France holiday part two: pedalos & pools and the beach!


(read part one of our Eurocamp holiday here!)

Friday

After our little trip to the supermarket to stock up on French goodies we decided to check out the pool. We'd passed it on our way in and had a glimpse at the water slides which I know Theo was dying to go on, so we changed and made our way over. The sky was looking a bit heavy so it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

The pool complex had this great glass roof that could be opened or closed meaning it as perfect for if the weather wasn't too warm or raining, or feel like you were still outside if the weather was nice and sunny with the roof open. Inside (if the roof was closed!) they had a large pool with lots of different steps, jets and a little jacuzzi area, this was pretty good for playing games and letting Rohan have a good kick around. There was also a dedicated baby/toddler pool which had its own dedicated little slides which were great, it was also the warmest pool. Then inside there were two different types of slides, a twisty one that went outside and in the dark then a really fast slide that three of you could go down in a row. None of the slides were that busy and each had their own plunge pool at the end. We were pretty surprised at just how fast the fast one was, but for a 7 year old, he was in his element. In addition to the inside pools there was also an outside part that had a lazy river with bridges and ramps. There is also the main bar and restaurant located by the pool, which looked pretty good.


After a few hours Rohan had had enough so we left Theo and Rob playing in the pool (honestly Theo could've stayed in all day) and walked the short way back to our home just as it decided to start to pour down. I love that cosy feeling of once you're all dry of sitting and watching the rain pour down. We sat on the decking under the canopy drinking tea and relaxing before the others returned and we started dinner.


Once we'd eaten dinner and the rain had cleared up, we decided to explore the campsite a bit more. I knew there were a few lakes and we wanted to get our bearings and ended up doing nearly a complete lap of the park. I love going out for an evening walk and it was a great way to get a feel for the place. Just past the swimming pools we found the fishing and boating lake, there was also a great play park by here where Theo played for a while. There was also a covered ping pong place, as well as extra things like trampolines, mini go cart track and other things you can pay extra for (we didn't actually get time to try any of these out, yet another reason to stay a little longer next time!)

It was so peaceful walking around the park, seeing families out together and it really felt like we were on holiday. I love how bedtime routines aren't as strict and it was great not having to worry about getting up early for school and our daily routine.


We saw that you could hire out pedalos too, so made a note to come back the next day and chose which one we wanted (I wanted the swan or flamingo but Theo chose the dragon!)

We then found the beach lake, complete with a beach side bar and restaurant too. I loved how there was the option of having this beach to go to as an alternative to the pool, and we couldn't wait to come back the next day and try it out too.


Saturday

We managed to check out the Eurocamp kids club and sent Theo off for the morning session of games. It's always a bit of a relief having a few hours break and I know it does Theo so much good to be around kids his own age for a while. They actually had kids club for all ages (from 6 months to 17!) including Rohan, but we didn't get round to doing one with him, but next time we will definitely check it out as I'm sure he'll love it. We spent a few hours just relaxing back at the holiday home having a slow morning until it was time to pick him up again. We had a little lunch back at the home before gathering up our beach things and heading to where we'd explored the evening before.


First stop though, the pedalos. The sun had been teasing and trying to come out properly all morning, and decided too just as we got out on the lake, so it was pretty hot, especially with all the pedalling! I think it was the first time Theo and I think he really enjoyed giving it a go, Rohan seemed to enjoy it too as it's pretty relaxing when you're not the one having to pedal and can just watch the water, and he looked very cute in his life jacket! We had half an hour (which Theo got a bit panicked about keeping to?!) which was actually the right amount of time for us all especially Rohan.


So next stop, the beach! I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the beach most of the time. I love being close to the water and being able to swim in the sea, but I have a slight phobia of putting my feet down, unless it's super clear. I also am not the biggest fan of the sand to have to sit on, I don't mind playing in it, but I HATE it when it get's all over your things especially if you're trying to eat.

But luckily the pool had lovely grassy banks with sunshades to lay your towels down, which meant that no sand went near our belongings and the sand was just there to play on. As the whole beach and lake are man-made the sand was lovely quality too and not gritty and horrible. The water was great too, and had a good gentle slope which did actually get pretty deep right out in the middle, I don't think I could stand up (but was also a little afraid to put my feet down to test!) You were also able to take your big inflatables out on the water which was great for floating and playing games. It was also pretty big so even though there were lots of people playing and swimming it didn't feel overcrowded at all.


