We came home yesterday from the most spectacular holiday yesterday that will be full of treasured memories that will last my lifetime.
We were very lucky, as the whole experience was a treat from my sister in law as her way of celebrating her retirement from the Police Force. We stayed in one of the luxury detached villas on site, that came complete with games room including a pool table, all en-suite bathrooms to every bedroom, a hot tub and outdoor sunbathing beds! It really was special.
I don’t know whether it was the three generations of family we were with, Grandparents, parents and children, the setting being Center Parcs at Elveden with it’s beautiful forest and the sense of being surrounded by nature or the great food and lots of wine late into the evening (ok, not so much wine for me, I am a rubbish drinker) followed by a hot tub that made the holiday that bit extra special or a combination of them all but I certainly know that all the children added that little bit of magic to the holiday.
BBspent the whole week referring to the villa as his castle as there was what looked like a tower on the side of the villa. When we told him it was time to go home he said he wanted to stay and live in the castle!
Having my nieces and nephews there was brilliant. My Nephew and BBare just in love with each other. They are a month apart in age and they play amazingly well together and honestly there were no fights – just the odd redistributing of toys! My nephews little sister and my daughter however, (who are two months apart) are a different story. When left alone they stroke each other and are really quite sweet but as soon as my niece’s Mummy comes into the equation the competition for her attention starts! Little Madam adores her auntie and will try to fight my niece for a cuddle. Of course my niece is like “That’s my Mummy! You can’t have her!” and Little Madam’s response is “I can have two Mummy’s if I want!” It is very entertaining to watch!
The best thing about the holiday was taking the little ones swimming. We have never had this opportunity before as with 3 under 5′s you have to have an adult per child. The twins have never been swimming before and BBlast swam at 9 months old. We were so worried as to how they would react but they were brilliant and quickly started enjoying the water. My ‘Little Madam’ is a total water baby and by the end of the week was going down a flume and slide by herself! I have taken some photo’s with a waterproof camera but it is old school developing so we are going to town today to get those done. I shall write more about swimming later I think!
The funniest moment for me was when my 10 year old niece took me off to go on the rapids. Unfortunately due to a thunder storm they were closed so she took me to investigate the plunge pool. She dipped her toe in and shivered and as she turned round to tell me how freezing it was she slipped and fell in! Her face when she emerged out the top was something I will remember forever – the total shock added with the desperation to laugh but she couldn’t find the breath to begin with. As she got her breath back we were rolling around trying to pull ourselves together again. I should have been a better auntie and helped her out the pool but I had lost the plot with laughter and couldn’t move. Bless her she was a good sport!
I have never been to a Center Parcs before and I did not know what to expect but it exceeded any ideas I had. It was so peaceful and tranquil and even though it had some commodities such as a Cafe Rouge and a Starbucks (and who doesn’t like a hot chocolate with whipped cream!) it did not feel overloaded from a commercial sense. There are a wide range of activities that you can take part in (these do cost extra and I would advice you book them) for example my older nieces and nephews took part in ping pong, tennis, ten pin bowling, archery and a treasure quest – there really is something for everyone but also you have the option of bike rides (which you can hire or take your own), walks and the fantastic swimming pool all of which are free. Half of each of our days there was spent in the pool which all the kids and adults loved.
We chose to self cater whilst we were there and it was lovely to dine Al Fresco every evening! There were BBQ facilitates so we chose to do that on a couple of the nights. It did not feel like hard work at all, but then my MIL is a fabulous chef and my BIL cooks a magnificent BBQ so we were well looked after! You can top up with any essentials at the food market which sells pretty much everything so you don’t really have to worry if you forget anything. For our house this meant lashings of milk!
We were so lucky with the weather with gorgeous sun on everyday except one! It was that delightful warm drowning rain and everyone jumped in the hot tub after! If you are ‘out door people’ anyway then a spot of rain won’t put you off. Plus you can always head to the pool (the irony being you are still getting wet!)
I have been a bit nervous about going on holiday with all three little ones. I took the negative attitude that it would be doing the same job in a different house without the things I need but actually it was blissful, we had quality time, I relaxed, I was not stressing about housework and laundry, we had chilled out evenings eating outside every night with the woodland backed onto a house like a scene from the Twilight Saga! I would definitely recommend it and I would go back in a heart beat.