Last weekend saw us visiting my sister and her family at their home in Northampton. Its about a 3 hour drive from where we live.
We set off just before 8am on Saturday morning and had a pleasant trip there with very little traffic and no delays. The return wasn't as good as we got held up just after we'd passed Stonehenge when we hit a queue of traffic where the road goes from two lanes into one. At least it only took us about 30 minutes to get though which was going to be better than the cars on the other side of the road were going to take in what looked to be a 2 to 3 mile queue.
The weekend was quiet. A lot of it was getting my 4 year old nieces to stop being shy. We don't see them as often as I'd like so it takes them a while to get used to us being around.
Saturday afternoon we went to a children's play centre and my son and wife took the two girls on the play apparatus while the rest of us sat and chatted over coffee. There were a lot of children and parents packing the place out so it was really good that nobody paid any more attention to me than they did anybody else. At one point I even spoke briefly with the lady at the table next to us.
We'd planned on going to the balloon festival and watch the hot air balloons take off but after looking at the weather we decided that it was probably going to be too windy for them to take off so we changed our plans and arranged to meet up at our hotel to have dinner.
Checking into the hotel I reserved a table for the 7 of us and then promptly had to cancel it as our plans changed when my sister sent me a text to let me know that both the twins had crashed and were fast asleep. With very little chance of them being awake before we'd planned dinner we decided that we'd go back over to their place and order pizzas.
The rest of the evening passed quietly while we watched TV.
Sunday morning we got up and had breakfast at our hotel before checking out and going over to my sister's. We planned to go to the cinema in the afternoon to see Planes before traveling back home.
The morning went far too fast.
The cinema was great as my one niece was happy for me to pick her up and hold her and also held my hand as we walked to the screen where our film was being shown. She'd finally overcome her shyness!
Although they both started off sitting in their own seats by the time that the film had started both the girls were sitting in their parents laps and fell asleep during the movie. The film was OK. Its not as good as Cars or Cars 2 but it passed the time.
After the film we had said our goodbyes to everyone and I got another cuddle and a kiss from my one niece and a reluctant cuddle from my other one. She's the really shy one and it takes her a lot longer to get used to me. She always has.
There were a couple of incidents over the weekend that made it for me.
The first was my one niece referring to me as Aunty J a couple of times. Most of the family call me J as its been easier for them to adjust to the new name that way. Getting called Aunty for the first time really did make my weekend.
The second thing that made the weekend for me was when we were going for breakfast on Sunday morning.
As I was walking down the corridor from our room and was passing through a fire door I heard someone coming out of a room behind us. Looking back I saw two young girls and their gran making their way down the corridor. I stopped and held the door for them. The gran said that it was OK and that I didn't need to hold the door while they were still a distance away but I said that it was fine.
After they'd reached the door I carried on and heard the gran say to one of the girls "Yes, she was nice for holding the door." Although I hadn't heard what the little one had said it made my day to think that I'd passed the young child test.
Definitely good times :-)