A few years ago my in-laws bought a caravan on Black Rock Sands in Wales. Having never been brought up holidaying in the UK, and definitely not caravanning, it wasn’t something I was that excited about. However my in-laws were proud as punch and quickly decked it out with photos of the family and memorabilia from the beach close by.
In the years since then we have been every year for a visit, sometimes only on weekends and sometimes for longer breaks. It was the first place we visited on our return from America and my parents even came to stay on one occasion.
The last time I was there was with my in-laws whilst Mr H in September was working away and it really was a lovely break. We were lucky to get some fantastic weather and the children were enthralled with the beach. I was surprised and extremely amused when H stripped off and jumped into the freezing sea, and continued to play in it for ages eventually pulling Pops and Jasper to join her! We definitely made some memories there I will cherish for a long time.
So this year is now upon us and, like most families, we are thinking of ways to escape this dreary weather and have something to look forward to. Unfortunately, moving house in November 2012 set us back a lot and we are still recovering, so after some conversations I think we have decided not to go abroad and instead make the most of having a holiday home only two hours drive away. It will be strange for me not to go abroad, though, and I often don’t feel like I’ve really had a holiday unless I do.
Like most sites, my in-laws caravan was shut down for the winter in November. They always take one last trip to check everything over and switch everything off before the site takes over for the winter to do their thing. I didn’t realise quite how much happens over what you would think would be a silent couple of months. There’s the park maintenance in general, getting the grounds ready for spring. This includes making repairs, carrying out refurbishments and keeping the plants and trees on park in shape. This is why my in-laws pay their site fees, so that the park can be adequately maintained and looking great for when you next visit.
The big drain-down is always a topic of conversation for caravan owners too, particularly when to do it as if left too late you run the risk of the pipes freezing and bursting. As soon as the parks close, maintenance staff will start draining down water systems to prevent freeze damage, improve ventilation and prevent damp.
It’s quite surprising how much goes into maintaining and caravan and demonstrates to me how much I have taken for granted this retreat on the beach. I am looking forward to returning this year and making even more memories with our little family. At the end of the day it’s not where you are, but who you are with that counts.