Here’s a very belated post about our crazy camping weekend last week! Following the success (!) of our first trip last year, it seems our “Whiskey & Ginger” camping weekends are becoming an annual tradition. So, with this year’s destination of choice being Pevensey Bay in East Sussex, we made the drive South with combined feelings of excitement and trepidation. With five toddlers and three babies, it was always going to be an interesting experience! But with the weather sunny and hot, the beachside location was perfect and quite a stark contrast to last year’s water logged New Forest site.
Family Agar drove down on Saturday morning to join those who had pitched the night before. We made a bit of a detour to show Alex Gatwick Airport – we thought he’d enjoy watching the planes land and take-off – but it seems very few planes seem to use the airport. In half an hour, I think we only saw four take-offs and landings! Not sure why London needs more runways – Gatwick looked very underused!
We were soon back on the road, joining the day trippers heading to the coast. Traffic was slow, so it was an enormous relief to get to the site and out of the car. Alex was delighted to see his friends – and we were delighted to get a cold drink! Matt had lots of “help” pitching the tent this year (although despite the assistance, he still got into trouble for pitching too close to the camper van in the next plot from the over zealous warden!):
Once the tent was pitched and we’d had a picnic lunch, we all headed to the beach – just a 5 minute walk from the campsite. Alex had his very first swim in the sea, and all the boys enjoyed splashing around in the shallows and throwing pebbles (Sophie prefered to try and eat them!)
We spent all the rest of our weekend at the campsite where the boys just ran wild – it was so nice for them to spend so much time outside exploring in such an inviting campsite:
Our tents were gathered around the childrens’ playground (great for the boys during the day, a bit annoying in the evening when the older children came out!). The boys particularly enjoyed pulling their camping chairs up alongside the slide and quizzing the older children as they came down.
They flew kites, shouted at the trains coming past on the nearby track, played with water pistols, and like last year, randomly enjoyed playing in the parked cars. This year, one of them sadly discovered Bryony’s nail polish in the glove box and proceed to paint the inside of her car and their legs bright pink!):
And they loved going on a bear hunt with Bryony – it’s hard to see, but they are all holding a piece of string and following her around the campsite – very cute (and surprisingly well behaved!)
I shouldn’t forget the girls of course, who enjoyed meeting each other and generally making mischief around camp. Sophie in particular couldn’t be trusted as her crawling is improving such that she could sniff out any food lying around and eat it:
The boys did manage to have a little bit of quiet time (about 10 minutes!)- – courtesy of Fireman Sam on the iPad before bed:
All the children settled down pretty well in the evening (when we could persude the boys to stop playing) – leaving us grown ups time to catch up properly over burgers, whisky and ginger wine and beers. It was surprisingly cold when the sun went down, so we all gathered around Rob’s fire pit (much to the annoyance of Matt who was sitting down wind and kept getting a faceful of smoke!)
Sadly, our trip deteriorated when we turned in for the night around midnight. As I was about to go to bed, Sophie woke up and decided she didn’t like her travel cot. Cue much screaming – a lot of sleeping on me – and very little sleep for Matt and I. Alex amazingly slept through it all and woke refreshed at 7am! One year we’ll go camping and I’ll actually sleep! I’m thinking of taking a separate tent for myself next year!
The bad night didn’t dampen our spirits as the weekend was wonderful! We had a quiet Sunday morning packing up camp and enjoying a delicious pub lunch at The Star – which had an amazing adventure playground to use up the last bits of the boys’ energy! Then it was back on the road back to London – Alex was asleep in the car within seconds.
It was a pretty lengthy drive back as the M23 was closed – thankfully we spotted that fact in time and managed to find another route home. Some of our fellow campers took 8 hours to make it back! After a quick stop at a water play near Crystal Palace, we enjoyed a quiet evening back home – and a lovely long sleep in our beds.
Here are all our collated best snaps from the weekend from all the campers!:
Thanks to Helen and Rob for organising this year – and all our friends for making the trip so much fun! It was great this year seeing the boys properly interacting with each other – Alex hasn’t stopped talking about “his friends” since he got back! Here’s to next year!