9 days until my 30th birthday & our journey to Paris… 10 days until Little Man’s birthday & our day trip to Disneyland Paris!
We are all SUPER EXCITED!
It’ll be our whole family’s first time to Disneyland and we are so excited for it! We’ve started preparing what we’re going to bring and wear including those insta-worthy Mickey Mouse ears which we’ve bought from Ebay for £3 each! It’s so much cheaper online than buying on the day or at the Disney store but if you prefer to splash and go all out then definitely purchase your official Disney ears prior to DL to save yourself some cash.
Disneyland Paris via Eurostar
We’ll be travelling via the Eurostar from London St. Pancras. I managed to bag tickets during a summer sale promo for £29pp per way which was a bargain! The Eurostar will take us from London to Paris in just under two hours which works well for us as we’ve booked an evening journey so will arrive in time for dinner. We’ve decided that we will play it by ear and see how the kids feel on the day before deciding where we will eat. If the kids are super tired, we’ll have an early night instead.
One thing I really love about London is how well connected everything is. Sure our transportation has its good and bad days but no-one can fault how easily accessible it is to travel around the country and abroad from London.
My 30th Birthday Plan
I can’t believe how quickly the years fly by! Being an August baby means I get to see nearly all of my friends turn 30 before I do – not a bad thing – but it makes me feel slightly pressured to do something BIG. We’ll see how that’ll pan out as I don’t have anything planned right now with friends.
However, on the morning of my birthday I’ve managed to book free tickets to SKY GARDEN which is going to be amazing! Insta-worthy photos, here I come! I’ve also just treated myself to a Fenty Beauty bronzer and highlighter kit so let’s pray that does me some justice… now to just plan an outfit fit for the occasion… plus or minus a 30th birthday tiara! Then after my morning birthday breakfast treat, we’ll probably just wander around London with the kids then get back home for a quick afternoon nap before leaving for the Eurostar journey.
We will board our Eurostar to Paris around 6pm and arrive at Gare du Nord Paris. We will be staying at the Renaissance in La Defense – the financial district. As it’s summer, I’m hoping it won’t be too busy around the area but pray the weather will be nice enough for us to explore Paris on the Saturday before we depart as we’ll certainly be spending all day Friday at Disneyland Paris.
20.00 Arrival at Paris Gare du Nord (depart from London St. Pancras)
21.00 Hotel check-in and dinner at hotel or local restaurant
07.00 Breakfast at hotel, then straight out on RER to D’Land
FULL DAYDisneyland Paris + dinner at the resort 22.00 Night illuminations and park closing parade
23.00 Back to hotel for bedtime
08.00 Breakfast at hotel and pack bags for hotel check-out
12.00 Visit to Jardin D’acclimatation
15.00 Late lunch at a local restaurant
16.00 Eiffel Tower visit
18.00 Depart from Paris Gare du Nord (return to London St. Pancras)
I’m going to try and document our Disneyland family vacay as much as I can and will add to my instagram stories so if you’d like to check out our trip, follow me at @mannyngo_yogi
Whenever I tell someone that I’ve been to Ibiza, I am always greeted with a surprised face and “Ibiza? I didn’t know you was a party girl”… The thing is they’re right, I’m not. However there’s more to Ibiza than just parties even though they are said to be amazing! Ibiza will always be a place for the party goers but the island does have more to offer.
It’s a beautiful and magical island that’s great for all kinds of travellers; from solo flyers (yes, I’ve been to Ibiza alone too!) to family funsters and soul searchers. My case of wanderlust always brings me back to this place and I’m thankful for On The Beach’s low deposit holidays option. It’s perfect for people like me who find it hard to save or book in full. You pay an initial booking deposit from around £30pp and then the remaining balance up to 2 weeks before departure. Paying off my holidays in small, manageable chunks helps me to budget better around my bills, rent and other expenses.
Here are my top 5 reasons why Ibiza should be on everyone’s bucket list. Pretty much self-explanatory and simple but that’s where the beauty lies. X
1. The weather
Reading in the sun is bliss!
The palm trees of San Antonio bay
Ibiza’s climate is balmy and generallly warm all year long with moderate rainfall. When I first went to Ibiza back in August 2010 the temperature was around 26-30 degree celsius. I went back again in September 2017 and 2018 and the temperature varies from 24-28 degree celsius. In 2018 there was one day we got caught in torrential rain that lasted about 15-20 mins but as soon as it stopped, it was warm and humid again.
