When I was growing up, the Summer holidays were most certainly my favourite time of the year. After Christmas, we would pack up the car and head to the beach, setting up camp for a week or two.
We didn’t camp luxuriously. Rather, it was in a tent on an unpowered site – and I think that was half the adventure! Dad was super organised and would have lots of fun tasks to keep us busy – snorkelling, canoeing, hiking, swimming. You name it – we gave it a go!
I have such fond memories of these holidays. Of the days spent on the beach, the bike rides, and the camp kitchen meals. Of making new friends, and catching up with the friends we made during the previous years’ trip. Of begging Mum for a few dollars so that we could buy an ice-cream from the local kiosk.
It is these type of memories that I want to create and share with my own little family. And although we are not yet set up to go camping (something that we hope to rectify over the next few years), we did use the Summer break to head off for our first beach holiday as a family of 3.
We booked into a 2 bedroom Bungalow at the Merimbula Beach Holiday Park, and although it was a tad on the expensive side (high season?!), it was just perfect for 2 adults and a 10 month old. We took Charlotte’s portacot with us, and she slept better than I had expected (although the ‘bar’ is not set too high on the sleep front at the moment). The air-conditioning also came in handy when the mercury hit 44C by 10am on one of the days!
What appealed to me about this Holiday park was that it was really set up for families. There were 3 pools (including a toddler’s pool), play equipment, a tennis court, games room, and a jumping pillow. Obviously Charlotte was too little to use most of it, but it was a pleasure seeing so many kids running around outdoors clearly having a fantastic time!
It didn’t take us long to settle into a relaxed daily routine. After Charlotte woke in the morning (around 7) I would head out for a run and Mr BBB would either come along and take Charlotte for a walk in the pram (or head out for a solo beach walk on my return). I have mentioned it before but I LOVE exploring new places and towns by running, and I was pleased to discover quite a few running trails and paths by which to explore.
After Charlotte’s morning nap, we would lather ourselves up in sunscreen and hit the beach. While the beach near the Park was a tad rough (and the water was more than a tad cold), there was also a sheltered shallow inlet nearby that was perfect for a little bub to play around in.
After lunch and another nap for C (and truthfully, often a nap for us too!), we hit the toddlers pool in the Park. And although I know she won’t remember this trip (aside from the many photos I took), C seemed to really love wading and crawling in the water and watching the other kids play.
Then it was showers and dinner for C and, on most nights, another beach walk together. before C went to bed at 7pm and we settled in for the evening.
We kept things simple when it came to meals. Breakfast was cereal and yoghurt (and coffee for the parents!).
Lunch was generally fish and chips or a treat from the bakery. Although we did also sample a fine ploughman’s platter at the Bega Cheese Factory on one occasion, as well as a delightful seafood platter from a local seafood restaurant. Charlotte would generally eat a vegetable or fruit puree for lunch, as well as a portion of whatever we were eating. She loved the fish, in particular!
Mr BBB and I would eat our dinner after Charlotte went to bed for the evening, and we made the most of the warm evenings by cooking and dining outdoors. We had steak and salad, homemade hamburgers, haloumi and salad and my personal favourite – a bacon/egg/avocado/brie roll – that was simply scrumptious. Washed down with a glass of vino, eaten with the sounds of the ocean in the background and while uttering “ahhh this is the life” on multiple occasions!
Needless to say, we returned home after our week at the beach feeling refreshed, relaxed and perhaps even a little more tanned. It truly was wonderful to spend this holiday together as a family, away from the distraction of ‘home’. It allowed us to take the time to enjoy the small things – playing, walking, dining, reading and napping.
The first of (hopefully) many more family holidays to come!
What about you? Did you manage to get away over the Summer break?