On Thursday 8th of June it was National Best Friend Day & in light of that I wanted to dedicate this post to my best friend Samiya.
I had planned to publish this post in September when I was taken to the Monkey Forest in Stoke On Trent by Samiya, my best friend for my 23rd birthday! I however, am the least organised person in the world.
Now, before I get into how amazing the forest was, and how awesome I felt after meeting the fairies at the end of Trentham Estates Gardens. I should let you know that birthdays are a special occasion for me. It is the one day the universe dedicates to me alone & even if I have to spend my birthdays by myself I can assure you I will be spoiling the living daylights out of me because on the day I celebrate my born day I deserve the loving!
Lucky for me, I never have to do this. God blessed me when he gifted Samiya to me as my friend. I haven’t known her long! Only a sheer 12 years! But since the beginning of time she has gone out of her way to make my birthdays something to remember. Now I’m not talking about some cheeky Ferror Rocher chocolates and a bunch of flowers from Tesco. I am talking hard and dedicated planning as soon as July comes to an end. She needs two solid months to dot all her i’s and cross all her t’s. Samiya will plan the whole day sometimes even the whole week for my birthday and I can tell you, every year she has managed to do better than the last. Every year she successfully makes me feel like a renowned celebrity.
This particular year, she text me in the morning with a list of instruction.
She told me what to wear, what to bring with me and what time I should be ready! Whilst I hate the element of surprise she loves it and I had to sit in the car with her itching not knowing where she was taking me. I looked at every single sign we passed on the motorway, for a second I thought she was taking me to the space center.
Soon enough I could see signs to the Trentham Estate and small brown signs which lead us to 60 acres of ancient Staffordshire forest land. A big “The Monkey Forest” sign hung above caged doors. Now I was excited.
The Monkey Forest is a unique attraction near Stoke which opened in 2005 following the success and experience they had learnt from the parks in France & Germany- the first one opened in 1969 in Kintzheim.
The experience allows you to roam freely with the monkeys. You walk through stands of trees, alongside a stream and around the grounds of the monkey forest, among 2 family groups that live alongside each other. It was truly fascinating. Being so up close and personal with monkeys and seeing them
practically run over your toes and fall out of trees trying to show you that this is
their kingdom and we are their guest!
After an hour walking around the Kingdom of Monkeys we were back to where we started.
But that was not the end of my treat.
A small drive away from the forest nestled in the heart of the Trentham Estate was Trentham Gardens. That’s where I left my heart that day.
Before entering the gardens you walk through a lane filled with stores selling handmade jewelry, sweets, children toys, pottery, clothes, accessories, garden furniture, basically EVERYTHING!
After being nosy and doing some cheeky window shopping we headed towards the coffee shop. It had been raining all day and we both knew a hot chocolate and a lemon drizzle cake would go down perfectly right now.
THEN we headed we towards the gardens.
Winner of the 2010 European Garden Award for Best Historic Garden Restoration, Trentham Gardens is the result of a 14 year restoration project.
Etched across the grand sweep of intalianete gardens were lakes, avenues and statues. Dazzling arrays of blues, pinks, golds, yellows, blues and purples flowers curtained the entire garden as though it were its protective wall.
Once you got to the bottom of the garden, you are greeted by the garden fairies.
Me & Samiya used this time to reminisce the 12 years we have spent together. We laughed about all the crazy things we did during high school. We cried over the heart breaks. We pulled each other closer over our growth.
I wish everyone had a Samiya in their life.