TLDR – kids had a five-day weekend, we booked a trip to Liverpool.
No vomiting – First night
Instead of Aircoach all the way from the Clayton near our house to the airport (50 minutes) we took the LUAS to the city center then picked up the Aircoach at O’Connell Street for a 20-minute ride to the airport. As we pulled into the airport Khaleesi yelled ” yeah! I didn’t puke!” A vomit free airport trip for both Khaleesi and Roxi. We made it to the gate with an hour and a half wait for the flight and fuckidy fuck the kids must be mega tired as they cannot sit still at all. – serenity now – keep chanting it and maybe they will all survive boarding the plane for our 45-minute flight to Liverpool.
The flight was a quick up and down 45-minute flight – no issues, no fuses, landed and deplaned. Walking on the tarmac undercover towards the terminal we passed by a long line of passengers lined up to board our plane. Ryanair turns and burns these planes 40 minutes tops on the ground before taking off back into the air. Baggage claim was about 1 meter inside the terminal. Our bag was first one-off the conveyor belt, and no passport check. We waited on the Yellow Submarine for about 5 minutes for our driver, Steve, to arrive to take us to our flat near Anfield stadium.
In the Flat – it’s past bedtime for the kids, but we need to feed the animals before they can sleep. The little one’s setup their nests while Maddex and I walk about 10 minutes away to Asda to purchase some provisions. On the way back from the shop we stopped at a chipper where we picked up Chips, Fried rice, and Kebabs for dinner. The kids devoured the rice and chips then passed out. While brushing her teeth Mila pulled one of her bottom teeth. She was a great story teller telling the story of it coming out. Her story involved her saying ouch about 5 times in a row mimicking what she did while brushing. We talked about the tooth fairy at tuck in. Maddex says he knows it is mom because he found all of their teeth in her office. Mila says she knows it is mom because she once waited up and watched mom take a tooth from under Maddex’s pillow – sneaky kids.
Day one – Exploring
First stop of the day is the hallowed grounds of Anfield stadium home of Liverpool FC to take in some “you’ll never walk alone” good good feelings. After walking around the stadium and running up and down some stairs, because they were there, we walked a bit further past the stadium to Stanley Park which has a nice playground with a climbing pyramid in the middle. Loads of climbing and swinging and spinning took place before we carried on to some large glass building, the Isla Gladstone Conservatory. The conservatory was being setup for a wedding so we were not able to explore the inside but we did get to check the outside out a bit.
Next stop about 50 minutes walk away, Costco, hello shopping mecca of America and home of the 1.50 hotdog and soda. Along the walk to Costco, we found a Canal to walk along, some locks to cross over and generally had a nice walk through some unsavory looks parts of town. We picked up some favorites from Costco; chocolate muffins, chocolate chips, and red vines, plus a few other things then waited in line for lunch. We, of course, filled the trolley with kids and went up and down every aisle. It’s a bit amazing a good 70% or more of the items appear to be the same things they sell in the states.
Across the street from the Costco, we found the waterfront area to walk along. The waterfront is a much cleaner, more built up area with wide walking paths and bridges and food trucks and people and Beatles museums, and statues, and other things to explore. After exploring for a few kilometers we walked away from the waterfront up a bunch of stairs to a small green space in front Liverpool One, a large outdoor mall/shopping zone with no car streets. We didn’t do any shopping. We maneuvered through the people crowding the shopping zone up to the Bus yard next to St Johns Market, another shopping zone, where we took the Number 14 bus back to our flat – Time for a break.
After some food and a rest we went to Everton Park for some more play. Everton park is at the top of a hill overlooking the city and the bay. You can see most of the city, across the bay to Birkenhead and out into the sea towards all of the wind turbines spinning, making power. The play area was filled with a gaggle of teenagers rolling and smoking and drinking. We played a bit but it was not our mood – Maddex spotted some rocks over a hill he wanted to climb on. We left the teenagers and climbed some rocks for a bit before heading back home. No one fell off the rocks, but a few of the kids did fall on the rocks; no major injuries; loads of fun. Back home we ate some food and relaxed the night away; good first day.
Saturday on call and game day
TLDR – I’m on call saturday + vacation time off was all comp days – Last week I volunteered to take on call duty for someone Saturday. I took Friday off in exchange for a previous on call day on a bank Holiday. Monday is a bank holiday. Saturday’s comp day I’ll take off Tuesday to cover the last day of our vacation. Five day weekend for the price of no vacation days, can’t complain about that.
Kids all have a cough and can use a light day so hanging near the flat or in the flat while I am on call is no big deal. Michelle took the kids out to a park for the morning adventure. While I sat in our flat working and watching Sliders. Around 1300 the fam came back for lunch and a rest. The kids watched some shows and a movie until 16:30 when my oncall rotation was over. As soon as pager duty told me I was free Momma and I had a “nap” while the kids took in one more show.
Refreshed and no longer tied to the phone we walked back around Anfield to Stanley park to play the kids. The path to the stadium was over run with fans wearing red drinking and causing a ruckus getting ready for the big championship match taking place in a few hours. We took a different route to the play ground around the lakes in the park. Shockingly the small lakes had fish in them. We saw some fish and spotted people fishing from the shores. At first look the water was far from clean and looked like it would be deadly to fish. Second look I noticed air bubble concentrations in spots on the surface of the water. They appear to have aerators running to keep the oxygen level in the water breathable for fish.
