Tag: Review

Lambing Season at Windmill Animal Farm

Lambing Season at Windmill Animal Farm

I am the happiest version of me when I am surrounded by animals, so cute little dates to the farm (or the zoo) are the way to my heart. Windmill Animal Farm is fairly local to where we live, being just a 20-minute drive down the road, so we tend to visit a few time throughout the year. The farm recently re-opened after being closed during December & January, with the announcement that it is lambing season! So, of course, we had to schedule a visit. 

We arrived at the farm at 12:30pm and were welcomed by a friendly member of staff who told us where we could find the animals, the cafe and other facilities as well as letting us know what times the lamb feeding would take place! Although we have been before, it is nice to see staff take their time to make sure you know where to find everything and letting you know that they are on hand to answer any questions that you might have.

We purchased two bags of animal food and set off towards the barn to feed the goats, llamas, sheep, alpacas and deer. Then at around 1pm we decided to go to the cafe for some lunch. As we entered the cafe a warm gust of air greeted out cold rosy cheeks; there was a lovely fireplace in the centre of the room, which heated the cafe nicely. We took a look at their menu before settling on a cheeseburger for Jacob and chips and beans for myself. The meals were priced well and the service was great!

After our lunch, we headed back to the barn; just in time for the bottle feeding! There were lots of adorable baby lambs waiting to be fed with bottles of milk. They were so excited about their food, their tails were wagging and they were super bouncy! We joined to queue to feed them, which surprisingly moved fairly quickly, making sure that everyone got a turn. One of the staff members was kind enough to take a picture on my polaroid camera of us both (which I will be adding to my scrapbook tomorrow night!)

After feeding the lambs we headed to see the bunny rabbits and the guinea pigs so we could stroke and cuddle them! My favourite bunny at Windmill Animal Farm is a grey bunny named Chloe! She is so sweet and loves to be cuddled. Her fur is super soft too! The one downfall of visiting the farm is that it makes me want to own every animal… from rabbits to goats! Gosh, I would love to have my own farm.

As we visited on the weekend, Critter Corner was also open! Here you can encounter snakes, lizards, tortoise and tarantulas! I used to have my own bearded dragon called Spyke, so it is safe to say that I love lizards. When me and Jake move in with one another we have already decided to buy ourselves a leopard gecko! We were talking about the reptiles with the animal handler and he kindly took out a gecko for me to hold. She was called Rainbow and belonged to his daughter. She was very calm and relaxed and sat very still in my hands receiving lots of strokes and attention! It made me miss my lizard, but I cannot wait to own one again in the future, they really are incredible creatures.

As you may know; last time we visited Critter Corner, I braved holding a tarantula. Well… I say ‘braved’, but I did cry in the process! Well this time, I held one without shedding a tear! Although my heart was pounding so fast I thought the world would be able to hear it!

We took a walk to the far end of the farm to see the other sheep, llamas, cows and wallabies! There is a small black sheep which follows you along the fence of the enclosure waiting to be fed… we found this amusing as Jake ran up and down the path watching as the sheep ran alongside him; of course we fed him lots of tasty food in return. The Wallabies are so cute, they are basically miniature kangaroos! I had never seen them in person before until we visited the farm.

We still has a fair bit of food left so we headed back to the barn to feed more of the animals. In the barn, there were two mummy sheep with their new babies. One of them had twins and was guarding them behind her, the other had one little lamb which was bouncing around the enclosure and digging in the straw. Eventually, the two twin lambs were brave enough to come out from behind their mum, climbing all over her and playing together.

 

Once all of our food had gone, we headed back to the little cafe for a nice hot drink and a cake. I chose a hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream along with a chocolate fudge brownie, it was delicious! Jake had a cappuccino and a caramel shortbread slice. After sitting down and enjoying our treats it was time to go home. Overall, our visit to the farm was lovely (as always!), we enjoyed feeding all of the animals and giving the baby lambs their bottles. It was also nice to speak to the staff about

animals and learning more about them. I look forward to visiting again… maybe when the weather warms up a little!

More Pictures and Videos:

 

Travel Lodge: A Review

Travel Lodge: A Review

Me and Jake stayed at the Travel Lodge in Lancaster Centre this weekend… if you are in need of a one night stay (and you book your room in advance) then this place is okay and the price is not too steep either. However, if you were thinking of staying for a weekend or longer… or if you need to book a room at the last minute, then this place may be a little pricey for what you get. 

