We set off a week last Wednesday to Portsmouth to get the overnight ferry to France. (This was after a last minute trip at lunch time, to Mum and Dad's in Nottingham when we realised we didn't have the right keys for Bel-Air!!!)
We stopped off at The Devil's Punchbowl on the way - gorgeous scenery (and no, we didn't plan for the kids to all be matching in red!)
The kids were so exciting getting on the ferry - we had 2 x 4 berth cabins - the best bits being the bunkbeds and portholes!! We had a lovely evening on the ferry. The kids bought colouring stuff in the ferry shop and we got nice seats and tables in a lounge bit next to the windows, and just enjoyed the view and coloured. Very relaxing and peaceful.
We got up early on the ferry and had a great fried breakfast in the restaurant (free, because of our Home Owners membership thing!) then got into St. Malo, and drove from there to Dinan. It's a gorgeous place, and we went to the park and walked round the ancient city walls. Then we headed to Bel-Air. Scott assembled the new bikes we had bought over in February, and within about 5 minutes, Jack learnt to ride a bike!! The lane is perfect for the kids to ride around and play football in. Virtually nothing comes down it. I took this photo of Bel-Air from across the field one evening. Lucy and I enjoyed going on little cycles round the farm tracks and lanes nearby. (Though I look pretty stupid sitting on a big polka dot cushion - necessary though, because after the first ride I had a bruised backside...)
One of our favourite places is Ivan's wood. It's just down the lane from Bel-Air. Ivan planted the whole thing himself from scratch years ago and he's said we can use the wood whenever we want. This holiday we finished mapping out the whole thing. (All the paths are correct now, but in the Summer I want to use Scott's GPS thing to get the scale more accurate) Ivan's great for having conversations with because he speaks no English at all, so it's really good practise!
We spent over 12 hours travelling home yesterday. Got the high speed ferry from Caen to Portsmouth. The kids were brilliant and didn't moan at all (though Harry is making up for it today!) I had booked for the kids to have today off school too, though Lucy chose to go in. The first thing I did was check on the garden - I'm so grateful to Shane and Dawn who said they would do some watering. All my baby vegetables have grown!! It's fun going away and it's fun coming back too.