I should be doing the washing resulting from a fun filled week in the sun. Instead I'm trying to stay in the holiday mood for a while longer by sorting through the hundreds (literally) of photos taken.
The holiday started with a bit of an unfortunate journey - we were expecting the trip down to the South of France to take about 15 hours. It ended up taking a lot longer! An important lesson to be learnt is never put your trust solely in the satnav! We had just discovered that we were on the outskirts of Paris (the satnav decided that this was a short cut even though we shouldn't have been within 100 miles of the great big stinking place!), when this happened.....
Luckily Tim had gone into the rear of a very nice American man (far less scary saying sorry in your own language). Also very luckily I had taken out AA international cover (never had done before) - so a nice man French speaking man in London called Joe sorted out a recovery truck and taxi to take us to the garage while he attempted to find a hire car (apparently the state of the car market has made them in very short supply). We ended up sitting in the waiting area of the garage for 5 hours while Tim took various taxis around Paris trying to find the promised car. All I can say is that I never want to go to Paris again, my French truly is awful and if I ever meet Joe I would love to give him a big hug!
The rest of the week passed by in a major-event-free, relaxing (as it it can be with kids), wine and cheese filled way. We stayed in a holiday village in the Ardeche with three other families, the sun shone, the children got on amazingly well and had lots of evenings full of laughter (including one where the 'girls' got told off by security as our conversation could be heard throughout the whole village - very embarrassing as we were discussing extremely personal issues!).
Euan's second birthday was celebrated with a party on one of the beaches of the Ardeche River in a beautiful village called Balazuc. We swam, barbecued sausages and caught fish until the sun went down. Definitely beats the hated softplay area/magician parties! The only hitch of the evening came when handing out the birthday cake - Patrick really couldn't understand why he couldn't have the half of the cake that hadn't been sliced (he really does love cake).
The children's swimming progressed amazingly well over the week - Anya swam two widths of the pool on her own (must have been at least 10 metres) and both Patrick and Euan were taking running jumps into the pool. So not really much time for sitting by the pool with my book (although I do blame my cousin for some late nights after introducing the Twilight books to me - Sarah that's you!).
The journey back through France was pretty easy until we hit Calais where we were due to swap our France hire car for an British one. I thought we might be in for trouble after hearing a family shouting at each other about trying to fit into a small car (Tim again is lucky in having me for a wife and not having 2 teenage daughters - I felt for the poor man and hope is now at home with earplugs!). We were offered a Corsa - even in our most optimistic frame of mind we were unable to work out how to get the contents of an MPV and three child seats into an ultra compact car! We ended up with two tiny cars to drive back separately, but at least we got home in one piece!
These are cars 2, 3 and 4 (spot Euan in the front of car 4, his first front seat ride, grinning from ear to ear).
Well back to the washing....