Well this is exciting, it is not long until we go to Sri Lanka! I wanted to pop up and tell you a bit about it and how we ended up choosing Sri Lanka this year.
Our 17 year old daughter Emily has a rather important personal statement to write later in the year for a specific course - a long held dream. My husband has a brother, Mark, who now lives in Sri Lanka with his wife, Samantha. They have for a long time said we must go and visit. They run an animal charity near Negombo. So we put the two together and came up with a family holiday and our daughter choosing to do two weeks volunteer work with their charity, which works to help transform the lives of the street dogs in Sri Lanka and offers an education programme for the children at local schools.
Samantha and Mark's story is truly inspirational and I am very lucky that Samantha has agreed to feature on my Embracing Life (in Midlife) interview series soon. But until then do visit their website and read their story. It is absolute worth a read as Dogstar came abut in the aftermath of the 7/7 london bombings and shows how life can change in an instant.
We are slowly pulling together our final itinerary with the help of D&G Travel in Marlow and Paradiso Travel in Sri Lanka.
It is a departure from our usual lazing on the beach or round the pool type of holiday we have favoured in the last few years. There is so much to see and explore and I have tried to find a balance so that we don't get too worn out.
Our main base will be the Jetwing Beach Hotel in Negombo where we will have down days exploring the local area and relaxing by the pool
We will be going to:
Bentota - a beautiful resort town on the south west coast and an opportunity to relax and try some coral diving maybe.
Galle - a city on the south west coast that is known for it's fort, we will also visit Unawatuna beach which is a boho beach strip with lots of cafes and shops.
Mirissa Beach - this is where we will go whale watching and then spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach (with a cocktail or two I hope).
Udawalawe - one of the national parks and an opportunity to see herds of elephants and other mammals like golden jackal, the sloth bear and maybe a few leopards.
Kandy - this is one of two trips we will take whilst Emily is busy with Dogstar, this is the tea plantation area and Kandy is a large city to explore with botancial gardens and the temple of the tooth.
Nuwara Eliya - we will be travelling from Kandy by train as we heard it is the way to do it, and see the amazing scenery! It has a cooler climate (which might be welcome) and is a quaint old colonial town.
Pedro Tea Factory - we are staying overnight in an old tea factory, The Heritance Tea Factory and then the next day will take a guided tour of a tea factory and learn about the production and cultivation of tea.
Millennium Elephant Foundation - this is an organisation and charity set up to rescue and care for the Asian elephants in Sri Lanka. We will do the elephant walk and get up close and personal with these amazing giants. Very excited about this! Emily will be joining us again! Find out more about the Millennium Elephant Foundation here.
We fly home then our daughter follows alone!
We have started a Just Giving page to do some fundraising for the Dogstar Foundation as part of our daughter's volunteer work - the trip is entirely self-funded though. If you want to take a look or can spare a few pounds then do please go to our page here. Every penny will be hugely appreciated and gratefully received.
Of course right now my priority is what I am packing! What I will be wearing, I need to be prepared for very very hot and I am making sure I have plenty of cotton, lose dresses and comfortable footwear. As we will be moving about a bit I need to be organised. I will also need to make things as easy as possible so I don;t fuss about make-up and hair!
I started researching cotton dresses way back - see this post here. Both me and my daughter have quite curly, frizz-prone hair (Emily has lots of it and curlier) so we are both considering a Brazilian blow dry before we go to keep it as frizz free as we can. I love swimwear and bikini's so making sure I have cotton cover-ups and a new bikini is important. I already have this gorgeous dress from Sister, I have the dusty pink.
Of course I will want to get some great photos of our once in a lifetime (probably) trip so I am planning on taking the big camera to make sure we get some really fab shots that I can share on my blog and make a photo album to treasure forever.
We have already got new BIG suitcases, I never travel light!
Thank you so much for taking an interest in what I am doing and don't forget to follow me on Instagram where I will be posting photos during my trip. My blog will take a holiday too though!
Keep an eye on my planning posts, I will be sharing lots more in the coming weeks.
Just Giving Fundraising Page
The Dogstar Foundation (above) do amazing work with the street dogs in Sri Lanka, their story is truly inspiring - read more about them on their website.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, it is a personal post to tell you about our trip and about the Dogstar Foundation, it does not contain affiliate links.
The last week of the summer holidays before the return to normal routine and sixth form was spent in Bude in Cornwall.
We were so lucky with the weather! We had the bank holiday mini-heatwave and sun most of the week with rain only overnight or early morning.
I am useless at packing for a holiday in the UK though. I didn't really take enough 'summery' clothes but hey ho it didn't matter. I'll do another post on my packing soon.
Here are a few things we got up to:
Walks on the beach - I just love doing this, and sitting on the beach, I love to hear the waves crashing and the chatter of children playing. Our dogs absolutely love the beach and have proved they can swim too. I honestly think all children should spend a week on a British beach every year, forget taking them to boiling hot countries, get some wellies, a wet suit and a good jumper and go splash in the sea and make sandcastles. Hot holidays can wait until they are teenagers!
