Monday didn’t quite turn out as planned.
The plan was a 4 night break at Butlins Bognor Regis Resort’s Shoreline Hotel with all my family as part of the Butlins Ambassador Programme.
We headed off at lunchtime, kids fed, dvd playing and on time. I happened to check Facebook before I left and Butlins had posted that there were floods in the Bogner Regis area and delays on the roads. My dad re-set the sat nav to avoid the worst of the traffic and off we went.
We may have ended up stuck in this but 90 minutes later I glanced at my phone and spotted a direct message on Twitter from @Katiebutlins who saved the day. She was asking me to call urgently because they knew we were en route to Bognor and there were flooding problems. I made the call. I was told to turn around because the police had shut the road into the resort and there was no way in. Guests with bookings were being given the option to return tomorrow or have their booking honoured at a later date. I was advised that the best option was not to return tomorrow as the resort was like a swamp and that they were trying to get accommodation at Minehead instead.
A short while later our booking at Minehead was confirmed, with a complimentary upgrade for my dad. We turned around headed past my home town and further west to Minehead. I wouldn’t have wanted to work for Butlins on Monday, having to deal with lots of disappointed holiday makers, but I think everyone understood that even Butlins can’t control the elements.
We arrived in Minehead just in time to drop our bags and get to dinner 5 minutes before they stopped serving. When we explained what had happened the staff went out of their way to help, ensuring that our party with 4 children under 5 were fed and watered.
I am so grateful for the swift response to the weather conditions and for finding us an alternative resort. I know as Butlins Parent Ambassadors it would be accepted that we would be looked after, but from the comments on the Butlins Facebook page it appears everyone was pleased with the way things were dealt with.
Today Bognor Regis resort is back open and guests are arriving. Though I was looking forward to my stay in the Shoreline Hotel, we have the added bonus today that it has been a sunny day and we even made it into the outdoor pool. Something we hadn’t bargained for based on the forecast for Bognor Regis. Sometimes fate smiles down on you after all.
I had a great response to my request for ideas for my British themed goodbye party yesterday. Thanks to everyone who shared ideas, the party was a resounding success and stress free. Using some of the ideas from the last post and some of her own, my 8 year old took control of the children’s party. She set up a stall painting faces and nails which kept a crowd of girls occupied for many hours. A friend even spotted he’d had his name painted on his leg and in a haze of cocktails hadn’t noticed!
We set up colouring sheets of Union flags and blank bunting inside (due to the wind) and my daughter decided to make this a competition.
Next, the races – sack races were really popular and prizes given out for the winners. I hear egg and spoon races were abandoned because it became too difficult to control.
We had meant to set up biscuit decorating but I forgot and spotted the biscuits in the kitchen at the end of the night. We’ll have to save that for another day.
The beautiful and unexpected weather made it the perfect British Garden Party, with good friends and neighbours and a few lethal cocktails. We even had an appearance from my husband from the other side of the world thanks to Video Kinect.
To continue the British theme we are heading off for a great British holiday at Butlins this week. Thanks to the Butlins parent ambassador programme we are heading to Bognor Regis for a 5 day break with my brother and his family. My dad and step-mum are joining us for a true family farewell. I believe the forecast is rain, so we will be sent off in true British fashion.
On Saturday we are hosting a Farewell Party before we head off to pastures new and the theme is everything that is British. This could be a grand affair and the kids see it as the event of the year. However, I am pushed for time and organising it on my own, so could use a little help.
Everyone will be turning up dressed in red,white and blue and my 8 year old has been practising face painting Union Jacks all week. Beyond photocopying Union Jacks for the kids to colour I haven’t yet got any activities planned. The party is for children of all ages and adults.
I’m sure lots of you have been attending Jubilee parties this weekend and have loads of ideas. The only criteria is that they are low cost and easy to prepare. I’d love it if you would share activity ideas, simple recipes (or even better ready prepared British food) and cocktail recipes (I’m using up all my alcohol as we can’t take it with us). In return each comment will be entered into a prize draw to win a bundle of beach goodies, consisting of a snorkel, goggles, arm bands, crab line, sun hat, beach ball and frisbee.
Terms and Conditions
Open to UK residents only
Entries will close at midnight on Friday 8th June
Multiple Entries will be accepted
The winner will be drawn at random and notified by email. The Winners name will be published on this page.