Tag: holidays

Let the Countdown Begin

I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for the summer holidays to begin.  While admittedly we don’t really have plans for the summer apart from doing day trips to Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park, I just can’t wait to be able to spend some family time together and do things, without having to worry about school the next day.  I also think little T and her friends are just about ready for the summer holidays to begin as well.

Starting Monday next week, we have only about 18 days to go before the last day of school.  Woohoo!  I feel giddy at the thought of having little T with me all the time.  Oh of course, I’ll moan about it especially when she starts whinging about being bored, I’ll probably wish for the next school term to begin again, but at the moment, I’m feeling really excited!

Just think, no more having to wake up early, rush out the door in haste and we can all spend as much time as we want in our pjs.  I’ve never gardened in my pjs though, have you?

Excited to spend more time in the garden (maybe not in our pjs), get that trampoline up, some swings, and lots of gardening.

This week has just been that, little T asking “When will school end, mum?”  Just a few more weeks, sweetie, is what I tell her.

Our word of the week is : Countdown.

What about you?

Are you also excited for the summer holiday to begin?

Do share.

The Reading Residence

Summer Lovin …

happened so fast … As that song from Grease goes.  Maybe I should change the lyrics to “Summer lovin, please come as fast as you can?”  And that folks, is the reason why I would make a really crap lyricist.

As I type this I look out the window and it is greyest of grey outside.  Our little village is covered in mist.  Thinking of summer at the moment feels a bit ludicrous, or perhaps, this is the perfect time to dream of summer and going on holiday? Some of you have probably even booked your summer trips already.  We did that too last year and the year before that, booked as early as February. This year though, things are a bit on hold for now. But I will save that for another post.   For now, I want to take you and myself back to the summer of 2014.

It was the summer we took a road-trip from Cornwall to the French countryside and stayed at Eurocamp at the La Croix du Viuex Pont at Berny-Riviera, which was near enough for us to have a day trip to Paris and Disneyland and back.

IMG_6809Little T eating ice-cream at the plaza in Vic-Sur-Aisne

If you asked little T, of course what made the trip memorable was seeing Elsa and Anna live in Disneyland, Paris.  If you asked me and my husband, we’d say we loved the long and lazy days spent doing absolutely nothing but ambling down quiet and empty roads in the French countryside.

vicsur_littlestepsWalking around Vic-Sur-Aisne, love, love, love the French shutters and flower boxes.

Even the nearby town, Compiègne felt like a ghost town when we visited.  There was hardly anyone in the streets.  Although to be fair, later in the day, the French came out and of course to us, seemed impeccably stylish even in their every day wear.

townhall_littlestepsThe town hall and empty streets of Compiègne.

We live in a small village too here in Cornwall, but walking around in our little village, chances are, you’ll meet someone, especially a dog-walker, strolling around the village.  But not in the French countryside, we wondered, where everyone was!  But that was part of the charm I guess, the emptiness and solitude of the French countryside, what more can one ask?  Of course, this isn’t what everyone wants in a holiday.  Some may prefer the maddening chaos of Paris which I also enjoyed actually. I loved walking around the streets of Paris and gazing at old rambling buildings.  Although the crowd was a little bit too much for me, I think a day in Paris is enough, although my husband said, perhaps visit in a quiet month, like in autumn.

IMG_7008A lovely cobbled street in Paris.

To me a perfect vacation is just that … meandering through streets, walking around like a local, making wrong turns and discovering things on your own, especially places that are not mentioned in tour guides.  Having no itinerary, If you feel like lazing around on the beach and reading a good book, then so be it.  Don’t have lists of things to do while on vacation.  Remember, it’s all about taking a break from the madness of your everyday life.

What is your idea of a perfect holiday?

*This is an entry for James Villa Holiday’s competition.

A Little Note from Us

Dear Friends,

We are currently on a six week holiday to visit family and friends here in the Phil.  And also to experience real warmth and sunshine without wondering how long it will last.  Will try our best to keep you guys posted, but if we’re unable to do so, do forgive us, we’re probably in some island lying on white sand, thinking of you guys.

Hope everyone has some lovely plans for the summer too!

