Disneyland Paris & Brugge October 2017

Predictable? Us? Never!!!!

You guessed it, were on our way back to DLP followed by a few days in Brugge to unwind & recharge the batteries……

We have decided to mix it up a little this time and travel from Dover to Calais on the outbound journey and return via Zebruggee & Hull which gave us time to revisit one of favourite places in the UK, Canterbury.

We booked into the Camping & Caravan Club site for 2 nights and we are never disappointed at this quiet and well maintained, friendly site. Being so close to the city is an advantage and there is a bus stop right outside.

It is perfect for our needs and although the New Dover Road, Park & ride site is probably better located for a couple of nights, I hate the fact that you can watch next doors TV and see what they are having for breakfast however that doesn’t mean that we would use this for the odd night in the future, just beware that it is a little cosy with a larger motorhome – just my thoughts anyway.

As usual, a very nice crossing with P&O and next stop DLP.

Perfect weather, perfect location.

Having been to DLP many times before, we always opt “NOT” to fill up with water here as we have experienced all sorts of goings on at the fresh water points and I’m not that bothered in washing in water from a tap used to rinse out toilets etc (I would never drink it anyway) so a good supply of bottled water is essential and not as much of an inconvenience as some would think so a little tip for anyone travelling in a campervan or motorhome to DLP – we take 5lt bottles from Sainsbury’s or Tesco and you can purchase 8lt bottles from Carrefour or Auchan if you need more, both are nearby with plentiful parking.

Not only were we in DLP, it was also my Birthday with cake & everything…………

My present from the boys brought a whole new meaning to ” a box of chocolates” as you can see and it took ages to get through all of these chocolate bars  – honestly it did!

To celebrate we booked a table at the Silver Spur Steakhouse and although a little expensive for what you actually get ( which is what you expect on holiday anyway) it is alway’s great service and an excellent meal so I have no complaints at all especially with our complimentary alcohol free cocktails as part of our annual pass perks.

 

The rides and overall experience at DLP is just as it was when we first went in 2007 and we never tire of this – I guess this just goes to show that we never really grow up at all or maybe that’s just me.

After a day’s play in the parks, a nice relaxing night in our home on wheels, waiting for the fireworks at the end of the day.

We’ve come along way since our first visit to DLP with 2 small boy’s and hope that there’s many more visits to come as they enter young adulthood – I know that one day this will end but I’ll make the most of whilst it last’s.

All good things must come to end but at least were heading to Belgium and Camping Memling in Brugge for the next few days before taking the ferry back to Hull & home.

The campsite was undergoing a little work with most areas benefitting from new grass seed which caused us to park the opposite way on on our pitch but this is OK and didn’t cause us a problem and it’s only understandable that this has to happen so that everyone can enjoy it again next year.

We found that we were parked under a chestnut tree and they were in season so we threw a few to roast on the BBQ and they were delicious, a worth remembering for next year.

Brugge, in our opinion, is best seen and travelled, by bike, and we always take ours when visiting. It’s a 5 minute cycle ride to the local Supermarkets and only a 15 minute ride into the centre (direct) or a leisurly 20-25 minutes if you go via the canal side towards the rail station, either way, we were glad of the comfy seats we purchased from Auchan, these were much better than the ones initially fitted.

Another great stay and on the day of departure we like to park in the aire  – for info check out the link below:

https://www.brugge.be/parkeren-kampeerwagens

This has electricity, water, waste disposal and litter bins and a stones throw away from the centre. Entry is via a barrier and you simply take a ticket, park up and pay at the nearby paystation when you leave (located just across the road in the coach park)

This will obviously get busy at certain times of the year but as we pick our times carefully, we never have a problem with finding a space.

If you head out of the aire on foot, you pass the coach tour drop off/pick up point and there is a nice little ice cream van “waffles on wheels” where you can buy tea/coffe/ice creams/waffles etc and all at a reasonable price.

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As far as parking for the day goes, it is expensive but it is convenient as you don’t want to arrive at the Port too early and you may aswell enjoy a day in the city before setting sail…….

Oh well, that’s it for now but we’ll be on our travels soon enough, this time a visit to Brugge for the Christmas Market and maybe, just maybe, we may see a little snow.

