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Holiday report

24 replies

Davros · 12/08/2003 22:49

Hi everyone, we got back from our first holiday in 6 years last night!! Some of you may remember that I was worried about the journeys but these turned out to be pretty good. My son thought it was hilarious when the plane took off and thoroughly enjoyed it. Jimjams was right about taking plenty of stock of favourite snacks and not to worry about toys/books etc as he's hardly interested in these. I only had enough Twiglets for the journey though and you can't get them anywhere but the UK (or so it seems). We had a few outbursts during the holiday, only one of which was not really understandable, and they were very short. Most of the time we just hung round our villa and swam in the pool, we gave up pretty early on the idea that we were on another type of holiday for visiting towns and sightseeing, it was just too hot anyway. The best bit of advice I got before we went was to make sure we had a swimming vest-type thing (I had to get it direct from Floaties on the Internet to get one to fit an 8 year old). This allowed us to totally relax as he could be in the pool safely as much as he wanted. We were always near or in the pool with him but it made a huge difference having the vest on him. The baby cut two teeth during the holiday too so it was quite eventful. ANyone else got any holidays with SEN stories?

I'm sure I've already harped on this, but we found the free name tags from Boots very useful for the journey (for our peace of mind). You ahve to ask for them at the dispensing counter.

Nice to be back, hope you've all coped during the hideous heatwave.

OP posts:
eidsvold · 12/08/2003 23:33

glad to hear you have had a brilliant holiday with very little drama..

fio2 · 13/08/2003 08:00

Davros so glad you had a lovely holiday and that it went smoothly how you hoped. I think you are very brave. As for our holidays we have a tourer caravan and I have always found camping and caravaning very acceptable of 'disabled' children and adults. Almost every site we have been on so far has had more than one child on with disabilities, I think its most probably because camping/caravaning is a less srtuctured holiday. I remember when my parents took us to the US for our family holiday, my sister had CF so she had to have oxygen on the flight and it took ages to sort out. And when we got there we had so many drugs the security went into overdrive. My mum looked so worried and guilty.

Davros I think I would worry about the pool safety issue aswell. There was a story on the news the other day about a boy with SN (didnt say what) who had gone into to respite care and had been found drwoned in the swimming pool and I just though how awfulSad

Now dont any of you get laughing at me with my caravanWink

Jimjams · 13/08/2003 09:21

Gald you had a great holiday. Those vest things are good aren't they. We've just got one for ds1.

We went on a eurocamp holiday in france this year- mobile home. It was great although the neighbours kept changing so not entirely sure its ideal for autism. Also other people are a bit close for comfort when he was having an auti moment or two iykwim.

We managed a couple of meals in restaurants which totally amazed me. Good though.

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 10:06

Glad it went well Davros - 6 years aye - an incredibly well deserved holiday for you all and glad it went well.

I went to South of France in June and stayed in a villa. It was so relaxing - no other kids to make me feel sad Lottie wasn't running around, her own little dingy so we could push her round in the pool amd one of those swim-seats that meant I could do a few lengths while pushing her in front of me - she loved it. Then when she had her nap in the day, totally about 3 hours some days we had the pool to chill by, plenty of wine in the fridge and a huge gas barbeque to cook or lunch on - just perfect. After doing th evilla thing I really don't want to do anything else until Lottie's a lot older. It was just so easy. Our friends stayed in the same village so we had company and we swapped baby-sitting duties on a couple of nights so me and DP had a couple of romantic nights out. I can't compare with my holidays to Ibiza and New York etc etc but I'd have to say that it was the best, most relaxing holiday, I felt truly at peace there and I highly recommentd this villa if anyone's interested

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 10:08

oh doesn't look like my link worked, sorry - it's or just type villas in Bandol into google and it's the first link that comes up.

Rebi · 13/08/2003 10:33

Its lovely to hear other people's happy holiday tales. I think we will have to look into private villa idea - sounds idylic Thomcat!

Last year we went on our first foreign holiday for 7 years and it was a disaster!!! We went to Majorca, early May and to start with it rained for the whole week. Ds went into sensory overdrive - wouldn't eat anything, as even bread tasted different. We walked 2 miles (in the rain, another sensory issue!) to find a BurgerKing we'd been told about - thinking surely all those places taste the same - nope, he could even taste the difference there, but at least he had some chips!

