Thursday, 11 August 2011

Woolacombe Holiday Days One + Two

We went on holiday to Woolacombe, North Devon for a few days last weekend. I decided to break down my re-cap of our holiday into two parts, to hopefully prevent you guys (& me!) from falling asleep!! So this is part one - the first two days of our holiday - Friday 5th August and Saturday 6th.

On Day One - Friday, we drove to Woolacombe. Despite plans to leave at 9am, we ended up leaving more like 11.30am. With all the rushing around to pack up the car, I hadn't eaten breakfast. So as soon as we got in the car, I ate one of the mini Eat Natural apricot bars that Maria sent me...


Yum, I love these! Not exactly enough for breakfast though, so when we stopped at the petrol station I ate part 2 of my breakfast - cheddar dipped in chutney, and apple slices with grapes...


It was weird in the petrol station - I almost felt healthy?!! Liam wanted a sausage roll, so I went in to browse as I didn't know what I fancied. There were vegetable samosas and vegetarian pasties that looked quite nice, but I didn't fancy them at all! Of course, slabs of cheese isn't exactly a low calorie option, but I like to tell myself it was slightly better for me??! I'm more just impressed that I didn't fancy the greasy pastry - normally I find myself matching whatever Liam eats - not good when he can eat and eat without gaining any weight!!

The car journey took about 2 hours, and it was really hot outside (indeed, probably the hottest day of the holiday unfortunately!!) but the children were really good, especially considering how packed the car was - they both had their feet on suitcases and bags in between them, oops! We took along a portable DVD player that someone had given us second hand, so Izzy spent the journey watching Aladdin (and again on the way back!) which kept her amused...


and Toby was super tired as he'd only had a tiny nap, but he didn't fall asleep until the last half hour - instead spending the journey doing what he does best - eating!


The official check-in at the campsite wasn't until 4pm, but luckily when we arrived at 2.30pm our mobile home was ready for us. I'd stayed at this campsite 2 years ago with Izzy, my friend and my friend's son, but we were in a lodge that time. So this was my first time in a mobile home. Let's take a look around... The sitting room:


The kitchen:


The children's bedroom (we later collapsed one of the beds as the travel cot wouldn't fit anywhere else):


Our bedroom:


And finally, the bathroom:


I was pleasantly surprised by the accommodation. Not huge obviously, but clean and laid out pretty well. The major downside was that it was so cold!! Especially in the nights - there was a gas heater in the sitting room, but the bedrooms never warmed up - freezing! And you could hear everything outside - the whole home literally shook when someone shut a car door outside, let alone when our kids were running up and down inside! Haha, all good fun though! :)

As mentioned in my Packing Essentials post, we brought a lot of food with us. The first thing I did (after taking photos) was pack away "my" food - priorities!! :)


Once we were sorted out, we went for a late lunch. As the pub on campsite didn't seem to be serving meals at 3pm, we went to the (new in the last 2 years) "beach" bar - fake sand, wooden tables with sofas, and a fake wave with people practising next to us while we ate! The menu was a bit limited - the vegetarian options were basically cheese - plain cheese baguette (boring), cheese and tomato (yuck) panini, cheese and baked beans (yuck again) jacket potato, or nachos...so I went with nachos...


These were quite nice - but a bit too spicy for me. The menu advertised them as coming with sour cream, but when they were (eventually) ready they only had salsa on them! Luckily I spotted the guacamole sitting on the counter and asked for some, otherwise these would have blown my head off!!

After lunch, we went to the play park for a little bit...


Before heading back to the mobile home for the children to have naps...


Well, after they'd explored the room a bit - they'd never shared a bedroom before so it was a bit of a novelty!!


Bless them, Toby was fully encouraging Izzy in this mischief!!

After the children woke up, we went for a swim. Izzy decided she wasn't going to wear arm bands, and instead spent the rest of the holiday learning to swim! So proud of her. She can't go far on her own yet, but is quite good under water (glad we took her goggles!) and has so much confidence :) Toby on the other hand, did not like the pool. Gah. Painful. We need to take him swimming more regularly so he gets used to it.

Once we got back from swimming, we were all hungry for dinner. I rustled up a quick pasta bake by roasting some peppers and red onion while the pasta was cooking (fyi: not enough time to cook the onions...either that or the oven wasn't high enough - I didn't bother to look up what the gas mark translated to in C, oops!) and then baking the veg and pasta with passata and cheese...


We ate this on the picnic table outside our mobile home. I wish I had a wooden table and bright green grass to photograph my food on all the time!


Despite the kinda-still-raw onion, this was good. Simple but tasty. I would say it was filling - indeed I thought it was at the time - but by the looks of the evening snackage I'd guess not!

First there was one of the Eat Natural bars that Maria sent me, while Liam put the children to bed...


Then there was chocolate swiss roll bought from the campsite shop...


Liam and I ate the whole of this over the course of the evening, and I can't even pretend he ate more than me. Whooops. I was definitely in holiday mode! And yet we still had room for toast before bed (despite my earlier resolve in the petrol station, it seems my "matching Liam in everything he eats" was going strong that night!) with peanut butter and jam...


********

Day Two - Saturday - started bright and early, with the children waking up at 5.30am and giggling loudly in their room, and us reluctantly getting up at 6.30am. Coffee was needed...


While tired children ate coco pops...


I then ate my breakfast - Oats & More cereal with a chopped nectarine...


This was really nice, but quite sweet. I guess I'm used to being able to control the amount of sugar/agave etc I put in my breakfasts at home.

After breakfast, Toby went for his morning nap at 8am (!! - he normally naps about 10am, but then he doesn't normally wake up at 5.30am) and I...ate some more food...


