Well, readers, you probably know that it's been quite sometime since the Lazy Family has been on our holidays, what with moving due to rubbish landlords, Littlest being sick, and just general bad timing, its been years and years.
So, a few months back, Actimel, the company behind some very scrummy and healthy probiotic drinks sent me an email regards their Family Well Being Index. The Index is available on their website, and promotes the idea that when families are in step with one another, everyone is far more positive, and it helps with hints and tips so all families can achieve that positivity.
They asked me if I'd like to come up with an idea around the world "Connect".
At the time, the news was full of scientific research suggesting that vitamin d- found in the sun- is great for asthma and lung condition sufferers, so I told Actimel about Littlest, his chronic lung disease and how we wouldn't want to apply to go abroad as we couldn't go that far (the insurance for Littlest would cost so much, and his allergies are so bad we couldn't consider going abroad), but we'd simply like to go to Cornwall and camp in the sunshine, go to the beach and let him soak up those vitamins!
I was so pleased when we were contacted that we had been chosen. We then found a great camp site- as we already had a tent and all the trimmings and we used to love camping before we had children- in a little known place called Crantock.
Crantock is 3 miles outside of surf heaven Newquay, but it's so peaceful. Basically, large parts are owned and maintained by the National Trust, their are lots of holiday cottages and small camp sites, all right next to a beautiful beach. It's pure old school chocolate box, like stepping back in time. There is one shop, a pub and a church bar the cottages.
We stayed at one of the smallest camp sites- Quarryfield which is independently owned and run, and has one field. We decided to go without electric hook up, all but ditched our phones and connected with each other as a family.
There was no time for boredom. We swam, we hunted in rock pools, we went for walks and played in the parks. It was the most fun we've had in ages.
The pace of life is so chilled, its on a different level to where we are in Berkshire, which is very busy. Everyone says good morning, we chatted to other parent's on the beach, the locals were friendly and the atmosphere was slowed right down. Its definitely a place for flip flops, cut off shorts and vests!
As for Littlest, he is generally a little boy who is shy around unknown people, and who finds it quite hard to keep up with other kids as when he runs around he gets out of breath very quickly. It was like watching a different child this weekend. He made friend's with a boy and girl on the beach, he swam, he ran like mad, and he was well, so, so well. He usually has to have his inhalers, aside from his twice daily puffs, at least 4 times over the weekend as he gets so knackered. He has trouble sleeping, and its not a great life for him.
He had has inhaler the twice a day he was meant to, and that was it. He slept in the tent, on a flat blow up bed rather than upright, and he slept, all night. At home, he is up several times a night due to his asthma.
He has laughed so much, and enjoyed himself immensely. We found baby crabs and shrimp at Crantock Beach, watched the surfers in Newquay, ate barbecue food, and cooked outdoors the whole time we were away, had picnics on the beach and used the car as a living room (we forgot our fold up chairs! Opps!)
We also went to Newquay Zoo, and both Brats were amazed at the amount of creatures they could spot. Part of the zoo allows wild tropical birds, bats and a sloth roam free, and the Brats found the bats funny as they were hanging upside down. We also met some meerkats, and walked like penguins. Newquay Zoo is more than a zoo as it contains not one but two adventure playgrounds, and a farm as well, and each enclosure was huge and allowed the animals to be happy. We were told all about how the Meerkats are very good at getting out of their enclosure as they can dig very well. The kids found it hilarious that the local uni had to telephone the zoo to let them know the Meerkats were sunbathing on their green!
We have had an amazing time, not just because we could connect with each other, not just because it was sunny the whole time. No. The reason it was amazing was due to being able to watch Littlest do what all kids his age get to do, run around and be happy.
As a parent, it is stressful watching him miss out, so having a weekend off worrying was so great! We have played and run and jumped here and there, all snuggled together in the tent, eaten great food and had a great time connecting. I'd recommend it to every family to get away from it all and get to know each other again. We are all so busy with school and being adults its hard to make time to have a bit of fun and relaxation.
I am so thankful to Actimel and their team, and we are so in love with the lifestyle, we've kind of decided to make it permanent! We have always thought sea air and a relaxed lifestyle would do Littlest the world of good and it did.
Go grab a tent and connect!