We have stayed in this hotel on various occasions, but we have always booked our room at least 1 month in advance as we only stay there when Jake has a work night out planned! I am definitely not a huge fan of this hotel, but that does not mean that I will refuse to stay there again in the future… as it’s location and price are convenient for us.

Here are some of the issues that I have with this hotel:

  • Rooms are small and cold – The size of the room is not bad for a short stay, but if you were planning on staying there for more than 3 days then it can become a little crowded. There are no cupboards, wardrobes or drawers, so if you like to unpack your things when you stay in hotels then this could be a problem. The room had a small open wardrobe where we were able to hang up 4 items but other than that there was absolutely zero storage space.
    When I first walked into the room, it was freezing cold. Luckily there was a small electric heater on the wall… we had this on for most of the evening.
  • Noisy! The walls of the hotel room were extremely thin, I could hear every single word of the conversations that next door was having. I could also hear the traffic outside and the wind whistling.
  • The toilet was dirty when we arrived… I will spare you the details of this point, but it was not pleasant.
  • The bed was not comfy. This could just be personal preference, other people may find the beds comfortable! I, on the other hand, did not sleep much at all.
  • We required an earlier check-in time and found out that you are able to request this! Jake was working that day so I had 7 hours in the city centre to kill on my own, so having early check-in would have been perfect for us! But for some unknown reason, we were denied of this – meaning I had to walk around Lancaster on my own in the cold for 7 hours.
  • We had to pay for WiFi… I did not realise places still charged their customers for WiFi? I mean I know it was only £3 for 24 hours but considering we are already paying £30-40 for the night you would think that WiFi would be included?
  • The breakfast price was terrible. There was no bar/restaurant at this hotel so the only option was to purchase their breakfast to go package… this included a mini box of cereal, a breakfast bar, a muffin and a drink at the cost of £5.25… We thought this was an awful price to pay considering there was a Wetherspoons next door… so we went there and bought full cooked breakfasts for the same (if not cheaper!) price.
  • The chair in the room was broken, it almost gave me a heart attack when I sat down.
  • The shower drain was so blocked that it was impossible to have a shower without flooding the bathroom.

On the plus side, the staff at the hotel are very friendly and overall the rooms were very tidy on arrival. The hotel is located right in the centre of Lancaster which is ideal if you need to run to the shops or if you are going out around the bars and pubs for the evening. Lancaster is a beautiful place with lots of little coffee shops, stores and restaurants for you to enjoy and the locals all seem fairly friendly too which is nice.

As I stated at the start of this piece, although this hotel does have some flaws, I would stay there again as it is a convenient place to stay for us. Despite the negative points, it certainly is not the worst place to stay. It is clean and tidy, each room has tea and coffee facilities which you can top up any time at the reception desk and there are other facilities such as hair dryers and irons available if you speak with a member of staff. It is ideal for a mini-escape or a one night stay.

We have stayed in a Travel Lodge before, located in Manchester. This one did have its own bar/restaurant and we booked in advance so had our breakfast included within the price. Our stay here was a little bit more on the pleasant side and the breakfast was quite nice! So please do not let any of the above points stop you from staying at a Travel Lodge, they are all different and even the one in Lancaster is decent enough for short stays! 

 

 

TruNinja

TruNinja

So last weekend, me, Jacob, my dad and my little brother all went to TruNinja in Warrington with my little brother’s football team for an hour of expressing our secret ninja-like skills!

It is safe to say, the kids definitely showed us, adults, how it is done… don’t think I have ever felt so old! But we did have a good laugh in the process, so all is well and good.

The hour was spent running around and attempting fun and challenging obstacles allowing us to show our competitive sides as well as building on team skills and helping each other through the obstacles! There were plenty of encouraging words being shouted to one another as well as lots of laughs!

 

One part, in particular, seemed to be quite popular! The obstacle was a slanted wall which we had to run up and pull ourselves onto the ledge at the top, before walking across the platform and jumping off onto a large, soft inflatable at the bottom! The kids were queueing for this one, so I decided to give it a go…

Now looking at the pictures, the platform does not seem to be that high… but I assure you, once you are up there it feels much higher! I decided to be brave and let myself fall backwards from the ledge… my heart was in my mouth and I think I left my stomach at the top somewhere! It gave me such a strange feeling, but at the same time, it was also quite thrilling! Before I knew it, all the kids were dropping backwards from the ledge and their faces, when they landed at the bottom, was a picture!

