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2020 certainly started in an unexpected way.

So when the opportunity to head to Gran Canaria as a family presented itself, courtesy of my parents, we jumped at the chance. It was an opportunity to get some sun and most importantly get some time as a family away from life demands. To get there it meant taking a 4 hour flight from Birmingham Airport to Las Palmas then a 40 minute drive to Taurito – our destination.

For New Year’s Eve 2020 we wanted to celebrate somewhere new. We choose Krakow, Poland as our destination. We chose Krakow for two reasons: 1. There was a 50% chance of snow and 2. It is cost effective from the UK. In fact we paid £150 per person for return flights and accommodation for 4 nights was £400.

It is also turned out that Krakow was super child friendly!

Waking up on Sunday morning to glorious sunshine was not what we expected on a November morning in Wales. Thankfully it was what we got.

Having had a busy Saturday we planned to take things easy on the Sunday. The only problem with easy Sundays is that sometimes you end up being busier than if you had planned things. This Sunday followed that description.

With too many places we wanted to see we narrowed down the list based on three things: proximity (we didn’t want to go too far), uniqueness (we wanted something we couldn’t find elsewhere) and child friendliness. We also ruled out a few places for not being dog friendly – Portmeirion being one.

However after researching and planning we decided to throw caution to the wind and get in the car and drive. It wasn’t a great plan. We did see stunning scenery as we drove through Snowdonia National Park, especially the trees were in glorious Autumn colours. We also came across some lovely quaint villages with gorgeous houses that looked straight out of a painting. What we also found was quite a few of our potential stops were closed on Sundays.

We decided to book in a final getaway of the year to Snowdonia National Park, a chance to escape as a family and have some down time away from our regular chaos.

Leaving at Annabelle’s 7pm bedtime we drove 3 hours north west to the village of Tanygrisiau an area within Blaenau Ffestiniog and famous for it’s slate mining. We had booked a 3 night stay in an airbnb cottage that was dog and child friendly and as we discovered in the morning – a stunning view!

The weather forecast had predicted rain for the weekend so on waking up and seeing grey skies we weren’t surprised. We quickly got dressed in wellies and coats to head to breakfast at a recommended cafe less than 10 minutes walk away. Annabelle loved the puddles and was excited to be out in the rain, we were excited when we turn the corner and saw a hill covered in waterfalls – it was stunning! Our weekend of exploring was just getting started….

Birmingham, Brum, B’ham – whatever you call the home of the 2nd largest population outside of London, we have fallen in LOVE with it! That may have a LOT to do with our Brum tour guides showing us all the best parts, but there is no denying it’s always a city that we can’t wait to get back to. So in honour of the city once known as Bromwicham, and the 72nd largest city of the world, we bring you our view of Birmingham.

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The UK is amazing. I feel like we have started more than a few posts with that line over the year. Being based in the Midlands we have been able to take full advance of exploring this wonderful island.

We thought we’d take a moment to round up our UK highlights, it ended up being too much for one post so we have split it into three – starting with the Midlands, followed by the South and then the North! So if you want a day trip or mini break or long weekend then there might be somewhere for you to check out.

We are our best selves when travelling. Some of my all time favourite memories are of travels we have had as a couple and as a family. Zakynthos, Greece added to those memories by the bucket. It was a perfect destination to escape to for a long weekend as a family. The weather was hot but not too hot, the location was central and easy to get to, the food was delicious, the activities plentiful and the cost reasonable – here’s what we got up to…..

In the UK this past few weeks there have been a few news reports about how last year more people moved from London to our home city – Birmingham than to any other city. It makes sense as it has the highest concentration of any city other than London and you know – there’s us 🙂

There is a whole list of stories here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-37585337 but I thought I would jot down our reasons for the move after a 2 day stay in London reminded me of all the reasons our move was totally the right decision!

1) We could afford our own house and as a massive benefit the mortgage on our house is £500 less that the rent we were paying for our 1 bed London flat.