Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11, 2011

Today has been a lot of fun - we met our friends for a fab carvery lunch and then all headed into Cardiff to see Father Christmas.
However, we hadn't anticipated just how busy it would be - and nor had the staff at Cardiff Castle. They were a bit overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to visit the grotto.
It was open from 12-4 and they had 500 tickets. We arrived at 1.30pm and bought the last four.
They had to turn more than 100 people away - some of whom had driven a long way - including some from Cornwall.
The queue was VERY long - at least 2.5 hours, and we didn't really fancy it with four kids aged 8, 5, 2 and two months.
But having the very last tickets was actually an advantage - we knew the queue couldn't get any longer, so we went and sat in the coffee shop for a couple of hours - the grown-ups had coffee and the kids dressed up in medieval costumes in the play area, put on a couple of puppet shows and the girls had their faces painted while we waited.
We kept an eye on the queue, and once it had almost disappeared, we went to wait.
The staff at the castle did a great job, giving the kids jingle bells to play with, singing songs and walking up and down the (now greatly-reduced!) queue with a big bucket of sweets.
(Just as an aside, I had one of those crazily coincidental 'isn't it a small world' moments while we were waiting... I was chatting to the random lady behind us in the queue, and picked up that she had a Liverpudlian accent. As I hail from that neck of the woods, I asked where she was from and told her that I was born in Wirral. She told me she was from a village in the suburbs of Liverpool... the same village where my aunt and uncle live. I said as much, and mentioned the road where they live - to which she replied that she lived in the very same road - FIVE doors down from my aunt and uncle! She knew them and my cousins by name! What are the chances of that? I couldn't believe it!!)
Anyway - we made it to the front of the queue and the grotto was beautiful - it was inside one of the castle towers and was wonderfully decorated with lights, greenery, candles, trees and presents - all set off beautifully by the old stone walls and fireplaces. Father Christmas was lovely - he held Rosie and Charlie sat next to him to have a picture taken. I was so pleased to get a picture of them both with Santa Claus for Rosie's first Christmas. I'll scan it in later and upload it.
Charlie told him that he'd like an Angry Birds T-shirt or some Ninja Lego for Christmas and put in a request for a black and white picture book and a chime ball for Rosie!
Then F.C gave Charlie a little present (a Santa-shaped dynamo torch) - and one for Rosie too (a wooden giraffe toy - which we really didn't expect because we hadn't paid for a ticket for her... just goes to show how kind Father Christmas is, eh!)
It was a really fun day - we're feeling pretty festive now!
Mum is coming over on the train tomorrow to see Charlie's Christmas concert and then his Nativity play in the evening. Charlie's so excited because he gets to leave school early once the concert is over and come home with Nanny!
I'll try to get a pic of him in his Wise Man costume tomorrow so watch this space!
Hope you've all had as much fun this weekend as we have!

Sent from my iPhone

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