And I’m back

14 Jul

We’ve been on vacation.  The kids wanted a hands-on, lots to do, don’t want to sight-see type of vacation.  So we chose a family holiday caravan park in the Sunny South of England.

Just in time for record-breaking rains and flooding to hit the area.

But wait!  Back up! Let me just state for the record that our vacation started with Maura having a partial seizure.  It was one of those that she was aware something was going on seizures, so she let out this scream before hitting the ground, but didn’t get all grand mal on us (which by the way, they’re now called Tonic-Clonic seizures – tonic is the stiff phase that lasts about 30 seconds, clonic is the shaking phase.)  She was all limp and sad for a bit, but then slept it off in the car and by the time we got to the ferry, she was all “Woohoo!  Boat!” and was fine for the rest of the trip.

Anyhoo – we arrived at the boat without a minute to spare and no comfortable seating left, as the seizure thing threw us off schedule.  The boat left at 8:45 – we got there at 8:30.  Maura wanted to watch movies the entire time, so we were somewhat comfortable for the four hour trip.

Then we landed in Wales. And it started to rain on us.  And kept raining.  We were headed to Weymouth – which it turns out is the Olympic Venue for Sailing Events.  They’ll have plenty of water for it, let me tell you.  We got stuck in traffic in Bristol, ended up taking a bathroom break in a skeezy McDonald’s there, got stuck in more traffic while the warning light for gas shined at us…but we got out of there and got gas and drove the rest of the way…while it rained.

We made it to our holiday caravan park at 8 pm, after traveling for 12 hours (and by “caravan”, I mean manufactured housing, but we knew that and they were nice enough).  Checked in, got in, and went to bed.

The next day, it was still raining.  But that was okay.  We planned for this event by staying at this holiday park.  With the arcade and kids/teens activities and indoor swimming pool.

Did I mention “record breaking rain and flooding” yet?

We go to the activities center to check out the pool.  We noticed people walking away with pool floaties and Josh said “Well, that isn’t a good sign.”

And then we saw the pool.

The Pool


Yes, that’s our pool.  Filled with sewer water.  See, it rained SO much, that the sewers overflowed.  Into the pool.  Rendering it useless for the next week.


And the activities arena also all wet, canceling activities for a few days.


So we went into town, and got some lunch and looked around in stores.  And then Josh was all “Oh!  Settlers of Catan!”

And we said “Huh?”

He said it was this cool board game that we had to play.  Um.  Okay.

Turns out we’re a ruthless bunch of settlers who enjoyed the game way too much.  It was a hit.  And for the record, Miriam and I are currently the Empresses of ALL the Land.

The vacation perked up a bit after that.  The sun came out the next day and we found a beach where the boys wandered and spent money and the girls made sand castles and Josh got sunburned as hoped.  We hiked about the local scenery, drove through some stinking adorable villages.  We trekked up to Stonehenge where the kids weren’t too bored.  Ate too much McDonald’s (going through the drive-thru never got old…they don’t really have drive-thrus in Ireland.)  The pool never opened, but some activities were made available (they refunded us the cost of the activity passes we bought) and kids were able to do fencing and archery.  They also allowed us the use of the sister-park’s pool…which was actually nicer than ours.  Kids went go-carting.

And we made it to Legoland.  Which was pretty darn cool.  And had a huge Star Wars in Lego display.  And Stonehenge in Lego.  And Mount Rushmore in Lego.  And Easter Island heads in Lego. And where we found out that Miriam doesn’t like roller coasters too much, but Maura LOVES them.  And it was sunny or not raining for most of our time there.  (the last part did start raining but we were so used to it by then we stopped caring.)

And we learned that Maura can swim.  And we found her a scooter she can use for 15 pounds!  Which is ecstatically better than 125 euro we were willing to spend to get her a scooter.

And then we drove to Wales, and beat the record rainfall and flooding that was supposed to happen there, and caught the ferry with plenty of time to spare (enough that we actually got great seats.)

Now, back to life for a bit.  Maybe relax from all that family fun.  And light a fire because it’s “summer” in Ireland.



13 Responses to “And I’m back”

  1. gryphonboy July 14, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Settlers of Catan sounds interesting, must look into that!

  2. Rachael July 14, 2012 at 7:47 am #

    I’m so glad it turned out well this time. At the beginning I was anticipating another “adventure” like the camping one! Also, I love settlers. It’s a fabulous game (they have an app too)

    • phoebz4 July 14, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      Yeah, we were a little unsure as of Saturday afternoon, but our talent is making the best of the situation. And the game really saved the day!

  3. phxross July 14, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    That was an adventure of a vacation! Sounds like everyone adapted well and will remember the fun stuff. Any of the kids picking up a slight Irish accent?

    • phoebz4 July 14, 2012 at 8:01 am #

      They have the slang down. Miriam has a teeny bit of an accent, Maura instantly picked up “Emmm” (as opposed to the American version of “Ummm”) which is hilarious and adorable.

  4. Amy Shelley July 14, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Sounds like you made the best of your rainy days vacation. My niece just mentioned Settlers of Catan on her blog just a few days ago. Sounds like something to look at in the near future. Is it a bit like Risk (if you’ve ever played that game)?
    Hooray for finding a scooter for Maura at a much more reasonable price ~ that’s great!

    • phoebz4 July 14, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Yes, it is a bit like Risk, only you build up settlements and roads, paying by collecting certain cards.

  5. Kristina Scarborough Knight July 14, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    I had wondered where you were!! I was trying to convince my husband that we MUST go to Ireland immediately so that I might rally a search party to find my favorite blogger!! Nuts….. I almost had him convinced. Wonder if he will believe me if I say you are still “missing”??

    Glad you had such a great time with your family!! And that you are back 😉

    • phoebz4 July 14, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      Plan on coming in September. I’ll be MIA then with the back to school rush, but the weather will be a lot nicer than right now. BTW, you should check in all the pubs off Grafton Street for me. Just to be thorough 😉

  6. Jessica July 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    I was also wondering where you were :). Vacationing is nice, too bad it was record highs in raining.
    It’s the same here, in Sweden, rain and low temperatures. Not that I complain – if I’d vacation I probably would, but hot weather makes me feel rather unwell.

  7. saracvt July 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Would you believe I’ve already heard of Settlers Of Catan? You have joined the ranks of severe geekdom, dear Phoebe–congratulations (you knew it was bound to happen someday, right?)

    And I already knew the thing about tonic-clonic seizures–tell Maura I have them, too.

    • phoebz4 July 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Oh, I knew I was pretty much there, lol!

  8. sarafoley July 16, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    epic 🙂

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