Easter at Upnor – 10th April 2019

Our original plan for today was to go to the Rare Breed Centre at Ashford but after a little bit of research last night I discovered the centre was over an hour’s drive away. Not a problem normally but Daly is currently working on nights which means I have to get the car back to him by 3.30/4ish. Going with that there is no point us doing an activity that far away as we wouldn’t actually be able to enjoy it and make the most of it, so instead we’re going on the 24th April.

I sat and googled Easter activities near by for us to go do. There was nothing in our area but there were a few activities in Medway. We had settled on Upnor Castle. Mum had never seemed interested in going but there was nothing fun on at Rochester castle and Upnor is easy to get to. I had set my alarms for us to get up at 9am so we could leave at 10 to give us plenty of time.

When we woke up and got down stairs we discovered Rachel sat in the hall way playing with the cats, like you do.

As we hadn’t got up at 9am as planned and I hadn’t got Bellas bag sorted like I normally do I found Bella some clothes and then chucked them at Rachel so she could get Bella dressed. I got myself dressed and made sure we had everything we needed. It was then time to hit the road.

Rachel and I chatted as we drove, about Rachel’s work, the events over the weekend, her having problems public transport and also how nice it had been but now it was cold and windy. It seemed every road we needed this morning had roadworks on it or was closed so that was fun to do. We past the church that mum always told us was haunted and of course because of tradition my sister and I told each other the same story the same way mum would.

We finally made it to Upnor Castle. I recognised the car park but not the castle. I’d remember the car park from when I was little before my sister was born. As soon as I pulled into the car park I said to Rachel I knew the car park. Little things.

We got the pram out and walked down the street to the castle. Annoyingly there were cobles all the way down to the castle. Poor Bella was in the buggy bumping all over the place. To get into the shop and entrance Rachel and I had to carry the buggy up 5 massive steps to get in. The man in the shop was very nice and told us we could leave the pram there as there were lots of steps around the sight. We decided to sign up for the Easter hunt where the children had to find various bunnies, eggs and barrels around the castle. The barrels and eggs had letters on them so we had to find all the letters to make an Easter phrase and the bunnies had numbers on them. We went upstairs in the building and had a look around. They had Easter crafts upstairs but I could do it at home without paying. At the bottom of the stairs we found our first bunnie.

We headed out the shop building and walked up to the main gatehouse. Bella liked walked along the gravel path walking with Aunty Rachel. We had to walk down several steps and enter the castle through the giant wooden door. It looked very pretty from the outside. Bella chased Rachel through the door.

In the main gatehouse we found our first eggs and barrels. There were three floors to the gatehouse. On the scond floor was the machanics for the clock. Bella wasn’t too impressed though. She liked looking out over the balcony down into the courtyard of the castle. I wasn’t too fond of it. I don’t like heights.

On the second floor there were also some information about boats as we overlooked the river Medway. Bella found some paper and a pencil that were there to draw a ship using a light box. Bella was too small to use the light box but she laid on the floor and drew her own ship.

We carried on up the stairs and found the roof. That definitely freaked me out. Rachel and Bella went right up to the edge and looked out over the castle grounds. I was really worried about Bella being near the edge but Rachel kept hold of her for me. I took some photos overlooking the river Medway but I was quite happy to go back down the stairs to ground level.

We went into the main part of the castle. This area was full of barrels and not little laminated ones. Bella enjoyed looking at all the canons and pretending to fire them. She even tried to pick up a giant canon ball but of course that wasn’t happening.

We managed to find some eggs and barrels in this area. Bella ran around looking for more and found a barrel sitting on top of a barrel. She wanted to take it with her but I had to tell her to leave it as other children would be looking for them.

We had a look round the building before we went down the stairs to the water bastion. Bella loved all the canons aiming out over the river Medway. She did give us a little scare when she decided to play hide and seek. Thankfully she’d just gone back to the stairs but I proper panicked.

There was a tunnel from the water bastion up to the castle grounds again. Bella went running off down them while Rachel hunted for eggs and barrels. At the end of the tunnel there were a few steps so you could climb up and look over the wall to the river Medway. I climbed up and Bella followed me wanting to see. Sadly she was too short and I didn’t want to pick her up as the wind was so strong, it nearly blew her off the steps.

We went up the grass hill to walk through a little door into the court yard. It lead to the North tower. Inside was an opportunity for brass rubbing. Bella sat on my lap and gave it a bit of a go but she didn’t really understand she needed to lay her crayon on its side.

We went back out into the court yard and Rachel wanted to explore the sally port. It didn’t really go anywhere. I helped Bella down the steps that lead to the grass hill surrounded the castle. Bella tried to climb the hill to meet Rachel at the top but she kept falling back and loosing her balance so I had to encourage her to climb the steps that lead to the top of the hill. We walked round on top of the hill back to the gatehouse so we could explore the other side of the courtyard. We had to cut through a tour to get back the gatehouse but they didn’t mind Bella running through them.

We headed to the South tower to try and find the last few eggs, barrels and rabbits. Bella found an egg sat on the toilet and Rachel found one sat on a mirror. Up stairs in the South tower Rachel and I sat down to try and work out what we had left to find and work out the Easter message and how many letters we were missing. Turns out we were missing three letters and a rabbit but we were able to work out the message. So the hunt began for the final rabbit.

The last rabbit was in the main building, we’d managed to walk right past it. Easy to do though when it’s sat up high and I’m watching a toddler whose not even three feet tall.

We’d completed our trail so we took our sheet back to the shop to collect our reward. Bella recieved a little badge as reward. On the badge was Upnor Castle and a little bunny. She was very proud of it and got Rachel to pin it straight on her coat.

It was time for lunch so we headed over to McDonalds for something to eat. The place was rammed – in the car park. It was dead inside so god knows where all the car owners were. We had our usual meals and Rachel and Bella happily coloured their fishy picture in. Bella’s getting better at colouring she now colours in specific areas like a fish or bubbles. She may not be able to stay inside the lines but she’s got the idea.

After lunch we went for a walk round dockside as we hadn’t been for awhile and still had a little bit of time left before I had to get the car back to Daly. Only thing was it was freezing. Maybe pretty and sunny outside but it’s still cold.

Anyways that was our lovely girly/Easter day. Night all and let’s see what adventure tomorrow holds for us.

Love CiCi x

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