In less than 6 months, the Mama Owl household will be packing up & setting off to the south of France for a week of croissants, crepes, sunshine and wine (for the grown ups, not the kids, obv). Our very first holiday abroad together since the Mister and I took A & J on our honeymoon to the USA back in 2002.
We have enjoyed numerous wonderful holidays in the UK with the kids, to the Isle of Wight, Torquay, Center Parcs Longleat, and Warmwell amongst others, as well as lots of day trips to the brilliant attractions around the country including Thorpe Park, Paulton's Park, the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour, Woodlands, and Paignton Zoo to name just a few. But now that the children are a bit older, we think that this is the ideal time to set sail across the channel and enjoy what Europe has to offer.
My dear friend Leo has made this trip possible with his outrageously amazing organisational skills and general wonderfulness, and we are all so excited. We have begun planning our itinerary in earnest, the ferry is now booked and the plans are coming together. It's a long drive through France to our villa down in the south, and we have decided to stop off at roughly the halfway point and spend the night... in PARIS!
I thought it would be an amazing experience for the children (as well as myself, having never been there before) and we plan to take them on a whistlestop open top bus tour of the city to see all of the sights - Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, the Champ de Mars... I can't wait!
After the excitement of the city tour we'll be hopping back in our minibus and heading on down to our home from home for the week, a gorgeous 5-bed villa set in beautiful surroundings with its own pool & games room. The kids are thrilled to be going to a different country and are so looking forward to it, it's going to be lovely to spend a week relaxing in the sunshine all together and with friends. We're also taking our 19-year-old niece along with us, she has always been a big help with babysitting for us & being an extra pair of hands when I have needed them so this is our thank you to her. No babysitting required as we'll just be at the villa for the week so lots of time to top up her tan. I'm sure she & A will make good use of the sun loungers!
We've never travelled abroad with all of the children before so we're taking time to think carefully about things to take along with us for the journey to keep them occupied, as well as planning what clothes to pack for our week away (and I'm definitely going to have to invest in more swimming gear!). We'll be taking their Kindles and E's LeapPad2, and I am debating a couple of portable DVD players too.
Breaking up the drive in to two parts on the way there we hope will alleviate some of the tedium but if anyone has any suggestions or knows of any must-have items for travelling on the continent with kids - please do let me know!
While we're away the blog won't be left unloved - I'm delighted to be hosting some fantastic guest posts from lots of lovely bloggers about their own holidays to France - and hopefully some recipe & craft posts too - and so I hope everyone will pop by and leave some comment love for them.
Are you off anywhere nice for your holidays this year? How will you be spending your Summer?