It’ll be fun, they said. They’ll love it they said.
Family holiday No. 1. A midweek break in a hotel in Birr, Co. Offaly with three boy children. Total success. 100% delightful. Bunk beds. Birr Castle. Date night with Mister Husband. Lovely food. A great kids park down the road. The boys loved the hotel pool. We returned home feeling refreshed and delighted with life.
Family holiday No. 2. Another midweek break in Clonakilty, Co. Cork with four boy children. Not a total success. In fact, a total stress fest. 100% stressful. Too small a hotel room. Too many Coco Pox and not enough Weetabix. Rained. All. The. Time. No date night. Back to hotel room at 8pm each evening with cranky, tired and constipated kids. Early wake ups. We returned home feeling hard done by.
Family holiday No. 3. A whole 7 days in a rented house by the beach in Co. Wexford with four adults and six children. Total success. 100% delightful. That year would become known as the worst summer in Ireland. Ever to date. Yet we had a week of glorious weather. There were bunk beds. Wine every night. Day trips. We returned home delighted with ourselves and swore this would be the way to go from now on.
We are just back from family holiday No. 4. A whole 7 days in a rented villa by the beach in Rosslare, Co. Wexford with, at one stage, 9 children and 10 adults. Another total success. 100% fantastic. Idyllic. Despite the Spanish student who managed to smuggle searing heat into the country, returning home and bringing with him or her, said sunshine, we had another wonderful holiday. Sand sculptures. Wine every night. BBQ’s. Wonderful coffee and fresh bread daily in the shop across the road. Wet suits. Reading something every day. Frisbees. Crocs. Two small boys celebrating their fourth birthdays and a not so small boy celebrating his 33rd.
I have a small confession to make here. I slept for the first two days. More or less and the earliest I rose was 9am each morning.
Mister Husband did all of the mothering, all of the dressing, all of the breakfasts, the early morning beach visits, most of the afternoon visits and looked after the very necessary showers on returning.
All I had to do was make sure there was a bottle of wine cooling in the fridge each day, go on cappuccino runs for me and buy chocolate twists for the boys.
It was Thursday before I felt human again, before I felt refreshed and not so bone weary.
On our second last morning, I rounded the corner in the café to see a friend and her husband, plus their youngest, finishing breakfast. They had been there all week.
Maybe if I hadn’t been sleeping so much I would have bumped into her sooner and we could have gone for a coffee.
I am leaving this space blank for Family Holiday No. 5 2014.
Bring it on!