Kidsclub was a complete no-no.

We booked a few trips but the first one was such a screaming nightmare (sensory overload again) we cancelled the rest!

One day we had about 3 hours of dry weather, so dashed out to pool (ds LOVES swimming, surely he will enjoy this?), again sensory overload as the water was too cold (it was with all the bad weather!). Not only that but one child got into pool with a massive blowup dinosaur, so all the other kids were walking around the pool watching her in action. A little boy came up behind ds and pushed him in the deep end, not in a malicious (sp?) way, but didn't realise it was deep. Another parent jumped in to rescue him, knocking over the child on dinosaur in the process, so other parent had to jump in after her. Lots of screaming and spluttering! Alls well that ends well though!

On top of this my dh got the most horrendous toothache and had to go the doctors for antibiotics! Was someone trying to tell us something?!

Saying all this there was one absolutely brilliant thing that came out of the holiday - After a long time trying, I became pregnant with my dd!!!!!!!!!! Don't know how it happened mind you, must have been an immaculate conception! How brilliant is that - worth all the above!

We vowed not to go on any foreign holidays as a result of our trip but now our ds talks about that holiday and how brilliant it was! Can you win?

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 11:02

ohh Rebi - you made me get goosebumps!!
What a lovely end to the story.
don't give up on holidays abroad - just try once more with the villa idea.
This place is beautifil. You could hear the sea, it had a hammock at the end of the pool, shops a 5 -10 min drive but was in a really quite area with a cul-de-sac road and you weren't overlooked, a beach the same distance as shops, but it's more of a cove so no scary long stretched and rows of little restaurants on beach so everything where you need it. Also has loads od medieval villages all over so lovely to walk around, loads of markets, a liitle zoo for the kids as well round the corner.
The villa has a main bedroom, bathroom, seperate loo & shower, kitchen, lounge, bedroom with bunk beds and then off the terrace is a seperate studio flat with double bed and it's own kitchen and bathroom.
The retired, and lovley couple that ownit live on the 1st floor of the villa but keep themselves to themselves apart from making sure you're OK. We were having dinner on the terrace one night and she came down to say she was going away for 8 days and then ran off upstairs to bring us down candles! they also would be up and out before we had stirred and the pool had been cleaned etc.
It would be a great place to make more babies!!

Rebi · 13/08/2003 12:16

I want to go there NOW, Thomcat! It sounds beautiful. I have added website to my favourite and will have a good look when I get a quite moment!

Did you drive to South of France? How did that go if you did?

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 12:27

No we didn't drive. My friends thought about it but then they did a 6 hour drive to Devon and hated every minute (of drive not lovley Devon!) so booked the same flight we were on!
We flew with EasyJet to Nice, picked up a car and drove to Bandol. Took about 3 hours.
You can also drive to Mairsailles (I've spelt that wrong but..) which we did the year before. (We camped the previous year but felt a bit trapped when lottie slept so won't camp again until she's older).
Neame is another airport that you can fly to.
I really want you to go there!! I've been trying to get Lou to go too! I should be on commission!! When you find a lovley place you just want everyone else to have the same lovley time you did.
Website doesn't do it any justice.
If you want email me and I'll forward you a couple of my holiday snaps of the villa that I have all saved and ready to send to people! (I'll sneak in a pic of Lottie too!)

Rebi · 13/08/2003 12:45

I really really want to go!!!!!! I will email you tonight - would love to see your pics - a good way to sell to dh!! And would love to see pic of Lottie too!!

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 12:51

Ok, no problem. I only use the computer at work so won't be able to reply tonight and I'm at a meeting all tomorrow morning, just incase you think I'm suddenly ignoring you!
Or I can just email Mumsnet and ask for them to let me have your email and then when i receive it I'll send you a slection of 5 or 6 pics.
TC xx

fio2 · 13/08/2003 12:54

It does look nice Thomcat. We went on a villa with pool holiday in Menorca pre-kids and I would love to do it again with the kids.

Rebi · 13/08/2003 12:56

That would be brilliant! I am at work also, but Mumsnet have my home email address. I keep just flicking quickly into Mumsnet while boss isn't lurking. He is being very menopausal at the moment and I think if he saw me looking at pictures he might lose it completely!

