Tuesday 23 February 2016

The Bucket and Spade list - AKA The Toothless Trails

1. camping – regularly. Get all the kit and camp around the UK. As my treatment changes in the blink of an eye and I read in some 'middle class problems' article somewhere that kids who camp have a higher IQ I've always wanted to become a 'camp site wanker' and will be able to do this as a last minute trip.
Your job: recommend me UK campsites that are great with 1 and 3 year olds. Tell me what kit I need and general tips.

2. Disneyland Paris at Christmas - this is because my cousin goes every year and loves it and we are planning the worlds biggest road trip with the kids next year to USA and will take them to Orlando so his could be the warm up. I'm concerned Tait will just whinge though and bite people and it'll be a 'why the fuck did we bother' trip. Thoughts?

3. Lapland - would love to take the boys to meet santa in the snow. You can do a day trip to this but as we always seem to get delays I think a night stay would be great. In a log cabin.

4. Road trip USA - this is the big one! Scouse and I love America. We have both been separately and together. When I was younger I travelled the world alone and I covered a huge part of the west coast USA and a few southern states but there are still quite a lot I haven't seen. We have always said that when the boys were about 9, 8 and subsequently Ally at 7, we would go for a huge trip. We thought that was about the age where they could experience everything. This was the trip I thought about constantly and if I could only do one thing on this list it would be this trip. So we decided that whatever happens we are bloody doing it. It'll be around May/June next year just before Noah starts school. It's going to be for about 5 weeks and we will start in Florida and make our way up to Chicago and then across to Niagara Falls.
Your job: tell me what you have done or would like to do in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvanian, New York.

5. Should we get married? - see that question mark!!!!
6. Get the kids christened.
7. A weekend with my mum to a spa or something similar
8. A weekend or trip with my brother and Tripe (my sister in law - she looks like a cows udder)
9. Trip with my BBB ladies (these are the incredibly sweary breast cancer tribe I am part of.) These girls have really bloody helped me and I can't wait to meet them all one day.
10. Get my blog into a book and sell it!!!!!! Learn how to re-root money to Monaco and avoid tax = live the dream
11. Write a children's book and get it published.
12. Visit friends and family more often. Old friends / New ones.
13. Legoland
14. Watch someone give birth.... At the business end!! I'd be really great as a birthing partner!!!
15. Thomas land
16. Ceebeebies world
17. skiing - with or without kids? I love skiing and would love to go again. It's been a while.
18. Australia. A road trip would be amazing as well as just chilling out. Take the kids to the Whit Sunday's and Uluru.
19. Meet The Unmumsy mum. Hopefully she'll then become my best friend = bonus!
20. Stay in a treehouse
21. Weekends with my best friends. These are of course child free but fuelled by wine. - completed Feb 2016.
22. Meet 'Counting Crows'
23. Sky Dive
24. Be a voice on the Simpsons
25. Take the boys horse riding - teach Noah to ride 
26. Walk up Glastonbury Torr - I live not too far from here but have never done it.
27. Drive around Devon and Cornwall in a camper van. The kids would love this!!!!
28. Take Noah in a cockpit of a plane or in a helicopter.
29. Ride horses on the beach again, galloping through the wet sand.
30. Cage dive with sharks ( I have advanced open water SSI qualification but never got near a shark - probably for the best)
31. Wing walk..... Think I might be too heavy for this though.
32. Camper van around Canada. Searching for bears.
33. An adventure playground garden at our house for the kids complete with a She-Shed thingy to drink wine and hot choc in and camp out overnight.
34. Boat trip in Alaska.
35. Actaully travel in the posh part of the plane.
36. Be dragged under a helicopter like they did on Bear Grylls, or go in one if not.

Now the very important ones
* See Noah start school (sept 2017).  Walk him to the gate in his uniform and be there to meet him afterwards
* See Tait start school (sept 2019).  Walk him and his brother to the gates and listen to them compare their days when I pick them up.
* Make my family and friends proud (this was previously number 24)
* Live to see the kids start secondary school
* Live to see the kids start Uni or travel or jobs etc
* Live to see the kids get married
* Live to meet my grandchildren
* Live


Unknown said...

