MINI-BREAK TO SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK | DAY 2, 3 & 4

If you’re subscribed to Make Me Up Marie then you we’ve probably been expecting a follow-up post from Monday’s write-up on my mini break to Snowdonia National Park. Yeah, sorry about that. I feel like a hamster on a wheel that I can’t get off at the moment, so by the end of the yesterday it was just far too much of an ask for me to write this post the way I want to. Anyway, here I am now, ready to finally deliver my belated post, with a McDonalds latte to hand to help me through!

I had an awesome sleep on our first night away, which is strange because I usually feel slightly unsettled when I stay somewhere new. I woke up naturally at around 9am, again another rarity for me, as usually my body absolutely refuses to wakeup without an alarm. I guess being in a stress-free environment and having an exciting day ahead was all I needed to obtain some much-needed motivation.

I jumped in the shower straight away, before anyone else could get in there first. I made an effort to get ready fast, for Sam and his brother, because I knew this holiday needed to be as easy and laid-back as possible in order for us de-stress the way we desperately needed to. We hadn’t been on holiday all summer, because (as ever) the business had to come first.

We skipped breakfast and headed straight on out to Glasfryn Parc, which has go-karting, quad-biking, clay pigeon shooting, skating and bowling. It seemed like a good place to spend some time and the boys are go-karting fanatics, going at least twice a month when at home, so I definitely couldn’t deprive them from testing the outdoors track in such a beautiful location.

I personally had never been go-karting before, and I don’t drive so I must admit I was kind of nervous. We payed at reception and got directed to a what was ultimately a large shed full of overalls and helmets. We stepped into our overalls, mine of which were hugely over-sized, and stepped out on track to await instructions. We were given karts and told to get in, which seems like an easy request but if you’ve never got into a go-kart before you will find that it’s far from similar to getting into a normal car.

The briefing started and ended really quickly. Before I knew it the boys were off and I was only just realising that I needed to press the accelerator to go. I pushed my foot down and flew off much faster than I thought. I was completely and utterly out of my comfort zone, but for a second or more started to realise why Sam enjoys it so much. Then, I turned a corner without letting up on the accelerator (not even a little) and spun out, crashing into a tyre wall. I immediately felt embarrassed, putting my hand up for help like I’d been told to do in the briefing.

The instructor didn’t seem to rush over. In fact, he took a while to even notice me and then took a casual stroll over. He wasn’t very friendly either, so the whole experience felt kind of serious – especially with Sam and Jess acting like they were in the Grand Prix or something!

By the time I was freed from my wedge in the tyre wall Sam had done another lap. He stopped, waited and actually followed me for a while. Afterwards he said, “you were doing some good lines babe. I was actually trying to keep up at one point.”

 It certainly didn’t feel that way, especially when I spun out for the second time!! This time the instructor took twice as long – so long that Sam was back to me before he was. My eyes were watering from the wind and I started to feel really fed up and in the way. I decided to leave the track to the boys and sort my face out, which by this point was full of mascara smears and foundation smudges.

To make things even more embarrassing, I couldn’t unclip my helmet. Sam had put it on for me and I couldn’t get it off. I had to go and ask one of the male staff, who found it hilarious! Next time I’ll go to an indoors track with my sister, I thought as I walked to the car with some baby wipes I’d bought from the on-site shop.

I took my makeup off and watched the boys through the rear car window as they raced nose to nose. It was nice to see Sam enjoy himself, as things have been getting on top of us recently and he’s always the rock for everyone else.

Next was Archery – something I was actually really looking forward to. Again, we didn’t get much guidance, just a simple briefing on the basics and left to our own devices. That was okay though, because we all got the hang of it pretty quickly.

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We didn’t keep score or anything like that, we simply did our best to grasp the technique and get a shot in. I love the sound the arrow makes when it shoots through the air and hits the target. It’s a super easy sport which doesn’t require all that much movement, so it quickly became a highlight of the holiday for me!