The place itself was not that big, but there was plenty of fun to be had there. Great for children’s parties or fun days out during the school holidays! The kids were much quieter on the bus coming home than they were on the way there that is for sure.

    

For one hour in the Ninja Arena, it will cost you £9.00 per person.

For the adults who do not feel like taking part, there is a nice little cafe upstairs where you can purchase food and drinks! There was not a huge choice for food, but the kids had pizzas which were delicious and Jake had some noodles which were tasty, although the portion size was a little lacking.

TruNinja currently has two locations, Warrington and Stoke, however, they are opening two more venues in Wigan and Bristol in the near future!

This was definitely something different for us and I would consider doing this again in the future!

In the middle of all of the fun and games, the biggest kid of them all (my dad) managed to break his foot… He was about to attempt the run-up wall when his foot gave in on him and went on its side, resulting in a nasty break! I highly doubt the football team mums, dads and of course the kids, are going to let this down any time soon! There was plenty of banter at his expense on the way home.

So that was what my Saturday afternoon consisted of! How was your weekend?

Our Trip To Chester Zoo!

Our Trip To Chester Zoo!

Yesterday (Saturday 10th November), me and Jacob took a trip to Chester Zoo! I hadn’t been for a few years and I used to love it as a child, so I was super excited!

When we arrived we collected a map from a very welcoming member of staff at the entrance and sped off to go and see what we could find. When we reached the first enclosure we saw a beautiful family of Asian elephants, two youngsters and two elders. The two little ones were playing with one another and chasing each other around, it was very sweet to see them so happy and playful, especially after the heartbreaking loss of two young elephants in October.

We saw lots of cheeky monkeys during our visit too… apes, chimpanzees, orangutans, baboons, macaques, gibbons, spider monkeys and more! They all had very different characteristics and personalities, some seemed calm and independent whereas others seemed to be super lively and loved to cause trouble! My favourite monkeys were the spider monkeys as there was a very cute baby one who kept coming to the glass of the enclosure to say hello to everyone… he was very curious of all of the people, and also enjoyed showing off his climbing skills (until he hung upside down from a low branch with his tail and couldn’t work out how to get back up… )

As well as seeing lots of monkeys, we also saw some adorable bears! My favourite bears were the adorable Sun Bears. I had read about these amazing little bears before visiting the zoo. A male and a female were rescued from Cambodia after their parents were killed and they were taken and mistreated as pets. They arrived at Chester Zoo in 2015 where they were cared for and loved and the incredible staff nursed them back to health. The two bears mated with one another and their sweet baby bear cub Kyra was born in June this year! Sun Bears are the smallest species of bear and little Kyra weighed just 400 grams at birth!

While we were at the zoo, Kyra had gotten herself stuck on one of the metal beams at the top of her enclosure. Her mum, Milli had tried to get to her but was unable to climb that high. Many visitors sat and watched the cub for hours, waiting to see if she would be able to get down…
We had been watching her for around 15 minutes when she finally managed to get herself onto a branch and make her way back to the ground! Everyone cheered for the bear cub and watched as she ran over to her mother for comfort. The two bears had such an amazing bond, they were playing with each other in such a sweet and caring way before Kyra decided she was hungry and latched onto her mother for some milk.
Watching them together was incredibly heart-warming, I just wanted to get in there and cuddle with them both! To think that these amazing creatures are endangered is just so sad… I will never understand how anyone can be cruel to animals.

When we passed by the cheetah enclosure, it took me a moment to spot him/her! The big kitty was sat amongst the trees and the foliage and blended in rather well! He/she was sat in such a proud position, watching all of the people on the bridge looking down at him/her. The incredible creature was looking right at me (probably thinking about eating me for lunch!) and I was mesmerised by his/her wide golden eyes. I have also seen big cats as such majestic animals, so beautiful, so clever, brave and strong but they also seem to have a playful side to them too! I could have stayed on that bridge watching this stunning cheetah all day long… but we had other animals to visit.

One of my favourite moments was seeing the giraffes. At first, we could not see them outside, so we headed into their indoor enclosure to see them. I was amazed at how close we were to them and although I knew they were tall animals… standing so close to them made me realise just how tall they really are! I felt about 3 inches tall… their legs alone were taller than me! I was astonished by them. They were so calm and relaxed animals, and I would absolutely love to hand feed them one day (another item from my bucket list!)