I think you can strike no. 24 off already! It might be worth getting in touch with some of the places you want to go to to see if they would do a discount in exchange for you sharing a bit about your experience on your blog. I've done a few travel things on my blog for discounts and it's quite nice!
These are brilliant ideas! What about planting a tree or something for Ally? We want to do it for our son who was stillborn last July but can't decide where we want to do it! xxx

Unknown said...

Highly recommend camping with kids, come to Cornwall/Devon, there are so many to choose from. Pick ones without kids clubs but with playgrounds, farm animals etc... Get an electric hook up and a van instead of a tent! River Dart is a great camping spot due to all the onsite kids stuff. Heligan woods and sister site Pentewan sands but they're pricey. Went to Trewan Hall last yr out of season and was a lovely base... Spa - Watergate bay is lush. Although the scarlet is adults only so could be a good change!! No 14 - I really want to see this too!! Good luck planning it all, a great idea. And you are an inspiration. Xx

ArkansasWind said...

Star gazing. You could work this into your camping trip. It always takes time though, for my eyes to adjust. Too much time staring at my devices, I guess. Hang in there Heidi. Your story is a beautiful one.

JoseLewis said...

You never cease to make me cry. I am in awe of you! Im pretty sure you can cross 24 off your list as i can only imagine you do that every day! :-) x

JoseLewis said...

You never cease to make me cry. I am in awe of you! Im pretty sure you can cross 24 off your list as i can only imagine you do that every day! :-) x

Claire Green said...

Amazing list so far!I am with everyone else you have acheived 24 in my eyes and I am sure in theirs too. My girls have said on there list they would go fossil hunting on the jurassic coast, sleep under the stars no tents allowed! And going on a little areoplane where you can see the clouds.x

elpesk said...

Hi Hid! I am the ultimate camp site wanker! I even have a ruddy carpet for my tent and a mat for ppl to wipe their shoes before coming in. We love to go to Cherry Tree Farm in Croyde - it's a short walk to the beach and the pubs too and is a lovely site. Lots of open space for the kids to go mad, which is really all you need! Georgia X

Unknown said...

Heidi, my cousin and pretty much little sister (as you lived with us when you were young...) You make us proud every single day! No. 24 well and truly achieved! Your courage and strength inspires us.
On a serious note...I am more than happy to help you become a camping wanker! Living in Devon, specifically the South Hams (#beautiful) I am more then happy to offer you my garden at any time (free of charge of course) to test your camping ability. Alternatively myself and merv with some awesome friends are heading to Dart River ( amazing for kids/families apparently) in June to become Camping Wankers ourselves! So would be amazing if you joined us.
Re number 14... Well I can't promise anything as already on number 3, but should I go for number 4 then you will be more than welcome to get the messy end and watch Mother Nature at her best ;) xxx

BrownThumbGardener, Carolyn said...

I'm American and have been to every state so I'll comment on #4. Florida- Swamp boat tour with Alligators, Georgia- Wormsloe Plantation, Tennessee- Walk around downtown Nashville, South Carolina- Charleston Beaches, Kentucky- Churchill Downs, Ohio- Just keep driving HAHA Cleveland is okay..., Indiana- Not much here, Illinois- How about Missouri and visit the Gateway Arch, Pennsylvania- Visit an Amish village, New York- The city: see a Broadway show; the state: Camp somewhere in the Adirondack Mountains. Good Luck!!

Sally Beasant said...

You have done so much already, you have inspired others, raised awareness and made your family and friends proud. So no 5 is only if u want to! It should only be for you and Keith. You could always have a mock Hen do. I know a nice place outside Magaluf and a good Pirate show!! Suggestions, go to airport and get first random flight out. Take 1 photo a day for a year. Go to Ireland and search for Leprechauns. Send a message in a bottle. Remember camping doesn't have to be outdoors, it's fun in your own house too!

Hannah said...