Much love,

T, D & S

ps

Doc has also gone on his own doggie holiday at a “spa”.  That’s what he thinks it is, so  please don’t burst his bubble and call it a you-know-what 😉

All About Christmas

It certainly is beginning to look a lot like ..

xmas

 

in our little home.

Our Christmas decor are out from the dusty, cold attic and I managed to deck our house with baubles and other Christmas paraphernalia, one can’t do without, especially when you have little ones at your home like the following:

IMG_7750

Exhibit A:  The Advent Calendar.

Little T actually springs out of bed every morning, excited to open her Advent calendars.  She has a picture one in her room, so she opens that one up first.  From upstairs, you’ll hear her announce what it was behind the window.  Today she squealed “It’s a Christmas fairy mummy”.  Then off she’ll run downstairs to open the little drawers of her Snowman advent calendar.

IMG_7749

Exhibit B:  The Christmas Countdown blackboard.

And then she’ll excitedly tick off her Christmas countdown-blackboard.  When I saw that in a shop, I knew that this was the kind of thing little T will love.  The fact that it only cost 99p was an additional bonus.

IMG_7747

Exhibit C:  Christmas Crockery

Yep, gotta have ’em, because, why not?  Christmas only happens once a year, and it’s also our chance to be lame within some sort of reason.

IMG_7752

Exhibit D:  Glass Baubles

I love my glass baubles.  I like dressing up our mirror in our living room and it’s also the perfect place to hang them up high, safe from the grasps of little hands.  Yep, you can say we’ve certainly embraced the Christmas spirit in our home and as I type this, my husband has put a Christmas CD on.

But alas, no tree yet!  I’ve convinced the husband to get it earlier this year though, so we can enjoy the tree longer.  Hopefully, we’ll manage to go to the Christmas tree farm next week.  You see, we are driving up to Buckinghamshire to spend Christmas with my in-laws who normally drive down to stay with us during the holidays.  They are getting old and we’ve decided it would be best for us to just drive up to stay with them, rather than the other way around.

What about you?

Is it Christmas in your home yet?

The Reading Residence

La Croix du Vieux Pont Campsite & Eurocamp (A sort-of-Review)

At the La Croix du View Pont Campsite where we stayed, it wasn’t just Eurocamp (whose accommodations we used), there were other lovely accommodations as well.  In fact, probably the next time we go, we might try the others, just to know what it’s like.

While the little villa we stayed in was ample enough for a small family like ours, I had a few negatives:

  • The rooms were too small.  I’m a bit claustrophobic and the other rooms (though little T and I had the “double room”) felt way too small.  I’m wondering how a family with really tall kids would manage!
  • It looked a bit out-dated.  The cushions in the lounge/diner kept falling off and wouldn’t stay put.
  • The “clean” wasn’t done really well.  We found some not very pleasant things under the cushions.
  • My main peeve was the bathroom!  It was clean enough, but the shower kept falling off and was either too hot or too cold.

Other than that, it did feel like a home-away-from home.  My husband didn’t feel much of the negatives, so it could also be just me.  The place had everything you’d need from cooking utensils and even its own barbecue grill in the lawn, complete with deck-chairs.

On a positive note, I admire Eurocamp’s service and staff.  They were the best!  They were all accommodating and friendly, as soon as you report something, a young staff would hop on their bike and see to it right away.  One even left a really friendly/note when we were out, just to say that they dropped by and reminded us that we needed anything, there weren’t far away!  I think that’s what you call really good service.  Don’t you agree?

As for the campsite itself, La Croix du View Pont, certainly catered to families!  As mentioned, they have a man-made beach, water-activities, two swimming pools, and one had a slide.  A lovely Irish lady recommended the kiddie disco, apparently great for kids and grown-ups as well, though we didn’t have the chance to see it.  You could also rent bikes and have a day-out of biking around the camp and also the nearby villages.  Sadly, we weren’t able to do that either.

Little T does a “selfie” in a canoe ride.

Little T enjoys the trampoline.

And of course, we always came back to the man-made beach for some fun in the sand.

Not so sure whether Victor, little T’s inflatable dinosaur enjoyed being buried in the sand though.

Have you stayed at La Cruix du Vieux Pont Campsite and used Eurocamp’s accommodations too?

