Friday, 15 August 2008

Brilliant day out today - mostly!

As it was the last day of Colin's holiday we decided to have a bit of a family trip out. One of the ideas we had from the ideas show a few weeks back was a maize maze. As it was forecast to be the first decent day's weather for a while we decided to make the most of it and try the maze. The place we went to was called Apple Jack's Farm (not really a farm)
We timed our arrival to coincide with the start of the pig racing, although not intentionally. The crowd were split into 3 sections and each section cheered on one pig. Our pig - Curly - won. They had to run round a very small course 3 times and at the end of it got their lunch.

After this we wandered over to "The Battle of Treasure Island" entrance. We all jumped on a trailer on the back of a tractor and when it was full we set of for Treasure Island. This was set in an idyllic land where there are no taxes and you don't pay interest on money borrowed. However Max Goldlegs owns all the gold in the world apart from a small amount that belongs to Captain Jack. The tractor took us to an area of the park and then 'broke down'. The driver went off to 'fix' the tractor. Max Goldlegs found us waiting and kidnapped half the trailerful of people promising that if they helped him to steal Captain Jack's treasure that he would share it with them. Captain Jack was laying by the side of the track, fast asleep. We who were left in the trailer woke him and he took us off to learn to be pirates. What are the most important things about being a pirate............agility and speed............did you hear that at the back? (the slow coaches who had just caught up!!

We had to walk the planks and mind the stepping stones to get to Captain Jack's treasure cage. All the children went into the cage to see if they could find some treasure. Luke found a pirate mask that he got to keep. We made our way back and played another game whereby Luke and Colin and another parent and child had a rope each and had to work as a team to lift a bucket to the side of the 'sea'. We walked back to a spot near the tractor, booing Max Goldlegs as he passed us, and waited. Max came back and challenged Captain Jack to a fight. Good triumphed over evil and Jack defeated Max. We rode back on the tractor victorious!

After this we had lunch. The food was great and the staff that served us were all friendly and efficient. The only thing that spoiled lunch a bit was the lack of tables, we ended up eating out lunch balanced on our knees.

Luke and Rachael were keen to split up into teams to complete the maze. We went for boys versus girls. We collected our flags and made our way to the start for Captain Amy to explain what we needed to do. The challenges in the maze, other than getting through the maze in the first place, included collecting and completing the 9 parts of the treasure map and collecting clues for a crossword. After going round the same bit 3 times, me and Rachael got the hang of things and when we ran into the boys found that we were beating them. We found the tower in the middle and climbed the VERY steep stairs. It was scary! I don't do heights at the best of times but with the little bit of wind we had it was swaying. I gave up on the second level but Rachael went all the way to the top. We spotted the boys on the ground and yelled to get their attention.

At that point we were beating them! Unfortunately, the boys were going to help us find our penultimate map piece and then we would all look for the last one together and Rachael and I stumbled on the final piece so the boys won the competition. Boo Hiss!

We went to get drinks and the children went to bounce on the Jumping pillow. When they had finished Luke came back for a quick swig of his drink. The poor lad got stung by a wasp that had crawled into the can. He was screaming with pain - not surprisingly -and it took a few seconds to work out what on earth he was screaming about. Colin whisked him over to the food kiosk which we had noticed earlier had first aid boxes. The first aider soon sorted Luke out with an onion which is apparently a natural antihistimine (didn't know that!) and a bag of ice. Poor Luke was stung inside his mouth on the inside of his lip. He was actually really brave after the initial shock had worn off. The first aider was really efficient and looked after him well.

That kind of finished things off for Luke and all he really wanted to do was go home so we didn't get to do any of the other activities in the end. Still at least there will be something we haven't done next time!!

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