Monday, March 4, 2013

Not your normal holiday planning

There are always things to do before going on holiday but there are some things you don't need the week before you go away.

One thing I really didn't need was to find fleas on the cat and flea bites on Ed. Never mind, 50€ for dog and cat flea treatments, one bathed dog and lots of wash loads of bedding later and I think I got it sorted. At least we took a clean flea-free dog on holiday with us.

Holiday Skiing Pyrenees French village diaries Top Gear
View from our room with Ade's parents hotel opposite
Another thing none of us needed was the phone call the day before we left to say there would be no power in the apartment for the first three days of our weeks holiday. Imagine scenes of mild panic! A cup of coffee and a quick think later and we worked out finding short notice accommodation for five plus a dog would not be easy, so Ade's parents booked themselves a hotel and luckily we found an apartment. Coincidentally their hotel was in the same group as our apartment and was situated just next door, perfect!


I know for a ski holiday snow is important, but what we really didn't need was to be packing the car in temperatures of -3 with snow falling around us. It was a hindrance to the packing and having it swirling around us for most of the six hour journey to the Pyrenees was a little stressful. For Ade squeezing in ski boots, bulky ski clothes, towels, bedding, a large dog and dog bedding was fun, but what he didn't need was me packing three huge bags of 'basic' food provisions. These included two cakes and a quiche freshly baked the day before. I am the sort of person who never makes a long journey without provisions. I could also tell he wasn't too impressed it took me a good two and a half hours to be ready to leave the house, and not a minute of that was spent on make up. By the time I had fed and watered the animals, placed protective mats over any surface 'inconti-cat' might think of sleeping on, cleaned the toilets, put the dishwasher on, packed the picnic, put the bins out, swept the floors, checked and double checked too many things to mention and it is amazing how time flew.

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Salmon risotto, beautifully presneted
One thing that obviously was normal was hitting the road south, on a Saturday, in the French school holidays. Just like the geese and cranes that have been making their way north these past few weeks we felt we were on some sort of migratory route. Ours was just one of hundreds of cars packed full to bursting and heading to the mountains. This made for some spectacular traffic jams especially on the Bordeaux ring road. I love Bordeaux, however I am not so keen on the stationary/slow moving ring road, despite the aerial displays of herons and cormorants to entertain us. To add to the excitement of the journey Ade's parents kept texting their progress, just like they do in a Top Gear race. We were like Jeremy Clarkson in the car and they were like James May and Richard Hammond using public transport to get to the same location. Despite an aeroplane, a bus, a train and another bus, they made it an hour earlier than us, thanks mainly to the delays on the Bordeaux ring road. It was great to see them, settle in and have a lovely meal together. The perfect start to what turned out to be a less than normal family ski holiday.



french village diaries holiday Pyrenees meals out
Pear and chocolate dessert