Yeay, we finally arrived Saturday late afternoon at our destination in Deauville, city located in Normandy, France. See those happy faces? Not so. That’s just me trying to make my life look perfect. In fact by the time we arrived at Deauville Paradise, our apartment rental, we were all in a very cranky and disgruntled state.
Why? For one, I was dead beat stressed out. I have been running around trying to manage three kids on my own, getting them dressed, fed and to school. Putting food on the table. Getting them to their activities. Taking care of medical urgencies. And the list of single motherhood duties goes on.
To top it all off, I am also trying to get my game on for my own business. Continuously pitching new clients and doing all the work by myself as my star employee is awaiting to have a darling little baby. I have applied for an au-pair and found a fantastic match, but still waiting for the whole thing to go through red-tape administration.
Plus I have engaged with another company to film webinars on how to do online marketing. Which is a great opportunity for me to promote my visibility and to make new contacts in my network. It would all have been just exhausting had it not been for the very attractive, and very young, camera man, which just made the whole thing very challenging. Imagine being stuck in a small room for three entire days with the most sexy man you know. Yup, that’s how it feels.
So stressed out mommy hops in her car merrily with her three darling kiddos. One toddler approaching the terrible twos, very prone to throwing huge tantrums. One head-strong pre-teen daughter. And a very explosive teenage boy. All very loving and adorable kiddos, yet each with their very own challenges to manage. All bundled up in one car with one stressed out mommy.
Off we go down the motorway from our hometown Mechelen in Belgium to Deauville in France, a journey which should last no longer than four and a half hours according to my sat nav. That wasn’t counting on the traffic jam we encountered halfway there where two lanes were suddenly reduced to one.
I stopped after a two hour drive at a service station that looked promising. It had a McDonalds type of fast food and toilet facilities. Yet only one nursery room and loads of parents traveling with infants in diapers. We had to queue only to find out that little babykins had a dry nappy and didn’t need a change so I decided to save the only nappy I had brought out of the car for later. Waste not.
We queued up in the fast food squashing between what seemed like hundreds of other starved travellers to get a meal which is really just subpar, but the kids liked it. Whilst eating our french fries the baby pooped and I thanked heaven I had saved that nappy for later. Still had to queue up again, this time with a very smelly toddler.
France is known for its paid toll roads. Unless you want to go the long way round. In our case that would mean adding on an extra two hours to our travel itinerary. I think not. When traveling with kids, go for luxury, it’s worth it. I paid toll fees about four or five times. A serious rip-off if you ask me. Seemed ok at first. Just whisk out your credit card, pay the toll. And then again. And then again, really? And… again, like seriously? And…
Anyway, the last part of the road I should have made another stop. But I just wanted to get there. Find our sunny seaside resort and relax with a bunch of happy kids. Big mistake to keep driving. My bum was hurting when we got there. Kids were not happy. We resorted to giving into the toddler’s whim and shoved YouTube under his nose for the last half hour in the car.
Our apartment we found in a beautiful private domain, at a ten – or looks more like fifteen to me – minute walk from the beach. Beautiful, comfortable but cold. Like ice cold. And if something gets me more cranky than being tired, it’s being tired and cold. We were obviously the first visitors in this apartment for this season and the place had not been heated. It took two full days of putting the radiators full blast to have the place feeling liveable. Just saying.
We went out to eat pizza that night. With a very tired baby who threw a tantrum towards the end of the meal so we left before desert. At least I had had my glass of champagne.