We’re on a bit of a money saving mission at the moment. The reason? We’ve booked our summer holiday! Score!
We had such a fabulous time last year on our Siblu holiday to the Vendée, that we’ve rebooked for the summer holidays this year. The only difference is that we’re heading a little further south to Charente Maritime. This year, we’re staying in a holiday village situated in the middle of a pine forest, right on the Atlantic coast. There are pools, a climbing wall. We’ll be 600m from the most beautiful looking beach, we’re taking our bikes, and none of us can wait. Roo is especially excited at the prospect of crazy golf!
Charente Maritime is a bit further south, so we’re catching an overnight ferry to St Malo
Right at the beginning of the summer holidays, we went to France, on a ferry, and we stayed in the Vendée region in Le Bois Masson, a Siblu holiday park. Both of us having enjoyed years of this kind of holiday as kids, Ross and I were on a mission to make it one our small children would really enjoy.
We stayed in a mobile home, the static kind with multiple bedrooms, a working kitchen and a flushing loo. It was spacious and despite packing our car to bursting with all sorts, our accommodation never felt cramped. It even had a lovely terrace to sit and while away the balmy summer evenings on. You’ll have to excuse my mental overexcitement and makeup-free travel-face in this video – it had been an incredibly long day, and we’d all gone rather stir crazy in the car.
We’re back from our week at Le Bois Masson Siblu holiday village. We travelled over to France last saturday morning on Brittany Ferries. The ferry was early – sailing at 8:30am, and we bundled two very sleepy children into the car at 6am, and were off with a flask of coffee and stacks of sausage sandwiches to eat at the port.
Getting on to the boat was quick and hasslefree. We had a cabin – almost certainly a must if you’re travelling with young children as it provides somewhere calm, quiet and safe to rest on an otherwise packed ship. An outside berth, complete with porthole and ensuite facilities costs under £40 for the crossing. Surely then a no brainer.
It’s been blisteringly hot here in the Vendée, and thank God for in-car air con, because today we took a bit of a drive North up the coast to Noirmoutier-en-l’ile to have a look around, as I’d been told it was picturesque and quaint.
Noirmoutier-en-l’ile is an island, and there are two ways to get across; by pont (bridge) or, if the tide is out, by gois (causeway). Le gois is clearly the more interesting route; it’s 4kms long, making it the longest causeway in Europe, and along the entire stretch were people collecting molluscs in baskets (I assume to eat) and generally using it as a vast expanse of beach. Once across, you are bombarded with salt marsh after salt marsh, but eventually, after about a fifteen minute drive, you get to the town of Noirmoutier.
And it’s true. It is picturesque and it is quaint, and it’s real France. Hardly anyone speaks any English; my pidgin French and “parlez vous Anglais?” did not score me any brownie points whatsoever. But, we got by, ordered amazing ice creams, ate our picnic lunch at the edge of the town market, and took a look around the aquarium.
Today I was doing a spot of sun worshipping, and getting right into the sunbathing Zone. You’ll know the Zone if, like me, you’re a keen sunbather. You just kind of lie there, and relax to the point that you almost switch off completely. You’re not quite asleep, but you’re not fully awake either. The delicious heat makes you a bit oblivious to your surroundings, except for the sounds immediately around you. Anyway, whilst I was lying on the beach, worshipping the God that is Sol, I decided that if there was one sound I would keep forever, it would be the sound of the beach in the summer.
Saturday is going to be a long long day, with a very early start, a six hour ferry trip across to France, and a four hour car journey before we get to our destination. I usually love a long car journey. Before we had our babies, Ross and I went on a road trip to Wales. We had no plan, we just sort of winged it, in our little Ford KA and a lot of loud music. It was amazing. We ended up staying one night in a very scary hotel in Pontypridd (because that is where Ross’ favourite band at the time Lost Prophets were from) one night at a B&B just outside Fishguard, and one night in a very dodgy part of Cardiff. We had lunch in Swansea, chatted to some lovely old ladies, drove to Cardigan, which was deserted, and we saw the same girl doing what I reckon was the walk of shame around town three times. We drove to Llanddewi Brefi, because why the hell not? And I bought a Welsh Love Spoon because I thought it was cute, not because I knew it was a love spoon. Ross broke it not long after we got home. An entirely successful weekend mini-break.
Anyway, I digress. Massively.