Thursday, 9 August 2012

Our airstream adventure :)

This Summer, the intention had been to go camping for a week in Dorset. In about February, I showed my husband the website for Happy Days Retro Vacations, an airstream holiday letting service, but at the time, he really wasnt sure about the whole thing. I think he thought it was another of my "mad hippy moments".

However, at Whitsun, we had a thoroughly cold, wet and generally miserable week's camping in the Cotswolds and I was not a happy bunny afterwards. I started looking at static caravans on ebay. I muttered about sticking the campervan up for sale, much to my husband's alarm.

The rain continued for most of June and the start of July, when my husband suddenly had a great idea...why didnt we book a caravan holiday? Quick as a flash, I checked the Happy Days site and there was just one airstream free- Dee Dee. I booked her like a flash and to be honest, I was even more excited to be staying here than I was about going to Camp Bestival.

On the Monday, after a mammoth session in the laundrette and a couple of hours on Swanage beach, we arrived at our destination. We were met by Kevin, possibly the most cheerful man I have ever met! He and his wife Jenni are the owners of happy days. He told us his story of the how the business was created, after his wife fell in love with a friend's airstream and then he had a motorbike accident in London. They left the city and set up a new life with their two children in Dorset. They now own a fleet of 4 shiny silver ladies- Betsy, Gloria, Dee Dee and Peggy. They date from 1959 to 1973.

So here is Dee Dee, in all her glory!

Oh there were so many things I just loved about her...from the fresh roses on the table, the fairy lights, the little wooden drawers that creaked when you opened them, the whistling kettle, the crochet was my idea of heaven. Jenni has done such a great job of making it feel stylish and yet very homely. We all relaxed in there immediately and although we were aware that Dee Dee is an old lady and needs to be treated carefully, we are used to that with the camper.

One of my favourite things inside the airstream was this little sugar bowl. It's my birthday next week, so I have managed to track down the artist, Becky Ryan, and buy one as a little souvenir. It says Hello Sailor! on the top.

At night, the solar fairy lights came on and all four silver ladies looked very beautiful in a row. We were also able to have a campfire outside, which was lovely. On the last night, my daughter was singing her heart out to Noah and the Whale and I will never forget that moment. In fact, I am going to make a playlist of all the songs we played that night- Beach House, First Aid Kit, Stornoway, Ben Howard etc.

There's no entertainment laid on, other than the field, a little lake and the other children. This was great as the children quickly made friends and had a great time, just racing around, playing frisbee, making up games. The camping pitch is very generous, which gave the children plenty of room to play and us a huge, star filled sky to stare at at night.

The vans are sited on the edge of the New Forest, but only 45 minutes away from the sea, so we did a lot of playing in the forest, crab fishing and we also spent a day in Weymouth, where we watched the Olympic Sailing.

I felt very priveliged to have the chance to stay in Dee Dee and I thought that the price for 4 nights in the school holidays was very reasonable.

Although it would be an absolute dream to own our own Airstream, it's probably not going to happen as they are a lot of money and we live in a cul de sac in the middle of Birmingham! But as a special little escape, I dont think we can beat this holiday.

Well done to Kevin and Jenni, you have created something really special here folks x


  1. So so so jealous! That is gorgeous. Love it beyond measure. Although I think I would have refused to leave! x

  2. Hello Mama Sunshine
    We too have stayed at Happy Days Retro vacations. Our family camped in Gloria a 1960s Airstream. It was a fanastic break so chilled out and comfy. It was great to let the kids go wild in the lovely rural campsite. I must agree that Kev is a very cheerfully and accomodating fello. The high point for me was at night when we sat a round the fire pit looking up at the stars. When I was a child and went on camping holidays there was no way you could have a camp fire. So it was such refreshing change and one that I know the kids loved. Next year fingerscrossed we will stay for more that a weekend.

  3. Hi there Filler, glad to hear you had such a wonderful time in Gloria. I can't decide if I would like to try her out next time or stay faithful to Dee Dee!