From the lakes, we walked to the play ground and played the kids for a bit before walking back for some Pasta, Ice cream and bed time. Another great day – bonus points EU champions, Liverpool won. We heard some cheers and sounds during and after the game, but no Lakers style burning down the city noise.
Sunday LiverPool Cathedral Globe – and a Birthday
Last night I set the fire alarm off burning some popcorn in the microwave; still smells in the kitchen. Todays mission is to tour the Liverpool cathedral. Liverpool Cathedral is the largest cathedral and religious building in Britain, Fifth largest in the world by volume – we did not know this until we landed and starting reading about Liverpool, but now that we know we simply must go. It’s near the city center we toured on our first day here but we do not recall seeing it. It must be hiding some how.
We walked through Everton park on the way to the cathedral. At the top of the hill with the view of the whole city, Michelle and I tried to find the cathedral in the skyline. We’re thinking we could make out the bell tower but we were not sure. The play park was not crowded with teenagers this time giving our kids plenty of room to play. Below the park, we found a Skate park and BMX bike track. I took Mila and Maddex on stroller ride through the bike track. Mila did her I am going to die but I like it scream, Maddex put his feet down a few times to slow me down. After we were done I laid down and caught my breath then Maddex took the stroller and started running around the track.
We were only able to tour the entry of the cathedral with the massive lite up spinning globe in it. The rest of the place was used for sunday service and not open to tour. From the entry, we were able to see most of the rest of the cathedral. Massive red sand stone building and spectacular glass windows. Personally, the red made it feel like brick to me; it made it less impressive as some of the other huge churches we toured. Would still like to go back sometime and tour the whole building.
We had lunch at Pizza Hut in LiverPool one then walked back home through Everton park. The city was starting to fill up with people in red. We saw them walking all over, blowing horns, sitting on the side of roads making noise. We figured it was just random people out celebrating. Turns out the Liverpool team was coming home to a parade downtown. 750,000 people stuffed in the down town of a 500,000 person city all out on the streets dressed in red celebrating. – What a mess.
Turns out today is Roxi’s birthday. We had some cake and gave roxi some presents around dinner time. Mila and Mom went to a shop the night before and picked out the birthday stuff for her so we could make her day a special day. We had some chips and chinese for dinner the kids kind of ate.
Monday maze and airport hotel
It’s more work to get to the Liverpool airport then it is to get to the Dublin airport and we have an early flight home on Tuesday. Michelle found a large estate with a maze near the airport and a hotel for us to stay at with free breakfast, so we are moving today. We slow packed and cleaned in the morning then set off for Anfeild and Stanly park Again. Michelle wanted to pickup a red Liverpool zipup hoodie at the merch shop at Anfield. Sad face. They did not have any in red.
At the park, the kids played on the toys and used bushes to pee behind until Maddex needed a toilet vs a bush. No toilets near by, of course. We had to leave and stop at a McDonald’s for a toilet. While there we order pancakes to split while everyone used the toilet. About 30 minutes walk later we were at the Bank Hall train stop. We took the train to the second to last stop, the Liverpool South Parkway station where we got off the train and took a bus to the airport.
The nice gentleman at the front desk informed us our room was not going to be ready for a few hours. The hotel was nice and took our bags while we walked 49 minutes to the Speke Hall, Garden and Estate on the other side of the runway. If we could have jumped the fence at the end of the runway it would have been a 15 minute walk. Oh well, the walk was nice and we had some good chats with the kids along the way.
At the end of the car park at the estate entrance house, we paid our 21£ for access to grounds and set out to explore. We played at the playground, ran around the maze, took the adventure walk and walked around the house. This is maze three for Maddex since asking to visit a hedge maze a few months ago. It has some bridges over parts of the maze, which seem cool. Not cool enough for him it’s still not his favorite. He informed us Blessington was a better maze because he got lost more. This maze was simple enough we let the girls all go at it on their own and did not worry about them becoming lost or scared.
Back at the hotel we were all worn out and trying to just take it easy with a movie for the rest of the night. We ordered some pizza delivered to the room and were hoping to chill. Nope, the kids were not having it. No one could sit still or be calm for more than 13 seconds. After the pizza, we put our shoes back on and walked to a grocery story about 30 minutes away for some ice cream and energy burn off. Leaving the airport the kids were doing spiderKour – Like Parkour only you hang from a fence like spiderman. – They were all running at the fence and hanging for as long as they could.
Great burning of the energon, and a nice bubble gun ice lollie before bed. In the morning Maddex woke me up at 5am. We went down to sample the breakfast while everyone was sleeping. He said he started in the bed with Mila, moved to the floor after she kept taking blankets, then moved to the bed with me after mom left me to lay with the girls – musical beds I guess? I slept through it all. Super simple airport commute. We walked across the road from the hotel and were at the airport.
No line at security, and an easy walk to the gate. Great airport experience. Minus security considering Johns gift to be a “liquid” and confiscating it. We bought him a Costco sized jar of m&m spread. It’s the thickness of nutella, not something I would consider a liquid, but oh well you cannot argue with security. 30 minute flight home then 45 minutes on the aircoach. Khaleesi and Roxi both slept on the bus home. We made it a full round trip with no vomiting!