Our first family holiday

Collage of family holiday picturesWe got back from our first family holiday last week and, although it got off to a nightmare start, we had a great time in the south of France with my parents and my sister’s family.

We’re really lucky that my parents own a lovely house surrounded by vineyards just under an hour from Bordeaux, so we were in a great location for relaxing and getting away from it all. I say ‘relaxing’, but with Dylan, Xander and their cousins Jack and Ella around, it was never quiet!

The main reason for the holiday was a party that my parents threw to celebrate both their ruby wedding anniversary and the debut visit of their grandchildren to France. I was a little concerned that my two would be a little overwhelmed by it all, but Dylan was soon walking round kissing all our French friends on both cheeks and even using some of the lingo, so there was nothing to worry about! And to think that, when we visited the same village when I was his age, I hid in the car in case people kissed me!

Image of a group of people walking through a grand-looking garden.
En route to ‘castle’ number one in Bourg

The other highlight at my parents’ house as far as the boys were concerned were some insects that the French simply call ‘gendarmes’. Although they’re mainly red which is often a warning, they’re completely harmless to people and Dylan and Xander were very taken with the way they walk around in pairs. I Googled them when we got back and found that Pyrrhocoris apterus or Fire bugs as they’re also known, do this after getting it on in order to stop other males getting involved. So there you go – I’ve inadvertantly published a picture of al fresco intercourse on the blog. Well done me!

We also went on a couple of trips to nearby towns, Bourg and Blaye. The former has grown from an ancient fortified settling near where the Dordogne and Garrone rivers meet – and form the Gironde estuary which gives the region its name – while the latter is home to an imposing Citadel which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As far as the boys were concerned, both places were castles but that’s fine by me – it’s good that they seem to like historical things as they’re going to be dragged around a great many more of them!

Shot from the interior of an ancient fort-like building. There are several outer walls as well as a viaduct-like bridge leading into it.
‘Castle’ number two: the ancient walls of the Citadel in Blaye

Other highlights included the quirky looking carrelets that line the riverbanks, going round French supermarkets – for some strange reason, it feels like a treat  and, of course, the wine and cheese. Well, it would be really rude not to partake of vast quantities of them, right?

We all had an amazing time and I’ve already started the campaign for us to go again next year. Or sooner.

Comments

  1. John Adams

    I was interested to read this. We’ve not been abroad since Elizabeth started walking. I think it may be an entirely different experience now she can sprint off! We may do a brief visit to France over the summer so I’ll let you know how we get on.

    1. Post
      Author
      Tom

      Totally, John! Dylan gave me a heart-in-mouth moment when he was running around a viewing point near a river. Little monster! Hope you have a good trip – I look forward to hearing about it. 🙂

    1. Post
      Author
      Tom

      Cheers Tom! Yeah, the kids loved them. No answer from BA yet, but my decision is made anyway – never again! Good luck with the ski trip – that’s brave! 😉

      1. Tom @Ideas4Dads

        Dont blame you about BA. Just another example of a big company resting on its laurels! Lol yeah ski trip is a bit ambitious although going to need to do a few more sponsored posts to fund the damned thing 😉

        1. Post
          Author
  2. Seychellesmama

    When I read you were at your parents and then saw what turned out to be ‘castle number 1’ I thought it was their place!!!!! Love that Dylan was giving the french double kiss…..genius, what a smoothie!!

    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author
  3. Astrid

    I love your story about the fire bugs, as well as the tale about you hiding in the car when you were Dylan’s age. #PoCoLo

    1. Post
      Author
      Tom

      Thank you! I thought it was a universal truth that little boys hate being kissed, but Dylan has proved otherwise!

  4. Jonathan

    I really enjoyed reading this. It brought back plenty of memories for me as my wife and I also went to France on our first family holiday after becoming parents. It was last year and in Brittany.

    1. Post
      Author
  5. Pingback: Ticket to Ryde: our holiday on the Isle of Wight - Diary of the Dad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.