Well, I’ve just got back from another holiday to Center Parcs (Whinfell Forest) with Live Life Services. I originally only intended to go on Friday and drive back to Teesside on the Saturday, but someone dropped out of the trip so I managed to go for the full weekend for a discounted price of £100. I thought why not, since I had no other commitments. Overall it was a good trip, albeit getting off to a poor start. I actually enjoyed this trip more than the previous one a couple of weeks ago, as there were less people it meant I ended up with an en-suite room to myself.
I awoke on Friday morning at around 9am or so and packed the last few bits in my suitcase, of course I left my earphones and towel at my Dad’s house, so I had to drive over there and get those before heading over to Ingleby Barwick to get Jacob. We then went on over to the Rudds Arms in Marton to meet up with Paul and everyone else. Jacob and Michael piled into my car, while Paul took James, Tom-Leo and Amy, and we were soon on the road heading towards Cumbria, which was mostly uneventful. I spent most of the drive listening to BBC Radio 4 while trying to enjoy the long, boring drive.
We arrived at Center Parcs just before midday and the first port of call was to get some food, we ended up eating at Dexters which is just opposite the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. I opted to have a plain cheeseburger (surprise, surprise) with salad, instead of fries, for a change. Unfortunately eating anything turned out to be a large mistake as I would soon find out. Upon finishing our food we went swimming and one of the first things we did was go down the canyon ride. This is a slide that drags you along, going outside and finishing with a big drop into a pool at the end. Unfortunately when I did this I ended up swallowing alot of chlorine water and the result was me throwing up. As if that wasn’t enough, about five minutes later I ended up slipping over on the floor in another part of the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. All I can say is I feel sorry for the cleaner who was on duty that day. Needless to say I refused to go on that slide again, although I have used it in the past and had no problems before (aside from almost throwing up on previous uses, I resisted the urge until this time). We also went in the outdoor pool, although I found it to be colder than what it was before when I was at Center Parcs a couple of weeks back.
Unfortunately my luck didn’t end with vomiting or slipping over, no. After we had taken our luggage into the lodge me and Paul had to bring our cars back to the car park, unfortunately I missed the turn off for the car park and ended up driving back towards the check-in area. It took absolutely ages to get through it as there was loads of other vehicles queuing to check in at the same time, luckily I got through it, explained the situation to staff and they waved me straight through.
On the Friday night we ended up going out and having a few drinks, as well as watching the Middlesbrough v QPR match in the Sports Plaza, and I ended up getting fairly drunk, which of course is a great feeling. I did bring a multi-pack case of Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime with me and I also had some cocktails when we went out.
This was a fairly good day, although it was very, very cold. I don’t think the temperature got much above freezing that day. There had also been some snow overnight, though it hadn’t laid much it was evident that it had been snowing. I took a picture outside my bedroom window, which you can see to the right.
The first activity we ended up doing was crazy golf, and I really enjoyed that. I didn’t do too badly actually and ended up winning the second part of the game, and overall coming second to Paul. Although beating Paul is very hard since he is good at just about everything you could possibly think of.
We ended up going back to the lodge for some lunch, and then me, Paul, Michael and Jacob did some archery. I must admit it was a fun activity despite the cold, although on my first attempt without the instructor most of my arrows ended up on the floor, and the one that didn’t wasn’t actually anywhere near the centre of the board. After that the instructor gave me a few tips and I performed much better throughout the rest of the session.
After archery we went back to our lodge to grab our swimming attire before heading over to the Subtropical Swimming Paradise. I refused to go down any slides considering what had happened the previous day but I did enjoy relaxing in the spa pool. We returned back to the lodge for about 6pm as we had ordered take-away food which was coming between 7 and 7:30pm. I had ordered a 12″ Margarita pizza, which was extremely tasty. I’d had time to get a shower before the food arrived and at about 8:30pm we went to the disco, which turned out to be good. I had about 4 cocktails and got very drunk, so drunk that I almost felt like throwing up. I’m just glad the thoughts of what happened in the pool the previous day had escaped me, otherwise it may have been enough to trigger even more vomit. The picture to the left shows the cocktails I drank that night. The yellow one on the left being a margarita cocktail, the one in the centre is a strawberry daiquiri (I had 3 of these) and there is a small shot on the left.
We actually spent all of Sunday morning in the lodge and not actually venturing out until the afternoon. We went to the driving range, which is near the same location where we did archery. I really enjoyed the driving range, as I did with the previous activities we had done. Unfortunately, James didn’t enjoy it as much and ended up discarding his golf balls onto the field in front of him, completely oblivious to the fact that doing so was a waste of money. Paul had us all stop while James picked up the balls he had discarded. Once we went finished at the driving range, we headed back over to the lodge while everyone got their swimming attire, however I stayed behind while everyone went swimming. I took some time to myself and ended up hoovering the entire lodge as well as wiping down the tables. That took about an hour and half and I decided to relax and watch a movie, I ended up watching Apollo 13 while I waited for everyone to come back. They came back as I was about 20 minutes or so into the film and Paul prepared our tea, which was chicken fillet burgers with curly fries, absolutely perfect. I spent the rest of the night relaxing in my room and I didn’t get drunk as I knew I would be driving the next day.
We were up much earlier than usual because me and Paul had to get our cars. It was very cold and I had to defrost my car as so much frost had built up on it. Luckily I had a little bit of de-icer left so I just used that, but there was so much frost that my car windows refused to open. Once back at the lodge we waited for everyone else to get ready and we packed the luggage into the cars. I ran over the lodge one last time to make sure nobody had left anything, and aside from a pair of socks that James had left, all else was clear. Jacob and Michael were in my car again and we were on the A66 just after 10am and arrived back in Teesside just after 11am, so it took about an hour to drive back. I dropped Jacob off at his house and then went for a much needed McDonalds, as I hadn’t had one in quite a few days.
Overall, a very good and enjoyable trip. Also one that was last minute. In all likelihood that will be the last trip I do this year, the next one will probably be Center Parcs again probably early next year, maybe around February or March.