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Turkey & Tinsel on the Isle of Wight with Derek & Jen

First stop was a lovely pub with log fires in Lyndhurst. We had lunch and had a game of bowling in their alley. It kept Fiona and Derek busy, replacing the skittles! From there we crossed the Solent to the Isle of Wight and had a mince pie and drink at the reception before unpacking. We got ready for dinner and an evening’s entertainment. As always, there was plenty of time to dance the night away before bedtime.

The next day we woke to a beautiful day. We had a large breakfast and decided to visit Osborne House. It was great. We had a guided tour and really appreciated the history and the beautiful surroundings. After lunch we went for a drive around the island, taking in the magnificent scenery. Back at our resort it was time to get the ladies all dolled up for our Christmas dinner and the night in the entertainment lounge. Jen painted nails and helped the ladies prepare themselves. It was a fun dinner with poppers, party hats and crackers. Another late evening of cabaret and dancing were on the cards!

On Sunday it was another lovely day so we made the decision to go to the monkey and owl sanctuary. It was brilliant, as we had a guided tour and watched while the monkeys were fed. It was so informative. The owls were also very beautiful. We had lunch there and then went to Alum Bay and watched a glass blowing demonstration. Afterwards we saw Santa in his grotto and received a present. We went back to the resort and headed to the games room for snooker and skittles. Lily must spend a lot of time at the table, as she was very good. Jessie was doing very well playing skittles! Georgina also played well on such a big table. It was soon time to get ready for our New Years eve party. We were piped into dinner by a man in his full regalia of kilt and tartans! It was another party atmosphere in the dining room. Into the entertainment lounge afterwards for another full evening of rock and roll and dancing before Auld Lang Syne and dancing the conga before bedtime.

Departure day, we got on the ferry back to the mainland and drove through the New Forest and spotted the ponies along the way. We stopped off in a really superb pub for lunch before heading home.

We all had such a lovely time and enjoyed the company of our holiday makers. Thanks to Lily, Fiona, Georgina, Jessie and Jackie for being such good company.

Bruges Christmas Markets with Colin & Wendy

We started our trip to Bruges with a very calm crossing of the English Channel on the P & O ferry "Pride of Canterbury". Once in Calais it was just a short drive to our Hotel in Bruges located within walking distance of many of the historic buildings and of course the all important Christmas markets.
Although this was a relatively short holiday, as we were treated to very good weather during our stay, we were able to walk around and see many of the beautiful churches and museums and shop both in the markets and the all important chocolate shops.
Our Hotel has a very good restaurant where we had a wide choice of food for breakfast each morning and for lunch and dinner we experienced just a few of the many local restaurants.
Most of our group went on a horse & carriage ride around the city whilst we were out and all were very interested in the history of the city given to them by the driver.
We also visited the "Snow & Ice Wonderland" an amazing exhibition of ice sculptures this year using Disney characters as its theme. We all thoroughly enjoyed the festival and the -5 temperature in the exhibition centre set us up nicely for a hot cup of chocolate on our way out.
Although everyone enjoyed everything to be seen in Bruges the highlight for most of us was spending time in the numerous chocolate shops trying to decide what to take back as presents or what we should eat straight away.