 

Long Weekend to DLP – June 2017

An early start on Friday morning after a few hours parked on Marine Parade, Dover, our long weekend at Disneyland Paris started – it’s a long way for a weekend but worth it……..

The drive down to Dover always seems better when your heading away from home, it must be the excitement of the journey and what awaits us at the other end and at £70 return, it was really good value.

An early crossing, actually, very early, means only one thing BREAKFAST! to keep us awake and at 3am, it wasn’t too bad at all but not something i would do that often especially with P&O meal prices.

A good crossing and efficient unloading saw us on our way to Disneyland Paris, again.

Everyone was happy & looking forward to arriving at DLP mid morning but the eyes started closing and we had no choice but to pull over into a rather nice, new, rest area for a couple of hours.

This is the first time we have ever done this and whilst not ideal, it was better to be safe than sorry.

What a difference it made, 2 hours sleep and the journey recommenced with an arrival still on the cards before lunchtime .

Before we knew it, we were negotiating, what we think is the worst part of the journey, the A104 around Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport but all this was forgotten when we saw the signs for Marne le Vallee & those gigantic Mickey Mouse roadsigns – I’ll never grow up!

We arrived safely and it was as though we had never been away.

Our usual parking space, right at the back of the motorhome parking area, nice & quiet and away from those who, despite the instructions issued (in all languages) still insist on using a petrol generator or playing a game of ” how many motorhomes can we hit with a football”

Some would call it unsociable, I would just call it sensible especially when travelling with an autistic child (not so child like at nearly 16 years old) and a simple method in preventing a “meltdown”

There’s no need to tell you what happened next as you can guess, rides, rides and even more rides was the order of the weekend and with the adrenaline gushing through our bodies, we all forgot about the tiredness and had a fantastic time as you can see below.

Hyperspace Mountain @ DLPAll good things have to come to an end and we departed, with a mixture of happiness & sadness but I unfortunately, had to be back at work on Tuesday.

We encountered a terrible drive back, long, stressful and tiring but would we do it again – yes, of course we would and we will add our future adventures soon.

Cycling in Brugge & DLP- May 2017

Having had our usual crossing from Hull, expensive at approx £800 return, but well worth it when visiting Belgium without the need to drive all the way down to Dover or the Channel Tunnel, we parked up a what is becoming a regular home from home for us.

Camping Memling and at approx 40 Euro’s per night for us all, it’s not the cheapest but you do get the use of some excellent facilities including showers, toilets, free wifi, useful information points and attentive wardens who are only too happy to assist you should it be required.

With bright blue skies and our family in tow, we headed for another visit to one of favourite places on earth – Brugge.

Not sure what it is about this place but we never seem to get bored with it and theres always something new for us to do & see.

Whether you see the sights by foot, carriage, bus, cycle or even a segway, this is one of the most beautiful cities you could ever visit and with Hot chocolate to die for, what could be better?

Having been many times before, all without bikes, we decided that enough was enough, and we would throw the bikes on the back of Rio and cycle on some of Belgiums excellent purpose built cycle ways.

HELLO UK – we could learn a thing or two about the successful integration of all modes of transport!!!!

The journey from our campsite towards Kruispoort and then along the canal before an ice cream at “waffles on wheels” which is located at the Coach tour drop off point and just a perfect place for a short break before continuing on our way – cycling was never this much fun as a kid………

6 Nights at Camping Memling, Brugge with lots of walking & cycling, one day, all of this exercise might actually pay off!

 

With new aches and pains we left Brugge behind and headed for the next phase of our somewhat predictable vacation, Disneyland Paris.

Routine is the order of the day for our family and a must when travelling with autism however as we get more inquisitive about what else is out there our plans are changing but we always plan and do things as a family, for now anyway…………

I think we deserved a nice pizza after the journey and what a place to sit back & enjoy it.

Big Thunder Mountain looking and running fantastic after major refurbishment prior to the 25th Anniversary Celebrations – this is our favourite ride here, well mine at least!

No matter how old you are, theres always something here which will make you smile and our grins usually go from ear to ear.

As night falls, the park takes on a whole new appearance and WOW, what a show.

