Our First Ever Holiday

Our First Ever Holiday

Being able to say that we finally got to go on our first ever holiday is an amazing feeling. There was a time I didn’t think I’d ever be able to take the boys on a holiday by myself. Max was too volatile and I didn’t have the confidence to feel like I could manage it alone with no support.

Craig Tara Holiday Park Caravans

We did it! I decided on a caravan at Craig Tara which is a Haven holiday park in Ayr. Not too far away at just under a two hour drive, but not so close that it wouldn’t feel like we were somewhere different. And it’s on the beach by the Clyde river… just the other side from where I grew up in Dunoon.

I booked us a pet friendly deluxe caravan with three bedrooms one week after the Easter holidays. The idea being that it wouldn’t be *too* busy for Max to handle, and he’d have his own wee place to retreat to if things got a bit much and we all needed some space from each other.

In fact, his response to realising that he had his own wee room was to get his iPad and his fave cuddly Elmo, and get comfy on his bed! Absolutely adorable!

Inside the Deluxe Caravan at Craig Tara Haven Holiday Park

The caravan itself felt pretty roomy, was clean (in fact it was just being finished off when we got there!), came with a tv with a dvd player, a kitchen with a microwave, fridge and a gas cooker, with utensils etc provided. Though we did have to bring our own washing up liquid, bin bags, cleaning supplies etc. I was prepared for this though so we had everything we needed with us.

Brotherly Love- Our First Trip to the Beach

The Beach at Craig Tara, Ayr

Beach fun at Craig Tara Holiday Park

We took our first walk down to the beach and ohhh it was so beautiful! The boys absolutely adored it as did Kenzi… this was going to be one of many wanders along the pebbles and sand during our week’s stay.

The Arcades at Craig Tara

Max noticed the arcade as soon as we walked into the main complex and was desperate for a go straight away of course! Luckily I managed to persuade him that first we had to eat our dinner before we were allowed to go play. So he dutifully ate his pizza and waited patiently while Zack and I finished our meals. HUGE step forward here- M actually told me “oh no, need pee!” while we were waiting for our food! So of course off we went. First time he’s ever done that while out! This carried on while we were away and we’ve managed to keep it going since we got home too. We will be nappy free some day!

Another big thing for Max was his acceptance of drinking more water. He’s always only drank milk, and we recently switched to lactose free to help his poorly stomach, but it didn’t help things completely. Since going on holiday he’s now willing to drink a fair amount of water daily, and as a result some of his stomach issues seem to have started to resolve themselves.

Max having fun on our first night at Craig Tara Holiday Park

Our First Night at Craig Tara Holiday Park

How did he get so grown up?

Anyway, back to the holiday… our first evening event was a pretty loud one, and of course the one thing I’d forgotten to pack was the ear defenders… I didn’t think we’d be able to do much of the evening entertainment but after an initial ten minutes of getting used to it all was fine, in fact as time went on he got more and more involved – up dancing with the other kids by our last night!

brothers who game together, stay together... or something

Mini gold at Craig Tara Holiday Park

Visiting the arcades was a daily occurrence… I dread to think how much we spent there, but it was worth it to see these two have so much fun together. I even managed to get Max to join in with some mini golf! Though it was grudgingly, but he did it!


On our last day I caved and took the boys to the wee fun fair they have on site… they weren’t disappointed, and as they had freshly made doughnuts, neither was I! It’s probably just as well we didn’t visit there till the last day to be honest. *cough*

The Beach at Craig Tara Holiday Park Ayr

There were lots of walks with the dog along the beach, ice creams, laughter and a feeling of peace I hadn’t had in quite some time. Along with that it was such a huge accomplishment for us all. Zack was an amazing help – I’m so lucky to have such great kids… he’s an amazing big brother and was so happy to be there with not one complaint about anything the entire time. And Max… well he blew me away daily with his ability to not just endure, but enjoy the many new experiences he encountered while we were there.

Our Last Day at Craig Tara Holiday Park

In fact, we’re already planning our next trip!

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys
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  1. May 4, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    It looks like a great trip! Pleased you enjoyed it. It’s hard finding good places to take kids with additional needs on holiday. I might have to check this place out myself x

    • Marylin
      May 6, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      Thanks Lizzie, it was fantastic, and Max did SO well! <3 x

  2. May 4, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    Fantastic! Looks like lots of lovely memories were made. The photos are awesome, treasure them! X

    • Marylin
      May 6, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      Thanks Lisa, they were indeed! I still can’t quite believe how well it went! <3 x

  3. May 5, 2018 / 3:22 am

    Aw that looks so much fun. The photos are gorgeous x

    • Marylin
      May 6, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      Thank you Rebecca, it was one of the first outings I’d had with my new camera! <3 x

    • Marylin
      May 11, 2018 / 8:52 am

      Aww thanks so much lovely, it was fantastic! <3 x

  4. May 10, 2018 / 2:53 pm

    Aww I love this. Look at those gorgeous smiley faces. I am so pleased you had the best time. xx

    • Marylin
      May 11, 2018 / 8:52 am

      It really was fantastic! <3 Can't wait to explore more places around Scotland now I know how well Max can handle a holiday! 🙂 x

  5. This is so lovely to read, Marilyn! And so many great photos as well, beautiful! It’s fantastic to hear how well it went, and I can very much identify with that feeling of not beeing sure about daring to do something, go somewhere etc, due to not being sure about how Penguin will cope and react. However, many times I’ve been positively surprised, and it even seems like drastic changes of environment etc can spark positive development. Like you’ve seen in Max on this holiday, with the ‘need a wee’, and drinking more water, accepting the loud sounds of the entertainment etc.
    Penguin stopped wearing nappies quite a few years ago now, BUT would still go and get himself a nappy when he needed to do a number 2. About 2 years ago we went on a long car journey, and he was then surprisingly fine with doing all his toilet needs in the public toilets we stopped at along the way. And then quite ok with it a lot of the time when we got home. And then when we moved house about 16 months ago, I decided to not show him where I put the nappies we had left. And he only ‘asked’ to use them two times after that, before being completely fine with only using the toilet. I’ve still kind of got my fingers crossed in the back of my mind, as regression could happen at some point in life. But always enjoying and appreciating the goid things while they last! xx

  6. May 18, 2018 / 7:28 am

    Aw this is so heart-warming! It looks like all three of you had such a ball! Great to see that Max seems to be more and more open to new experiences, the older he gets – lovely to see this. And of course he’s got such a fabulous big brother to emulate too. (His mum’s not bad either!)

    • Marylin
      May 18, 2018 / 11:34 am

      Thanks so much lovely, we had a blast! <3 x

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