I’m back! Back from 2 weeks in mostly sunny Bordeaux with the lady of the manor, Matilda and Henry plus my brother and his wife and their almost 2 year old. 2 weeks in a big villa with a pool and hot tub in a quaint little French village. 2 weeks of lazy mornings in our PJ’s eating our own body weight in bread and croissants followed by games of chase and hide and seek.
If I could sum up this holiday in one word it would be tiring, but quite honestly what more would you expect from a holiday with 3 under 2’s in the same house? However it’s also been fun, hilarious, exciting, adventurous, inspiring, beautiful, cute and tasty. There have been tears and tantrums, grumpiness and shouting, door slamming and toy throwing from parents and children alike.
But above all it has been a fabulous family holiday, our first as a family of 4 and after a rocky start the beginning of a great friendship between two toddler cousins. However these weren’t the only firsts. There was Henry’s first rollover and trip to the beach, there was Matilda’s first taste of a mussel and an anchovy (for the record the first was spat out, the second devoured), plus her first swim in an outside pool and in a lake. She learned to kick and throw a football and how to hold and eat a whole apple all by herself.
Not bad at all.
There was also parent only evening swim sessions accompanied by a cold beer once the little ones were safely tucked away. Seafood dinners outside followed by a hot tub under the stars. BBQ’d steaks accompanied by carefully selected red wines and stinky cheese for dessert. An evening with a visit from a MASSIVE snake on the patio (and yes it was massive, we googled it and it’s the biggest species of snake in Europe!) that had us all standing on chairs followed by a bat flying around the lounge and the biggest spider you have ever seen in the bedroom.
There was morning trips to the local Boulangerie for fresh bread and croissants and food buying trips to local markets that exhausted our 20 words of French very quickly. We ate ceps, prawns, mussels, steak, mackerel, fresh peaches, gorgeous juicy figs with cheese, pain au chocolat by the dozen, beautiful mature Comte. We climbed the biggest sand dune in Europe with babies on our backs and had a moment of panic when Henry screamed hysterically for 30 minutes for no apparent reason.
Plus of course me being me there was runs through vineyards of big white grapes waiting to be made into Cognac and past houses that all seem to have dogs loose in the garden barking at you. Squeezing in a run between Matilda going to bed and the beginning of the evenings eating wasn’t easy but I do need regularly exercising to stop me getting grumpy.
We’ll forget about the torrential rain in the second week that drove us a little stir crazy and the quite literally wafer thin ceilings that meant you could hear every murmur from the room above or below. Not ideal with noisy babies especially an 18 month old that is teething and screams herself to sleep most nights.
We may also have collapsed exhausted with a cold beer onto the sofa after the kids bed time most nights and had moments of tearing our hair out as Matilda and her cousin successfully distracted each other from eating a meal, but it’s been fun and so nice to have 2 weeks away catching up with my babies after a busy couple of months at work.
Shame that there is the small matter of an 8 hour drive in France and 3 hours in the UK to survive to get here. Coming down we did it in 2 chunks with an overnight stop, going home we did in one long journey but chose to drive over night to minimise the complaints from the wee ones. Hard work for the parents but a damn sight easier than having 2 crying children in the back fed up with sitting in their car seats.
So back to reality and work and everyday life. But also planning for the next holiday, California maybe as part of a work trip for me. Possibly Scotland also with the opportunity to see family and do some big walks plus meet with some fab bloggers while we’re at it.