Theo loves being buried in the sand, so of course we had to do this. Rohan on the other hand was all about the water, and this holiday seems to have really cemented the fact that he is happiest when he's in it. He had no fear about shuffling into the water and just wanted to splash around! We do have a baby float for him but I think he wants to be free now! We just need to find him a float to put around his waist to keep him a little more upright as there was quite a lot of face plating the water going on!



It was so good to see the boys being able to finally play together in the water, they loved splashing and chasing each other (Rohan's actually pretty fast and was able to bumshuffle even in the water!)


We all were able to get in and play together, and after a while Rohan and I just sat and watched Theo been thrown in the water over and over again by Rob, much to the delight of them both. Rohan just sat giggling.

After a while we got out and treated ourselves to an ice-cream from the bar, as well as some chips and a beer whilst we dried off. They did more food too, but there wasn't much option for vegetarians (as a lot of it was rotisserie chicken!) but we did note that they did crepes too! We had such a fun afternoon hanging out at the beach, and the best part of it was that we didn't have to pack up the car after and drive home. We just walked the short way back and got ready to have a bbq!

It was a really great day, and we ended it by drinking wine and playing card games together on the decking.


I also made a little video of our days so check out that!

France holiday part two: pedalos & pools and the beach!


(read part one of our Eurocamp holiday here!)

Friday

After our little trip to the supermarket to stock up on French goodies we decided to check out the pool. We'd passed it on our way in and had a glimpse at the water slides which I know Theo was dying to go on, so we changed and made our way over. The sky was looking a bit heavy so it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

The pool complex had this great glass roof that could be opened or closed meaning it as perfect for if the weather wasn't too warm or raining, or feel like you were still outside if the weather was nice and sunny with the roof open. Inside (if the roof was closed!) they had a large pool with lots of different steps, jets and a little jacuzzi area, this was pretty good for playing games and letting Rohan have a good kick around. There was also a dedicated baby/toddler pool which had its own dedicated little slides which were great, it was also the warmest pool. Then inside there were two different types of slides, a twisty one that went outside and in the dark then a really fast slide that three of you could go down in a row. None of the slides were that busy and each had their own plunge pool at the end. We were pretty surprised at just how fast the fast one was, but for a 7 year old, he was in his element. In addition to the inside pools there was also an outside part that had a lazy river with bridges and ramps. There is also the main bar and restaurant located by the pool, which looked pretty good.


After a few hours Rohan had had enough so we left Theo and Rob playing in the pool (honestly Theo could've stayed in all day) and walked the short way back to our home just as it decided to start to pour down. I love that cosy feeling of once you're all dry of sitting and watching the rain pour down. We sat on the decking under the canopy drinking tea and relaxing before the others returned and we started dinner.


Once we'd eaten dinner and the rain had cleared up, we decided to explore the campsite a bit more. I knew there were a few lakes and we wanted to get our bearings and ended up doing nearly a complete lap of the park. I love going out for an evening walk and it was a great way to get a feel for the place. Just past the swimming pools we found the fishing and boating lake, there was also a great play park by here where Theo played for a while. There was also a covered ping pong place, as well as extra things like trampolines, mini go cart track and other things you can pay extra for (we didn't actually get time to try any of these out, yet another reason to stay a little longer next time!)

It was so peaceful walking around the park, seeing families out together and it really felt like we were on holiday. I love how bedtime routines aren't as strict and it was great not having to worry about getting up early for school and our daily routine.


We saw that you could hire out pedalos too, so made a note to come back the next day and chose which one we wanted (I wanted the swan or flamingo but Theo chose the dragon!)

We then found the beach lake, complete with a beach side bar and restaurant too. I loved how there was the option of having this beach to go to as an alternative to the pool, and we couldn't wait to come back the next day and try it out too.


