There isn’t much snow in the Isle of Man. And by that I mean it very very rarely snows. And when it does its fleeting and up high. So last week we felt especially lucky to head out walking early in the morning to see Snaefell under a cloud with a white dusting. All plans for a glen walk went out the window and off we headed up the mountain road (past the ice warnings, lamenting the fact we are driving a mini not a 4×4)
We got to the top of the road and parked up on an icy carpark which was melting fast. The sun was coming out fleetingly through thick clouds and the temperate while still biting with the wind, was warming up. Which honestly was good as I hadn’t packed for snow. And certainly not snow on the top of a mountain.
Snaefell is a mountain. But not by a lot; 37 feet to be exact. But its still a mountain and the kid was absolutely determined this was going to be her first snow capped mountain climb. Gumboots, wooly hat, a solo glove and her lighter Therm jacket (we wished we had their new season ski jacket with us as it is super padded) kept her warm enough with the exertion of climbing. The kid powered up, even the steep slippery section right below the summit didn’t phase her. At the top the clouds parted momentarily and the views were amazing.
After climbing up the east side we decided to walk back around the west facing back of the slope; along the rail-line that runs in the summer months. The sun hadn’t reached the back so it was lovely and not melting yet. By the time we got back round to the car the snow and ice in the car park was gone. The sunny eastern side of the hill was running with water and nothing more than slush.
The kid has ticked off ‘climbed her first snow capped mountain’ off her to do list and we got to see some of the most amazing views. A great day and one that made dragging ourselves up and out fairly early and in the cold totally and definitely worth it.
We have done plenty of holidays with the kid and I would say that I’m pretty good at packing and working out what we need to keep her happy while we are away. I pack light as a rule, but packing for a longer trip had me a bit stumped.
When I was prepairing for the trip I was on the lookout for something portable, engaging and long lasting. Since the kid loves dolls (her 18inch dolls are one of her most prized posessons) I was drawn to Lottie Dolls as a fabulous small portable doll and as alternative to the increasingly popular (with the kid) but disliked by me, Barbie.
These dolls are small 18cm high, realistically proportioned (based on a 9year old girl) doll with a variety of outfits and themes. What I really adore is that they dont fall into conventional ‘fashion doll’ ‘princess doll’ stereotypes. There is Pirate Lottie, Muddy Puddles Lottie, Stargazer Lottie and more.
I got in touch with the fabuous team behind Lottie Dolls and they were generous enough to send the kid two Lotties and some outfits (Super Hero Lottie is still the kids firm favourite). These portable, pop-in-a-pocket sized dolls have been the best thing that we have with us. They go everywhere with the kid, offer hours of amusement and entertainment.
To be clear I am extremely grateful to Arklu for sponsoring the kid while we are travelling – but to anyone feeling like my opinions are rooted in ‘it was a freebie’ should be reassured that we have bought 2 more Lotties since then and another 4 outfits (and given they have a 30% offer at the moment there’s another Lottie in my shopping cart!)
The kid loves mix and matching outfits to different dolls and the freedom to play and experiment.
Other toys we really rate are are the Djeco Mini Games as they are fun and portable as well as always having a good range of crayons and paper. I like the Tiger Tribe sets as they are tidy and self contained.
Crocodile Creek Mini puzzles are ease to pop in a bag and a bonus is that they are double sided. Playmobil is also tough and portable and I love the foil bag sets as they have all the parts for a little storyline in one set. The kid loves the little blind bags from My Little Pony (gag) and also from the Trolls Movie that we saw just before heading on holiday.
Other than that we always bring books for reading herself and being read too. The kid is currently loving the Wrenly Series as she can read them herself and they are nice and illustrated with a fun fast story.
Not forgetting of course, the essential soft toys who can never be left behind. All in all that was a 50ltr kit bag bursting with books, toys and games! Not quite the light minimalist packing I’d been aiming for.
Excuse the instagram images used in this post, between travelling, christmas, miserable weather and getting chicken pox – me as an adult and the kid 2 weeks later. There’s not been much photography going on. Or adventuring. But there has been a lot of playing – thank heavens for great quality, portable toys.
A lovely trip to the local wildlife park with family. Lots of differnt animals from our usual wildlife park which was wonderful. Pictures curtasy of hubby.
A trip up the coast to see the adolescent seal pups at one of their more unique haunts last weekend. An inland, fresh water waterfall pool. They make their way up there by themselves, exploring from the rocky beaches. It is a magical place and to be just a foot or two away as they splash and dive and play its very special.
Supper at a little roadside pub on the long drive home 🙂
The local 4×4 mud plug was cancelled due to excess water last year so it was with great delight we saw that this year was a go! 4×4 trucks, mud, gumboots, hot chips and sunshine = a great sunday! It was an inauspicious start. We arrived and the kid declared she wanted to go home as the cars were too loud. In fairness to her there was one backfiring every 20 seconds or so at the dart which was pretty loud and a couple of beefy grindy engines!
After a little while and walking to find some good holes with lots of mud spraying up and a few rescues needed she got into it. We ended up meeting friends so the kids played and watched and squealed as mud got flung about. Even more of the kids buddies were discovered and in the end she didn’t want to leave. It was a great day of classic kiwi fun.
With the warmer weather we have been out and about more. This weekend we made a trip to the local gorge for a walk and a paddle. Ok, the paddling wasn’t planned but the kid was so excited it was impossible to say no! We bookended the trip with pastries from the local sunday market and a gardening afternoon. I even snuck out and had a lovely hours hike by my self in the afternoon.
I found the initial season change hard. As the snow melted and the weather warmed I found myself feeling disjointed and in my own head. With a concerted effort to get out exercising and eating healthier I’m feeling better. Calmer and settled. The summer will be a good one. We will make sure of it.
Spring in the park. Playground time. Blossom and flowers and bees. The city. The ‘big draw’ art and activity event for the holidays. Mirror exhibition at the museum. A really fun day out.
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