovely experience it was 🙂

 

 

Painting class

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Painting class

When I was at school art was one of my favourite subjects and I used to love painting and drawing as a child. Since starting work I didn’t pick up a paintbrush until 2016 when I did a South American cruise and participated in a painting class. So while on my recent Alaska cruise I jumped at the chance of another chance to do this! This lasted for about an hour or maybe a little over… and the result is below!

My painting style probably reflects my personality… I am a ‘big picture’ person and not someone who gets involved in too much detail. With my painting I’ve found (as with last time) my style is for large bold brush strokes with very little detail… although we did only have an hour and I wanted to get it finished!

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Alaska cruise

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Exploring the ship upon embarkation in Seattle

I’ve just completed my ocean cruise to Alaska and what a wonderful experience this was! The cruise was with Norwegian Cruise Lines on the ‘Norwegian Jewel‘, which departed from Seattle, cruised up to and around southern Alaska and ended in Vancouver. I’ll shortly be publishing a series of blog posts with full details… these will be on http://www.frombluetogreen.com, my travel blog site.

 

 

Snowshoeing!

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I had the opportunity to try snowshoeing while on a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park while visiting Seattle recently.

Wikipedia explains the purpose of snowshoes is to distribute the weight over a larger area so the person doesn’t sink into the snow while hiking…

May is nearing the end of the snow season in this part of the national park which meant the snow was slushy and watery in places. However, they did ensure more grip was had on the snow and I was far more confident coming down the steep slope than I would usually be…

 

 

 

 

Snowdonia road trip

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Snowdonia National Park

Wikipedia road trip definition:

“A road trip is a long distance journey on the road”

I wasn’t sure whether a weekend trip of driving for 4+ hours to North Wales and back would technically be classed as a ‘road trip’ and it certainly wasn’t on the same scale as the road trip Chris and I took across Europe from Calais to Prague and back in July 2016 or the road trip through Northern Argentina in November 2016.

However, on the basis I had given this challenge the title ‘Go on a UK weekend road trip’ and this was a weekend, on the road and within the UK, I decided this should therefore count!

The purpose of the weekend was to explore the gorgeous scenery on foot by means of a series of 3 separate hikes which I’ve covered separately in our travel blog.

I did a little bit of driving around Snowdonia but this was mostly driving to and from the starting point of each hike.

And on the way back, I had a night in a spa hotel in Llangollen, a small town near the English border.