OK so this post is a little late, a year late in fact. I’ve no idea why I didn’t write this at the time *shrugs shoulders* I think because Olivia went straight to school when we returned from this holiday, everything just snowballed from there and before I knew it, eh, it’s September again?! It’s safe to say this post got well and truly parked. However I think I’ve been spurred into writing as we had a ten day getaway to France this August. It was just the three of us and whilst the sun shone, we ate well, drank delicious Rosé and enjoyed the pool at our little house, ten days with just the three of us was too intense. It was too full on with Olivia 24/7 and for her too, she got bored with no other kids to play with. Neither me nor my husband had our much needed, ‘down time’. We discussed it a lot on the last day and both realised that going forwards, we need a holiday with a kids club. Which reminded me of our lovely stay at Messini Beach last year.
So rewind a year and we took full advantage of the fact that Olivia didn’t start school until late September and decided to go away. After much internet searching, one option that kept popping up was a Neilson holiday in Greece. I’ve heard about Neilson before as a good friend who I play hockey with swears by them and after much deliberation, we settled on their Messini Beachclub site. A minor concern we had about this hotel before we booked was that it is quite isolated. Bar a sister hotel next door which is adults only, there are no shops etc nearby. There are one or two restaurants about 15/20 minutes walk away (30+ with a small child) and there is a Lidl about a ten minute taxi ride, but that is it. Generally we like the option of having places to walk to (to erm, buy booze and snacks for our hotel room), but after speaking to Neilson direct, to a lady who was incredibly helpful and who had been to the site, we decided that because we were only going for a week, this didn’t matter too much. We paid £1,993 in total and had a Double room with Club board (Club board includes breakfast and lunch every day and four evening meals per week)
I’ve mentioned on here before about the two somewhat disastrous holidays that we’ve had as a family. Not completely disastrous in the sense that one of us got incredibly sick, or we had to come home (although we nearly did) but in the sense that we miss-chose holidays, not thinking about the mini tyrant we were taking with us. Fast forward to November and we had an opportunity to take a last minute week away somewhere. We initially looked at Cape Verde. But after much Googling and deliberation we decided that six hours on a plane with the kid was a no, no and we read that there are strong waves and currents, and a constant wind around the island. So we settled for what seemed to be the easiest option for some November sun, Tenerife. Now to find a suitable hotel. This meant whittling down a shortlist of hundreds down to ten, then scouring Trip Adviser for hours, discounting favourites because Fred from Manchester hated the place. Ultimately the ones we were left with took kids in the kids club from age three. From these we chose the Bahia Del Durque Hotel in Costa Adeje. It ticked all the boxes really. It had four pools, was on the beach, had access to restaurants outside the complex if needed, a shopping centre nearby and most importantly, it had a kids club that would take Olivia. WIN.
Normal service is resuming here on the blog. My power is slowly returning after being sapped in the summer break. Now that it’s October, my holiday to France back in August seems like a lifetime ago, which is essentially what the previous month feels like when you get to my age. My holiday was with my family, and by ‘family’ I mean my husband, the kid, my parents, two older siblings, their respective husband, wife and kids (fourteen of us in total) Not many people can say they’d holiday in such a way. It would, I imagine drive some of you bananas but we get along really well (not in a Waltons-esque way, but we all like a good laugh and a considerable amount of vino). I’ve written two previous posts about our holidays together but this time, having done an epic drive to and from France a few times now, I wanted to write about how we get through it semi-unscathed with the kid in tow.
We had a short break away recently. I won’t dwell to much on the actual holiday aspect of it, lets just say it was a tad stressful. If you read this blog then you’ll know that we had a fairly unsuccessful holiday in Cornwall last year, and it seems we forgot about that completely when thinking we could go away the three of us again. Lets just say in our mind, we were going to have a chilled few days away before starting IVF. But in Olivia’s mind, well, clearly she didn’t get the memo. But hey, on the plus side, we visited a beautiful part of the UK. We headed to Southwold in Suffolk, which is really lovely.
Before we went, I had an image of a slightly run down seaside town but actually, it’s almost boutique-esque. There’s the classic quirky pier but head along the seafront and into town and you’ll find a great coffee shop, aside from the costa variety (aka my saviour) a delicatessen, a cake shop, butchers and a really good fish and chip shop. The best we’ve had in a long while. Head towards the sea and the houses are positively gorgeous, seated either side of several greens. We did a few things when we were there, the kid found everything boring bar bouncing on the trampoline that was in the house we were renting. Maybe that’s our next holiday *ponders* Anyway, here are the things we did and what I thought of it all.
We went away recently with my entire family (fourteen of us in total) and it was a wonderful time, but how on earth does one cope with so many people?! If you get along with your family like I do, then group holidays with them can be great fun, you’re on holiday with people you love and want to spend time with, you get along with everyone and know the general traits of those with you, you get free child care and you make some fantastic fun memories. But, but, but, let’s not rose tint (or rosé tint, ha!) it, it can be hard work especially if like me you’re going away with quite a large group. There’s always a lot of clearing up, swimming costumes and shoes on the floor to pick up, dishwashers to empty and potential arguing between the kids etc. It often is your routine at home but multiplied. So, if you want to get the most out of your time away, and if you want to come out the other side unscathed, here’s my tongue-in-cheek guide to surviving a big family holiday.