2. The scenery
From the beautiful sea views around Antonio Bay to the historical old town of Dalt Vila, there’s a lot to see around the little island. On Sundays, you can head over to Benirras beach to experience one of the most beautiful sunsets accompanied by the sensational drumming. It happens every Sunday during the summer and is an event not to be missed.
I tried to go there by bus but got mixed-up with the bus times (or perhaps the bus just never came) so I missed it. My advice would be to catch a cab there early or travel to San Miguel a day before as the roads leading to Benirras beach gets very busy by Sunday afternoon. If you’re driving try to get there in the morning, chill out by the beach all day then get ready for the sunset in the evening. Bliss!
3. The sister islands (Formentera & Espalmador)
If the Ibiza mainland is boring you a little, take a trip out to its sister islands. Whether you head out to the pristine white sand beaches of Formentera or stop off at the secluded island of Espalmador (I’ve visited both!) it’s definitely a trip not to miss.
Formentera is a fantastic escape from the mainland. Within 40mins by boat (Aquabus) you’ll reach the pristine shores of Formentera. It looks like somewhere out of a postcard. Plenty of luxury yachts dock at its marina and its beach shores are filled with white sand and turquoise waters. You can easily find places to eat and drink, go surfing or cycling, and explore different parts of the island. It’s a great place to explore with the whole family. The cosy coves dotted along the coastline are calming and lovely enough to enjoy before the tide comes in.
There are frequent Aquabus services to Formentera from all over the Ibiza mainland for about €20 (day return). You can even stay on the island with many B&Bs, luxury apartments, charters and yachts available to rent.
There’s a tiny secluded island on the way to Formentera called Espalmador. It lies between Ibiza and Formentera and is basically a mass of land which has become a secluded getaway for Ibizan goers looking for peace and quiet.
No shady areas on Espalmador
The pristine clear waters
Sunbathing (with SPF) under the HOT sun
There’s not much to do on the island apart from sunbathe – you can go nude, semi-nude, as free as you like! There is also a mud spring somewhere on the island which you can take a dip in. There’s hardly any coverage on the island so apply plenty of sunscreen, if you burn easily I’d say skip Espalmador and just visit Formentera as there’s plenty of secluded bays there plus rocky coves where you can salvage some shade.
If you’re keen on visiting Espalmador, bring a picnic, plenty of suncream as there’s not really shady areas and water bottle – there’s no food/drink places here and the Aquabus only passes here a couple trips per day. Also there’s no toilet so make sure you go before you arrive either on the boat or mainland.
4. The Hippy Market (well, the markets in general)
Even if you’ve never visited Ibiza you would’ve heard about their famous Hippy Market which is open every Wednesday throughout the summer. I remember my first time going to the Hippy Market; it was busy, chaotic but super fun! There’s something for everyone, there’s even a little play area for the kids. The last time I visited it was less chaotic but still just as busy.
There was so much to see and if you’re looking for special or unique gifts you will find something here. I picked up a gorgeous amethyst crystal necklace on a leather cord. I’d seen so many similar necklaces before but they were too expensive. I think mine cost me around €15-18 which wasn’t too bad as the quality was great and the amethyst stone looked genuine enough.
Here’s a short list of the markets you can visit on the island:
Hippy Market – Wednesdays Punta in Es Cana
Las Dalias Market – Saturdays in San Carlos
Las Dalias Night Market – Monday and Tuesday nights in San Carlos
Cala Llonga Market – Thursday in Cala Llonga
San Rafael Artisan Market – Thursdays in San Rafael
Check out Ibiza Spotlight for the full list of Ibiza’s markets sorted by days.
5. The active lifestyle
The Ibizan atmosphere is super chilled. I always felt relaxed and the pace of life here seems very easy-going which is fantastic. But despite the relaxing lifestyle, there’s plenty of activities you can do around the island to keep you healthy, fit and active.
If you regularly work out, there’s plenty of gyms around the island for you to keep up your strength. Lots of the cafes offer delicious and nutritious healthy food so you don’t have to worry too much about eating junk. There’s a healthy cafe for #fitfams in San Antonio Bay called ‘The Skinny Kitchen’. They make a good salad/buddha bowl for a decent price,plus it was the only place I could find that offered matcha lattes. There are loads of nice healthy cafes around the island so don’t be afraid to explore.