I blame the weather. It was really cold so I just wanted comfort!!!

As it wasn't beach weather, once Toby woke up we went to the indoor pottery painting place on site. Izzy chose to paint a fairy (surprise surprise!). Liam helped Izzy first...


while I enjoyed a coffee...


And then it was my turn to paint! Liam being the perfectionist arty person that he is, found it quite hard to watch Izzy (and indeed me) do the painting. Especially when we had 'accidents' like this...


Oops! :-p We all still had fun though, despite the serious faces...


Toby behaved really well - happily watching us all from the comfort of his pushchair most of the time. He did get to stretch his legs in the play corner as well though...


The finished fairy, before varnishing and firing, looked like this...




And when we picked her up the next day she looked like this...



So pretty! Ok, Liam could have made the brush strokes less obvious, but Izzy is very proud of her work and has put the fairy in pride of place on her bedroom shelf! :-D

Back to Saturday though, after pottery painting we went to soft play for Toby to stretch his legs some more...



...before going to the pub on campsite for lunch. I chose the vegetable lasagne, which had carrot (bizarre, I've never had carrot in lasagne before except grated - these were proper sticks!) courgette and mushrooms in it (probably as well as other things!)


This was quite nice, but not amazing. A bit too much cheese, not enough veg and pasta. The garlic bread was really good though!

We couldn't resist dessert. Liam and I both ordered the same thing - Chocolate Cookie Smash Ice Cream Cake...


This was as good as it sounded! We had to wait for it to defrost a bit first though - we kept sneaking the defrosted bits off the edges - too impatient!

As the weather wasn't great, we did quite a lot of crafty stuff with Izzy when Toby was napping. Which she loved of course. Liam made this bracelet with her from one of the sets she'd been given from her birthday...


It has "PRETTY IZZY" imprinted onto it, cute!


Late afternoon on Saturday we went swimming again. Great fun, but it did mean I ran out of time to cook dinner (we got back from swimming at 6.10pm and needed to leave the mobile home by 6.30pm...and I'd been planning to cook rice). Our evening plans were more important though - well to Izzy anyway - disco time!! We may have gotten there a little bit early in the end!


But by the time we'd eaten some pizza for dinner, it had gotten busier. Tomato and mozzarella for me, the others also got a ham and pineapple one, but Liam ended up eating some of both as no way I could eat "mine" by myself!


This was pretty good, although it would've been nicer with some different cheeses and/or some vegetables - mozzarella & tomato was the only vegetarian pizza they did!

Izzy couldn't help dancing while she ate...


Haha, doesn't she look like she's concentrating hard?!! She can smile nicely sometimes too...!


After pizza, it was time for Izzy to sit down with the other children to watch the clown...


And then time for more dancing! Izzy's dancing "moves" cracked me up...she won't thank me for these photos when she's older will she?!! ;-D


Just before the end of the children part of the evening, Billy the Beachball (one of the campsite's mascots!) made an entrance to tell the children a story!


Izzy and I also did the "Billy Beachball Dance"!! The children were told to grab a parent for the dance, so I made sure Liam took his turn the following night!!

Then back to the mobile home we went! Toby went straight to sleep - it was 8.30pm by this time and he's normally in bed by 6.30pm latest - he was so tired!! This worked well as it got around the dilemma of how they were both going to go to sleep at the same time, in the same room. While Toby was settling, I read Izzy a bedtime story...


and then she completed her bedtime routine by shaking her glitter thing...


And this was what it looked without flash...


Very cool! :)

And that was the end of day two. Phew, that was a long post! Definitely the right decision to re-cap days three and four in a different post!!


Have any of you been on a camping holiday before? Do you like it? This was my first experience of "camping" (I'm not sure a mobile home even counts!) and I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure I'd like staying in a tent...definitely not while Toby is still in a cot, and the English weather is also a bit off-putting! I dread to think what staying in a tent would have been like last weekend - it literally poured all night long each night - really cold in a mobile home, but at least we stayed dry!! I like the idea of camping, but think I probably wouldn't enjoy the reality so much! I'd be interested to hear your experiences though...positive or negative!!

8 comments:

  1. I'm not a camper and have people surrounding me trying to convince me otherwise ..... it hasn't worked yet !! Never say never though.

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  2. Aww this made me all nostalgic! Mike and I spent lots of time in a static caravan over the summers as his dad used to own one so we'd go for weeks on end and take our pets, we loved it! Especially the summer where we had to live with my parents inbetween student accomodation! They are freezing at night though aren't they!

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  3. Looks like a fab weekend. When I was little we used to camp a lot and I loved it (well, in a trailer tent) but that was in France.The only English camping I did was festivals (and it was always freezing at night and then boiling hot early in the morning)- I liked it then but it is not for me now!

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  4. That looks like a great holiday! After my festival experience I would love to camp more, I have to say I don't think your mobile home can count as camping, it looks so lovely!

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  5. I have never really camped before. Only when I was young, with Girl Scouts - and we slept in a cabin, but had to use the toilet outside in the outhouse! I don't think tent-camping and I would be friends.

    I tried to tent-camp about a decade ago while participating in a charity walk for cancer - but it was raining and miserable, and I bailed. Went to hotel with a bunch of women I didn't know, just to get out of the muck!

    I'm definitely more of a 'city girl'.

    ~

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  6. I love reading about all your holidays, they all sound great! & I agree with those of you who don't think of yourselves as tent campers - I don't think me & tents would get on either, especially not with the English weather!!

    & Laura, yes you're right - my holiday really doesn't count as camping but I think it is probably as close as I will get!! :)

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