On Thursday it was Ava's 2nd birthday. Nath and I both took a day off work so that we could spend some time together, the three of us. I was so excited, not only to spend some quality family time together, which is rare as Nath works so much, but also because Ava is actually starting to understand the concept of birthdays and can unwrap gifts and get excited over the prospect of cake (who doesn't, let's be honest).
We'd started to gather a few gifts together for her and on Wednesday evening I wrapped them and Nath put together her Peppa Pig easel (I had started to but in my defence the instructions were useless), we then blew some balloons up and went to bed.
Ava woke, as usual, around 6.30am and was SO excited when she saw her gifts. To be honest she couldn't really be bothered unwrapping the books and DVDs and just wanted to get stuck in on the easel.
We then set off to Hickory's in Chester for breakfast. Hickory's is an American Smokehouse by the river. It's a great place with an amazing reputation which makes it quite tricky to get into but I managed to grab us a slot at 9.30 for pancakes and milkshakes. Whilst booking online I'd mentioned that it was Ava's birthday, they kindly decorated the table with balloons for her which I though was such a lovely touch, Ava was chuffed too!
Ava and I shared a Yee-ha malted milk milkshake, I'm a sucker for milkshakes and I've had this one before. It contains vanilla ice cream, caramel syrup and American malt. It's a real authentic American milkshake and Ava loved it! We ordered the children's breakfast for Ava which was 1 Cumberland sausage, scrambled eggs, 2 rashers of bacon and a quarter of a waffle. In hindsight we would have been better off just giving her bits off our plates as it was quite a lot for her.
Nath didn't mess about and got the Great American Breakfast, a whole waffle with maple syrup, two sausages, four rashers of bacon, two eggs, black pudding, two hash browns, grilled tomatoes and a bowl of baked beans! It was like something from Man vs Food! He traded the black pudding and tomatoes for extra hash browns and was proud to say he polished off the lot! I don't know where he puts it!
I had another case of eyes bigger than my belly syndrome and ordered the hickory's pancake stack with cream and blueberry compote, it also came with a little bucket of maple syrup. They were amazing but combined with the milkshake became a bit sickly and I'm sorry to say that I wimped out after 2.5 pancakes! Disappointing! We love Hickory's and the service was amazing, and I'd recommended it to anyone, just make sure you book in advance!
With full bellies we made our way to Chester Zoo and Ava promptly fell asleep which left Nath and I twiddling our thumbs in the car park waiting for her to wake up. Unfortunately it was quite a gloomy day which made it quite chilly and some of the smaller animals weren't out but we had a lovely day none the less.
On the way home we did the rounds with various family members where she got to open more presents and then we went out for a meal at night. All in all we had a wonderful day. I still can't believe I have a two year old!