I’ve visited most parts of the island and it’s excellent wherever you go. You’re bound to find a beach near you no matter where you stay in Ibiza. Here are some of my recommendations:
San Antonio/San Antonio Bay is for you if you want to be where all the party and action is
Playa Den Bossa is for you if you want luxury hotels and party life
Santa Eulalia/Es Canar/San Miguel/Portinatx is great for those who want somewhere laid back and family-friendly
Eivissa Old Town is for you if you want to be near the marina and prefer old charms, boutique cafes and shops and want to be close to the airport
Top tips: If you want to avoid the major party season, visit the island in May/June or September/October instead. Also, the island is well connected by bus so take advantage of this if you have more time on your hands to explore the island. X
2. Rufus Longbottom & The Space Rabbit at Greenwich Theatre
Rufus Longbottom is a grouchy old man who lives in a care home and despises contact with other people. He loves watching his telly and does nothing else until one day he comes across a big yellow rabbit from outer space. A show filled with marvellous adventures, song, dance and interaction with the audience. I’m a big fan of small productions that are interactive and immersive. You’ll not be disappointed!
3. The Elves and the Shoemaker at Greenwich Theatre
You’ll meet Mr Cobbler and his wife, who are struggling to afford the leather for him to make any shoes to sell. But could their fortune change? A beautiful retelling of a classical children’s fairytale featuring all of the original songs from the story.
David McKee’s iconic picture book, “Not now, Bernard” is a story that’s been loved by many children and adults for the last thirty years. The show will be vividly brought to life in this brand new adaptation.
5. The Tiger Who Came To Tea at Piccadilly Theatre
A musical play adapted and directed by David Wood. Based on the book by Judith Kerr, this classic children’s book comes to life. The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger!
This captivating and beautiful new story from best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Rebecca Cobb springs to life with rhyme, original music and delightfully expressive puppets in Polka’s fun and exciting stage adaptation.
Expect lots of surprises and beautiful images as Patrick Lynch (from Cbeebies) tells the gripping story of Jack who sells his cow for five magic beans and finds himself in the land above the clouds. It’s a show with something for everyone.
Greenwich Theatre proudly presents this dynamic adaptation of “The Jungle Book”, bringing Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale to the stage with thrilling percussion, vibrant puppetry and Kipling’s unforgettable, larger-than-life characters.
Join in this adaptation from Michael Rosen’s fantastic book, “We’re going on a bear hunt” and follow the family’s adventures with their musical dog on a quest to find a bear. As they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud! Expect catchy songs, interactive scenes and plenty of hands-on adventure!
Everybody loves a freebie and when you’re strapped for cash, free things to do can become the best way to treat the family to a lovely day out without spending a penny. Here are a few of my favourite (free) things to do in Greenwich over the summer holidays…
The Peoples Brick Company and architecture firm Something & Son have commissioned a one-of-a-kind installation at the NOW gallery that encourages visitors to get involved and participate in quarrying clay and moulding your own brick. If you want to take part, pop along to the NOW gallery at the weekend and get your hands dirty. All of the bricks made will be mass-fired on September 17th and then will be used to build a permanent folly which will stand at Greenwich Peninsula.
Parks are a great place for a run around, to see wildlife and horticulture, have a picnic, etc and best thing is that it’s usually free! Royal Greenwich Park has lots of wonderful areas to explore from the flower garden to the deer encounter, to the children’s play area and the secret garden.
Greenwich Market is a great free place to go. It’s filled with stalls selling everything from food to fabrics. Over the summer holidays, every Wednesday is “Wicked Wednesdays” – a day filled with crafty workshops for kids. There’s also some Weds in August where they are holding free yoga workshops.
The National Maritime Museum is free to enter and has a lot of free galleries for the whole family to enjoy; there’s the Ahoy gallery aimed at 0-5 year olds, the All Hands gallery and the ship simulator is aimed at over 7’s, the Great World map is ideal for everyone.
If you want to have a bit of fun, head over to the Sky Studios at The O2. Previously, they hosted a special Paw Patrol meet & greet event and now they’ve got virtual Sky Sports event on. You’ll be able to have fun with their green screen and pose with your favourite footballers – you can then save your photos digitally to a card which you’ll receive upon arriving. All you’ll need to do at home is log on to the Sky Studios page, type in your code and voila you’re photos will be available for downloads.