Friday, June 16, 2017

Glamping - Somewhere in Middle France

Glamping

Dan says that "glamping" is a real term.  It means glamour camping.  I'm not sure about this.  In any case, it meant that we didn't have to pack our car to the brim with tents, sleeping bags, kids air mattresses, etc.  We simply brought some linens, clothes, and a little food.  We rented a cottage through the British site, instead of the French site, which meant that even though this was an activity we didn't know a lot about, we could learn about it in English and arrive without too many surprises about what we booked versus what we thought we booked.


Weather

It has been quite warm in Toulouse for the past couple of weeks.  So, for the weekend getaway, we entertained the idea of going to the beach, but ultimately decided that the beach would be hot and crowded.  Instead, we headed to the mountains.


Bridge on the way to the mountains

We told the kids that it might be a bit like camping in a water park.  Given the pictures on the web site, it seemed like there would be many Will/Alex compatible activities.  On arrival, we found some awesomeness.  



Shallow Wading Pool

Deeper Swimming Pool

The pools were great in that they were quite shaded and even had a cool extendable roof that could close them in when it rains.  The different depths of pool made it easy for the smaller kids to have a place to play and the bigger kids too.  Plus, inside, through the windows/glass that you can see, was an adults only pool, spa, and sauna area.  

There were also water slides.



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Will in the orange shirt

And, just in case the pool and slides weren't enough, there was another "splash pad" play area.

Waiting for the Giant Bucket Dumping




Once the kids got tired of the artificial water activities, they could head over to the beach and build a sand castle.

Now we Build!

There were also playgrounds, boating, a convenience store, and a restaurant.  Dan took the kids paddle-boating, but I don't know if there are any pictures of it.  

So here in France, the food is great.  The convenience store had a bunch of local products such as cheeses, jams, wine, beer and sausage.  It also had the obligatory bakery section so that we could get a baguette or some croissants or pain au chocolat for the morning breakfast time. 

The restaurant had amazing food.  But not only did they have a wide selection of local tasty French dishes, they also had chicken nuggets and fries to pacify the children.  As we were in one of the regions known for cheese, this is my dinner.  I couldn't finish it, it was huge.  

Cheesy Tortellini and Salad

No, I promise we were camping!  Here is a picture of Alex in front of the cottage.  The cottage had two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a deck.  

Cottage

We even did camping-type activities such as grilling hot dogs and burgers on the bbq and toasting s'mores.  Of course, there are no graham crackers in France, but they do have fancy cookies that already have chocolate attached.  So we went with that.  Will decided that it was necessary to skewer all of the ingredients.  Alex decided that it was important to pretend that he was not enjoying himself.    

Feelings: Wonder and Sadness



Hot Coals Produced!

So when it comes to camping without a lot of planning or packing, this is the way to go.  The kids were completely exhausted at the end of the day.  Also, we successfully escaped the heat of Toulouse for a few days.  Perhaps we shall try it again!