thought I'd do a rolling diary of our family holiday to France, the list of characters are myself, Mr Mousy, our 2 lads, George 20 and Harry 18 and ruby 8 our Scottish terrier.
We set off from South Wales this morning, booked onto the euro tunnel 17.50 crossing. The journey has been good so far, but different to a journey with just the 2 of us, we usually listen to an audio book...nah boys not having that! We've been spotified to within an inch of our lives, they have eaten half the food in the van and our normally spotless interior is covered in crap...and I'm loving it..
Still feeling in the holiday mood even the news the Chunnel is shut, we are stuck in traffic and it's a sweltering hot day won't dampen the spirits in this van, Haz has been getting used to his new camera by taking shots of the passing vans, we've now got bomb disposal squad racing by....
What ever the incident was, we are now past it. 2 hours parked up on the M25, made some new friends, a middle aged couple behind on their way to the opera asked us very politely for some milk, slightly random.
We are now 20 miles away from the Chunnel which had reopened, we've been in the Moho for 9 hours now, slightly flagging but the lack of fuel both in the van and the last three petrol stations we have tried is giving us all a welcome boost of nervous energy. Plan A is to pull over and start ringing petrol stations to find one with diesel. Plan B will see us parked/stranded in Kent.... Gulp
Boys still smiling though, old enough for a beer!?
Fear not fellow funsters we are safely in France although it's been an awful journey. We got to the terminal and were offered an 05.50 train, not the best of timings but I was bouyed by the thought of all that duty free shopping, not the beer and wine but Molton brown! We had left our number with customer services and half an hour later we were called to say an extra train was leaving "did we want to be on it?" Of course we abandoned the display of Prada sunglasses and got going. It was now 11.50.
We had a nice chat with a train driver who said not to stop anywhere near Calais as the immigration problem was horrendous, we saw quite a few groups of people as we drove out of Calais it reminded us of downtown Maputo in Mozambique! Sadly they didn't seem to be selling us oranges or cashew nuts..
The boys had by now passed out in the back but we drove on for an hour, on almost empty roads. We came off the motorway and into a village, found an empty Carpark and crashed out. We woke up a few hours later to find we were in the Carpark of the village school!
Onward to Troyes...
So to carry on from the last post I'll update you all about yesterday. Prepare to be bored...we were and we lived it!
We woke up somewhere in France in a school car park. At 2 am in the dark it looked like a secluded place to park, daylight revealed the school entrance that would bring a horde of French mothers and their little darlings. We left the boys sleeping and took the dog for a quick walk. It was 7.30am and sunny. Martin used his school boy French to buy coffee but we couldn't see a bakery. Conscious of the school run we drove off in a hurry heading towards Reims.
We put 100 miles under the wheels and arrived in Reims, we passed 3 bakery's that we couldn't park outside of, finally I spotted a good one. Mr Mousy went in for deux baggets, huit pain au chocolate and huit croissants. Unfortunately it was a butchers. This set the tone for the rest of the day, gadgets not working, the wrong phones left on charge, the cable for the iPad not charging, the sat nav insisting we were in Poland, realising we had left all the aires, French passion and the travel books at home...the list of minor calamities went on. And it's hot, really hot, air con in van struggling to keep us cool and outside is like a pizza oven. We are all endlessly drinking water and so filling up the toilet cassette.
We drive on to Troyes. A friend has recommended a trip to the outlet park.
In this heat even I can't summon up the enthusiasm to shop but we all take it in turns to just stand in the shop entrance with the dog under the aircon units. Lots of strange looks. We can't understand how the natives look so cool and chic as we are all really struggling in the heat. George has just returned from a month in Singapore and even he is wilting.
I realise this holiday has disaster written all over it, drastic measures are needed..
- I send mr mousy off to buy an apple cable so we can use the iPods sat nav. I get out last years camperstop book which ironically has survived mr mousys previous book cull. I say ironically because it's so difficult to use, we had managed to buy a copy that the index or map index number doesn't match the page numbers and of course we can't remember how many pages back or forward you have to go. 19 or 7? Bloody nightmare!
I realise our style of holiday, drifting from aire to aire with good restaurants and a bit of sight seeing in between is not working for the boys.
We need a campsite, with electric for the hab air con, near water for swimming, with cycle tracks in dappled shade and an endless supply of baked goods...
We found all that at...
Now finally enjoying a holiday, although I'm worried about our route to Annecy tommorow!
- Today started with a quiet walk down onto the beach with ruby, I was surprised to see so many people up and about at 7am, fellow campers enjoying breakfast and the site owners watering the plants and tidying around. I felt a bit shaky, the boys have been crashing in the rear transverse bed leaving the drop down over cab bed to Mr Mousy and myself. Climbing into bed is no problem but getting out another matter, in my mind I am a swift footed gazelle or at worse a sure footed mountain goat in reality I'm part elephant bouncing off the bed onto the table before landing in a heap onto the floor.
I've swiftly put a sundress over my head, slapped a hat on, collected the dog for a quick walk around the pitch but as its a beautiful day I venture further getting to the beach before I remember I'm not wearing any underwear and my face still has pillow creases on it.
I get back to meet Mr Mousy now up and ready for a bike ride. I get changed and off we go, Mr Mousy casually shouts over his shoulder "just to let you know I've disconnected your front brake"
We cycle along the beautiful cycle track that hugs the lake shore, the birds are really loud but the shade from the trees very welcome as even at 9.00am it's a scorcher.
I explain to Mr Mousy that my outfit of baby blue linen Capri trousers and lemon and blue flowery top is my homage to tres chic. Straw hat the final touch. He says I look like Miss
12 miles later I'm regretting my outfit choice and praying for my padded pants..,
Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
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