All posts filed under: Travel

Dreaming of a White Christmas

What is it about snow and Christmas that just belong together so perfectly? For as long as I can remember, as a nation, we have collectively been bursting for it to snow on Christmas Day.  I don’t remember if it has ever happened in my lifetime (other than the odd solitary flake that apparently still counts but is in no way as exciting as a blanket of pure white), in fact it generally doesn’t snow a lot where we live on the south coast.  But I still have that dream of experiencing a snowy Christmas, and it is one that Jasmine appears to have inherited.  For the last couple of years, she has been asking if we can visit Norway for her birthday (which, incidentally, is today), to be snowed in and hopefully catch a glimpse of those elusive Northern Lights.  One day, I hope to make that dream of hers come true. Another way to get that festive flurry fix would be to book a ski holiday.  Mark Warner Christmas ski holidays look particularly …

Five Things to Do in Las Vegas That Have Nothing to Do with the Casinos

When you think about Las Vegas as a tourist destination, the first thing that typically pops into a person’s head is the casinos. Las Vegas is known for its sprawling casinos, each with their own theme and their own experience clustered along Las Vegas Boulevard or The Strip. But what happens if casinos and gambling aren’t really your thing? Does that mean you should cross Las Vegas off your list of destinations to visit? The short answer is no.  The Las Vegas tourist board has been working hard to inform visitors about all the casino attractions, but also make clear the fact that the city is so much more than just a casino destination. Today there are attractions and sights meant to appeal to a wide range of tourists, including families who are looking for that perfect family getaway.   Here we’ll take a look at five entertaining things to do and see in Las Vegas that have absolutely nothing to do with the casino and gambling.  Venture Outside the City to World Famous Landmarks  While …

Blogging and Me: SEO Tips

When I started this little corner of the internet 7 long years ago, I was absolutely clueless when it came to blogging; all I knew was that I wanted to record some memories of my children whilst they were small.  And that I did, though along the way my priorities changed.  After years of writing and reading blog posts, I discovered that you could actually be paid for advertising content and a whole new World opened up to me.  Of course, I still wrote about my children, but my hobby was fast becoming so much more. I quickly realised that I would need to make some changes to my website in order to attract business and my first step was to buy a domain.  I used GoDaddy as it was recommended to me and seemed fairly user-friendly (bearing in mind I was a complete novice) and bought WordPress hosting alongside the domain.  Smiles and Trials in its current format was thus formed. Over the last couple of years, I have continued to learn more about blogging …

Things to do in Bristol When You’re Seven

Bristol had not been on my radar at all until very recently.  As a non-driver, it just seemed too far away to bother considering.  That was until we were sat at Worthing station waiting for a local train only to see a GWR train heading for Bristol Temple Meads roll into the station.  Immediately, my mind started whirring and wondering.  Could we? Shortly after, coincidentally, I was chatting to my oldest friend, who lives in Cheltenham, discussing our next visit when she happened to mention that Bristol wasn’t actually far from them.  And so the plan was born.  I would take the children to visit my friend and we would spend a day in Bristol whilst we were up there, catching the train back to Worthing afterwards. I spent quite a while looking at things we could do in Bristol, attractions we could visit, and Bristol Zoo Gardens looked the most promising as we knew we would only have time to do one thing really. We ended up arriving just after 9am when they opened …

Day Trip to Liverpool

I have a deep fascination with the North of our country, having forever lived within 10 miles of the South coast and mostly only explored other regions of the South.  In fact the furthest North I have been would probably be Birmingham or Norfolk (my geography isn’t great so I’m unsure which of these is actually further North…).  I have a long list of “Northern” (I appreciate my definition of Northern is not in fact definitive) places I would like to visit, including York, Whitby, Sheffield, Chester and Liverpool. I would love to spend the day in Liverpool on the way to Dublin, which is one of my favourite cities.  I feel that Liverpool is well worth a visit with children and would love to take them to St John’s Gardens and The Beatles Story, which I think Sonny would enjoy given his new-found love of the band! Alongside the historical aspect to Liverpool, there is also a thriving modern shopping centre, including the popular mall, Liverpool One.  I can see myself and Jasmine spending …