Saturday, 22 December 2007

Going Home

We are travelling back to Birmingham today. We gave in our ski suits and boots and had a quick breakfast of biscuits and crisps and went to the coach. We got to the airport which was packed with people going home and I saw the next lot of poor souls arriving for their holiday. Do they know what they are in for? Probably not but i hope it is better than what we had.
Kiearn isn't feeling well and managed the journey from Kittila airport to Birmingham and back to Plymouth. He fell asleep part of the way aI took him to the emergency surgery as his temprature had risen to 38.5.
One thing about this holiday is that we will remember it!
It has been a very interesting few days. Washing Machine and tumble dryer broke down, let down holiday but what the heck, I have had 3 wonderful days with the most amazing people in my life, my children. They make every day worth living.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Santa's post office

Kieran had been very physically and emotionally abusive yesterday and I think he was tired so when the excursion to go to the Artic Circle celebration was arranged for early morning I left him sleeping. Siobhan and Rich were with him and were happy to sit with him when he woke up.
This was a total disappointment as I had got on the coach thinking we were going to celebrate and enjoy the culture of Finland and ended up at Santa's post office. I was cross about that as not one rep had mentioned that the intinary we were given by Cosmos had been changed. All anyone was ever told was look at the poster in the foyer of the hotel. I could not find a poster detailing any excursions and I made a point of looking for it. I could have cried as I knew Kieran especially was looking forward to this. It was a very busy place with coach loads of people all enjoying the sites and wanting to get into the buildings and see Santa's bedroom and the post office. When I got back and told Kieran he was really upset. The reps were not interested and didn't seem phased. They said there was nothing they could do.
I went to the artic circle celebration that was now in the afternoon and was taken to one of the highest points in Levi fell. The view was beautiful and well worth going up to the point.
When I got back, we got ready to go to the husky farm. We expected to see a real farm with all stages of dogs there and watch them training on how to pull the sledge and maybe see a few puppies. I have to say it was more like a doggie concentration camp. The dogs were chained to the ground and each had a box they could go in if they wanted shelter. It was so sad to see.

We got onto our sledge and Rich had voluteered to drive it. It was really good. I have never seen a dog run and poo at the same time until now. Rich did really well but I have to say that this did not warrant another £325 that Cosmos ask for. We were on the sledge for around 10 minutes and the best part of it had to be the exhillaration of the ride and the scenery it is a shame it was marred by the memory of the dog camp which was similar to battery hen farming.
In the evening we went out to a local pizza bar to get something to eat as the food was not to our expectations. We got back to the hotel were we were seated at a table with another couple who were also disappointed with the intinary and the way this excursion is run. It is so mismanaged. We were called in to see santa and all recieved a gift. One thing I did find disappointing is that I didn't get the chance to add a gift from santa that the children would like. This was supposed to be one of the things the company offers. Siobhan and I had candles, Kieran had an MP3 player and Rich had a magnetic game compendiam. I must say I will be glad to be going home as we have not had the experience we thought we would have.
My travel agent was very good and asked ( while I was in the office) about Kieran's Birthday, the meals and the gifts from Santa) this was added onto the booking form and not passed on to those concerned which amounted to disappointment and as for Cosmos, I will never travel with them again as I didn't like the way the dogs were treated and the way the reps help (or don't help) customers. I paid a lot of money for a once in a lifetime trip and it wasn't what I expected.
I have to say though that Finland is beautiful and I am so glad I made the journey. I don't know what we will be doing for 2008 but I will be contacting Cosmos and letting them know my feelings.

Thursday, 20 December 2007


We got up early and had breakfast, got into our ski suits, mine is enormous....!

We went to our coach and travelled to the area where the reinderr sligh ride toboganning,husky ride and snow mobile ride would take place.

The reindeer sliegh ride was a little disappointing as it was a man in a penn pulling a reindeer with a small wooden sledge on the back. it lasted all of 3 minutes.

The tobogan ride was the children taking a toboggan and sliding down a small, snowy hill. Kieran and Rich did it, Siobhan and I watched. We then went on to do the snow mobile ride, apparently as I am the driver it had been agreed by Siobhan and Rich that I would drive it.

I was so nervous but willing to take on the challenge. It was ok bit very hard to control as the machine wanted to veer off of the track. We managed the short course and ade our way to the husky sliegh ride.
I was at the back then Rich and Siobhan and Kieran at the front getting the best view.

The dogs were ready to go and kept pulling at the sledge. when they were allowed to go they stopped barking. We decided to have an extra as one of the things we could do was visit a husky farm. This sounded good.
We got back to the hotel and toyed with the meals again. We went to the local supermarket and bought some things to eat. I have to say the Cosmos reps were most unhelpful.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Happy birthday Kieran, off we go

Bleary eyed faces stirred and woke to the alarm call from the hotel and to greet Kieran who is 11 years old today. We had ordered breakfast to be delivered to the rooms. We got ourselves together and left the hotel and waited for the shuttle to take us to the airport. we arrived there and checked in and were greeted by Hal the husky and Rudi the reindeer. A very jolly lady with Christmas hats for the children was also there.