Did you like it?

What’s your favourite holiday campsite or go-to-place?

This post is linked-up with #countrykids.

Some much needed R&R

The first few days of our holiday were a bit manic, although to be fair, apart from our Disneyland trip, we didn’t exactly begin our days early and usually did our “touristy bit”, usually after lunch.  But even that could be tiring.

We finally had the chance for some much need rest and relaxation after our day in Disney and lucky for us, the rain seemed to have stopped.   That gave us a chance to explore our campsite.

There was a lake where you could go fishing, canoeing and a few other activities.

A man-made beach where you could just laze around and read while the little ones play with sand.  Later on, little T felt the need to change into her swimsuit and have a little dip.

The first thing she said to me was “It’s cold mummy!”

But of course that didn’t stop her from dipping in and out of the pool with her inflatable dinosaur whom she named Victor.

But kids are never really cold are they?  Their boundless energy of running around like loonies keeps them warm.  Later in the week, the weather really made a big improvement and I actually felt really warm.  That little man-made beach became packed with visitors and the water suddenly became really nice and warm, just the way we like it.

This post is linked-up with #CountryKids.

 

Have you visited a campsite like this one?

Did you like it?

A Very Wet Disneyland

I’m not a big fan of theme-parks.  I think they are all over-rated and overly-priced.  But when you have a little one, it doesn’t really matter what you think, right?  After all, it’s not about you.  It’s all about them.

Eurocamp, where we stayed for ten days, arranged our trip to Disneyland in Paris.  We took a bus from the camp, along with other visitors with small children at around 8am and probably arrived at Disney past 9.

As you can see from the the window, although it wasn’t raining when we left our camp in Picardy, it certainly started to rain even on our way to Disneyland.  I don’t think I was the only one who packed mostly summer outfits, because I saw families dressed in shorts and t-shirts without raincoats on.  They came back in the bus later on, wearing Disneyland ponchos.

I can hear you almost say “Oh dear”.  Yes, it was a very, very, very, wet day in Disneyland.  But what can you do when caught in a situation like this, but to make the most of it, especially since the tickets aren’t exactly cheap!

Yep, the streets of Disneyland were not paved in gold but wet, wet, wet.  Everywhere you turned (from under your umbrella), was wet.

Little T holding up her much-loved Elsa doll.

Upon entering, we decided to try to shelter inside the many, many, many gift-toys shops in Disneyland.  And there little T found an Elsa doll, which is probably cheaper when bought in any high-street toyshop, but hey, it’s part of the whole experience right –  buying a toy in Disney?  The good thing about little T is that once she gets what she wants, she won’t be interested in any other toy at all.  Phew!

It was really pouring as we stepped out of the shops and decided on doing all the-indoor rides first.  The good news was that most of the rides that were age-appropriate to little T were all indoor ones!  Like the “It’s a small World” ride. Where kids ride a small boat that goes around different displays of moving dolls depicting scenes that represents countries from all over.  She loved it of course!  And actually went on it two times!  The downside of that ride is that, the song will stay in your head for the whole day (if not for the entire holiday!)

So that’s what we did really.  Just went on indoor-rides like the Snow-White one, Pinocchio, Peter Pan among others.  A lot of those rides, T actually went on it more than once!  On hindsight, it wasn’t that bad at all.

You’ve got to hand it to Disneyland, yes, they’ll charge you loads for their merchandise, but the thing with Disney, it’s all about the details – like the control’s of their rides (see above photo), that looks like a fair tale book.  And you almost think, yes, it’s worth paying more!

We also braved the Alice in Wonderland maze and here’s little T, on top of the Queen of Heart’s castle, peering down on the very wet Disneyland.

Then we took shelter in what looked like a Mickey Mouse theatre, not really knowing what it was.  At first, we just thought that it was a place where the kids could watch Mickey Mouse cartoons, but noticed that there wasn’t any seats.  Instead people actually looked like they were queuing, only then we realised that they were standing in line to have their photos taken with the most famous mouse in the world.

So we decided to stay put, especially since by now it was really pouring.

As you can see form the photo, little T was too shy to give Mickey Mouse a cuddle.

