With two weeks off school for Easter, 3 kids to occupy and thankfully my hubby with plenty of annual leave to use up, we decided to be ambitious and organise 2 holidays back-to-back. First up is a 4-day break in Dorset courtesy of The Sun Newspaper holidays. We were able to choose an area and then it’s a bit of pot luck on accommodation, but for 4 days it’s worth a gamble considering it’s value for money.
We were allocated a caravan in Sandford which is a great part of the country between the New Forest and the Jurassic coast. The holiday park was fine, it ticks all the boxes with the indoor swimming pool, overpriced randomly stocked supermarket and cringeworthy evening entertainment with Pied Piper inducing kids club.
As a family of 5 they had not so helpfully placed us in a 2-bed caravan with a pull out bed in the living room to suit our needs…? We could pay an extra £60 for an upgrade but decide to embrace the blitz spirit and muck in with the living room/bedroom situation much to the immense pleasure of our eldest who had been rewarded with the double bedroom, while the twins took the aptly named twin room. We pointlessly unpacked our suitcases and crammed our clothes onto the shelves provided wondering why they never seem to have enough storage space or even a coat hook or two in these tin can accommodations? However, the kids love it and hubby and I have found advantages to having a bed which reaches the kitchen so we can refill our wine glasses in the evening without having to actually get up.
First morning, we chanced a bout of verucca’s to try out the on-site swimming pool which was a hit with the kids, though I did feel uneasy passing through numerous warm spots of water mainly surrounded by groups of children. To deter our kids from dragging us into the massive amusement arcade, we decide to get out and about and explore the local area. First excursion was to Corfe Castle where as a half-term treat there is a medieval display from a local battle reenactment troupe. They are demonstrating bow and arrow combat and coaching volunteers in the art of archery. Both boys were keen to learn so I accompanied them to the Robin Hood clad archer who greeted us “Good Morrow fair lady and young archers, let us commence.” It took every being in my body to not point out that it is actually 2012 and it isn’t necessary to be so ‘into the role’. The boys were a captive audience though as he demonstrated his ability to shoot an arrow, I wasn’t convinced he would fair well in a real battle situation but at least he had the teeth to look convincing of the period.
The days following were action packed with a steam train ride, a hailstone storm on our day out at the beach and an overdraft busting entrance fee to Peppa Pig World, all of which put smiles on the kids faces. Bedtime was its usual holiday mode of too excited to sleep and as the twins don’t normally share a room at home they upped the ante keeping each other awake way beyond a reasonable hour.
One night while I was balancing on my wafer thin mattress and me and hubby were sleeping in formation to cope with lack of room, younger son came stumbling into our “bedroom” to inform me he had thrown up in his bed! Sure enough the little twin bed he inhabited was decorated with a post illuminous blue slush-puppie. Hubby cleaned the bedding while I cleaned our boy and then we played musical beds, hubby in with eldest and youngest in with me. Our daughter was most disappointed she had missed out on all the fun when she awoke the next morning.
The end of the first holiday was drawing to a close, on our last night we rewarded the kids with an evening of kids entertainment at the club house (minus slush puppies) so I could make use of the free Wifi and hubby could have a sneaky look at the football on Sky Sports. While I used the slowest broadband known to man, I could hear the synthetic saxophone from the party classic Superman, “comb your hair, fly a kite”. The royalties that band must make as I remember that from when I used to go to parties as a child! When I finally logged onto the internet, avoiding glares from football fans as the only table available with a view of the children was by the screen for the football, my bank
website informed me that I had used my card twice online the previous day to the value of £90 to pay an obscure company. I phoned them and discovered that a hacker had cloned my card and used it on gaming sites. During a conversation with the fraud department of my bank I strongly denied paying for such a terrible waste of money, secretly praying that one of the kids hadn’t signed me up to something virtual while playing Angry Birds on my mobile!
The money has been refunded thankfully and we headed off to holiday number 2 in Devon. Only trouble is, halfway to our new destination hubby realised that he hadn’t emptied his shoe cupboard (one of the few cupboards available) so had left 2 pairs of trainers and his beloved Timberlands in Dorset! Looks like any excursions in the week ahead will have to suit his remaining shoewear of flip-flops and work boots!
Devon holiday blog to follow soon.