Days out

Adventures in Betsy – the camper van

At the beginning of September we picked up our new, shiny VW camper van. (Now named Betsy by the children). We needed a second car and decided before our summer holiday that this would be it. The idea being that we can just take off at the weekend for a little break away. Probably easier said than done!

Adventures in Betsy-2


The first night we had the camper van we had fish and chips in it to celebrate its arrival with the children clambering all over it, finding all the buttons and having a great time.

First dinner in Betsy

The Saturday after this we drove to West Wittering with my parents to give it a little test run, though we decided to use the camping gas outside rather than make Betsy all stinky! Even after just a day in it there were a few things that we found we’d need to do differently to make it easier.

Our first night away was booked for the end of September which meant we had time to buy essential plates, cutlery, sleeping bags etc.

First van purchases

We cautiously booked just one night the first weekend away in it, just to see what worked, how the sleeping arrangements would be (I always hope the children will sleep!) and essential items we might need for the future.

I’ve never been camping or in a caravan before so I was a little curious/anxious to see what it would be like to stay on a campsite but fortunately our first experience was pretty good.

The campsite was in Cirencester and is part of the Caravan and Motorhome Club. Yep, we must have reached a certain age.

We didn’t arrive until early evening as we’d met up with family in the afternoon but first impressions were pretty good. As the time was getting on we decided to get a picnic tea from the nearby supermarket, as even though we’d bought sausages with us we didn’t want to cook in Betsy and make her all smelly!

First night away tea in Betsy

The toilet/shower block was really clean and well looked after. Before we came away I was wondering if I’d actually use the shower but seeing it I was sooooo pleased and we’d also been able to choose a plot about 10m from the shower block. Handy for when Bodhi needs his midnight toilet trip!

After tea Tim took the plates and cutlery to be washed up, and then swapped the seating area into beds, while I took the children to get cleaned up for bedtime.

Charley had decided she wanted to sleep on the top bed while Bodhi wanted to be on the bottom bed so I went up with Charley and Tim was downstairs.

First nights sleep – hoping to take better photos in camper too

Charley finally fell asleep about 9.30pm and Bodhi decided he wanted to come up too and went to sleep about 10pm. I decided I may as well go to sleep at the same time as I wasn’t sure what sort of night it would be! It was pretty noisy at times with heavy rain and it did move a little when anyone turned over but overall it wasn’t a bad nights sleep and the children slept all night until 7.30am. I had to pull the children down the van a couple of times as we had the top bit open so maybe next time they will have to lay with their heads the other way. It would be nice if we could eventually get them sleeping upstairs by themselves and we could have a sit downstairs with a few glasses of something.

Fortunately the rain had stopped in the morning and it was lovely to wake up to a fresh morning and funny to see people wandering to the toilet block in their pyjamas and dressing gowns! Also, bizarre having to walk to the toilet block first thing in the morning in my pyjamas but everyone was so friendly and obviously very used to this.

We had an easy breakfast of croissants and fruit, hopefully one day we’ll get more adventurous and get the bacon and eggs on but we’re building up slowly!

After showers, washing breakfast things (with the children helping may I add!) and getting Betsy back to travelling mode it was time to set off for another family meet up before heading home.

Anyway it can’t have been too bad as we’ve booked to go to Dorset for two nights and then to a music festival in it next year – by then we will be pro’s!!







5 fab things this week #27
Days out

5 fab things this week #27

I meant to have a break from blogging but still do my weekly round up but it was so busy over Christmas and New Year it just didn’t happen. I’m missing a few weeks of these but one of the missing weeks I hope to capture in a post about our week away at Coombe Mill.

Charley only started back at nursery this week so there has been lots of family time, late mornings and evenings and not much of a routine! Hopefully, the routine will be back by the end of the week and sleep will also be back.

5 fab things this week #27

Wildlife tots session

We had a lovely time at this last week. The first half hour was in a little classroom with tables set up for either drawing or making a bird feeder. Charley stuck to colouring in a hedgehog while Bodhi was happy to look out the window at the birds going to the feeders in the trees outside. Then there was a story sat on a rug and after that it was time to put our wet weather stuff on to have a walk and activities in the woods. It was great to see nature in a different way and both children loved the experience.

Wildlife tots
Water frozen in a balloon with food colouring

Puzzle time

Some weeks seem to go by and I don’t feel like I’ve sat down and played games, with Charley in particular, so one evening we opened up one she’d got for Christmas and played that. It was really enjoyable and I think she really enjoyed having my (mostly) undivided attention for a little while at least.

Puzzle time

Play gym session

Another different activity for the children this week that was brilliant. The session was held in a gymnastics hall so was full of their equipment for children to use safely plus a bouncy castle and lots of Little Tikes ride-ons. Charley and Bodhi both spent most of the time on the ride-on toys and the inflated running mat thingy! I so wish this had been around when I was little! It was only an hour long but that was all that was needed to wear Bodhi out after running up and down.

Play session in gymnastics hall

Christmas scooters

The car was in such a mucky state last week that even I needed to get the hoover in it to get all the sand and food out of it. In-between the showers one day last week, I managed to do this while the children used their scooters.

It was so wet on holiday that they hadn’t had a chance to use their scooters they’d had for Christmas. Bodhi would have stayed out all afternoon on it whilst Charley needed a bit more encouragement. (This is Bodhi’s photo face at the moment!)

Christmas scooters

A day and night away

I had a night away with my husband at the weekend. It was for a family birthday (fab party) and it was lovely to be able to have a full conversation with people for a change and a proper lay in too (after an afternoon of drinking eek!)

It was also lovely to get back and have big cuddles with our little ones, knowing that they had had a great time with their grandparents.

Are you back into your normal routines after Christmas and New Year?