Saturday

We managed to check out the Eurocamp kids club and sent Theo off for the morning session of games. It's always a bit of a relief having a few hours break and I know it does Theo so much good to be around kids his own age for a while. They actually had kids club for all ages (from 6 months to 17!) including Rohan, but we didn't get round to doing one with him, but next time we will definitely check it out as I'm sure he'll love it. We spent a few hours just relaxing back at the holiday home having a slow morning until it was time to pick him up again. We had a little lunch back at the home before gathering up our beach things and heading to where we'd explored the evening before.


First stop though, the pedalos. The sun had been teasing and trying to come out properly all morning, and decided too just as we got out on the lake, so it was pretty hot, especially with all the pedalling! I think it was the first time Theo and I think he really enjoyed giving it a go, Rohan seemed to enjoy it too as it's pretty relaxing when you're not the one having to pedal and can just watch the water, and he looked very cute in his life jacket! We had half an hour (which Theo got a bit panicked about keeping to?!) which was actually the right amount of time for us all especially Rohan.


So next stop, the beach! I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the beach most of the time. I love being close to the water and being able to swim in the sea, but I have a slight phobia of putting my feet down, unless it's super clear. I also am not the biggest fan of the sand to have to sit on, I don't mind playing in it, but I HATE it when it get's all over your things especially if you're trying to eat.

But luckily the pool had lovely grassy banks with sunshades to lay your towels down, which meant that no sand went near our belongings and the sand was just there to play on. As the whole beach and lake are man-made the sand was lovely quality too and not gritty and horrible. The water was great too, and had a good gentle slope which did actually get pretty deep right out in the middle, I don't think I could stand up (but was also a little afraid to put my feet down to test!) You were also able to take your big inflatables out on the water which was great for floating and playing games. It was also pretty big so even though there were lots of people playing and swimming it didn't feel overcrowded at all.


Theo loves being buried in the sand, so of course we had to do this. Rohan on the other hand was all about the water, and this holiday seems to have really cemented the fact that he is happiest when he's in it. He had no fear about shuffling into the water and just wanted to splash around! We do have a baby float for him but I think he wants to be free now! We just need to find him a float to put around his waist to keep him a little more upright as there was quite a lot of face plating the water going on!



It was so good to see the boys being able to finally play together in the water, they loved splashing and chasing each other (Rohan's actually pretty fast and was able to bumshuffle even in the water!)


We all were able to get in and play together, and after a while Rohan and I just sat and watched Theo been thrown in the water over and over again by Rob, much to the delight of them both. Rohan just sat giggling.

After a while we got out and treated ourselves to an ice-cream from the bar, as well as some chips and a beer whilst we dried off. They did more food too, but there wasn't much option for vegetarians (as a lot of it was rotisserie chicken!) but we did note that they did crepes too! We had such a fun afternoon hanging out at the beach, and the best part of it was that we didn't have to pack up the car after and drive home. We just walked the short way back and got ready to have a bbq!

It was a really great day, and we ended it by drinking wine and playing card games together on the decking.


I also made a little video of our days so check out that!

active family month; week four, go for a splash!

This week was the fourth and final challenge as part of the Mark Warner active family month I have been taking part in. It's been such a great challenge to be part of, not that we need much encouragement to be out and about being active, as that's fairly normal for us, but it's been fun to have a bit of inspiration as to what we can get up to and something to focus on. I hope that somewhere along the way we may have inspired someone to plan a little family trip, be it either for a bike ride, playing games together, a family walk or getting together with friends.

This weeks focus was 'enjoy a splash about'. I wasn't worried at all about what we would get up to this week as we've always enjoyed playing in water, the only thing I was worried about was the weather! Luckily for us we have seen a fair amount of sun over the week and have just managed to be in the right place at the right time to enjoy a little splash. (But saying that jumping in puddles is always good fun!) First off last weekend when my sister visited we made a little trip to the park which was near deserted, strangely enough (it was 5pm on a Friday!). Theo had a little play in the park but before we knew it he had made a beeline for the paddling pool which is filled up with water in the summer months. He was already attempting to strip off his clothes when we reached him, so I quickly whipped out his trunks (that I keep handy for these exact occasions!) and he had a paddle around. It wasn't the warmest of evenings but he seemed to be having a whale of a time. Over the bank holiday weekend we had amazing weather, so of course out came the paddling pool and an hour or two was spent in and out of the pool, playing with toys and watering the garden. On Tuesday we attended our usual  swimming lesson, which actually went better than it has been going in recent weeks. Don't get me wrong, Theo loves swimming and is pretty good for his age in skill and confidence, but he just doesn't want to listen to the teacher. But this week we made a deal, he could jump in all he wanted at the end if he listened to what the teacher was saying and join in with the activities, and he did....mostly.

