Monday, 1 April 2013

our easter weekend

I love Easter weekend in the UK because the Friday before and the Monday after Easter are always bank holidays and 4-day weekends are just the best!

In past years we used to take advantage of the long weekend by travelling. We went to Rome one year, Paris the next, and took day trips around the UK in other years. But ever since last year, Easter weekends have been decidedly more tranquil. Last year I was 27 weeks pregnant so we spent the time relaxing and getting stuff ready for the baby. 

This year, with Nathan in tow and new annual membership cards to the National Trust in our pockets, we went exploring around Suffolk. {Side note: We recently signed up for an annual family membership to the National Trust because they have so many gorgeous properties to explore and we can bring the dogs too. In the past we have wanted to visit some of their properties but the entrance fees are expensive so we always made excuses to not go. Now we can't make excuses anymore and, in fact, we will go out of our way to explore as many of the sites as possible in order to get good use out of our membership fee. I look forward to blogging about our trips to the different properties we discover.}

OK, back to our weekend...on Friday we thought we would visit Ickworth. Ickworth is a gorgeous National Trust estate near Bury St Edmunds with tons of land, a beautiful mansion and (this time of year) hundreds of little lambs wandering the grounds! It was a very cold day so we didn't spend as much time outside as we would have liked, but we managed a quick walk with the dogs to view the lambs before heading into the palatial house. 

The basement of the house has been restored back to its condition in the early 20th century and it was fun looking through the servants' quarters. It felt like we were meandering through the hallways of Downton Abbey. We were surprised to find that in the servants' kitchen there were women dressed in old costumes and baking old fashioned cakes in the original ovens. It smelled delightful and made it feel like we were stepping back in time. Nate loved looking around at all the new sights and sounds. 

After taking some funny self-portraits in the large mirrors upstairs, we stopped off at the cafe for coffee and cake before heading back home for fish and chips.

On Saturday we headed east and took the dogs for a walk at Blaxhall Common, a nature reserve with long sandy paths perfect for the dogs to run and run. We have taken the dogs here many times, but it was Nate's first visit. It was another cold day and the skies were threatening to snow so we only walked for about 30 minutes. Afterwards we went to nearby Snape Maltings and had a pub lunch at the Plough & Sail. We sat near an open fire and ate delicious comfort food. 

Sunday was Easter and we spent it visiting Nate's great-grandmother and watching the boat race on TV. We didn't do any Easter-themed activities because most of my husband's family were out of town and they don't really celebrate it anyway. I thought about getting Nate a basket with some goodies, but decided against it for this year. Next year I plan to put a basket together for him and also take him to an Easter egg hunt somewhere nearby.

Monday (today) was cold but sunny and after a lazy morning we went to lunch at the Maybush with some friends. We frequent this pub often and I have even blogged recently about a trip there. The food and company were amazing and Nate behaved himself wonderfully. In the afternoon we took a walk to the park and Mr M played with the dogs while I pushed Nate in the baby swing. 

I really enjoyed our Easter weekend this year. It was filled with outdoor activities, good company and tasty food. Now I'm on countdown until my return to work. I only have 2 more weeks of maternity leave, so am going to try and enjoy every last second. 

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