• James Hewlett

Winter Wonderland


This one is being written an published a little late and then back dated to yesterday. By the time we got home last night I was pooped and if I’d tried to write something then it would have been shit. Also note that I’m writing this post from bed because bed is very comfy and it sounds like it is shit out in the world today!

Winter Wonderland was a ton of fun. We got ourselves up pretty leisurely and then hit the road at about 11am. Driving to London is so nice again now that the M3 roadworks have finally finished after ten years. It only took about an hour to get to Richmond where we jump on the underground. As Ed hadn’t finished work and got home until 9:30am they weren’t going to be getting there until later in the afternoon so we decided to have a look around some shops and things in the Covent Garden/Leicester Square area. We managed to pick up a present for my niece and Sara got the next two books in the series she started last week as she absolutely devoured the first one. We also popped into a really well stocked board game shop around there and saw a couple of things we liked the look of. Both were a lot cheaper on amazon and as we still had a long day to go we didn’t feel like carrying them around. So one we ordered as a present for ourselves and have decided that if one of the grandparents gives us some money for xmas as they tend to do, it will have paid for that. That game was Charterstone, a brand new release that looks really nice, really clean and friendly in design. Its another legacy game but one that once you’ve played the initial twelve games that build and change the board you can then play on for ever after as a uniquely designed worker placement game. It caught both of our eyes so we sort of just said fuck it.

The other game I sneakily ordered as a present for Sara so I’m not going to say what it is just in case she reads this before xmas.

We had had enough of shopping at that point, London was, as expected, completely packed and it was becoming a hassle to just move around. We got to Hyde Park around three even from the outside we could tell that Winter Wonderland was a lot bigger than when we came three or four years ago. After a busy but fast moving queue to get in we hit the bar, well, one of the bars. There was easily more than a dozen spread throughout. The Bavarian Village alone, with all its bars, food, performers and entertainment was twice the size of the entire Southampton xmas market, and that is before you even head out into the rest of the park. We got our stein of German beer and cup of mulled wine and were even able to find tasty chimney cakes that we first discovered in Croatia earlier in the year.

There was a bunch of rides and rollercoasters, games, funhouses, ice rinks, circus performances and every kind of fair ground food you could wish for. The best analogy I could give is that it is a lot like going to a state fair in the US but with a xmas theme. I’ve only been to the Texas State Fair before, but I imagine they’re all kind of similar.

We met up with Ed and Toni when they got there. You know your friends are like minded when you say the words “Yeah we’ll meet you under the diddle finger.” Without any explanation and they know exactly where you’ll be.

Last time we went up we didn’t do any rides, they were the same, so we were all game to go explore and have some fun. Toni, Sara and I all love roller coasters so we headed for the one that looked the most fun. Ed isn’t at much of a fan but was a good sport and went a long with it anyway. I was amazed at how good of a coaster it was. Normally fair ground ones freak me out because they all look so janky and death inspiring, this one was solid and smoother than half the rides at Thorpe Park. The best bit for me was hearing Ed’s screams of “NO HUMAN SHOULD BE UPSIDE DOWN!!!” As we went through each of the rides loops. It was great.

After that we found a silly funhouse that looked like it would be a laugh. It didn’t disappoint…

Sara and I were both feeling a bit tired and achey by this point and it was getting busier and busier so we decided to start heading out. We left the others with their friends and had another wander about and used up our remaining tokens on another funhouse. We were lucky to find seats on our tubes back to the car and were home by about 10:30pm. It was a packed eleven hours and it only took Sara about ten minutes for she was sound asleep on the sofa, but a really fun day out was had by all. I look forward to doing it again next year!

My hair looks great fresh out of the shower.

I’m going to write my Sunday post a little bit later in the afternoon, so come back later to read that one.

#entertainment #boardgames #beer #friendship #marriedlife #drinking #travel #nightlife #weekendedition

©2017 by James Hewlett.