You would think I would learn my lesson about water parks.
As soon as we went for an exploratory drive around the lovely St Jean Des Monts I saw the familiar blue plastic curves rising into the sky afore me.
It was me, not the kids who let out an excited squeal at the sight of sudden death water slides.
Then it was me, who was up ultra early, greasing my skin with extra sun tan cream to ensure maximum speed on water park day.
The gates opened at 10.30am, we were in, creamed up, towels out and ready to slide by 10.32.
By 10.36, I was surgically removing my swimsuit from my rectum, whilst blinking furiously to retain my contact lenses in my eyes and suddenly remembering that I was 38, not 8….
The heart desires water parks, the body simply can’t take it….
But as all good parents teach their children, if you say you are going to do something – then do it you must.
To the best of your ability.
So I went on every terrifying, torturing, twisting toboggan in sight.
(And still Tesco don’t come knocking with the mum of the year award)
If you are planning on visiting, I’ll give you the low down on a couple of my favourite slides….
A gentle blue curving creation that suddenly plunges you into an icy bath that makes your nipples stick out like daggers threatening to impale passing strangers. Not a good look if you head straight for the ice cream stall afterwards.
Suicide for bikini bottoms. As the name suggests the slide is a vertical drop which instantly pulls your briefs into your arse cheeks and then spends 10 seconds trying to get them up to your neckline whilst also trying to choke you with incoming spray.
It was a blast, honestly.
Otherwise known as the toilet ride.
You climb inside a large rubber ring, similar to those used for piles after birthing a baby.
Once delicately flopped inside the ring, you then cross your legs, await help from some teenage youth to kick start you (after realising your aged arms don’t have the strength to shift your own ring encased bulk). Then you hurtle down a slope into a bowl where you desperately hope you will twirl around with an air of sophistication and then gently cruise towards the last hole before sliding into the final pool.
Sadly the reality is, you will circle around the bowl until grinding to an undignified halt some 10cm from the entrance to the final slide.
After much grunting and bum shuffling, a few tears and a lot of wiggling, a teenaged youth will finally appear, smirking and chattering in French.
After flexing his biceps he will proceed to grunt and wrestle your rubber ring encased arse until finally in a moment of pure, complete embarrassment you disappear down the slide to the sound of laughter from above.
The swimming pool. The glorious, heated, deep blue pool that your bruised and battered body will ache to melt into.
You will pass it many times as your kids drag you past it to keep riding the slides.
Rivière a bouees
More rubber rings, more drops, more inelegant descents into a pool. The only extra thrill being that this one ends in a large pool where at least ten adults stand armed with gro pros, iPhones, even a couple of old fashioned cameras waiting to record your faceplant into the icy water for all their relatives to enjoy later.
Apparently we enjoyed it so much we are all going back again in the week sometime.
My rump simply cannot wait.
(Atlantic Toboggan is based just outside of St Jean de Monts, in St-Hilaire-De-Riez. We visited there, twice, as part of our review trip to the Madame Vacances Villas. All opinions my own, I accept any surgery on my rear as a result of plummeting down slides is my own fault.)