We’re back from a great weekend in Belfast. Obviously I love Belfast because it’s where I’m from, but it’s a great place for everyone to visit as it has so many attractions and free activities for families. When we head north, I always like to bring them to a few places I would have gone to as a child. During our summer holidays, my friends and I would have cycled to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon park, as it’s only down the road from my parents’. Although the Giro d’Italia had just started in the city centre, I wasn’t feeling up to navigating the crowds with the kids. I was feeling a bit crappy after a root canal treatment which didn’t go according to plan. I knew I could let them run wild at the park, they’d be engrossed and I’d only have to follow behind. The kids needed to burn off some steam so a stroll in the park suited us all perfectly.
When we arrived, the kids were full of enthusiasm and oohs and ahhs. They were amazed by the gigantic rhododendrons in various colours, and surprised that trees could have ‘so many flowers!!’ They were proper little adventurers, shouting ‘lets go this way mummy!’ ‘What’s down here?! Let’s go see!’ I let them go where they wanted and tagged along behind, only warning them not to take off in opposite directions. They happened to discover the Japanese garden, the rose gardens and the playground all by themselves, so they were just ecstatic every time they made a new discovery and wondered what new and exciting thing was lurking around the next corner. After literally running around (mostly in circles) for nearly an hour, plus fun in the sandpit, slides, swings and spinny thing, they
decided they were tired got cranky and wanted to go home became even more cranky. Dylan was too tired to walk and had to be carried back to the car. Eva said she was tired too but settled for holding my hand instead.
The park was certainly looking spectacular with all the rhododendrons in bloom, and it was wonderful to see the kids running around admiring the blossoms and remarking how beautiful it was. I can’t recall it looking as good when I was a child. I suppose I didn’t realise how kids see and appreciate the beauty in the same way as adults (or perhaps Belfast city council are doing a better job). They loved the park so much, I can’t wait to see their faces during the annual rose week beginning on the 21st of July. This year will be extra special as Belfast city council will celebrate the rose gardens’ 50th anniversary and it’s all free! And no, I am not being paid to pimp Belfast. I wish I was!