Since we have moved to a more rural area, we have been making more of an effort to get out and about, exploring our surroundings. Anyone with young children will tell you that fresh air is vital if you don’t want to hit ‘death’ hour at 5pm, you know, the hour before Daddy comes home when everyone is climbing the walls and you have to hide in the bathroom in order to retain your sanity…or is that just me?
So when Collective Bias invited me to bring Coca Cola into our family fun, I headed straight for their website to get some inspiration. Coca Cola have a great section called the ‘Work It Out’ calculator, where you can select your favourite product and then see how much exercise you need to complete to burn off the calories. As a fan of diet coke, I didn’t need to do anything but had I opted for normal coke, I would have needed to do a 30 minute country walk!
30 minutes didn’t sound too difficult so we decided to use it as an opportunity to visit the Ribble Estuary which is located just around the corner from where we now live. The Ribble is one of the largest estuaries in the UK and is one of the most important as it is a protected site for overwintering sea birds. This makes it a great place to do some bird and wildlife spotting and if you time it right, you can capture great clouds of birds taking off and landing which is just amazing to see.
So, the first stop for our fun filled weekend was to head over to Asda to shop for supplies. I wanted to make a delicious home cooked meal which I felt sure would be needed after our outdoor adventures and whilst there I also stocked up on some drinks, including a couple of bottles of diet coke.
Supplies bought, we headed out to do some exploring. The thing I am learning about children is that they really don’t need much guidance to get stuck in. In the case of Meg, part of getting stuck in meant falling headfirst into a patch of nettles but she was giving it a good go!
My Other Half fancies himself something of an expert on the environment and delighted in the opportunity to teach the kids about river types and the surrounding wildlife. We spotted a number of different birds including the Mallard and I believe the Grey Plover as well although Eli delighted in telling us all that the footprints we discovered actually belonged to dinosaurs.
|Can you spot the dinosaur prints?!|
The Ribble Estuary is an absolutely beautiful place to walk, if you can ignore the houses on the one side of it! The sun was just setting as we explored and it provided a very atmospheric feel to our walk. Being close to the Ribble River and Estuary was the other inspiration for this post. One of Coca Cola’s recent environmental projects sees them working with WWF-UK for three years to protect and replenish some of the rivers in the UK. Whilst the Ribble River isn’t affected directly, it is projects like this which raise awareness and remind people how important our environment is. If the Ribble Estuary were to dry out, it would have serious consequences for some of England’s wildlife. Having been there now, and seen for myself how wonderful the area is for birds I can certainly agree that steps need to be taken to protect it.
We spent about an hour walking up and down, seeing what we could find, which was plenty long enough for children aged 2 and 4, before heading home.
Once home, we tucked in to our dinner. Fresh air always puts me in mind for some comfort food so I’m glad I had opted to make sausage casserole with homemade yorkshire puddings. It was my first time doing this and although I managed to somehow grow lots of little tiny yorkshire puddings on the bottom of our oven, they were quite tasty. I’m not sure my Other Half would agree as he was left with the job of cleaning them up!
After dinner we had a quick outfit change into our pyjamas, and whilst we drank some yummy hot chocolate we watched our current favourite DVD, ‘Frozen’.
I absolutely love family time like this, exploring together, laughing together, eating together and, my personal favourite, snuggling together at the end of a long day. It’s definitely something we should do more often.
How do you like to spend time together as a family?