Sometimes you just need some time away, a change of pace, a new window to gaze out of. Sometimes a break from reality is just what the doctor ordered.
I am abroad, I have single-handedly brought my three children thousands of miles away from home, by myself.
I realise now that I have never really understood single parenting before, I have never shown the respect to a single mum or dad that is needed for them journeying alone.
Being on holiday is not a hardship, but as a single parent, it is different.
We are guests this week of James Villas, staying at the beautiful Salobre Golf resort in Gran Canaria. We have all been looking forward to this holiday for a terribly long time.
But why I chose to fly at seven am is a bloody mystery to us all.
That meant a 4am wake up call….
I am not a nice person at 4am….
To be fair, it would have been earlier had we not been offered a stay through APH, at the Felbridge Hotel near Gatwick.
Somehow I managed to shout the children to sleep by nine pm and our five alarms roused us at 4am. By pre booking our Gatwick Airport parking we merely drove five minutes, abandoned the car, popped on a bus, and were at Gatwick for 5am.
That was the easy bit. I was prepared for our traveling, mainly because of the hours I spent reading what I needed to take on a holiday with kids….
The trickier bit was metamorphosing into a pack-horse, and balancing two 18kg suitcases, a bag stashed with medical equipment, three bags containing more technology than an Apple store, a handbag, and a food bag.
Thank God I lift weights. I may have a new one rep max on lugging luggage….
Walking through the x-ray machine brought its usual traumas, not helped by Owen helpfully telling the blue shirted chap…
“You want to watch that bag, it is brimming with needles and drugs…”
The entire family was patted down. Extensively….
Then because my children couldn’t imagine a morning without breakfast we had to run like the Gruffalo was chasing us to get the flight. Then we shamefully took our seats as the last aboard….
Four hours in a flying tin can is a long time…. my ears are still ringing from the amount of times I heard the word ‘mummy’ being called.
My wallet is still empty from the amount of money I spent on Pringles….
Safely, some of us more exhausted and poorer than before.
Then we headed to our hire car.
I have never driven abroad before.
Who knew I was such a scaredy cat, and how I have managed to get to 37 without being able to tell my left from my right is amazing.
I got behind the wheel, got all confused with the door and the gear stick and sobbed a little. Then I called my parents to help me face the situation…
My Mum got my Dad…
My Dad recommended I got a cab….
Then reassured me that driving on the right was tricky….
I’d like to say it helped….
Then we were off. The kids stunned in silence by my desperate pleas for them not to speak whilst I fully focused on not killing us all.
*Proud face* I only drove around one roundabout the wrong way, and although I never exceeded 60km per hour once, I would like to think I made some friends on the road.
And the lady whose car door I nearly hugged with my front bumper was very nice about the whole affair.
Parking at the villa was possibly the happiest day of my life. Not killing your offsprings is a fantastic achievement….
The villa is amazing…