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Centre Parcs with Pat & Owen

We met up and over lunch made friends old and new.  The weather was glorious as we continued our journey with blue sky and sun.  On arrival at our luxurious lodges we took a walk through the beautiful grounds in the evening sunshine. 
We awoke to some glorious sunny days and took part in crazy golf which was great fun and enjoyed by all.  We watched the boats on the lake and laughed at the squirrel antics!  Some went down the flumes, water rafts and the wave machine which was great fun!  We all devoured a delicious Barbeque!
Some of us enjoyed some cycling while others chilled with relaxing music or took a walk around the lake enjoying the beautiful scenery and wild life.  We went to the pool to do some swimming and had fun playing snooker and table tennis.  One evening, we had dinner in the pancake house with a magician entertaining us with clever tricks at our table!
We all had a go on the pedalo's and got competitive in a game of bowling!  We took a visit to the nature reserve, where we saw tadpoles, rabbits, badgers and owls.  There was much hilarity with the touchy feely box which involved putting your hand inside and guessing what was in it. We had a splendid Indian meal which was much enjoyed by everybody. Then it was off to the bar for a drink and dance to round off the evening.
Ben enjoyed a final cycle ride before we set off for home.  On our departure we drove through some beautiful scenery and admired the bluebells.  We enjoyed a final lunch together and said our goodbyes with promises to keep in touch.

Las Vegas with Colin & Wendy

Las Vegas with Colin& Wendy
Tuesday 23rd We all met up the day before the holiday, excited to be going to Las Vegas! We had dinner in a nice country pub before driving to a Motel near to Gatwick Airport and in the morning we did not have to rush to catch our flight to the U.S.
Wednesday 24th With the excellent in-flight service on Virgin, the 10 hour flight passed pretty quickly. On arrival we drove to the Hotel Flamingo, got checked in and unpacked in our lovely spacious rooms. Dinner that night was at the “Outback” restaurant where we had a huge choice of delicious food. As everyone was feeling the effects of jetlag we opted for a relaxing evening and a reasonably early night.
Thursday 25th Today we set off to have our breakfast at Denny’s restaurant before taking a walk through a couple of the amazing hotels. On our return to the Flamingo we decided to have a refreshing dip in the pool and then it was time to change and set off for an evening stroll down the“Strip”. We stopped for a drink and as it was such a pleasant evening we dined outside at the Harley Davidson Cafe. After our meal we took a leisurely stroll back down the strip and it was time to head for our Hotel and bed.
Friday 26th We took a drive out for a hearty breakfast at Ihop today then drove to the famous “Welcome” sign at the start of the strip for a few photos. After that it was on to the Tropicana Hotel to take in the exciting “Interactive Mob Experience”. On the way back to our Hotel we stopped for a bit of shopping and a much needed drink. We were then off to Planet Hollywood’s “Miracle Mile” an impressive indoor shopping plaza. Our evening was planned out and we were off to the Planet Hollywood Theatre to see the fabulous“Beatles Show”. After dinner we walked back to the Flamingo taking in the amazing ” Water Fountain Show” outside the Bellagio Hotel and then walked on to the Mirage Hotel which stages an amazing ”Volcano Show” every night.
Saturday 27th April After breakfast back at Denny’s we set off on our drive to the fantastic Grand Canyon, Western Rim. Once there we took a bus to the Sky Walkway where we took in the fantastic views and we were treated to a dance display by the local Indians. Everyone agreed the sights in the Grand Canyon are awesome a truly unforgettable experience! On our way back to Vegas we stopped at a Chinese restaurant and after arriving at our Hotel we took a walk to the Venetian Hotel where we finished the day watching the Gondolas that float through the Hotel and having a drink at an Italian bar.
Sunday 28th April Today started with a walk to Denny’s, now one of our favourite breakfast spots. After breakfast we enjoyed ourselves exploring a number of the impressive hotels – MGM Grand, New York New York, where Peter and Colin were the only 2 brave enough to go on the roller coaster, the Belaggio, the Aria and the world famous Caesars Palace. The weather today was very hot so we decided to make a stop for a cooling ice cream before heading back to the Hotel to freshen up. In the evening we again headed up the Strip, the atmosphere as always buzzing, and we stopped in the Hotel “Treasure Island” where we had dinner. We had tickets for the 9pm show back at the Flamingo to see “The Legends”. We all enjoyed watching – Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Lady GaGa, Rod Stewart and Britney Spears. After the show we managed to meet the stars and get some memorable photos. We finished our day with a night cap in the hotel’s Garden Bar.
Monday 29th April Today we drove to the Hoover Dam. As it was such a hot day we decided to head back to the hotel to spend the afternoon taking advantage of the Flamingo’s pool which is the best on the Strip! After freshening up we were ready for our drive to Freemont Street in the Old Town for a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant. After dinner we took a walk through the Freemont Street Experience which everyone agreed was amazing especially the light display and street performers. Before heading back to our Hotel we stopped in a bar for a drink to finish off another full and fun day.
Tuesday 30th April Unfortunately today was our last day, so after packing our bags, we had our last American breakfast and set off to the airport. Thanks to Bill, Colin, Thomas and Peter for making our week so enjoyable!


