My husband does have a tendency just to veer off to the right on impulse when we're doing just fine. I, in turn, am like "why have your gone right?" "mmm.." lots of huffing and puffing. I have to really contain an over whelming urge to scream like a banshee but my suppressed state of annoyance is probably just as bad.. "but what made you turn right?" "at what point did you think we were going wrong" and he's like "I just thought..".
Thankfully it was okay and I didn't have to kill him. He says I have a look on my face which leads him to believe I am going to chop off his balls. We always, at the end of our holiday, discuss the 'potential divorce driving incidents' and that one came close. He was saved by the fact it didn't matter. Poor bloke he does such a good job of driving but I would kill him if he adds hours onto our journey!
On the way back it was busy (took an hour) but given that it was the last Saturday in August and everyone was returning home, I really think French 'busy' is our 'not bad at all' kind of busy.
The kids are so used to these touring holidays now and.....dare I say it (even though every year I ask my husband did he put the red triangle in the boot he replies "oh no, and I have two of them") we are proper hard core innit. I think there needs to be a badge, bit like the Brownies which can only be achieved if you've broken down (tick - Brittany 3 years ago), if you want the hard core as opposed to light weight badge.
We have the roof top box, breath test kits, fluorescent bibs for each person in the car, sat nav, map, dvds, kids entertainment boxes i.e pens and what not, a little device that just magically opens the gate (and husbands wallet) on the motorway tolls (no faffing with tickets and change), the navigator (me), the bike rack and the packing and layout of the cabin of the trusted Kia Sedona of snacks and what not (toilet paper, wet wipes) is a well oiled machine.
I know not to give my daughter milk before a 7 hour car journey as the result will be she throws up at least 8 times. She threw up just once this year into a sick bag that had a drawstring and liquid absorbing thing in the bottom so no smells.
Not to mention, being fully aware that you can't just 'spin it around' in France. If you go off course you can add an hour to your journey easy. We know road signs are on the junction not beforehand given you plenty of time and that when you come off the motorway you more than likely have a hair pin bend to negotiate.
This year to add to my ever increasing list of items I always take to France with me was the Shewee - yup I bought the family pack of a device that us ladies can use to wee standing up with. Now, I have fairly adequate bladder control but put me on a motorway both home and abroad and tell me we won't be stopping for a good couple of hours then guaranteed I will need a wee. Its psychological and that's the way it is. However, I felt rather triumphant and confident that not only did I have the device (which by the way I tried it out and lets just say there was a little spillage - I think I probably need to read the instructions properly) it came with a bag that makes liquid turn to gel which my son used on the last leg on the way home. It also came with wet wipes and a sick bag (see above).
Anyhow, enough of bodily functions and what not - what of the holiday. As ever, lovely pretty villages, plenty of medieval towns, great park facilities, lakes, canals, vintage car show the owners had told us about -they were English and he had an Alvis car (said to be used by Sir Winston Churchill) which the French loved. So much so the owner of the chateau the show was held at asked them around for tea sometime.
Cycle paths, nature - we had cows living next door, sunshine (yes only one morning of rain), French bread, cheese, no telly (just Breaking Bad box set in the evening, scrabble, boules, swimming pool and a bit of loving! Yup normally these out everyday holidays are very tiring but we all didn't get up till 9.30 by the time we trotted out it was 11.00. We had a picnic most days, swam when we returned for our days's cycling, walking, sightseeing and bbq or pizza in the oven of an evening. We were all very relaxed and suitable loved up. Last year, we just about managed to get away and the husband certainly took one for the team as he was in pain for all of it. Even the bed was okay!
My eldest took 850 pictures, my daughter whinged and answered back most days but not all day - there is a difference. She made friends with one girl the first week and then another girl the next so she was "when we coming back" and also pestered the life out of the owner to bring her dog out. Once out and about though she was fine as we have zero tolerance for not stepping into the fold and embracing the outdoor life. They have all winter to be indoors. Our youngest was just in his element we had an orchard in the garden and loads of room to run free. He walked miles on the holiday too - we didn't take a buggy. The fact he didn't then have a sleep on the way home and still had energy in the tank to swim and not go to sleep until 10 pm every night and not be whingy is amazing. I'll take the whingy daughter who wants to play the nintendo and has a maximum 20 minute attention spam as a trade off.
I have lots more to say, but I'll save it for the week. Whilst I did cycle it wasn't anywhere near what I would do at home. My husband had a fold up bike to cycle alongside buddy on his stabilizers and I would cycle and track back with the other two. I did do a 6km ride on my own one night but that was it. I put on 4lbs from eating bread everyday together with wine and pizza. I am pleased to say that 2lbs of that is already off.
Ordinarily when I return from holiday I have a take-away (which we did on the Saturday night) but on the Sunday I would still say I'm technically on holiday so a cream cake might not go a miss and then I'd say well I won't start my diet till the kids are back on Wednesday. This year on the Sunday I was right back to eating healthily.
I am back on the exercise tomorrow as buddy is at pre-school. I shall return in the week with updates, the type of neighbours we had, the 5:2 diet everyone is talking about and much more.
Thanks for sticking around and I'll see you very soon!! Here are some pics of the holiday...
|Remember this dress? Wore it 2 years ago and pretty sure I filled it out more and it was shorter as my bum was bigger!|
|A new pair of fair trade shoes made from tyres and leather - I purchased these from a lovely Kenyan woman in the market. Thankfully, she said speaking English was preferable to French|
|This was a great morning out a medeival castle ruin - boys loved it and the kids all got wooden swords to decorate. Naturally, son's got broken later on as nothing lasts in this house - it is now fixed|
|How awesome is this ride - buddy even went on it - this was at Le Pal an excellent theme park with a difference i.e not shit like Legoland, Chessington and the like. More on this next time|
|He shakes the carriage!|
|A family tradition is to always have a look at the memorials that every little village has of 'nos enfants' - men who sacrificed their lives in WWI and WWII|
|There are 4 names the same. Real life Saving Private Ryan|
|This is me and buddy at the arboretum - wonderful day out and sporting my hero John Lennon|
|I loved these old signs on buildings - hadn't seen them before|
|Now how could you leave France without a wooden mouse? We stumbled across a wood maker and entered his workshop and items for sale and took him home with us 65 euros|
|This caught my husbands eye at the local brocante - she was less forgiving on the price 30 euros but my husband is going to make it into a garden feature. And no we don't have gnomes!|
|Our 3 bed gite is the one on the left - we all had access to the child proof swimming pool and grounds and it was perfect!|
|This was a lovely medieval village on the river - it did have a funny feeling though - think wicker man - Edward Woodward!|
|Me and my baps - this one was for my gay friend Craig who is obsessed with my tits - what is with gay men and tits? Do they miss them? Last year's bikini as its my favourite|
|We were staying by the oldest velodrome in France|