Next to the giraffe enclosure, we found okapis… for some reason, I absolutely love these animals. I don’t know when I became so fond of them, but I think they are simply adorable! To make our visit even more amazing, there was a sweet okapi calf exploring her outdoor enclosure!

The part that I was the most excited about was visiting the bat enclosure! I used to love this when I was younger and I would easily spend over an hour in there, watching the bats fly around, some of them coming so close to you that you can feel the air on your face as they swoosh past! Jacob was not 100% convinced that heading into this free-fly zone was for him… but I managed to twist his arm into coming in with me! He was a little bit jumpy, but overall I think he realised just how amazing these creatures are. I would have stayed in there all day long if I could, but there was still so much for us to see!

We headed over towards the rhino enclosure where we found a beautiful baby rhino spending time with his mum. Everyone was very quiet inside the enclosure, making sure not to frighten the youngster. I was smitten with the little guy! Jumaane was just 3-4 months old and was absolutely gorgeous. Such amazing animals. It is always nice to see how such large, intimidating and potentially dangerous animals being so tentative and caring with their babies. This is something that has always interested me… seeing how wildlife animals act with their babies, finding out how they bring up their young, learning about how they survive in the wild and realising how unbelievably clever they are, is simply amazing. Every animal is so different, yet so clever in their own individual ways and being able to see such creatures up close, is just breath-taking.

Near to the rhino’s, we spotted the meerkats! I love these little animals, they are so full of energy! Running around chasing one another climbing the rocks in their enclosure. They remind me of my youngest dachshund Lola as she is always sitting up on her back legs like a little meerkat!

The Penguins definitely made me smile during our visit! There was one little fella who was loving all of the attention from the visitors, following their hands on the glass and swimming around in front of everyone. I managed to capture a picture of him looking pretty happy in the water!

We hovered near the tiger enclosure for quite a while in the hope to see one of the beautiful majestic animals… just as I was about to walk away, one of them came out of nowhere and walked proudly across a log on the ground, right in front of the glass window! I wasn’t quite fast enough my camera and missed her/him… but it was incredible!

When we visited the lions, they were eating their lunch! We saw two females and one male, all laying down in different parts of their enclosure, enjoying their food. A cute little girl was with her dad next to us and she said ‘look daddy! There is Nala… she is eating ice cream!’ This made me laugh as if that is not my future child I do not know what is… The Lion King is and always will be my favourite Disney movie.

I could go on and on talking about all of the individual animals that we saw at the zoo but we really would be here all day! It was a lovely day out and I really enjoyed it, though I was a little disappointed that we completely forgot about all of the amazing animal talks and feeding times that we could have listened to. Although we did go on the Lazy River Boat trip around The Islands which was nice… it was a little bit chilly during our visit so we didn’t see many animals from the boat, but I am sure on a bright sunny day we would have seen more!

I was amazed by the sloths… I have always thought that sloths are just adorable! We were walking through an indoor enclosure when Jacob spotted two lazy sloths who were sitting above our heads! I never knew we could walk through the room that the sloths were in, I thought you had to look at them through glass windows, so it was a cute surprise!

Another animal which I was amazed by, was the Tree Kangaroo… This was something that I had never even heard of, let alone seen! It was one of the cutest animals that I have ever seen. It was sitting in a tree looking at all of the people through the window. I have never seen anything like it, I wanted to cuddle it, it was that cute!

At the end of our trip (we were there from 11 am until closing time at 4 pm, but could easily have stayed longer!) we headed to the gift shop to find ourselves some souvenirs. We had already purchased a penguin cup for £9 at the start of our trip, as these came with unlimited refills on any soft drink throughout the day. When we arrived at the gift shop, I picked myself a cute little sloth teddy and a polar bear bracelet. I was looking for a bear bracelet as a reminder of the adorable baby bear and her mummy, but they didn’t have any… so the polar bear was the closest alternative! Jacob picked a little sloth teddy magnet for his mini fridge in his bedroom; so we left with cute matching sloths!

Overall we had a really great day, there were lovely staff members on hand giving information about the animals and making everyone feel welcome, and the animals were incredible!

I just want to say a huge thank you to all of the amazing members of staff at Chester Zoo who work so hard to make sure that all of the animals are well cared for and well looked after, all of you make such a huge difference to the lives of these amazing creatures and should be so proud of all that you do. Visitors can see just how passionate each member of staff is towards the animals and it is really heart-warming to see. So thank you for saving many endangered animals, for trying to keep so many species alive and showing so much love and kindness. You are all wonderful people.