Friday, 13 September 2013

Summer in the City

This year we were blessed with the type of Summer we normally only dream of (or have read about in Enid Blyton books) - endless days of Sunshine, Sandals, Ice Cream and Frappuccinos (ginger beer in Ms Blyton's case!). The only problem with all this beautiful weather is of course having to make the effort to get out and about to enjoy every last moment of it! I remember going on a few days out on sunshiney days in June and wondering will this be it now?  My sister bought my girls the most beautiful summer dresses and I thought I’d best get them on them while it’s nice and now looking back those dresses have been worn to death!

We spent much of our summer just hanging out in our favourite places. Well some of us were just hanging out, others were racing around like the crazy small people they are! When you picture Liverpool you might not think of open spaces and greenery but I am here to show you just how much there actually is...

The City Centre itself is as good a place as any to start. Yes there are fantastic shops and Liverpool has some amazing museums, not to mention the recently reopened magnificent Central Library, but this summer we weren’t hanging around indoors! Now I love shopping but when Liverpool One opened it’s doors in 2008 my favourite part was found by passing all the shops by, getting in the elevator and heading right to the top. When the elevator doors open you find yourself in the midst of a City Center Oasis, a park situated above all the shopping, flanked by restaurants and cafes with outside terraces and fabulous views across to the Albert Dock and over the Mersey. I love to grab a takeaway coffee and escape up here even in the depths of Winter.

Of course the Albert Dock is an attraction in itself, or you could visit the Maritime Museum or the Tate, or catch an event at The Echo Arena. For the baby darling’s first birthday we racked our brains for something stand out to do as a family and in the end settled on a trip on The Wheel of Liverpool. It was something that V has always asked about and as the baby darling couldn’t yet voice her own opinions we let her big sister make the decision. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but actually it was a fantastic experience giving a birds eye view of our beautiful city and the surrounding areas. Both girls loved it, the baby darling having mastered waving just in time to join her sister in practising her royal wave from our pod. Definitely a first birthday experience (at least for us!) to remember…

From our home in South Liverpool there are three park areas within a 5-10 minute drive and they are each so different but we love them all. The one we have probably visited most this summer is Otterspool Park and Promenade, again V being the deciding party in this as she loves the playground there which has a wonderful waterside theme. This summer it has been lovely to pack up picnics and pop up the girls tent and spend whole days lazing in the sunshine at the waterside. Or at least I lazed while the baby darling napped - the darling husband was kept busy with whatever adventure V could dream up for him!

Calderstones Park is another with a play area that V loves, but she also loves to go on adventures in the various walled gardens they have. These are truly beautiful and there is so much to see. Luckily there are lots of signposts for the plants so we can look all knowledgeable when V asks what each and every pretty flower is ;) It has been lovely to have the weather to spend so much time exploring, and sometimes (on the rarest of occasions) just sitting in, these gardens.

 Sefton Park has special significance  to us as it is where the darling husband and I were married. In The Palm House to be precise. We love taking the girls there to show them where this chapter of our lives began and V loves to visualise her Princess Mummy floating through the tropical plants in her sparkly white dress J The Park itself is just as splendid and reminds me of New Yorks’s Central Park. It’s so big we still get lost in there even after all these years. Except for the darling husband of course - he's always knows exactly where we are ;)

Yes, our Summer Holidays have been filled with days spent in Liverpool’s green spaces, but to be honest we’ll still be there through Autumn and Winter too. We’ll just replace the summer dresses with hats and scarves, the Frappuccinos with Hot Chocolates. Although V will still want to wear the summery dresses, and she will probably stick with the Ice Cream…

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