The First Family Holiday
The first family holiday is always going to be a daunting experience for any parents. What do we pack? Where do we go? Will the kids be homesick? Or will we disrupt their routine too much? Let me take you through our experience of our first family holiday to give you some ideas for your own or to help you take that trip down memory lane of your own first family holiday.
Packing: Packing was such a stressful process. I found it easy to go room by room looking at everything I felt I needed or used for the boys (which is far more daily items you use than you realise) from night lights, bottles, their favourite teddy & a box full of toys- it all had to come with us. It's best to email any place you let from to check whether they have children's items, such as plates, travel cots etc as I packed so much more than I needed to- it's amazing how much holiday homes can cater for your families needs.
Location: We went to Hope Cove, Kingsbridge in Devon. My parents and siblings were also with us for this family so rented out a lovely 3 room bungalow just a short (but steep) walk from the local beach.
Food: The best thing about the holiday was that we could self cater which is the best thing to do with small children. We had a few meals out, a couple of bbqs and couple of lunches out. Just pack some essentials like pasta and a few of their favourite snacks. We did a Tesco online shop and got it delivered the evening we got there- this made life so much easier! Then you can take lunches out for the day.
Activities: We spent the majority of our time on the beach which is free entertainment and kids love it! Strike that. Everyone loves the beach. There was so much to do at Hope Cove beach, from sunbathing, sandcastles, crabbing in the rock pools, paddling and to going out on boats and kayaks. Our family had so much fun at the beach. I made sure to buy a couple of new buckets and spade type toys, we brought fantastic beach ready toys from B Toys. My two are quite young but I envision when they are older we would do more educational activities, like spelling names in the sand or with stones and exploring the local nature.
We had a couple of meals and lunches out which was nice. We went to a child friendly pub called The Hope & Anchor which was a short walk from the beach. It had amazing food and a relaxed atmosphere which was brilliant with having small children. Zac and Dylan weren't brilliant at sitting still but their kids menu came with pictures to colour in which always helps and they have a good variety of food. I'd suggest taking some sort of entertainment though like a favourite toy to keep them going.
We also spent a day checking out a local town; Salcombe. This was such a picturesque place. We walked through the town and also looked into getting a ferry ride but Zac being a wuss didn't fancy this and took the other option of going for an ice cream with Mummy and Daddy! There was plenty of ice cream places and also bakeries.
Our other activity was a trip to the zoo. We went to Paignton Zoo in Devon. It was brilliant. There was plenty for kids and grown ups to do and it was all very educational. Zac loved the monkeys & Dylan loved the seagulls that were hanging about. It was a really great family day out at an affordable price.
Memorable Moments: The holiday had a lot of memorable moments that I will hold dearly just like anyone else would. I loved seeing the boys excited every morning because they couldn't wait to see their aunts & uncles and go down to the beach where they would spend hours, playing nicely without tantrums. The look of Dylan's sheer delight and excitement while he ran threw the wet warm sand towards the small ripples of water washing onto the shore will forever be imprinted into my memory bank. The cute innocent face of Zac looking down into buckets filled with wandering crabs and shimmering fish will also stay with me and I will hold those moments dear until the next time we venture on holiday.
My children were so well behaved and enjoyed their holiday, they made the most of every second we were there and although the excitement got the better of them at times and they became hyper monkeys, it was amazing to know that they were loving it. I fill with pride whenever I take them out as they are so gorgeous, unique and funny- a waitress fell in love with Dylan and had to come and say hey to him each time we went to the pub. It was so cute seeing him curl into a family member out of shyness. Zac decided on holiday to stay in his bed 6/7 nights too which is unheard of and definitely a treat for us all.
The sunburn is still burning away into my legs, a warning to really put on that suncream whenever you are out in the sun. All week I lathered myself in it as much as I put on the kids but on Friday I decided my legs didn't need it as they weren't catching the sun. My legs have now caught it, pulled it into my body and exploded it down my thighs causing nothing but a bright pink patch on each leg that burns with the slightest touch. A low light of the holiday, but one that can be avoided next time. I hated seeing Zac's face as we drove the 3 hour journey home, so sad and gloomy. He behaved brilliantly on the journey but he knew as much as I did that unfortunately it was all over. Lucky for him it was his birthday the day after we got back which sparked a whole new array of excitement inside his gorgeous and handsome self.
I sit here writing this blog post, contemplating the holiday, my eyes droopy with tiredness. It is true what they say, I feel I need another holiday to get over the activities and excitement of the last. But alas, it is back to 'normality' from the morning. I feel sad, drained and down but I needn't because although the holiday is over there is still so much in my life I can look forward to, such as the engagement of a family member.
I have had a lot of fun on the holiday. There was everything you'd expect from a big family holiday, excitement, hyperness, tantrums, tears, vomiting and passing out- and that was just from the adults! I loved having all of my family around me and I hope that as a parent I am able to raise my boys as well as my parents did. I hope they grow up as best friends as I have loved having my siblings close to me my whole life. I have to admit I was worried about going on holiday with my family, worried we'd fall out. Other than one drunken night the holiday was amazing and I have come home thankful that I have the family I do. I am excited for the future I have with them all, from the small moments of the next time we can all gather for some fun over a drink, to the bigger times when kids will litter our homes and we celebrate life events. Family is forever, so although the holiday is over, the future begins. And I have a hell of a lot of washing to do in the morning....