The truth about family adventures

From this day forth I promise to be more honest in my blog posts. I haven’t been lying up until now, just editing my experiences to try and impart the most relevant facts and information about the places me and my little family visit. But this isn’t a travel website, and by trying to be authoritative I’ve missed out some of the most relevant extracts. For the best – and most memorable – parts of our journeys aren’t the main event or attraction, but the funny and challenging moments and mishaps along the way.

Take our day out in Padstow last week. I was going to write about our trip onboard the Black Tor Ferry. It’s by far the most scenic way to travel from Padstow to Rock, and a great way to get the kids (and the dog) out of the tourist bustle and onto a wide sweep of beach where they can run wild and throw sand at each other. The ferry runs frequently, it takes buggies, bikes and hounds – but all this you can find out from the local tourist board.

What you won’t find out is that it’s pretty difficult to bump a double buggy down the flight of rocky steps to the beach that the ferry leaves from at low tide. Or that it’s easy to stroll along the beach to Daymer Bay at low tide, but dragging a buggy back through the sinking sand as the tide comes in is a hardcore workout. As I also found out, the ferry has little inclination to stall its efficient service for a red-faced mum tearing up the beach (that’s an exaggeration in the sinking sand) with two naked toddlers (after sand fights and sea dips) bawling their lungs out.

We were thoroughly worn out and in need of ice cream by the time we rejoined the crowded tangle of streets that is Padstow. After losing one wild toddler to the mass of tourists we stopped for a delish Roskilly’s (it was here, in the queue, I found the lost toddler) and promptly got shat on a by seagull. There was a lot of poo as well as the ice cream mess, and it didn’t feel half as lucky as people like to say it is.

The weekend preceding the Padstow excursion, we’d been on our first family camping trip of the season. There’s nothing wrong with camping in the rain – and let’s face it we’ve had little choice so far this summer – but we were not only camping the rain (single mum, two toddlers), we also had a wedding to go to. I thought I rose to the occasion admirably, especially when the three year-old declared, “we love camping, we are so happy mummy”.

To be honest, it wasn’t my Girl Guide skills that made the camping experience so smooth. We were at Pentewan Sands Holiday Park, which is kitted out for all-weathers with a beach café, indoor soft play, restaurant, supermarket and two swimming pools. Aside from erecting the tent in the wind and rain, the biggest challenge was making the family presentable for a wedding. The boys were passable. It wasn’t until the ceremony was over (it was almost over early when the youngest tot crawled under a chair and nearly whacked the stereo on full blast mid-way through the vows) that I caught sight of myself in a mirror – bra on show, grubby fingerprints on my dress and muddy flip-flops on. All things considered the weekend went well, my children rocked the dance floor in their pyjamas and I now know that weddings and camping can mix. Just don’t expect to look your best.

So as I continue to pen my family adventures, I’ll no longer veer to the positive and informative just for the sake of sounding professional. I’ll be filling in the gaps, jotting down the truths and hopefully giving a better, more honest opinion of what family adventures are all about.

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