when I heard my brother Fraser was musing about climbing Snowdon, Wales to celebrate his big five-O, we jumped at the chance to join him.
And so did the remainder of our close family when they realised it was a flyer, save my twin Jackie, who's just started a new job unfortunately.
Tony and I have had several discussions about completing this walk but they've come to nothing.
So, our base is to be the delightful village of Betwy-y-Coed, Tony and I are in the local pub with accommodation in room 9a with a four poster bed, we push the boat out a little, called the Ty Gwyn, and everyone else is at the far side of town in a smashing self catering house together.
So, we're up at 5am on Saturday, the day of the walk, and we drive to Wales to begin.
Our timing is perfect, dropping our bags off, and heading out at 10am to meet up with the family party, who are raring to go at the foot of the mountain.
Mixed ability of walkers, 3 children & 8 adults has our choosing one of the popular ways up, the Miners track, once used by the copper miners of the area.
Ambling at first, so our party keeps together well, and we're walking and talking, resting to pick up the slower ones.
Then the track eases upwards, and the gentle incline means we progress at different levels. No worries, our mobiles keep us in contact.
My brother Fraser seated in red & white and Julie his wife, with Tony
And by no design, Tony and I lead the kiddies up, as we are at the front of the pack. Turns out it's better that way, as there are no ifs or buts or negotiations.
This is where we explain to my nieces Lauren (10) Abby (12) & my nephew Jack (13 in 2 weeks) there is only one way, and that's up!
our destination in the distance, it's not as far as it may look
An hour later, we have made the zig-zag intimidating ascent, and are upon the last leg of the walk up
Tony in blue and Lauren drinking water
Abby and Lauren, don't they look pleased with themselves
We see my BIL Chris on the track and he catches us up, in blue with Tony
and this is the ridge up to the summit, I've taken a panorama of the view we have, it's beautifully clear
And we make it to the top for a small selection of sandwiches and water as we wait for others
I can't believe it, there's a cafe and facilities at the top, I've never had that before.
My brother Fraser and the SIL Julie are next.
And that's it, we text, and are meeting the others on the way back down the slopes.
That's a blow, they've got the snap.
Not long before we are all reunited
and we all work our way back down at our own paces. Tony stays with the children way ahead, and I stay with the last of us, up the rear
My sister Karon in blue, and my niece Samantha in red
My niece Samantha, me with my sister Karon taking holiday photos
My sister Jane, chatting
and after 7-ish, we are in the Swallow for one birthday drink to celebrate
Tony and Jane - cheers Jane!
Our walking party complete, don't we look pleased with ourselves, far left to right
Tony, Jane, Fraser, Abby, Jack, Julie, Samantha, Karon, Chris, me & Lauren