A very lovely family holiday

The Theme for The Theme Game this week is Holiday. I planned on writing a new post but didn’t get much further than writing “I really need a holiday.” So as a one line post would be a bit dull, here is a look back to our holiday last year and the post I wrote on our return, with some pictures of sunny days to get us through the dreary end of February 🙂

So we are back from our week in the sun and we really had an amazingly lovely time as a family. The hotel we stayed at was great and very family oriented, so there was lots of shade around the pool area, a fantastic kiddy play area and  lovely little kids pool. Before we left I wrote a post about the planning and preparations for our holiday, and I have to admit even I thought I was taking the planning and prep a bit far. I spent so much time thinking about every eventuality and it felt like I was taking everything bar the kitchen sink! But honestly in hindsight I wouldn’t do it differently. I really think all my planning helped us to have a really relaxed week.

The view from our balcony

The view from our balcony

The journey out – the worst bit of the week

If anything, this was the most stressful part of the holiday. As our flight was very early on Tuesday morning we booked a hotel at the airport for the Monday night. So on Monday afternoon, at Monkey’s naptime we headed out. We thought this would be perfect timing as he would sleep on the way to the hotel. We left the house and immediately an engine warning light pops up on my car. We pull over a couple of mins down the road, and by this time Monkey has already zonked in the back bless him! Get the car book out and it says to turn the engine on and off a few times and it should go away unless there is a serious problem. Do this and nope still there. By now we are panicking slightly as we have only just bought hubby’s car and so not done any real drives in it, and haven’t bought any kind of breakdown cover for it, we only have this for my car. One last try and the light goes out, thank goodness for that, we are on our way! Unfortunately monkey didn’t sleep the whole way as we hoped but with the help of a music cd in the car he managed without too much screaming.

After a slightly stressful and exhausting trip from the holiday parking to the hotel, via a bus and a longer than expected walk up a hill, across a couple of busy roads and then down a very steep slope, (with a buggy, two suitcases, a hand luggage case on wheels and 2 other big bags) we got to the hotel and was all fine. After only a little bit of protesting Monkey slept fine over night and the trip to the airport in the morning wasn’t too bad either (at least we knew what the walk  to the bus stop had in store for us by now!) Monkey was good as gold at the airport, we had breakfast and checked in and we were fine until boarding. We got on the plane and got out some bits to keep monkey entertained – the stickers worked a treat!

The problem was that there was a slight mix up with someone’s ticket and two people with the same surname ended up being allocated the same seats and for some reason involving checking the amount of luggage on board the plane, we had to sit  in the plane, on the tarmac for an hour before taking off. We used up our best entertainment material during this time so when we eventually took off, Monkey was thoroughly bored of being sat and restrained on mummy’s lap! Once we were up in the air we resorted to the trusty portable DVD player and monkey very much enjoyed watching Postman Pat, until it was nearly time to land and he unexpectedly dozed off in my lap for landing. Not what we thought would happen but it did work well and helped us for the rest of the journey. After a bit of a wait we got the bus to the resort and started to get used to our surroundings.

Because of his impromptu nap in the morning, and the new surroundings, Monkey didn’t sleep in the afternoon at all and this led to a slightly stressful afternoon with an unhappy monkey and rather fraught parents! Not the best start to our holiday but we tried to make the best of it. Tea time was particularly difficult, not helped by a really grumpy woman at the next table who kept staring, shaking her head, tutting and generally judging us throughout the meal! Not what I needed and I was pretty unhappy after that. We got ourselves some wine and nibbles and decided to let monkey have a slightly early night and settle ourselves down for a night on the balcony. We were lucky to get a lovely view over the bar and pool area so even though we were on the balcony the whole time, we felt like we were still part of the atmosphere.


The rest of the week – fun times and friendly people

There was obviously ups and downs throughout the week, as there is at home, but for the most part we had a really lovely time. Most of the people we came into contact with were really lovely and very friendly. We got very friendly with a few other families who all had little ones ranging from 10-12 months which was really lovely. Nice to have people to empathise with the difficult bits and enjoy the good bits of the first family holiday, all from a similar perspective. Monkey loved the play area and he really enjoyed the pool which we were quite surprised about. Considering how clingy he has been when we have been swimming at home, he was brilliant in the pool there. It may be something to do with the depth as he could stand in it, or potentially seeing other kids enjoying it, but whatever it was he loved it. From day one he was itching to get in there and even though it was pretty freezing (before the sun had a chance to heat it up) he was loving being in there, walking around, being whizzed around by daddy, kicking his little legs, and being splashed up and down. It was brilliant fun for all of us.