From that photo op with Mickey, we decided to hop in the train that goes around the whole of Disneyland.  And here little T fell into a deep sleep.  So we decided to strap Elsa on our backpack to make sure she isn’t left behind and while she slept, we actually went around twice!

 By the time she woke up, it was almost time for the parade. And then the magic began ….

Can you see Elsa from afar?

There they were – Elsa and Anna, live!  I think Little T had her mouth open the whole time.  Was disappointed not to see Olaf, Sven or even Kristoff and Hans around.

And of course the usual Disney princesses and other characters were there too.

The parade was definitely magical and fun.  Met a lovely Irish woman and her family during our stay at Eurocamp and she said that when she watched the parade, she actually had tears in her eyes!  She said “That’s what dreams are made of!” While I don’t totally agree with her, I understand what she means.  All that mattered was that my little T was in heaven!

After the parade, little T went on more rides, before heading back to the car park in search of our bus.

And here’s a very tired T, but extremely happy little T (with wet feet), resting in our bus, back to our holiday camp.

She absolutely loved it.  My husband and I are really pleased that she got to visit Disneyland before starting school this September.  In spite the rain, it was definitely a worthwhile experience.  We promised we’d take her back, maybe when she’s around seven-years-old.

Have you taken your little ones to Disneyland?

How was it?

I’ve linked this post up with Danny’s #FamilyFriday.

Family Friday
Happy Friday guys!

T says Goodbye to Doc

This photo was taken the day before we left for our ten-day holiday in France.  Doc also had his own vacation with other dogs in a kennel just outside our village.  As you can see from the photograph, he didn’t want to go, I think he knew that we were going away.  We were sad about leaving him behind too, but at his age, he’s just too excitable to go on a road-trip with us.  Perhaps when he’s a bit older and less eager, he’ll come along.

Yes, we’re back from our holiday.  We’ve had a lovely-fun, albeit a really tiring holiday.  But it was so worth it!  Have so much to share, hopefully, I’ll be able to do it one post at a time.

Linking this photo up with PODcast’s #WhatsTheStory.

 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg

Have you gone on holiday yet?  If yes, where did you go?

And if not, do you have any plans?

Do share.

How to Chase the Winter Blues Away

Woke up the other day thinking it was still night time, but it wasn’t of course, I reminded myself that it was winter, dreary-cold-bloody winter.  That was enough to make me brood.

What do you do when the winter blues comes rearing its ugly head at you?

Me?  Like I mentioned already I watch my favourite comedy show and laugh my head off.  But I have another secret and I know some of you might find me a bit loopy with this confession of mine.  Anyway, ever since I was a kid, every time I felt the need to escape, I’d always retreat back to the movies in my mind.  Sometimes I re-live something in my past, other times I’d imagine I was somewhere else, or even someone else.  Here’s how:

Choose a Memory

Here in England, whenever I’m feeling cold, not necessarily down, I switch on to movie mode.  Sometimes, I remember my time in Ghana, what the heat was like while waiting for a shared taxi under the heat of the African sun.  Then I move further away, back into my childhood memories, of summers spent in my grandmother’s house, how we used to lie on the roof hoping the wind will cool us down from the heat of the sun.

Now try to hold that memory in your head for as long as you can and remember every detail.  The sweat forming on your skin, did you feel faint?  What did you do to cool yourself down?

Imagine

And if your memory fails you like it does sometimes, use your imagination instead.  Think of yourself on a warm beach on a tropical country, somewhere.  Me?  I’m back in my country, island-hopping with family in Caramoan.

The sand is white and warm beneath my feet, even the water is warm and clear, so clear I can see the starfish on the bottom.

This isn’t a figment of my imagination by the way, it did happen and those photos were taken in 2010 during a family vacation back home.  Lovely isn’t it?

Make it Real

And if those photos have made you feel envious and the need for warmth and the sun and you’re lucky enough to be able to afford the time and money to make your imagination real, go online and search for cruise deals.  I’m sure you’ll be able to find one.

As for the rest of us who can only imagine or remember the last time we were on a tropical island, the movies in our minds will have to do … at least for now.

This is a sponsored post. 

(Words and photos are my own)