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 13:19

Rebi - I've emailed Mumsnet. BTW my boss has the same problem! I can't believe how much time I spend flicking on & off Mumsnet though, it's so bad!!

Fio2, the website really doesn't do it justice.
Having done a villa with lottie i really don't think I'd want to do anything else until she's older, it's just so easy and so relaxing. We went to the beach but were like what are we doing here when we have such a great villa, lets have lunch and get back there, whereas when we were camping we spent days and days at the beach.
The villa had loads of lovely shady spots for the kids and it made so much more sense to us.

Davros · 13/08/2003 13:24

Definitely recommend a villa holiday over a hotel, its was a revelation to us how much better for us this is. We had total privacy and a big place to ourselves with all ameneties. We bought food and cooked for ourselves and totally relaxed. We made a mistake by taking far too many clothes as we spent most of the time in swimming costumes (please don't visualise!) and there was a washing machine there anyway. We also took (don't laugh) a suitcase full of Heinz spaghetti hoops and Skippy peanut butter plus a cool bag of M&S mini cheddar pieces. I wish we'd taken more, especially Twiglets, instead of the useless clothes. We went to this particular place as a friend with an ASD son recommended it so think its a good idea to go somewhere that a friend who understands your requirements and limitations has been to already. Happy holiday all!

OP posts:
ThomCat · 13/08/2003 13:32

LOL at food / outfits Davros. In fact quite a lot of the time non of us even neede a swimsuit IYKWIM!!!!! Now really don't visualise that!
i had so many outfits that I dressed for dinner even if we were just staying in having a bbq!

Rebi · 13/08/2003 13:41

Loving this villa holiday idea more and more! I could bring all the food ds loves and would solve that problem too! Infact as we won't need any clothes I'll just bring food for him!!! Definitely definitely do not visualise - I'm scared to do it myself!

Thomcat have had a quick peekie on homelidays website - what region is Bandol in? Sorry for quizing you - you definitely should get commission!!! Looking forward to photos later btw!

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 14:12

Bandol is in Provence, 50km from Marseilles and 20 km from Toulon.
We also charted a boat and got him to take us to the clanques in Cassis - you can't get there by foot. Calanques are where the rivers flow into the sea, white rocks, turquoise waters, amazing.Have a look at these;

ThomCat · 13/08/2003 14:14

What am i doing wrong with these links???
bloody hell that took me ages i typed out loads!
Sorry you'll have to go to Google - just type in Bandol and have a look at the first 5 or so links then type in Calanques and have a look there too.
Website pics never do anything justice but I assure you it's beautiful and only a short flight for the kids.

ThomCat · 14/08/2003 09:38

Rebi - no word from Mumsnet re your details so haven't been able to send you pics yet sorry.

ThomCat · 14/08/2003 22:35

Rbi - managed to log on at home as I was watching TV when I had a panic attack that I'd sent you too many images and you were still trying to download them 5 hours later!!
God I hoped I haven't jammed your system!
Was hping you'd been on and I'd have some clue that it was all ok and I could sleep safe in that knowledge!

Rebi · 15/08/2003 09:43

thomcat I did receive amazing photos! Around 7pm last night - I sent you a message hope you have received it by now! Oh technology is a wonderful thing!!! Many thanks again!


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ThomCat · 15/08/2003 22:46

Hi Rebi - I'll pick up your message on Monday, wasn't at work today, hence had to log on last night to check I hadn't jammed your system, couldn't bear waiting until Monday. Went to Windsor today with little Lottie - I think she's a tree hugger! She kept pointing to them so I'd walk her over and let her touch the bark - senseory overload or what - she got so excited!!!! Very funny.

Rebi · 18/08/2003 11:32

Hiya Thomcat! What a sweetie! Trees are wonderful things!

The photos only took 15 minutes to download and they were well worth the wait! I am besotted by your dd btw what a beautiful little girl!

Unfortunately the villa is booked up July and August next year and with childcare issues I think we couldn't take ds out of school to go in June (as much as I want to). I had a look at Easyjet and it would have worked out very well if we could have gone! Ah well!
Talk to you soon.

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