The story of our two day journey to the Vendee in Western France:
The first day began with a very early start – seen as Roxanna’s feeding and sleeping patterns are still somewhat erratic it made sense to set off as soon as she woke up and had been fed. First task of the day was for David to fit everything in the car that had been carefully laid out the night before. Now I have to admit that even though I’m all for gender equality there are just some things that only men can do and one of those is to be able to pack the car with an entire household worth of stuff that when laid out looks at least twice the size of the car itself! Not only can they fit everything in the car but are also able to do it in a way that nothing can fall over and you can somehow get to anything you might possibly need during the journey. There is also always room for that last extra bag that you just have to pack at the last minute!
So with car expertly packed we set off and as I mentioned this was pretty early to allow extra time for possible traffic, Roxy needing food or finally doing that poo she’d been storing up for days! Little did we know that there would be absolutely no traffic whatsoever and Roxy would be fast asleep the entire journey! so we arrived at Folkestone Eurotunnel – wait for it – 3 hours early!! Luckily the kind staff of the Eurotunnel felt sorry for us and allowed us to get on an earlier crossing!
Clearly, we must have looked suspicious though as we were directed to the ballistics testing area, maybe this was due to the fact that we had Shaggy’s Mr Bombastic playing as we wound down the window – should have timed the old school ‘classics’ better on the playlist! After sweeping our car and deciding we were safe to continue we drove up to passport control where I excitedly tried to show them Roxy’s shiny new passport but the immigration officer looked at us with such disgust that we dared to interrupt his day of staring into space by having to look at our passports so off we headed to the train.
Somewhere between England and France a suspect smell began to emanate from the back of the car and sure enough Roxanna had decided to do that poo in THE most inconvenient place – on a train under the sea! After designing a makeshift changing table on David’s car seat we set about attempting to clean Roxy without getting any poo on the car seat and hoping against hope that she wouldn’t decide to wee just as we took the nappy off! Thankfully luck was on our side that day and so we headed into the French leg of our journey with the car unharmed!
Once into France the journey continued pretty smoothly until I accidentally attempted to give the man at the toll booth Hong Kong dollars to pay for the motorway! Oops – that’s the problem with keeping random foreign currency together in the man drawer!
We shortly arrived in Rouen, our stopover location for the first night.
Dumb quote of the day – Rachel: “I like kilometres as they go by quicker!”
After emerging from our hotel room in the morning feeling like hermits as we had not left the room since about 4pm the day before, we set off on the second leg of our journey towards St Jean-De-Monts.
This was a fairly quick and uneventful journey apart from a stop we made at a service station. I was feeding Roxy in the car so sent David off to buy coffee. He returned shortly after with two drinks in his hands but looking very sheepish. After finally getting out of him what had happened in there, this is what had gone down: David had impressed himself by managing to order a tea and a coffee in his best schoolboy French but then saw they were being poured into china cups rather than take-aways. He began to panic, not knowing the French for ‘take-away cups’, but instead of reverting to English, he bravely shouted “cups du take-away” whilst pointing outside! Genius – Delboy Trotter lives on!
We arrived at our campsite in St Jean-De-Monts that afternoon.
Dumb quote of the day –
David: “Rachel, we have been driving for one hour and have done 67 miles, what’s our average speed? ”
Rachel: “erm, not sure, is it about 60?”
David: “try 67”
Oops – mental arithmetic never really was my strong point!