We will be back later in the year, making the most of our Annual Passes before we have to renew them – A Bientot Disneyland.

 

 

 

 

 

Another visit to DLP……..

It’s been a while since our last post, work seems to get in the way but here goes.

After  a great time in Brugges we headed to Paris and more importantly, Disneyland,

Despite it being cold – what else would you expect in December? The weather was fantastic with bright skies and strong sunshine which was good news for the solar panels.

Really in the festive spirit by now and what better place to do it.

As usual, great rides, great company and for us, a great location, nice & quiet with a view of Disneyland when we wake up.

The dark nights gave us plenty of time to use our new LED lighting and wow, how effective was it. Coloured LED lighting in the cab giving it a little extra festive feeling with a soft & clear LED’s in the living area and kitchen.

We purchased these from Carrefour and they are battery operated (3AA) and very easy to fit, self adhesive strips with battery pack neatly stored in the front of the cupboard. We will be getting more of these when we see them, simple, effective and very cheap.

Our December vacation had to come to an end and we ended this as we started with an overnight sailing on P&O enjoying the facilities of the Club Cabin and as anyone with 2 growing boys knows, the all you can east buffet in the Kitchen restaurant was a must before a really good nights sleep.

 

 

 

 

Travelling with Autism

Anyone who has a child with any form of autism will understand the need of routine and this has become very important to us over the years and has proved very effective in our son’s development.

Having realised that holidays and trips on planes, trains and buses is really out of the question, as anxiety & frustration often occur when faced with a new environment or situation, we decided that our travels will be built around the specific needs of our son whilst still allowing for our eldest son (& ourselves) to enjoy the family holidays and activities.

Having a motorhome has really helped us achieve this and this has now become part of our normal routine with many an adventure had as a family.

Familiarity has been key to this success and our home from home really keeps the anxiety & frustration at bay which is not only beneficial to him but helps us relax and enjoy our time together even more.

From our blog, you will see that we are creatures of habit and this shows in how we now live our lives, with a strict routine, places we visit and also the time of year. By doing so we live a happy and fulfilling life with the knowledge that our son is having the time of his life and so are we!

 

Brugges Christmas Market – Dec 2016

After having such a great time in September, we couldn’t wait to get back on the road and our Winter vacation began with our favourite crossing from Hull to Zeebrugge.

But wait! Oh No! Rio the motorhome would not start – flat battery, how on earth could this be, everything was OK last weekend but after a quick trip home to get the jump leads and connecting to our V6 Landrover, Rio sprang back into life – phew!

Despite this delay and chasing around the local towns for a bloody game that the boy’s wanted, we finally headed off along the M1 towards Hull.

We still arrived in plenty of time and was surprised that we were 1st in the queue.

 

Safely loaded on board the Pride of York, we headed for our cabin.

It was well worth the little extra for a Club cabin, more room for the 4 of us, bigger bathroom and free drinks in the fridge…..

 

Outbound we got a 4 bunk cabin which was OK but we do prefer the Double bed option when it’s available, luckily we have this for the return journey on the Pride of Brugge.

There wasn’t much to see by the time we set sail so we headed for dinner in the Kitchen restaurant  and as our youngest son reminds us – it’s all you can eat! and theres always plenty of choice.

A walk around the outside deck after dinner definitely blew away the cobwebs before the boys headed back to the cabin as they were now getting withdrawal symptoms after being away from their I pads for so long……

 

I away’s take a look where the safety equipment is………

After a very smooth crossing we took a stroll outside before we docked in Zeebrugge. What a beautiful morning to be alive and not at work!

 

A short drive and we were at Camping Memling, our home for the next 4 days.

 

Having had a minor mishap with the cab door, the silver screen, my right thumb, and a little dance of pain, we were set up and ready to se the sights of the beautiful city and sample the delights of the Christmas market.

 

The ice rink looked so cool and we couldn’t wait for the sun to go in and all the festive lighting effects to be switched on .

In the words of Ralph Fiennes, Magical, is the only way to describe what we thought.

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Mmmmmm, Bradwurst followed by a hot chocolate – just what you need to keep you going on a cold December evening.