It made it very different (G Kisby noted that he only had one pint of Otters Ale and no lobster, ah how we used to spend our days) but just as fun in other ways (who doesn't enjoy holding a piglet at Pennywell Farm - just me then? Admittedly even Mabel wasn't that interested and I'm sure Wilf only perked up at the sight of bacon).
On the way down there we stopped off for the night at Hunstile B&B which was really lovely. They had a trampoline in the garden which Mabel then talked about all holiday. She was in her element.
Once in Devon we stayed in a gorgeous cottage (Carwell Cottages) which looked over amazing countryside. It had a wildflower meadow with some lovely wooden play equipment and a fully enclosed garden which they both loved. Mabel literally ran up and down it all day, thrilled with the freedom.
Talking of freedom she loved nothing more than being allowed to run on a deserted beach. We were kind of lucky with the weather in that we did get a weekend of sun. However the rest of the week ranged from cloudy and chilly to rainy. Didn't stop us going to the sea though to what Mabel believed were 'muddy puddles'. Think it was up there as her favourite day. As we stood wishing for another layer of clothes and the sight of some sun she threw herself into jumping and exploiting the freedom of getting soaked (including falling in face first - surprisingly not bothered by a mouthful of sand and sea water or the wind chill).
I think her pure unadulterated laughter from running into the waves was one of the highlights of my holiday. She was past herself with giddiness.
The travel tent came in really handy for the hot days on the beach, naturally we were completely unprepared and watched as more thought out families whipped out wind breaks and the like.
Wilf wasn't quite as keen as Mabel on the cold sea. I think dangling his straight in was an error and gave him a fright. He did however like his feet on the sand. We took tea down to beach on this day - I love that time in the evening of a hot day...
We ate well (naturally) including lots of fresh local food - hidden under these moules was a Salcombe smokey (haddock?) which took it to a whole new level!
We also visited the Winking Prawn in Salcombe for some seafood, though in hindsight having time to dissect a crab was ambitious and Wilf's highchair was far too close, his greedy little fist kept grabbing prawns so it wasn't the most relaxing meal. Mabel tried mussels and crab, admittedly she spat the former out but credit for trying I thought.
We made yoghurt ice lollies which they both thought were fab. And managed to get the paddling pool out while the weather was good...
(Check out those moobs)
We visited a couple of places we hadn't been to before like Haldon Forest Park which had a great family adventure walk full of hidden things. Definitely somewhere to return to when they are slightly bigger.
And found Kingsbridge swimming pool to be a good distraction for a very rainy day.
Overall it was just great to have some quality time together as a family. And ace to sit outside watching the sun go down enjoying a cold glass of wine. We are very lucky!