Some of my family is from Southern Indiana. There are beautiful rolling hills and country there. An excellent deli in Indianapolis called Shapiro's, near to Indy's very good children's museum. Your kids are not too young to enjoy it. There is a town called Nashville in Brown County, Indiana (about an hour south of Indianapolis) with a couple of beautiful state parks (Brown Co State Park http://www.browncountystatepark.com/ and Yellowwood https://secure.in.gov/dnr/forestry/4817.htm). The former has cabins you can rent to stay in, and at the latter you can go rent a canoe or a row boat and paddle around a little lake. Louisville, Kentucky is lovely. And Chicago is one of my favorite cities. There is a campus of museums right on the lake: The Field Museum, The Shedd Aquarium, The Adler Planetarium, and The Museum of Science and Industry. As a kid, my favorites were the aquarium and the Field Museum (dinosaur bones!). There's also a museum close to the University of Chicago called The Oriental Institute with mummies, which I LOVED when I was little.

I am sending you love and luck from here in Minnesota. I have 2 boys about the ages of yours (my eldest just turned 4; my little one is 2 in March) and just finished being treated for cancer myself. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help your family on the U.S. part of your bucket list (or in any part of your life at all, for that matter). Seriously, let me know what we can do. Will happily give you my email address and/or anything else.

Tracey D said...

Hi in response to no. 1 camping, I took my daughter from 3 to the Featherdown farms camping, it is glam ping as your tent us set up and you have wooden beds and a log burner in tent but it is a great way to experience camping with a little bit of luxury. It's lovely in the eve sitting in candlelight around the table. Mia loved it! Lapland is another magical trip, definitely stay there, it's especially fun as you get to go sledging in the dark and do lots of other snowy activities not yo mention meeting Santa, I would say a must do! Again Disneyland Paris, brilliant but allow lots of time for rest, boys will be shattered! Kids love doing the simplest of things like building sand castles, paddling in the sea and rock,pooling, Cornwall always a hit!
Sending you much love, you are so inspirational! Good luck with the planning! I have just joined as a blogger to,join in, my first time ever! X

Ines said...

Okay I can help with camping and Florida we do both on a regular basis.
Our favourite campsites are Hollands Wood in the New Forest (no campfires allowed for obvious reason but this is compensated by the fact that ponies wander into the campsite on a regular basis which fills the kids with delight!) and Kitts Camp in Sussex which does allow campfires, is a short walk to the local pub and has large pitches and isn't too noisy.
You will need: Tent, footprint, airbeds (self inflating mats are better though), stove, camping kitchen, table and chairs, gas for the stove, loads of blankets (trust me on this, even if it is July), copious amounts of alcohol / snacks, bats and balls / swingball, pots and pans, camping kettle, sleeping bags, camping pillows, lanterns and torches (for those nighttime visits to the toilet block) wellies. I'm sure there's more but that's all that comes to mind right now.

Florida: we've been 7 or 8 times (4 times with our 8 year old) and are going again in May so we're fairly experienced (or we like to think so!)
First tip would be that if you want to get the full Disney experience then splash out on a Disney hotel, our favourite is The Beach Club and if you book at the right time when they have their free dining promo on you'll get the whole family's meals for free for your stay.
This doesn't appeal to everyone but we make an itinerary before we go, we don't stick to it rigidly but it really helps when you're trying to pass k a lot in to a short time!
Sign up to the Dibb (google it) where you'll find more tips and tricks than you can shake a stick at.
Book your Disney dining in advance on MyDisney, you can make reservations from 6 months before.
Epcot is our favourite park and has some excellent restaurants too, our daughter loves the Coral Reef where you can watch fish while you eat, the Garden Grill where you meet Mickey and Chip & Dale while the restaurant gently revolves to an ever changing landscape and the San Angel Inn where it's always Twilight and a volcano is erupting regularly!
Eat at the Cheesecake Factory (in Orlando it's at Mall at Milennia) but they're all over the US.
Visit Clearwater, the beach is stunning
Visit Kennedy Space Centre
Definitely go to one of Disneys water parks (Typhoon Lagoon is awesome!) and drift around in the lazy river
Do breakfast at Cape May Cafe at Disneys Beach Club (best character breakfast in Disneyworld) then wander out to the Boardwalk, hire a Surrey bike and spend the most fun half hour ever pedalling around the boardwalk avoiding the other tourists!
Watch the fireworks at Epcot or Magic Kingdom one evening, utterly magical
Take tons of photos and video and make a scrapbook after your trip
Take an empty suitcase (or 2) and go to the Premium Outlets on iDrive
Visit Wonderworks on IDrive
Have breakfast at iHop, I recommend the Rooty Tooty fresh and fruity!
Sign up to the Mousesavers Newsletter
Don't forget to stop and enjoy the moments!