Farm Experience and Zoo with Derek & Jeanette

We all met up and had lunch and went on to our luxury lodges. After unpacking, we went off to Heybridge Basin and walked along the river bank and looked at the boats before having a very nice dinner at a local pub and as it was too early for bed, we decided on a game of ten pin bowling.
The following morning we went to the zoo and spent a very nice day wandering around and looking at all the wonderful creatures. We even got to feed the elephants! After lunch we got on the land train and had a trip around the zoo. In the evening we went to another lovely country pub for our dinner before relaxing back at our lodges.
After breakfast the next day, we went off to Marsh Farm and got to see all the farm animals and watched as the lambs were fed and the cows were milked. It was all very interesting. We even had a ride on a trailer pulled by the farmer’s tractor. We had a picnic lunch outside as the weather was so good. Horse grooming was something that we all took part in and we watched as the hooves were cleaned out. Once back at our lodges, we set the BBQ up and enjoyed a relaxed evening before heading off to Maldon to walk along the river. We were lucky enough to watch the Morris dancers perform and even got to wear some of their hats! We stopped for a drink in a pub and then went off home.
The next day we travelled to the best day of all!! It was off to another farm and it was fabulous, as we got to feed the lambs ourselves, hand milk a cow and also groomed the pony. We held the lambs and the kid goat as well as seeing the pigs wallowing in the mud. There were chickens and geese and we all had another picnic looking over the landscape. Afterwards we went to a craft centre and looked around several shops and bought some gifts before travelling to Audley End house for a view of the beautiful estate and managed to get a drink and a piece of cake in the cafe there. Next it was off to Finchingfield for a drink and dinner at the Fox. It is a lovely village, almost picture book!
It was now our last day and we were in no mood for going home. Once packed and ready, we set off for a walk along the canal at Papermill Lock and basked in the sunshine before heading for the Butterfly farm at S. Woodham Ferrers. We were able to walk through as they flew around us. It was great. There were more animals there, including birds of prey, wallabies and Meerkats. It was time for lunch and then we all said our farewells. We had had the best week and the sun shone throughout. It really was a good experience.
Thanks to all for having enjoyed our first of many experiences down on the farm!


Cyprus Sun with Adrian, Phil & Mel

We all met at the airport and were extremely excited about the holiday ahead of us.  After a very relaxing flight, we arrived at the welcoming hotel and unpacked in our lovely spacious rooms.
During our week we relaxed by the pool, ate ice-creams and sipped on lovely cold drinks!  The weather was absolutely scorching hot!  Some of us even learnt to swim with the help of Adrian, Phil, and some great big colourful floats!  A dip in the pool was needed often, and some of us chilled out under the big shady umbrellas. 
We walked into the town on a few occasions which was just a stone’s throw away from our hotel, and did some shopping for gifts and souvenirs to take home.  There were lots of lovely things to choose from!  The people were extremely friendly and always happy to help. 
We made friends with a very friendly man named Jonny, who ran activities with us such as water gym and water polo.  We had a wonderful time splashing around in the pool playing games!  Jonny kept us entertained throughout the entire holiday and was always enthusiastic and keen to get us joining in! 
In the evenings we went out to dinner and ate some wonderful food.  We saw a few live bands playing and boogied the nights away! 
On the final day we enjoyed a spectacular boat ride on the crystal clear sea, and had a barbeque on board!  The sea was very calm and the whole experience was fantastic.  We were told about the local areas which gave us an insight to the history of Cyprus! 
We had an amazing holiday and all felt thoroughly refreshed and relaxed by the end of it!  Thank you to all of you for making it such a huge success.  We hope to see you next year.