Afterwards we were starved, having not had breakfast. The menu didn’t look all that great at Glasfryn Parc Cafe so we decided to travel by car to a local town to find somewhere. Unlike London, options were limited and most restaurants were closed! Luckily we found a hotel which accepted lunch quests, so we got to re-fuel in there for a (long) while. The food took longer than we’d imagined, seeing as it was only chips and sandwiches, but I was happy to wait as it mean’t I could make the most of the free WiFi.

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The day before we had planned to visit some rock pools in the mountains of Snowdonia, but with the day passing by so quickly it looked unlikely that we would be able to do so before it got too dark. We decided to head straight back to the apartment and order in a curry for dinner later that night.

The next day I woke up feeling as fresh as a daisy, which never happens when I have a curry at home. It must have been down to the quality of the Welsh produce. Whatever it was, it was great because Sam and I were visiting my mum’s side of the family that I haven’t properly seen in years.

It was around an hours drive to Llandudno, where my Grandad lives with his partner, Celia. They welcomed us in, showed us around a little and fed us some lovely homemade vegetable soup. My aunty, Helen, turned up too, so we sat in the front room catching up, sipping tea and finishing off with some cake. It was so nice to spend some time with my extended family and for them to hear all about our business and us hear about all about their lives.

As always, I got caught up talking and Sam started texting me saying that we had to leave. He didn’t want to be rude, but we really did need to leave. Chris and Flo would be arriving at the apartment soon and we wanted to be there to welcome them in.

The drive back was truly stunning and completely trafficless, again completely unlike London! Sam was in the zone, concentrating on the bendy roads, giving me time to reflect on how nice it was to get to know my family as an adult. When you’re a kid, you don’t feel ask your mum or dad or Grandad how they’re feeling or what’s going on in their life, so there are so many things about my Grandad that I don’t know.

Within 50 minutes, we were back at the apartment and already thinking about dinner. Chris and Flo weren’t there yet, so we’d made in back in time to get a fire going. Jess had cleaned up while we were away, which was a nice surprise for me as I figured I’d be the one having to do it!

When Chris and Flo did arrive, they settled right in and loved the place just as much as we did. After a little chit chat we got searching online for a (fairly) local place to eat. We found a Wetherspoons in a village close by and stuffed our faces.

The following day (Wednesday) was one Chris & Flo had organised. They’d bought us all tickets to Bounce Bellow, which offers a little something called cave trampolining. That’s right: CAVE TRAMPOLINING. Sounds petrifying, right?

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Well, let me tell you – the most petrifying thing about cave trampolining is the hair net you have to wear underneath your helmet. Believe me girls, I tried to get out of it but the staff weren’t having any of it!

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Anyway, I had no idea what to expect when we were lead underground. I did think that the trampolines would be made from the traditional material but instead they were made from cargo netting. There were different levels – 4 or 5 in total, all of which could be accessed by sliding shoots or climbing walkways. Going down a shoot for the first time was scary, because they’re narrow and you do have to be careful no-one else inside. Visibility was poor as it’s obviously really dark inside.

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It was great fun and equally as exhausting, which is partly down to the fact that I couldn’t stop giggling the whole time.

Once our hour was up we were lead back through the caves to the reception, where I could finally take off that ugly, itching hair net. We gathered on a table bench outside and all nibbled on the packed lunch Sam had made for us earlier that morning.

We couldn’t rest for long because we had other arrangements. We were to be in Llanberis for 4pm to meet Sam’s uncle David and his family of five. The journey took a while, but the roads were clear and the views were simply stunning.

Finding car spaces is what made us slightly late, but when we did eventually arrive at our meeting point we were warmly welcomed by them all. One of the twins, aged 5, ran straight up to me and took my hand. She was super duper adorable and told me she wanted to be a writer!

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David led the way along the sea front to the fish and chip shop, stopping every now and again to let the girls, who were playing and climbing on anything they could find, catch up. We had a delicious meal, and my new friend sat by me telling me all about her day at school.

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David and his wife, Joanna, wandered back with us along the sea front and laughed while we took some awful selfies.

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It was the perfect way to end the trip, and although I was sad to be going home the following day, I knew we’d packed a lot of fun and family into one small mini-break – and that made me feel gooood 🙂

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