When we went to Niagara we found the Canadian side to be so much more beautiful than the US side so if you have time then cross the border and also visit the town of Nigara on the Lake, it's so pretty!

Hope that helps xxx

Felicity Ball mosaics said...

Hey Heidi - just saw you on the local news - have put your blog on my home screen. Today we (husband, 3 teenage children and dog) started our 10,000 steps a day in March to walk all over cancer in memory of our lovely friend, Gina. I was wondering if we can really commit
to that for 31 days - how pathetic is that? - so when I'm feeling pathetic I WILL think and be inspired by you. I am a mosaic artist in Bristol - if you ever need anything for fundraising or a raffle or whatever, do give me a shout - www.felicityballmosaics.com Felicity x

Unknown said...

hi Heidi,

I'm a local Portishead resident and see your friend at swimming (our boys have lessons together, you went to centre parcs with her, her names totally gone out my head!!!).

looking at the travel related stuff I maybe able to offer my services. I have my own travel agency and many of my colleagues and other companies have often made bookings for Disney, Lapland etc as a result of the person in question (ie you) maybe doing some crowd funding, fund raising night etc....the general public are very generous and I'm sure the north somerset residents would be all up for helping you take you family to create some awesome memories.

do let me know if you'd like any help my email is vikki.coe@travelcounsellors.com and if you do do any fundraising night then let me know and I'll see what I can do to assist or give a prize etc for a raffle (won't be a free holiday, sadly! as I can't get them for free!!!).

good luck

vix x

Unknown said...

Florida- if the boys like race cars a trip to Daytona was awesome and we are planning our return to Disney world when I have hair growth beyond the Mohawk, never left Florida too much to do! Xxx

Knibbler said...

Niagra Falls is amazing! Do maid of the mist and walk behind the falls. Stay to see them lit up at night as well. Beautiful spot. Shame Canada isn't on the list as I could suggest quite a few things to do there. :)

Unknown said...

Definitely go to Lapland!

We first went when my youngest was 2, and stayed for a week in a log cabin- it was amazing! We did as much as possible- husky rides, reindeer rides, snowmobiles, ice hotel and of course Santa in his cabin. My daughter told me how much she loved the snow every night for about 3 months afterwards- your boys will love it.

It was so amazing we went back for a second visit, and this time we saw the Northern Lights.

Stay for as long as you can, a log cabin is magical, and a visit to Santa a must.

I have loved reading your blog, cried and laughed, been amazed at your strength and giggled at your fabulous swearing.
Fantastic news that you can finally stick two fingers up to voldertit.
I wish you luck, love and happy travels with your family.

Clare xx

Someone Critique said...

I photographed a fundraising conference here recently. What a wonderful place for photos. I almost always hate being anywhere at 6am, but this breakfast event proved an exception. The manger and his staff from venue Houston were extremely professional.

Unknown said...

Regarding #13 could you contact me? I can probably help.

Lexia257 said...

Shared retweeted and passed on to as many as possible. You go girl ! Don't think you need luck to achieve your list but here's some anyway GOOD LUCK !! 💟💙💚

Lexia257 said...

Shared retweeted and passed on to as many as possible. You go girl ! Don't think you need luck to achieve your list but here's some anyway GOOD LUCK !! 💟💙💚

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