On Friday we took a trip to the zoo (to once again make use of our membership!) and as it turned out to be a pretty hot day we spent a good chunk of time at the 'Splash' play area. Because really when it's hot what better way to entertain your toddler than letting the run around in their pants in water? Theo and his friend had a great time paddling in the pools, climbing rocks and playing in the fountains, it's such a good idea to have a play space like this for children at the zoo.


This weekend we had planned to visit Rob's grandparents again in Devon, and I was delighted to see that the weather was looking like it was going to be good! By the beach in Teignmouth they have an excellent play park with water features, which you may remember from our visit to last year. I remember when I was pregnant and visiting before we walked by the play park and talked about how we could imagine bringing our child here to play in the summer, and nearly two and a half years on there we were! So went spent the morning splashing about running under the fountains before we headed to the beach across the way. Theo has been the beach quite a few times before but has always been a little unsure of the sea. The last time he went near the sea was in Madeira this time last year (yikes that has gone quickly!) and he definitely wasn't too happy about going in the sea, so I was surprised when as soon he we arrived he made his own way over for a little inspection and a paddle. He was then happy for us to go in with him, holding his hand and holding him to jump over the waves. I'm quite impressed that we actually managed to go in the sea at all! My feet were numb...



So it's been a pretty action packed - water based fun week! I can't wait for the good weather to continue (it will continue right?) and for us to spend a lot more time in the water! For now I will just dream of lying by the side of the pool in a hot country and swimming in the warm sea...

Here of course is a little video of our week:

splash from Abigail Oliver on Vimeo.

I just wanted to say thank you so much for Mark Warner for hosting this challenge, as it's been such fun to be part of! We are definitely motivated to make the most of our time together as a family, and to spend it being active is really important to us. I hope that you have all enjoyed reading and seeing what we've been up to and I hope that you are planning some fun activities together and staying active as a family together! 

active family month; week four, go for a splash!

This week was the fourth and final challenge as part of the Mark Warner active family month I have been taking part in. It's been such a great challenge to be part of, not that we need much encouragement to be out and about being active, as that's fairly normal for us, but it's been fun to have a bit of inspiration as to what we can get up to and something to focus on. I hope that somewhere along the way we may have inspired someone to plan a little family trip, be it either for a bike ride, playing games together, a family walk or getting together with friends.

This weeks focus was 'enjoy a splash about'. I wasn't worried at all about what we would get up to this week as we've always enjoyed playing in water, the only thing I was worried about was the weather! Luckily for us we have seen a fair amount of sun over the week and have just managed to be in the right place at the right time to enjoy a little splash. (But saying that jumping in puddles is always good fun!) First off last weekend when my sister visited we made a little trip to the park which was near deserted, strangely enough (it was 5pm on a Friday!). Theo had a little play in the park but before we knew it he had made a beeline for the paddling pool which is filled up with water in the summer months. He was already attempting to strip off his clothes when we reached him, so I quickly whipped out his trunks (that I keep handy for these exact occasions!) and he had a paddle around. It wasn't the warmest of evenings but he seemed to be having a whale of a time. Over the bank holiday weekend we had amazing weather, so of course out came the paddling pool and an hour or two was spent in and out of the pool, playing with toys and watering the garden. On Tuesday we attended our usual  swimming lesson, which actually went better than it has been going in recent weeks. Don't get me wrong, Theo loves swimming and is pretty good for his age in skill and confidence, but he just doesn't want to listen to the teacher. But this week we made a deal, he could jump in all he wanted at the end if he listened to what the teacher was saying and join in with the activities, and he did....mostly.

