Deciding on where to take the kids for the holidays can be a full time job! I have the propensity to spend FAR too much time researching destinations and venues and if I’m honest, using holiday research as a procrastination tool. It works very well in case you needed something to distract you from an important task.
Last summer we had just 2 weeks and on a whim (usually my spontaneous streak wins against the control freak streak even after much research!) we went camping in France. We had to upgrade the camping equipment from the last time we went pre-kids. That trip is now known as ‘the camping trip from hell’ and I did, in a very un-environmentally-friendly way, throw our campers guidebook out the window of the car when we finally decided that Southern French campsites in August are just not the place to be darling (trust me on this; do not go there in August!) and we booked a hotel. Understandably I was quite nervous in case we had a repeat experience of camping on a roundabout, showering with a deodorant stick and getting kicked out of unapproved sites by the police. Now we are parents we must alter our behaviour and be responsible…
Fortunately we discovered camping in the French Alps. Absolute bliss. There was space, clean showers, a washing machine and I even had my hair-dryer in the tent! Civilised camping! The husband and kids would get up early, grab some croissants from the bakery and make coffee while I leisurely made my way out of my bedroom. Yes we had a bedroom. 4 of them in fact AND a lounge room. This tent was considerably bigger than the ‘camping trip from hell’ tent.
The highlight of this trip for the kids was the sense of being outside constantly and learning from their environment. Trees were for climbing, making brooms out of, and providing shade in the heat of the afternoon. They could cycle around the site checking out the little blonde French girls and attempting to communicate with them (my boys weren’t yet talking but they do already have a sense of taste when it comes to girls which is rather scary!) and the favourite activity each day was watching the ‘paratroopers’ aka the paragliders landing near our site. We would cycle over to the field, take a cold drink and a snack and watch the gliders. A surprisingly relaxing way to spend dusk. Lastly the kids still talk about going in the rocket (cable-car) up into the sky. How cool is that? Not many of their friends have been on a rocket ;)
Best of all was hubby and I were holiday-fulfilled too. He did some crazy road biking for a few hours a day while I read my book and dozed in the sun then checked out the local foodie places. Cycling, swimming, space, hiking and rocket travel; what’s not to love?
This year the research has already begun in earnest. So far we have covered the Greek Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Sardinia, Wales, Germany and France again. These self catering cottages in Wales look right up our street. Who will be the lucky holiday winner to host us for 2014….? More procrastination coming up!