Our first trip to the beach was less successful, mainly because monkey had a cold. We thought he wasn’t quite himself, but it’s always difficult to know whether to abandon plans or give it a go. We decided to give it a go, and he was fairly happy initially, but he doesn’t really like the sun in his eyes (not that we can get him to wear a hat or sunglasses for more than 30s, which would help!) and then gradually he just got really unhappy. He eventually fell asleep in his buggy, in the morning, which he Never does. He still kept his afternoon nap too which is very unusual if he has had a brief snooze in the morning, so he obviously needed it! Our next trip to the beach was much more successful, even though this was to the beach nearest hotel which is a 10 min walk down a load of steps and steep hills. Carrying him back up the steps and hills was exhausting but it was worth it as we had a lovely morning at the beach and he really enjoyed making sandcastles and paddling in the sea 🙂


After a couple of days eating and sleeping settled down as well, mealtimes were still a bit iffy at times, but that’s just how mealtimes are for us at the moment I think, as I have posted before! Bath time and bedtime were lovely though and he settled really easily so hubby and I could enjoy some downtime on the balcony with cocktails/sangria/wine. Just lovely really. We also took it in turns to be upstairs with him during naptimes in the afternoons so we could each enjoy the pool and hubby even had a massage by the pool one afternoon! Very nice to leave behind all the jobs and chores for a week and really have a good relax 🙂

The journey home – not the best end

Our lovely week drew to an end – far too quickly – and we packed up and headed home. All not too bad really, although Monkey fell over at the airport and got a massive cut on his lip, poor thing, just landed badly but shook him up a bit. Then there was some weird problem with air traffic control in the UK which meant our flight wasn’t allowed to leave and was delayed by over an hour. Not great when it is around naptime and Monkey is getting cranky. Then we got on the plane and ended up sat on the tarmac for ages again, honestly never known anything like it! Monkey fell asleep as we took off though and slept most of the way home. Unfortunately all of these delays meant we hit the M1 at rush hour (fun) and then there was an accident on the A1 and we sat in a queue of traffic for an hour and a half until it was cleared. Aaaargh! I just want to get home!! Again though, thank goodness for the DVD player and postman pat, definitely helped, although it was now way past monkey’s bedtime by the time we got home. So not the best ending to what was a fantastic week, but certainly didn’t ruin it, and we have lots of lovely memories of Monkey’s first holiday 🙂


The Reading Residence

15 thoughts on “A very lovely family holiday

    • We did have a fab time and it was relaxing at times! I could REALLY do with another one! Feeling really frazzled the last couple of days – not sure what is wrong with me! xx

  1. So any lovely photos. We’ve still yet to attempt going abroad, though the sun does tempt me! It just feels so much easier to drive to our destination and stay in the UK for now, but we’ve plans for Disneyworld in a couple of years, so flying will come! Thanks for sharing with #TheThemeGame x

    • Thank you, it was lovely and I just really wanted some sun! I know what you mean about driving being easier though – we are staying in the UK for our holiday this year, hopefully will be easier but just as lovely 🙂 xx

  2. Reading this made me smile and nod with recognition. We’ve actually decided that it’s easier and just as lovely to holiday here in the UK or Northern France because the children will enjoy it regardless and the travelling isn’t quite so stressful! But it sounds like you had a lovely time and oh for some warm sunshine 🙂 Thanks for sharing with #TheThemeGame

    • Ha ha glad it’s not just us then! We are having a holiday in the UK this year too, the sunshine was lovely but it was a LOT of effort getting there and back! It was worth it though and we did have a lovely week 🙂 xx

  3. We had a holiday a bit like this when JJ was just turned one Caroline – the worst bit was the journey out but we didn’t have quite the dramas you did, just a very delayed coach transfer which reduced JJ to a screaming fit and me to tears! I took loads of Ella’s Kitchens pouches with us then as I knew he was a bit of a fussy eater. That worked quite well and we also put him into the on-site creche for a couple of hours on a couple of days (well, it was also our Honeymoon!). I have a very similar picture of JJ and me in a lovely holiday pool too!

    • Oh bless you, the ella’s kitchen pouches are a good call, Monkey had gone off most of them by that point sadly. The on-site creche sounds lovely! And definitely a good idea as it was your honeymoon! I hope you had a lovely time though and despite the difficult moments the memories are worth it aren’t they? 🙂 xx

  4. Doesn’t sound at all uneventful…
    At least you had that lovely view from balcony to relax on after busy days.
    I’ve always found it quite awkward and stressful to take little ones to the beach, the sun’s always to bright and hot as is the sand – pleased the second trip went well. xx

    • haha no not at all…. we did have a lovely time and I’m so glad the 2nd trip to the beach was more successful than the first! xx

  5. Pingback: Self Catering Holiday Preparations.. | Becoming a Stay at Home Mum

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