Summer Holidays – Surviving a camping trip with the family!

There is some irony in me writing this blog right now, as we are child free! The girls have gone for a week’s holiday with Nana & Grandad in Norfolk.  Out of the three days they have been gone we have spent two of those evenings in the pub. 

The Full Story:

As nice as it is to have some quiet time and catch up on life, we are like lost souls who have run out of conversation and would like the madness and mess back now.

It is funny how we spend all year looking forward to the summer holidays, then the thought of spending intense amount of times with the family can seem a little daunting and overwhelming, so here are a few ideas to help you survive a stay at Little Winnick with the family.

  1. Be prepared!  If you have driven miles to get here your ‘fuses’ may be a little short by the time you arrive.  To ease this be prepared and pack wisely.  Have a treat easily accessible for the moment you arrive.  Wine to me is the best option, but the kettle and drinks for the children or snack that will keep them occupied whilst you wrestle with your tent or awning is a great idea.  Maybe a bag of sweets for them to handout and munch on whilst you work hard?!
  2. Have a plan.  Even if it is just for the first night, make sure you have at least a vague idea of what you want to do to avoid the whole ‘I don’t mind’ conversation, when in fact you do mind and just want to eat and sleep!  We would highly recommend The Polgooth Inn – just up the road for an amazing meal and the Elderflower Fizz Cocktail on tap is amazing – I sampled it a few times for you last night and every one was as good as the last one!!
  3. Games.  Remember the old days when we used to have cards or games to play?  This week we discovered a family love for Top Trumps and Dominios.  Simple, easy to pack games that will entertain the whole family.  Leave the tablets in the car and sit round together and have a laugh.
  4. Take a stroll.  From Little Winnick in every direction there is a nice walk.  If you head down to Pentewan the trail is great for all ages with a ford to splash in and the The Ship Inn has a lovely beer garden for all to enjoy.  In the other direction you can head up to Heligan or further along to Mevagissey.
  5. Have a treat to look forward to.  It always helps to have a carrot to dangle in front of little people.  Our favourite is the offer/blackmail of crepes from Sea Shells in Mevagissey. Or an ice cream from the Tallships Creamery in Charlestown – their toddler cones for a £1 are brilliant and can halt even the ‘moaniest’ child’s moaning in their tracks!

Update from the Caravan of Love

The Caravan of Love has been empty.  Last Monday the girls and I packed the car with bikes and the tent and headed to Southampton.  Not known as a camping mecca of the south, but close to family and an ideal location to hand the girls over to my parents who took them back up to Norfolk for a week’s break.

As we checked in, Anna asleep in the car, the lady looked me and and the over excited Jess and Bethany up and down and asked if I was mad camping alone with 3 children.  Over the four days that was a look that we got used to as people tried to work us out or gave me a look of pity as we all marched to do our dishes or we headed off together to brush our teeth.  The look was wasted on us though.  You see I LOVE camping.  And I LOVE what it does to every single person, no matter what the age.  There is something special about sitting out of an evening, no tv, no phone, no computer.  Bethany was unbelievably excited watching the sun set for the very first time – she was blown away by the colours and the time it took for the sun to disappear as she sipped her warm milk.  I think as adults sometimes it is easy to overlook such beauty – we take it for granted.  But camping stops you.  It halts the thread mill we have all got on and makes us take stock of the beauty of things.  Even the beetles that took refuge in our tent were fascinating.

That said, we did have a couple of moments.  The first night, Anna’s first night in a tent, she was too excited.  She would not sleep and made it a game to keep going into her sister’s bit of the tent who were desperate for sleep.  In the end I had to take my book in with her and lay there hoping I could hold my wee in until morning longing for the wine I had just poured! Then on our last night I had an epic mummy fail.  Bethany had got a new drinks bottle that day, I had over looked the fact she spent all day refilling it and also somehow let it go when she didn’t have a wee on our evening excursion to the toilet block.  At 01.19 precisely the repercussions of the new bottle were felt….literally.  As  a swimming pool of wee emerged next to me.  She would not wake up, so trying to sort this epic damp squid without making too much noise was a big low point.  However I was grateful that I had the foresight to take a big duvet in case any extra cuddling was needed as her sleeping bag was inhabitable!  Lesson learnt.

I returned back to Cornwall on Thursday, like a lost soul, getting so many jobs done, but missing my partners in crime a lot.  It is odd to have time.  I have not had time for 7 years!  Today, we finish at lunch so we are heading to The Rebellion Bar for a roast, as we have had reports they are pretty good and then we are doing a circular walk up to Polgooth to collect the car.  All very nice, but not quite the same.  Still no news as to went we may have a house.  Hopefully soon!

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