As we run our own businesses we have never really went away for more than a week at a time, and never have we went away during peak season (April – September) so when we booked our 2 weeks in France during August we didn’t quite know what we were letting ourselves in for.
One of our businesses we can do quite a lot from anywhere we want while the other we had a shut for 2 weeks. Its a long time without money coming in. I don’t know if you have already noticed but when we go away we normally always go away with my mum and dad. Its nice as my parents don’t get to spend a lot of quality time with our boys as they are always working.
Our itinerary for the two weeks was the following:
2nd Aug – Drive to Hull and then ferry to Zeebruggee
3rd Aug – Drive to Dijon
4th Aug to 10th Aug – Week in the Ardeche
11th Aug to 13th Aug – Drive to the Alps and stay for 3 nights
14th Aug – Drive to Beaune
15th Aug – Drive back to Zeebruggee for the ferry
16th Aug – Drive back to Scotland
We had two cars between us with my dad’s and husband’s bikes in the back of my dads car.
Our Week in the Ardeche
This post is all about our first week up until our week finished in the Ardeche. I have already wrote separate posts about our review on the caravan and park we stay in, in the Ardeche, and also the Aven d’Orgnac Grand Site de France cave, the Caverne Pont d’Arc replica cave and also the Madeleine cave which we visited during our week in the Ardeche with our family.
Our holiday began when we left our house on the 2nd August after spending 40 minutes packing both cars up. My friend was looking after our two dogs and two rabbits so pets were all sorted for the two weeks. We didn’t have to be at the port in Hull until 4.30pm but as we hadn’t drove long distance with our youngest son, we thought it would be best to leave early as possible so we could stop more if needed. In total we stopped twice. Once for a mid morning bottle and then again for lunch. The final stretch we managed to get all the way to the port.
After spending what seemed like an age waiting to get checked in and through passport control we checked out our 5 berth Club Cabin with P&O ferries. Definitely enough space for the 4 of us. Top tip: Have your overnight bag easy accessible so you can just grab it and go up from the car decks. (we had a rucksack, a steriliser and a bag with our youngest son’s formula, medicine and teddies!)
We had to ask for the travel cot we had requested as it wasn’t in our room when we got there. But we found no other problems during our stay. Food on board was pretty decent, although it seemed pretty expensive for us all to get dinner and breakfast. Sleeping on board wasn’t as bad as I thought either. I’m often kept up by both our sons (they are terrible sleepers) but I managed to get a couple hours of broken sleep which is enough for me.
Next morning we had breakfast, packed up our bag and went to our cars. Again it seemed to take ages to get us off and through passport control/customs. We were only driving to Dijon but because it took us so long to get off the ferry and away we didnt get to our hotel until 6pm! During the journey to the hotel our youngest son had decided he no longer liked mummy being in the front so I spent the rest of the journey stuck in the back between the two car seats (not the comfiest place to sit!) So I was definitely happy to get out the car and walk to the restaurant! Our hotel was called L’Hotel D’Arc. It was lovely, we had a family room on the top floor (it was huge! wish we could have stayed longer than one night)
After another sleepless night (for me not the husband…he can sleep through anything!) we set off on the final leg of the journey to the Ardeche. As previously mentioned I was in the back keeping the kids entertained – DVDs, sticker books and countless shaking of the baby toys! After 3 or 4 stops we managed to get to the campsite. You can read more about our Eurocamp holiday and our review on the caravan and park we stay in here.
During our week we spent our time visiting the local area including the Pont D’Arc and also the Aven d’Orgnac Grand Site de France cave and also the Madeleine cave. We also headed down to Provence to Mont Ventoux so that my father and husband could cycle up it (they are cycling mad so a Tour de France climb is a great achievement) This was also the first time I have drove abroad and apart from the crazy French drivers I managed ok! Haha.
Overall our first week was great. The weather was fantastic…although a little too hot for me (40 degrees) and the kids. It brought back many great memories of our family holidays when I was younger and the best thing about our first week…the kids enjoyed it. What more can you want from a family holiday!?