December 31, 2016

Exploring in 2016

I've shared a number of posts this year that I'll happily look back on with fond memories, which is my aim with Captured By Jade, and have decided to end the year on one of those posts also. Today I'm sharing about the adventures we've had as a family over the past 12 months - being able to have them all in the one place to reference at a later date will be really handy.

Whilst we haven't stepped foot outside the UK this year, or ever as a family of three for that matter, we've had some fun adventures nonetheless.

Our adventures began in February with a winter wander around the perimeter of Caerphilly Castle. We're very lucky to have some amazing castles steeped in history here in South Wales, however Caerphilly Castle is actually the only one we've visited so far - although we do hope to explore many more. The day we visited for our winter walk, we were treated to clear blue skies, a fresh winter breeze, an abundance of wildlife and some stunning views of the castle that sits at the heart of Caerphilly town centre.

Along came May, with the arrival of our first family holiday. We opted for a trip to the British seaside for a number of reasons, but predominantly as we've always enjoyed being by the sea and bodies of water in general, as well as wanting to choose a destination we were comfortable with having not travelled with Alexander before. Our trip to Brighton proved to be a success, and we came away having had a wonderful first holiday as a family.

In early summer we visited a local pick your own fruit farm. Whilst we weren't actually able to pick any fruit - it was early in the season, and we'd arrived later in the day so most fruit had been picked - we explored a new to us location with extended family and now know of a good local PYO farm.

As with every August for the past three years, we made our trip to Birmingham. Nathan is originally from Birmingham, and each summer we spent a few days there staying with his parents, visiting family and getting out and about in the city. This August we visited a place we hadn't before - The Birmingham Botanical Gardens. I don't know how we hadn't visited this little oasis before, but I think we're sure to return in the future.

Something we've been doing consistently throughout the year is exploring more of our local trails and landscape. One of the main draws for us moving to Wales was the beautiful valleys that surround us, and it is lovely to be able to explore them a little more now that Alexander requires use of the buggy much less. The scenery around us is forever amazing me with wonderful sights, but I definitely think autumn is my favourite time to wander here in the valleys.

Lastly we explored a little further afield than our immediate surroundings in late autumn by visiting Bute Park in Cardiff. We've been into the city centre just over a handful of times, but it still surprises me that we hadn't stepped foot in Bute Park until just a month or so ago. The park covers a vast portion of the city centre, and we only traversed a small snippet of it by Cardiff Castle, and so I'm sure more adventures are to come there - I imagine it is beautiful in summer.

We've had a fun year of adventuring, even on this small scale. We have no solid plans for any trips & travel in 2017; we'll see where the year takes us. I'd love to hear if you have any travel plans for the coming year.

Wishing you all the happiest of new years!



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