“Take as many holidays as possible before she starts school,” a friend who had just been stung by the summer price hike urged while I was still pregnant.
This year we have taken her advice – although I’m not sure she meant we should go to the same place just 45 minutes from home every single time (we live in Norfolk why would we leave?*).
It was actually my parents who suggested going again (clearly we didn’t put them off the first two times) and it was pitched with the words: “You could work on your book in the afternoon while she naps and we’ll sit with her.” SIGN. ME. UP.
Guess how much writing I did? That’s right, none, but I did learn some important life lessons.
- Bingo is SERIOUS. My friend Emma came to stay overnight on Wednesday because Mark wasn’t able to get time off work (the beer and donuts that appeared in the kitchen the day we left made me think he would be just fine on his own) and my parents thought it would be nice for me to have company (I am 13!). My mum and dad volunteered to babysit (again) so we could hit the Live Lounge in the evening. First up was bingo, which we thought would be a good laugh. I last played bingo many years ago and I don’t remember it being that…intense, especially at 5.30pm. You know when you accidentally stumble across the snooker on TV and everyone in the audience is sitting as still as they can be really trying their hardest not to cough or breathe? It was just like that. It was a full house (groan) and they all appeared to be taking it very seriously. When a toddler (thankfully not mine this time) started screaming there was a lot of tutting and I thought there was going to be a mass walk out. The importance of the occasion clearly rubbed off on me though because I even bought a dabber!
2. We all love the Internet. The only place with wifi on the site was the bar and restaurant. When I wasn’t busy looking at my own tablet, I liked to look around at all the tables where nearly everyone had some sort of device out. There was the odd game of musical chairs as we all sought the strongest signal but other than that it was eyes down (like the bingo). Whatever did we do before the Internet/email/social media?
3. Grabber machines are evil. You will never ever win a teddy from the grabber machine no matter how much you put in. I know this and yet… I was so so close so so many times. Why didn’t I just make use of the wifi to order the Minion I spent approximately £300 trying to win?
4. Sand is annoying. I love the beach but I hadn’t realised quite how annoying sand is when you have nothing to clean it up off the floor with (my mum eventually located a brush and dustpan which helped).
5. Healthy eating on holiday is impossible. Fact. I had the best of intentions. I packed salad, for goodness sake. SALAD. Which I ate along with chocolate four layer cake, cheese pizza and a Flake 99 (which I’m pretty sure cost £1.40). Agh. Shame I forgot to pack any willpower.
All in all we had a brilliant time, especially Freya who got to see her beloved Anxious the pink elephant again. Roll on next year!
- We are planning to go further afield (or maybe just a different site) one day. Honest.