Clovelly - this is a beautiful privately owned village in North Devon. I visited as a child and I was really keen to go back. We were approached by a lady who was looking for a man and a woman to appear in a promotional video they were making. I of course was very keen, my husband not so, but he agreed and we got to sit on a balcony and enjoy a cream tea. It turned out they had been looking for a well-presented couple in their mid-thirties and were very surprised to hear we were 50 and 53. I hope our footage gets used and I will share it with you if it does ever appear on the Clovelly website!
Boscastle - this is a pretty Cornish village and might be remembered by many when it was flooded back in 2004 causing extensive damage. We have visited before but love wandering around the little shops and having lunch. The views from the cliffs above the harbour are stunning.
Bude itself is lovely for shopping, just individual coastal shops and surf and beach gear but it is enjoyable to wander around. We love the hotel The Beach which was voted by The Telegraph as having one of the best views in the UK - a cocktail on the deck and dinner in the restaurant is a must if you are nearby. Bude also boasts some wonderful beaches and one evening we took our little BBQ stove down to the beach and cooked sausages and let the dogs play in the rock pools.
We stay at Houndapitt Cottages near Sandymouth Beach and I can recommend them for being dog friendly, welcoming and very reasonably priced and Sandymouth is a gorgeous beach to be based near.
Now that my little girl is 16 and my son 19 and working full time, summer holidays are very different from when they were growing up. This year the summer break has been even longer as study leave and exams started in May and she won't be back for sixth form for another couple of weeks.
So what we do needs to be different of course! Trips to the local park, feeding the ducks and picnics no longer cut it!
We are patiently waiting results day this week, we have had two weeks in the sun in Kefalonia - see my post here and we have done lots of shopping to stock up for the move out of uniform in September. Last week we took ourselves off for two nights of mum and daughter time ... very precious.
We stayed at The Beach House in West Wittering. Do take a look! It is a small guest house with beautiful boutique style rooms and an excellent restaurant. And in a great location in the middle of the pretty village of West Wittering and only five minutes to the beach.
We were so lucky with the weather. We arrived Tuesday to blue skies and sat on the beach all afternoon - in bikinis! Yes a bikini on a British beach! Back to the beach Wednesday afternoon and not quite bikini weather but perfect for shorts.
Thursday was a bit rainy so we headed to Chichester to do some shopping before making our way home.
All in all, totally perfect, lots of time to chat, we are very fortunate that we have a really great relationship, open and honest and we love each others company.
The beautiful beach at West Wittering and my Holster sandals which I totally love!
We enjoyed a delicious meal at the restaurant at The Beach House and these gorgeous red sandals are from Marks & Spencer and I wore them with my trousers from Hobbs.
Chichester and we were very impressed with the house that is home to Jack Wills! We had a picnic lunch sat in the grounds of the cathedral.
My parents are both only children and longed for a big family and two weeks ago all 16 of us headed off to the Cotswolds to celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday. Three daughters, three son-in-laws and eight grandchildren (ranging from 19 to 12). It was an amazing family get-together and I am sure they were so proud to look around the table at us all and appreciate what they achieved. A large, happy family!
My dad started his career in the RAF. He did National Service initially then remained for additional service. He trained in photographic reconnaissance. When he left he started working at Wallace Heaton in New Bond Street (Wallace Heaton was a famous photographic retailer and supplier to the royal family). There he met my mum and got engaged within 3 months of meeting. He stayed in the photographic industry all is his life, working for Canon Cameras until his retirement. My parents have been married 54 years. Interestingly the two oldest grandsons have been inspired by him in their career choices. My son is a Videographer using Canon equipment in the music industry and my nephew has been at Wellbeck Defence College with the RAF and in September will be reading Engineering at Oxford University..
Anyway, I digress, the point is that we call came together at The Fish Hotel to celebrate not just dad's birthday but our family all being together.
The Fish Hotel is the sister hotel to The Dormy House where my husband and I have had some lovely nights away. It is fairly new to the hotel group and has only been open about two years but their focus is on family and friends getting together in a relaxed atmosphere, a touch of luxury, lots of comfortable space outside and in and fantastic food. Do take a look at their website as I can't do in justice in this small space but if you like my photos and the fun we had then it is worth checking out. The new Hilly Huts are a must for a romantic night away with the views, privacy and hot tubs!
Friday night we celebrated with a sharing feast at a big table in the private conservatory, Saturday morning we all did various activities (Segway, All-Terrain Vehicles and Archery) this was great fun and gave an extra focus to the weekend. Saturday night we did 'Feasting on the Deck' this is where you get your own private chef and he cooks a delicous menu on the BBQ and it is all served on a large table in an outside covered area with heaters, blankets and fairy lights. Fantastic!
Here are our photos ...
I think we all agreed we'd go back when he is 90!
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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