Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our best family summer vacation: a camp!

Growing up, my husband's and my family were not camping families. We never stayed in a camp for a summer holiday. We had always stayed in a hotel, a hostel, or a private rented apartment. But both of us had always, always wanted to try camping for summer vacation. Now with two kids, for some (stupid) reason, we had been always delaying this plan. This summer finally we decided to at least try to be at the camp. To reduce the shock for the kids (and for ourselves), we took a mobile home. We thought, once we're used to the life in a camp, we'd do tent next summer. Although technically we did sleep in a tent already during one festival we attended recently.

Mobile homes are relatively expensive, so we chose a short four-day beach break. We'd always loved the Istrian peninsula, so I booked us one mobile-home in Medulin Camp, at the most southern part of the peninsula.

The mobile homes within the camp
When we got our little house on Saturday, the toddler was ecstatic. She checked every corner of the house, picked a room where she'd sleep with grandma and helped me arrange our stuff. The mobile-home is designed for six people, with two bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen, a dining table with a sofa bed, and our favorite area, the porch looking out to the sea.

Our little house with our favorite porch
The other area of the camp is the are for the parcels for the tents and RV campers. The camp is located on two little attached islands so the beach is nearby wherever you're located at the camp. Common toilets and showers, and a common kitchen are available for the campers and they're extremely clean and well maintained. Common barbecue area is very close from our house, and so is a car wash facility. Many coffee shops, restaurants, pizzerias and a shop are all over the camp, and most importantly, playgrounds and an organized kids' activity club.

The camping area for the tents and RV campers

The toddler in the pink float, at the beach steps away from our house
Our days went like this: the baby wakes up first in the morning. Then my husband takes her in a carrier to take a morning walk around the camp to give me some extra sleep. When they come back to the house, the rest of us (meaning the toddler, my mother-in-law and I) wake up. I fix breakfast for everyone and we have breakfast and coffee on the porch. Then we put on our bathing suit and off we go to the beach. We'd spend time at the beach until noon, when we come back to the house. I fix lunch so we all eat lunch at the porch, then the kids and my mother-in-law have their nap. When they wake up we'll be off to the beach again until near sunset around 7pm. We come back to the house, take turn for shower while grandma fix us dinner. Once we have dinner, we take the kids to the playground to play with other kids campers, take a long walk along the sea, and finally, take them to the amphitheater where the evening kids' entertainment goes on: games, mini disco, shows, workshops. The toddler enjoyed them so much.

The toddler (the little girl handing a ball to the boy) playing the group game at the activity center

Having spent four days at the camp, we've decided to try camping in a real tent next year, with the real gears and for a longer period. Here's the reason why we think a camp is the most perfect summer holiday for families, better than rented apartment or hotel:
  1. We were constantly outdoor, in the woods, in the nature. I can only imagine, had we been camping with a tent, we'd been 24/7 in the nature, which, is the best way to do it with the kids. Salt water, pine trees, bright sun, what else do you need?
  2. We, especially the kids, were socializing with other campers and their kids, non stop. Different languages didn't even matter. They played together, around the houses, parents were carefree. Adults share grilling area (mostly ended up eating together, which is beyond nice), car wash facility, and common kitchen, toilets and showers.
  3. We didn't need to go anywhere with the car. Everything we needed was in the camp. No traffic, no stress, no city hassle. The beach was a few steps away from where we slept, and we were literally in bathing suit the whole day.
  4. Something interesting was constantly going on. Kids' activities were organized every evening, and sport activities for adults were held every morning.
  5. In the end, we felt much more rested, relaxed, and disconnected from the outside world. No one cared about time, we did stuff as we wanted to, and after many summer vacations in the past, this one finally did feel like a vacation.
Afternoon walk on our last day at the camp. See you next time!


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