Packing woes and trying something new

Those of you who follow me on social media will know that last weekend we packed up and headed to LEGOLAND for the weekend.  Our plan was to spend some time in LEGOLAND on the Friday so we could exchange our Merlin Pass vouchers for our actual passes, and upgrade them at the same time.
What I actually hadn’t done was check the weather forecast for the weekend, rookie error really.  We were attending an event on the Saturday so would be there whatever the weather but I had hoped for nice weather.
I pre-booked a nice hotel around 15 minutes away from LEGOLAND for us on the Friday as it was to be an early start on Saturday.  With check in from 2pm and Paul having to work in the morning this left me time to pack up our things for the weekend.  It was around this time it started to rain heavily and Emmy began complaining of a tummy ache, she was fine but often gets like this before we go away.  It was an excuse to pop on a movie for the children and let them snuggle on the sofa and of course stopped them from adding toys to our bags.
As we were only going for one night packing was pretty easy but the rain did hinder my ‘travel light’ plans and raincoats and wellies were quickly added to the pile.  I soon decided that LEGOLAND was off for the Friday and swimming and chilling in the hotel would be a better idea.  My children love a change of scenery and hotel environments are always good fun, for the kids and for us adults.
I didn’t pack my laptop and had no plans to work – a rest was needed all round.
Whenever we go away, be it a night or a week I am always the one to pack, to plan and to organise us all.  It always has been this way.  I guess it is easier as I know what the kids need clothes wise, what toiletries we all need and what toys to pack.  It also means that if anything is forgotten it’s also my fault. 
I do have checklists and work from room to room making sure I’ve remembered it all, from PJ’s and Teddies for the kids to colouring and a few toys for the room, and I have to remember a plug-in night light for the kids just incase it is needed.
Why is it that any amount of packing can be stressful no matter how practiced at it you are?  I could leave the kids a bag packed just incase of nights away and I would still end up unpacking it and repacking to check all was ready. 
I really love spending time away with the kids (and without them sometimes if I’m honest) and I enjoy not taking the laptop away with me as it gives me time to unwind.
I use this time away from the house, away from distractions and when the children have finally crashed to watch a movie, read a book or even relax in a nice hot bubbly bath.
Al Fresco holidays know just how stressful packing and preparing for holidays can be, while we do look forward to them the preparation can often leave us more than ready for the holiday itself, which is why when they heard I had a trip away planned they sent me a Mum’s survival pack to help me distress.
It was such a lovely treat and much needed too.  I also find unpacking after a trip away just as stressful as it then brings the washing and putting away and usually the children have gained new toys, treats and souvenir’s.  Unpacking takes me a lot longer and it can be a week later before I’ve unpacked everything.  I confess to still having everything in our case from this weekend, except for the dirty clothes which have been washed now.
I used some of my lovely pamper pack while away and had a nice hot bath, using the body scrub and moisturiser and then had an early night ready for our fun filled day at LEGOLAND on the Saturday which I will tell you all about during the week.
Our weekend was lovely, although an hours journey on the Friday turned into a journey which took just over two due to rain, accidents and the typical M25 traffic.  We were all hungry on arrival and grumpy but after a quick bite to eat, a play in the room and a run around for the kids we were all set to go again, and made good use of the hotel pool in the hopes of wearing the kids out.  Almost two hours swimming and then a late dinner, play in the hotel games room and then bed for all – of course the kids were over excited and were sharing a bed which was too exciting for them and they finally dropped off around 10.30pm.
Currently I am writing checklists again so our next adventure, something I haven’t done before and nor have the children.  We are off for a weekend camping.  I know the kids will absolutely love this but I’m filled with worry and am wondering just how I will cope, I like my creature comforts, I am slightly claustrophobic and I’ve never managed to even spend a night in a tent in the garden let alone a whole weekend.
Do you have any tips for me?  What essentials do I HAVE to take?  This trip I’m sure will leave me NEEDING a holiday after our holiday!  I am counting on Elaine who blogs over at Canvas Pretty to help keep me sane for the weekend, she assures me it will be great fun and I will love it.
Watch this space……


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