Yesterday was a totally awful day; it just went from bad to worse and in terms of ****ed up it has to rank up there as total royal ones. Addi and I made the decision early on that because of the bad weather forecast we were going to do something indoors and head for the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth.
We love aquariums they always captivate kids with their array of weird and wonderful creatures and there is a lot to do at the National Marine Aquarium and I liked the fact I could book the tickets online, skip the queues and save 10% on the entrance price. To coin a phrase from my favourite supermarket ‘every little helps’.
We set off from our base in Devon to do the 50 miles to Plymouth, which across the little country roads got a little scary but all part of the Mini adventure. On arriving in Plymouth my Co-Pilot sat-nav duly went on strike and got us lost; thanks sat-nav for sending us down a one way system, illegally through bus lanes and down pedestrian only streets. I shall await the fines through the post with baited breath!
After 2 hours in the car, we finally saw a sign for the aquarium and I gravitated towards it like a child to chocolate. The problem was so was everyone else…and on entering the car park it took us 48 minutes to navigate through 8 levels of parking hell and down again as there were no spaces.
Curbing the wheels on my car exiting the car park was another epic fail to the already stressful day. Trying two further car parks left me dealing with rude obnoxious people who were ‘guarding’ spaces like their life depended on it and more steering wheel banging by me. Now three hours and fifty minutes into the journey and a phone call to the aquarium confirming all car parks full and even queues to get in with pre-booked tickets I had to turn to my glum faced companion and admit defeat.
Disappointed and disheartened we opted to try and go bowling instead and headed back to Exeter to the tenpin bowling centre. Arriving at 4:15pm I thought we would be in with a chance of a lane. How wrong I was. The alley was heaving and with the joy of only one person on the desk, by the time we reached the front we were told there was a 3 hour wait for lanes.
Blank stares. Sad faces. Slumped shoulders. All of those applied to both Addi and I as we trudged disheartened out of the bowling alley.
By now the Mini was beginning to feel like our home for the day…thank heavens for iPads and in-car chargers and movies. Not once had Addi moaned or groaned or given me any back chat. If there was one positive out of the day it was how proud I was of her grown up behaviour at now getting to do any of what I had promised her.
An hours journey home was tough. I was tired, thirsty and hungry and could have easily fallen asleep rather than kept driving. In an attempt to salvage the day on our return Addi and headed to the pool to wind down for an hour before bed and then snuggled up to watch a movie before hitting the sack.
Exhausted, frustrated and fed up didn’t even cover how I felt about the day but discovering this amazing vodka with raspberry and elderflower in a tin just about bought a smile to my face. I found it in Tesco when we stopped to pick up a pizza and although not one for pre-mixed drinks in tins I was drawn in my the retro style packaging.
On the plus side it was only 80 calories and had posh sounding flavours in it that made it seem acceptable to be that knackered mothered sitting on a bench outside with her head in her hands drinking from a can after a hard day.
The taste was divine, light, refreshing and more fruit tasting than vodka tasting – I can see a few of these ending up in the kitchen cupboard for a Friday night light relief as it hit the spot perfectly. The problem may be just stopping at one!
If you’ve not seen Nola on your supermarket shelf yet this has been developed as a new brand by Diego and Blow Creative, and has been designed to be appealing to women and particularly wine lovers. The ready-to-serve drinks come in both canned and bottled varieties, including fruity mixes of Raspberry & Elderflower and Watermelon & Strawberry flavours. If you like a little tipple at a weekend, then Nola vodka spritzers actually have about 35% fewer calories than a glass of Pinot Grigio, as well as less alcohol by volume, making the drinks highly appealing for social gatherings and casual get-togethers on week nights.