Mario's warm up

It’s been a few weeks since we brought the motorhome back and had a sleep and meal (cooked in the house) in the garden but of course it’s not the same as going on a proper test drive. Due to the kids busy social schedules the first time we had a free day we couldn’t stay overnight but we drove over to Kingston lacy with the bikes on the back and a fridge full of food.

It’s one of the localish national trust properties to us and one we’ve visited a few times before. They allow bikes and have a few really nice trails. I made us all a picnic while Al unloaded the bikes then we washed it down with a delicious milkshake from one of those local farm dispensers you see popping up, you can bring your own container or buy an empty bottle then fill it up with fresh milk including a variety of syrups. The cycle didn’t go to plan, we over estimated Liliya’s confidence, she isn’t strong enough to cycle up hill and hates going fast (or slow!) on the down hills.

Eventually, with some screaming and tears, we made it to the park. We didn’t have time to complete the route (which actually got easier from that point) as we had tickets for the house.

That too didn’t go to plan as Liliya was clearly exhausted and emotional from the cycle so before we started the tour we had a full blown meltdown.

The house itself was lovely and for the first time we got to visit the upstairs bedrooms that had all been closed on earlier visits.

Usually we head to Bournemouth beach afterwards for fish n chips but unfortunately there is no moho parking down by the sea front so this is where we need to make compromises and find somewhere less touristy. We’re exceptionally lucky with the weather right now and slightly further along the coast Al finds a beach car park that we can fit in (possibly not in the height of summer but plenty of space on an October tea time.) Determined not to have to cook pasta for every meal now we have an oven I had picked up some chicken kievs, vegetables and potatoes. There was a restaurant / takeaway in the car park so we decided to speed things up slightly by buying a bag of chips to eat with the rest rather than making mash but it’s a good first step.

Al does the cooking whilst the kids and I hunt for shells. It’s amazing how kids can be entertained for hours just looking at beach pebbles or throwing them in the sea.

The meal was a success and good to learn that we need to cook things longer than usual running on the gas rather than the electric at home so it’s been a useful experiment. Looking at the weather forecast we’re due another glorious weekend so we decide we’ll have an overnight stop next.

It’s the following weekend, we pack the van whilst Robert’s at a morning party then it’s a 1hr45 min drive to Eype on the jurassic coast. We’ve booked a fancy holiday park which isn’t what we’d usually go for but at this time of year lots of the smaller campsites are closed plus from this one you can walk to the beach which is now a big consideration given parking is much harder. We load the kids up with activities to keep them busy on the drive. Having the table is a great addition, they choose to do some colouring but we do have to find a grippy mat or something to stop the pens rolling everywhere when we make a turn in the road.

The kids are so excited to learn there is not one but two play parks on site, one is located in the pub garden so that works for me 😝. The weather is exceptionally nice for October so Al and I try out the new camping chairs whilst the kids play in the nearby park.

After that we head to the beach, this whole area is known for having fossils so we thought the kids would like to explore but instead they just want to strip off and run in and out of the sea.

As long as they are enjoying themselves so are we, Al decides to go on his own fossil hunt but no luck this time.

After a couple of hours we head back to the moho to once again make use of the oven, the kids are salty and sandy and since we’ve paid for the facilities we decide it’s best to use the showers here than in the moho. Pjs on and time for the kids to get out their toys.

We’ve given them both a box each that lives at the bottom of their beds. The rule is the can take what they like as long as it fits (of course if it was actually anything noisy or likely to get lost aka lego I would get them to understand why they had to choose something else but thankfully they chose plenty of other things.) With still some time before tea was ready the kids wanted to try out the park at the pub so I thought it only right I check out the facilities as I’m sure we’ll come back here again. They do have quiet a good cocktail menu but I opt for just a half of cider.

The nights are closing much faster now so by the time we leave it’s pitch black. Another successful meal complete and it’s time to test how smoothly or not bedtime goes. They get tucked up with an audio book each and it’s a simple as that. No fights, giggles or other nonsense, I’m calling that a resounding success! The next morning everyone is feeling refreshed from actually having had enough sleep, we’ve got a couple of hours before we need to be off site so we go use the pool. It’s nothing special but does have a sauna so Al and I take turns and Robert makes friends with some kids he saw at the park yesterday.

Al has found another local beach with an attached national trust car park so not only is there plenty of space for our size moho we also get to use it for free. We enjoy our picnic lunch before heading to the beach and even though the kids are lovely and salt/sand free post the pool visit they are once again in their underwear and jumping in the waves.

It’s surprising how busy the beach actually is, I’m in jeans and a hoodie enjoying the warmth but there are people sunbathing in bikinis! No trip would be complete without ice cream and there was less split down people than the summer so all that practise clearly helped.

We’re tempted to find somewhere for fish n chips but decide to cook when we get back home since its a school day the next day and want the kids to feel rested. That didn’t exactly go to plan however as the traffic was around an hour longer to get home than it was to arrive. At least the audio books were keeping them awake and when we were 20 mins from home we decided to have McDonald’s since it would be too late to cook. This apparently made it the best day ever according to both children!

So all in all the two weekend trips have been successful with the only thing we haven’t tested being the shower. The route is planned but still need to find campsites and activities for the trip to Denmark but there’s also an element of just seeing what takes our fancy when we get there. The main three activities in Denmark are at least booked and as its not the height of summer hopefully things won’t have got booked up already.