If this was what was going to happen with the whole holiday it will be wonderful but unfortunatley that was the end of the festivities.

We boarded the plane and there was no Christmas music, no happy stewards/stewardess's and just like any other flight. What a shame as the website for Cosmos promises the Lapland experience.

This didn't matter though as I was with my children and we were off to enjoy our break.

We landed at Kittila airport and the scenery was beutiful. We were met by Cosmos who directed us to a warehouse to get our ski suits and boots. I had already advised the company of this and didn't understand why we had to get measured up again.

Well...Siobhan was given a green ski suit that fitted her, Kieran got a smaller one, Rich was measured up for a man sized outfit and me, I got....a man sized one as well.

(Later when I put it on, it was HUGE! The crutch came down to my knees!)

We struggled to the coach with a white bin liner containing 4 pairs of ski boots and 4 ski suits. Rich and I just managed to carry it.

We then made our way to the hotel and this place is stunning.

As we entered Levi Fell we saw a large Christmas present and a Christmas tree which were monuments on a roundabout. This is a stunning looking place. It was covered in snow and children were out on toboggans enjoying the 3 foot of snow before they go back to the UK where 1/2 centimetre of snow causes disruption everywhere.

We got to the hotel and I asked about arrangements for Kieran's birthday as my travel agent, Jim, had asked Cosmos about it. (We had the flight details with the birthday and meal options mentioned on it).

Cosmos reps said they didn't know of anything and said maybe he could have happy birthday sang on the coach tomorrow. That was dissappointing but not to worry as I asked the hotel if they could make him a cake, which they did, The cake was wonderful although they had written "Brewer 11" on it instead of Kieran but that didn't matter as they were so helpful, more so that Cosmos reps.
The hotel room was something else. The children were pleased to see that there was a ladder leading up to the top floor, like an attic, and there were 3 beds up there, that was good as there would be no arguments as to who would sleep up there. I was left on my own at the bottom.
The TV in Finland is terrible. Daylight is around 3-4 hours a day and Kieran found this difficult to deal with. His behaviour changed dramatically. He was hard to deal with at times because of his autism. We tried to not let it spoil this trip.
We went out to eat at the restaraunt in the hotel and the food was a hunters paradise, all reindeer steaks and fish. As 3 of us are vegetarian, we found potatoes and salad, Kieran doesn't like either and I paid the hotel to make him a pizza which he loved.
We will be starting our excursions tomorrow, Kieran had a camera for his birthday and enjoyed taking pictures of everyone.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


We will be travelling to Birmingham today as our flight leaves at 7:30am on 19th and we will have to get up very early to travel from Plymouth to Birmingham. We will be staying at the holiday inn, Birmingham, over night ans will leave at 5:00am to get the plane.
Kieran asked if he could perform his nativity play at school as it would be his last Christmas there, he will be moving to another school in September 2008.
We left Plymouth at 12:oopm and had a really good trip up. We used VIP travel, who are very professional.

We had something to eat at the hotel and and then settled down for the evening as we has to be up at 4:00am to get ready for the flight.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

It's over!

Well....that is it. As the sun sets on these holidays and I have to say they have both been fantastic. One has been to a country that is rich in everything and the other to a country not so well off. It was quite a contrast and I enjoyed every minute of it. I am glad I was able to enjoy them both to the full as who knows how long it will be before I am disabled by this disease. Theo behaved very well on both holidays. Thanx Theo!

I saw one little creature that definatley needs to be included in this blog. A dragon fly, he was on some flowers outside the cruise ship and stayed there for quite a while, long enough for me to take some shots of him.

Thankyou for taking the time to read my blogs and if there are any questions or just need to chat then, please contact me.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Back in the UK

We arrived in the UK at 1:30am and waited an hour to collect our bags. We got a taxi to our hotel and when we arrived, we had a little hiccup with the hotel (we stayed in a lovely hotel called "waterhall") but that was soon sorted out and we slept until 8:30am, went for breakfast and then spent the day in Crawley. I have put in some pictures of the art work in the town centre as it is so lovely and a lot of cities could learn from this. We have a prawn on a stick on the Barbican and I would rather see the little bird mobile as it is beautiful when it catches the light.
We went to see Shrek 3rd which was brilliant and had a meal in a local pub. We went back to the "little foxes" hotel and chilled out as we were all tired and we had another journey tomorrow back to Plymouth.

Foot note : I do have to say a big thank you to Andy and his son, David for sorting out the hotel room for us when we came into the UK. They were so kind and helped us out when we needed it and also to Geraldine at little foxes. Thank you.

Link to waterhall

Link to little foxes