This is our second visit this year to my parents and I’m so pleased we came back to see them.
The boys and I visited in May and we spent one week with my parents just relaxing, playing together and eating good food. I remember Richard greeting us at the airport and saying that I looked so refreshed and recharged. That’s because I was so I couldn’t wait to go back and visit again.
Since our last visit things have been pretty hectic and we’ve both been quite busy with work, end of year school activities and then with several activities and days out for the first few weeks of the holidays.
This is the first year I’ve worked less than full time so I was particularly looking forward to the holidays so I could spend some time with the boys. Up to now I’ve always worked full time and I haven’t been able to just be around during the summer to enjoy the long summer sunny days. That said, the weather has been awful this summer in England but, i suppose you expect that living in the U.K.
Our trip to France has been the most laid back and relaxing trip I’ve ever had. Instead of visiting local villages and towns with my Dad during his morning outings we all chose to stay in bed and have a lie in. The boys have been sleeping until 9.30/10am so it’s been a real treat for us all as that’s unheard of, they’re normally up at 7.30am latest!
We then relaxed all morning and indulged in French cake or croissants for breakfast coupled with lots of English tea. There are some home comforts that we all need on holiday and English breakfast tea is one of them.
Most days we ate lunch together in the garden, this usually consisted of French bread (of course), plenty of fresh salad, ham, cheese and a range of other tasty treats and then we headed down to the pool.
My Mums friend has the most amazing swimming pool and she invites all of her friends and their children visiting to use it. She’s ever so generous and we all hugely appreciated it as it made the holiday for the boys being able to use it. Most days it was filled with families and friends and the boys got to play to different children where they got to make up new games and play together.
It was so wonderful to see them socialising with others and making new friends. They boys have been coming here ever since they were born, in fact I found a photo the other day of them both and each of them visited here when they were 3 months old.
So many of my friends have put off travelling with kids until they’re grew a little older but, we’ve always done it so we don’t know any different and neither do the boys. They’ve always travelled well, although we do experience a little bickering and shoving if we’re delayed or there’s a lot of waiting around but that’s normal for a 6 & 7 year old. Now they’re older too it’s brilliant because they can pull their own cases and they love it!
During our trip we visited local villages to experience the night markets where we drank and ate to our hearts content. We ate mussels, duck sausage, curry, crepes, pizza, plenty of frites and lots of ice cream. We thoroughly enjoyed these markets as we got to socialise with the locals and we also experienced the French local music, some of it was really good and some of it was slightly cringe worthy.
On our last day I sat in my parents lounge with a huge pile of photo albums dating back to 1960. These photos were of my parents when they were younger and these albums dated right up to 1995. They include holidays from when I was younger and I got to see again how many memories we’d made during my childhood.
When I was younger we visited France every year so I’ve been here at least 38 times, perhaps more. We had a caravan when I was younger and we spent every summer travelling around Europe visiting France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and more for 3 weeks at a time. We loved it and we’d stop at a different campsite each night.
I take so many photos nowadays of my family and the holidays and outings we go on. Looking back at my albums I realise how precious these photos are as they’re all memories and snapshots of time, all which tell us a story. It was great to sit and reminisce and I even found some cringe worthy ones of my sister and I with bad haircuts and goofy outfits.
Our trip really did turn out like a walk done memory lane for me in so many ways. I felt lucky as everyday we woke to blue skies and that was a blessing in itself. As we travel back on the aeroplane, I’m writing this blog post (as I tend to do if we’ve traveled abroad) and I pause for a moment to reflect on the things we’ve seen and done during our holidays. As always the best thing about this break was just spending time together, having the opportunity to reconnect with one another with no other distractions (like housework or work), we played together and it felt like a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of daily life which felt good.
Holidays are the perfect opportunity to take a step back from the daily grind, to provide us with a chance to recharge, refocus and re-prioritise what’s important.
France has been great but, next year we think we’ll incorporate a visit to the west coast of France too where we can take the boys to visit the seaside coast too and we may rent a gite for the week too with my sister and her family.
Thank you France for an amazing time, we will back again soon!