On Friday we took a trip to the zoo (to once again make use of our membership!) and as it turned out to be a pretty hot day we spent a good chunk of time at the 'Splash' play area. Because really when it's hot what better way to entertain your toddler than letting the run around in their pants in water? Theo and his friend had a great time paddling in the pools, climbing rocks and playing in the fountains, it's such a good idea to have a play space like this for children at the zoo.


This weekend we had planned to visit Rob's grandparents again in Devon, and I was delighted to see that the weather was looking like it was going to be good! By the beach in Teignmouth they have an excellent play park with water features, which you may remember from our visit to last year. I remember when I was pregnant and visiting before we walked by the play park and talked about how we could imagine bringing our child here to play in the summer, and nearly two and a half years on there we were! So went spent the morning splashing about running under the fountains before we headed to the beach across the way. Theo has been the beach quite a few times before but has always been a little unsure of the sea. The last time he went near the sea was in Madeira this time last year (yikes that has gone quickly!) and he definitely wasn't too happy about going in the sea, so I was surprised when as soon he we arrived he made his own way over for a little inspection and a paddle. He was then happy for us to go in with him, holding his hand and holding him to jump over the waves. I'm quite impressed that we actually managed to go in the sea at all! My feet were numb...



So it's been a pretty action packed - water based fun week! I can't wait for the good weather to continue (it will continue right?) and for us to spend a lot more time in the water! For now I will just dream of lying by the side of the pool in a hot country and swimming in the warm sea...

Here of course is a little video of our week:

splash from Abigail Oliver on Vimeo.

I just wanted to say thank you so much for Mark Warner for hosting this challenge, as it's been such fun to be part of! We are definitely motivated to make the most of our time together as a family, and to spend it being active is really important to us. I hope that you have all enjoyed reading and seeing what we've been up to and I hope that you are planning some fun activities together and staying active as a family together! 

Farewell

Whoops, just realised that I haven't posted since Sunday, I really don't know where this week has gone at all...

So we found out yesterday that all is ok to move on Monday, so we have been attempting to pack up today. Rob has been doing most of it, as I have to entertain/feed the babe. We have sort of run out of boxes too, so can't really do much more. I am really excited about moving, mainly because I feel like we need a spring clean anyway, because with the baby arriving we have accumulated to much stuff that has just been shoved into corners without a chance to sort anything out. Also it's going to be so nice to have that extra bedroom to put most of Theo's things in, because let's face it, he has more stuff than us already! I'm looking forward to having a bath, a gas cooker, sitting in the garden, getting our kitten, putting up pictures and shelves (we couldn't in this flat) and having something nicer to look at out of our windows. But I am sad to leave our flat, because it means a lot to me. It was the first place Rob and I moved to together, our first home. It was our first step towards independence and being 'grown ups'. I went into labour here, and this was Theo's first home. So that's a whole lot of big firsts that I won't easily forget. I have really enjoyed living here and already have fond memories! So farewell our lovely little flat, I shall not forget you.

...

Some good news is that I got a response from the letter I wrote to Mama's and Papas complaining about the customer service, and they gave us a £50 gift card, result!

I'm pleased we got something out of it, because it was terrible and had me going on about it for weeks after it happened...So now I just have to think of what we need, which I think will be a travel cot of some sort...

...

So I'm not really sure what I did this week, it's gone ridiculously fast! Oh yeh, so on bank holiday Monday I went to Redland fair, just up the road from me. It was a really nice day again, and I went with my friend Clare and her husband. It was so busy when we got there though that we could barely push our prams around or look at the stalls, so we just got some lunch and sat on the floor soaking up the atmosphere.




It was a really nice day!

On Tuesday I went for a walk with my friend Jess, who has been away for 6 or 7 weeks, so it was really lovely to catch up and see how much her baby Ollie has changed!

On Thursday I took Theo swimming for the first time with my friend Sara and here bebe Jacob. After a bit of confusion over timetables we eventually got to the pool and got Theo undressed, we got into the pool and he was fine! He was even sort of smiling...he kicked around and I whizzed him through the water and bounced him around and he seemed fairly happy, which I'm really pleased about. I didn't have the guts to put him under, but maybe next time. After about 15 minutes he got a bit whiney, so we got out, then he started to scream because he was pretty hungry, I managed to get him and myself dressed in about 5 mins, super quick! I then had to rush over to the doctors to get his second lot of jabs. Once again he was smiling away at the nurse, completely oblivious to what was about to happen. He cried a little after the jabs, but nothing that a cuddle didn't solve, and has been ok since, which is a relief!

