April 2016

This time last year, both kids had passed the 1.4m height threshold which meant we could tackle all of the biggest rides at our favourite theme parks. With our annual passes about to expire, we used the Easter Holidays to squeeze in a two-day mini-break at Alton Towers. Despite it being school holidays, there were minimal queues - perhaps some people remain jittery following the major crash last summer on the new ride Smiler - so we managed to enjoy a whole host of rides, including the latest addition, Galactica. Galactica requires riders to wear a Virtual Reality headset which then immerses you in a simulated world perfectly synchronised with the position and motion of the ride. Really impressive, but likely to get quite grim in the summer months as hot and sweaty riders covered in sun-cream pass their headsets from one person to the next.
Anyway, we all had fun...

... and managed to squeeze in a walk through the gardens...

... in which Cassandra discovered an amazing tree for climbing...

We also took several 'flights' in the cable car, giving another perspective on the gardens below.

As April draws to a close, its time for Cassandra's birthday. We enjoyed a pleasant evening out on the day of her birthday and then were joined by Chris's folks for the weekend to extend the birthday celebrations by a few more days.
On the Saturday, we took a walk around Tices Meadow ...

... although Cassandra was mostly interested in gymnastics poses rather than taking in the scenery...

In the evening, Cassandra was taken out for another birthday meal by the grandparents - which left Chris and Megan free to join their friends Mike and Lucy at a Rotary Club formal dinner. The evening entertainment came in the form of a murder mystery show with vignettes played out between each course and opportunities for the cast to be asked questions before each table was asked to guess the identity of the killer.

Before the birthday weekend was finished, there was the small matter of a birthday cake. The days of elaborately decorated cakes intended to 'wow' party guests are in the past (or, at least, are passed until the new kitchen is finished) but everyone enjoyed this all the same...

In the background of course, the extension continues to take shape. The first floor joists went in early in the month...

... and with all of the brickwork now complete, it towers above the garden.

May should see the roof finished and the windows in place and then things can start indoors.