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July 26th 2016
Published: July 27th 2016
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Hi all – a quick email to let you know that we are having a fabulous family trip with all the kids are doing a great job of adapting to all sorts of time zones, airports, new food, different beds, walking heaps on cobbled streets, climbing up steep castle cliffs etc and lots of driving.

Had an awesome flight to London. Met up with Lauren and Adrian at Dubai Airport and we all had a great flight from Dubai to London. Unfortunately our meet and greet pick up service was late and getting the luggage sorted was a bit tricky. Over the next 3 days we really enjoyed being tourists with the boys at the Tower of London, riding the London Eye and of course spent lots of time up the top of the London Buses looking at the sights. All three grandsons are experts at climbing up the stairs and getting the front seat on the bus. Our little flat in Islington was very close to old Regents Canal. Liam loved the houseboats and walking down to see his Uncle Rohan and Aunty Patty. Our only little hiccup was Liam feeling unwell and it turned out he had a bout of tonsillitis and that meant a visit to the University Children’s Hospital. Cannot say how good they were. He was checked out from head to toe and left with all the medications fully dispensed all at no cost. Apparently prescriptions for children in the UK are free – amazing and one in the eye for the Aus Govt with its super expensive prescriptions for children.

After London, Carla Liam Graham & Leanne got a cab to Paddington Station where we caught a train to Plymouth. It was an interesting journey - super scenery especially down along the sea edge closer to Plymouth. The only problem was the heavily crowded train – we had paid for a fare but no seats were allocated so we just sat in the allocated seats waiting to be told to stand up. Luckily the seats had been pre-booked by a school group and by the time they got on others had got off so that freed up seats for us. We arrived in all our glory with mountains of luggage at Plymouth feeling very concerned about how to get it all to the hire car address. To our amazement all the taxis were people mover vans – extremely large and the drivers were so helpful – they just tossed the 3 suitcases, the pram, the folding cot, the golf bags and the carry on bags in and off we went to the car hire venue. We collected our Citroen Picasso people mover car. It was lovely to drive, fitted the luggage and Liam had a great car seat so we were all happy.

Arrived in the Cornish village of Altarnun on the coast of Cornwall after a very pleasant one hour’s drive. The farmhouse was typically Cornish – a renovated 2 story cottage built originally in the 1760’s. The ceilings were very low and built for short people. Poor Adrian and Carla were constantly banging their heads on the exposed roof beams.

Had an awesome week of exploring Cornwall. Graham and I played 2 rounds of golf. The first game at Royal North Devon was a bit of an experience and basically we left thinking how did that place get to be a ‘Royals’ course. We played good golf for the front nine holes but crashed on the 2nd nine. Teeing off at 4.45pm is too late for us!

Next day we played at St Enodoc – both of us voted it the prettiest links course we have ever played. Yes it was a lot of hills and we had to climb up to all the high tee off boxes but the views of the Cornwall coastline back towards St Enodoc and Padstow harbours was truly spectacular.

Met up with Carla Lauren Adrian and boys after we finished and caught the ferry across to Padstow Village where we ate at Rick Steins Fish and Chip café. The slabs of beer battered haddock and cod were amazing and yes they even did gluten free beer batter for Lauren and I. Returned to St Enodoc via the water taxi service – awesome day and all totally exhausted after a day at the beach and golf.

The next day our big excursion was an hour and a half drive to St Michael’s Mount an old abbey and castle off the southern end of Cornwall looking over Penzance. To get to the castle we had to take a short boat ride as the walkway from the mainland across to the island floods at high tide. On arrival we had a yummy lunch of Cornish Pasties (including GF pasties) on the lawns. Then it was off to the abbey and tower. The boys climbed up the steep trail of cobbled slate all the way to the top of the castle. Lucas was intrigued by the legends etc and found the giant’s heart stone as well as the giant’s eyeball near the well. They explored the tower and the many rooms etc. Liam loved throwing rocks over the side of the tower and of course we all spent a lot of time chasing him! At the end of the tour Lucas earned himself Flynn and Liam an explorer medal and of course Lucas has worn his medal every day since!

Our final day in Cornwall saw us spending the day at Tintagel, the supposed place of the legendry King Arthur. The old castle site it really spectacular and involves lots of climbing stairs, cliff top walks and another journey down many steep stairs to the beach and the cave of the legendary magician called Merlin. It took quite a long time to do the walking with the kids but it was really worth it and the sea mist made it quite spooky. Liam ended up exhausting himself and falling asleep on the grass. Lucas did lots of stair climbing and Adrian did a mighty job of carrying Flynn in the backpack. All three had a great time throwing stones at the entrance to Merlin's Cave. It was another great outing with lots of yummy Cornish pasties for us all at the Tintagel outdoor eating area. After a very long day out we caught the Landrover service back up the steep walking trail to Tintagel Town. Then it was off to the Kings Head Pub for a well earned pint of cider and another awesome meal followed up with the best pavlova we have ever seen in a pub. Our family holiday in Cornwall was rapidly coming to a close.

We left the pub with some really tired kids and need to do some seriously organized packing in preparation for our early morning departure (3.15am) to drive for two hours to Bristol Airport. We had a few hiccups with kids and luggage on arrival, also checked ourselves through security and then realized Carla still had the hire car keys which meant the grandparents had a fast run back to the hire car counter to drop off the keys. Despite all this all the families managed to get on the flight only to learn that we had a one hour delay and we would be staying on the aircraft. Lucas, Flynn and Liam had a great time with the flight attendant. They also scored a trip up to the cockpit and had a chat to the pilots. We were a bit amazed that this happened but hey things are different in the northern hemisphere.

So we finally left the UK and landed in Geneva after a lovely flight.The luggage all arrived only issue being Lauren's pram was damaged so that caused further delay. What seemed like hours later we collected the hire car and drove to Morzine -skiing heaven in winter and mountain biking mekka in summer. We collected our hire cars, Carla met up with Brent at the Geneva airport (he had just arrived from Melbourne) and we each drove to Morzine. Our friends had already organised the chalet so we all settled in with cheese, breadsticks, pate and wine - a lovely start to our week in Morzine.


Leanne and Graham

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