I think he also might be starting to teethe, because he has flushed cheeks, is dribbling lots, put EVERYTHING in his mouth, and has started to chomp down on my fingers. It doesn't seem to be hurting him too much, yet. He has been giggling so much more this week as well, and we can make it happen now by playing with him, it's so lovely! He really is a sweet happy baby!

I took some photos of him after his bath the other night, when he was having some 'tummy time'. I love them, as these are my favourite faces ...




He is getting cuter and cuter as he gets older! 14 weeks now!

So that's about all for now, might be a bit quiet again for a bit as we move and get sorted, so hang in there!

Farewell

Whoops, just realised that I haven't posted since Sunday, I really don't know where this week has gone at all...

So we found out yesterday that all is ok to move on Monday, so we have been attempting to pack up today. Rob has been doing most of it, as I have to entertain/feed the babe. We have sort of run out of boxes too, so can't really do much more. I am really excited about moving, mainly because I feel like we need a spring clean anyway, because with the baby arriving we have accumulated to much stuff that has just been shoved into corners without a chance to sort anything out. Also it's going to be so nice to have that extra bedroom to put most of Theo's things in, because let's face it, he has more stuff than us already! I'm looking forward to having a bath, a gas cooker, sitting in the garden, getting our kitten, putting up pictures and shelves (we couldn't in this flat) and having something nicer to look at out of our windows. But I am sad to leave our flat, because it means a lot to me. It was the first place Rob and I moved to together, our first home. It was our first step towards independence and being 'grown ups'. I went into labour here, and this was Theo's first home. So that's a whole lot of big firsts that I won't easily forget. I have really enjoyed living here and already have fond memories! So farewell our lovely little flat, I shall not forget you.

...

Some good news is that I got a response from the letter I wrote to Mama's and Papas complaining about the customer service, and they gave us a £50 gift card, result!

I'm pleased we got something out of it, because it was terrible and had me going on about it for weeks after it happened...So now I just have to think of what we need, which I think will be a travel cot of some sort...

...

So I'm not really sure what I did this week, it's gone ridiculously fast! Oh yeh, so on bank holiday Monday I went to Redland fair, just up the road from me. It was a really nice day again, and I went with my friend Clare and her husband. It was so busy when we got there though that we could barely push our prams around or look at the stalls, so we just got some lunch and sat on the floor soaking up the atmosphere.




It was a really nice day!

On Tuesday I went for a walk with my friend Jess, who has been away for 6 or 7 weeks, so it was really lovely to catch up and see how much her baby Ollie has changed!

On Thursday I took Theo swimming for the first time with my friend Sara and here bebe Jacob. After a bit of confusion over timetables we eventually got to the pool and got Theo undressed, we got into the pool and he was fine! He was even sort of smiling...he kicked around and I whizzed him through the water and bounced him around and he seemed fairly happy, which I'm really pleased about. I didn't have the guts to put him under, but maybe next time. After about 15 minutes he got a bit whiney, so we got out, then he started to scream because he was pretty hungry, I managed to get him and myself dressed in about 5 mins, super quick! I then had to rush over to the doctors to get his second lot of jabs. Once again he was smiling away at the nurse, completely oblivious to what was about to happen. He cried a little after the jabs, but nothing that a cuddle didn't solve, and has been ok since, which is a relief!

I think he also might be starting to teethe, because he has flushed cheeks, is dribbling lots, put EVERYTHING in his mouth, and has started to chomp down on my fingers. It doesn't seem to be hurting him too much, yet. He has been giggling so much more this week as well, and we can make it happen now by playing with him, it's so lovely! He really is a sweet happy baby!

I took some photos of him after his bath the other night, when he was having some 'tummy time'. I love them, as these are my favourite faces ...




He is getting cuter and cuter as he gets older! 14 weeks now!

So that's about all for now, might be a bit quiet again for a bit as we move and get sorted, so hang in there!