My name is Ted and today is my birthday, I am 7. Mum and dad surprised me and Charlie, my little sister and me this morning by saying we're going to Maubuisson. I am so happy because it's a nice place and I know I'll have fun.

We drove for an hour - I'm not sure what we will do when we get there (are we there yet?) but I have my ideas because mum has packed my swimming trunks and a great picnic.

We get to Carcans at ten o'clock. Before getting out of the car mum plasters Charlie and me in cream and puts my sneakers on, it's weird because I'm the only one in my family to wear sneakers. I ask a lot of questions and mum smiles but doesn't answer, she told me it is going to be a surprise and for two hours I will be exploring, and making new friends and what's more it will be without them.

Two hours of adventures

We head to the tourist office, which is already full of children, I am a bit shy but a lady comes to welcome us. Her name is Alexia and tells me that I will participate in the small explorers rally in the forest.

Dad, mum and Charlotte leave me and after that I meet Max who is the same age as me.

The rally lasts two hours. I ran, jumped, listened to the sounds of the forest, smelled the smells of pine trees and flowers. I got a little thing to eat, but not worms, like Alexia made us believe at first. It was a 2 brilliant hours!

When I find mum dad and Charlie I am all excited and I wan to tell them my adventures. Charlie had fun at the play area, opposite the tourist office. She says she caught the monkey's tail but I don't know what she means.

A picnic by the lake

We take the car towards the Domain Bombannes, near Maubuisson. On site, luckily, there is a kind of wooden hut, located on the beach so we settle in for a picnic.

While Charlie takes a nap, dad and me go for a swim. Max, my new friend from this morning is there and we play football in the water a bit. Then we rent a pedalo and Max comes with us, and with our life jackets (I can swim, you know) we jump into the water. We make dad do all the pedalling and me and Max way the anchor.

Back on the beach Charlie is awake and we join her and mum in the cabin (I wish I had one like this in the garden at home) for some food. Max has to leave because he has a sailing lesson.

Then we go for another swim, Charlie is super happy to paddle and I build a super sandcastle for her. After an hour and a half mum announces it's time to go and I must say I could have stayed longer.

Ice creams and bikes

They are rascals my parents because we stop at Maubuisson where they buy me the biggest chocolate and vanilla ice cream ever, sitting on a bench facing the lake. Dad gives Charlie some pushes on her bike with stabilisers and i can see it's perfect place to learn to ride. After 10 minutes she is going too fast for him!

At the end of the afternoon, Charlie has a ride on a roundabout while I drive a bumper car into some other bumper cars. Around 7 o'clock we leave for Bordeaux. It was the best seventh birthday ever, and mum and dad promised me that we would come back.

We recommend