I say 'yipee' but if your house is anything like mine, the long-awaited 2 week break does not come without a few stresses and strains. On occasion, I admit to wondering whether in fact, it would be easier to stay at home - we have a perfectly lovely house, beautiful garden, own mod cons, comfy beds - why do we feel the need to go anywhere? This of course is confirmed as a ridiculous idea, when we finally reach the last week of term, desperately in need of a break and longing to escape the dreary UK weather.
Our annual holiday is the OH's sole opportunity of the year, in which to fully unwind; to say that the decision-making process comes charged with a certain amount of pressure, would be an understatement. Over the years, we have put together a holiday request list which looks something like this:
1. opportunity to acquire a sun tan
2. some 'family time'
3. safety so the kids can have freedom
4. some 'couple time'
As our children are getting older (youngest almost 8 and the eldest 12) we added an additional item to our holiday list this year - 6. sightseeing/activities.
Having researched every vacation opportunity known to man, we opted for something a little different - a cruise and stay. In 10 days time we will be flying to Turkey, cruising around Turkey and Greece for 7 days, then staying in an all-inclusive hotel for the remaining 7 days. This way we get a certain amount of sight-seeing with plenty of relaxation thrown in!
As the months have gone by, we have started to get excited about our impending holiday - looking at YouTube clips of the ship, studying maps of our destinations, but lately I have noticed a smidgen of anxiety creeping in, reasons as follows:
1) DD2 is generally an anxious child (see my post on Separation Anxiety here) but when discovering that her class topic this term was The Titanic, I knew we would have problems! Many evenings have been spent reassuring her that such disasters never happen these days *cough* (we booked before the Costa Concordia tragedy) and if in the event of an emergency, there would definitely be adequate lifeboats for a quick escape etc. I thought that we had made progress, until last night. The OH returned home from work with some walkie-talkies that we are intending to use on the ship, to keep track of their whereabouts. The kids leapt on these in great delight and began playing with them. Minutes later, DD2 was seen madly running around the house, walkie-talkie in hand, shouting...."the ship is sinking!" at the top of her voice. I have told her in no uncertain terms that she CANNOT be shouting such words into the walkie-talkies once on board the ship!
2) I have never been a good traveller and do in fact suffer quite badly from motion sickness. The OH assured me that a cruise liner will in no way compare to the Dover to Le Havre ferry crossing. Being willing to trust his very limited knowledge of the cruising world (he has never been on one), we booked it. I will obviously arrive armed with plenty of Stugeron, just in case!
3) Anybody else with more than 2 children will understand our frustration in finding that family rooms for 5 do not exist. Since being forced to book two separate cabins, I have lost count of the number of dreams I have had about the children being locked in their room and us not being able to get them out....all whilst the ship is sinking, obviously.
Of course, deep-down I know we are going to have an amazing time. We are hugely blessed to even be going on holiday, let alone having the opportunity to explore other parts of the world and to be spending 2 weeks in the glorious sunshine. Until yesterday, I was feeling quite on top of things, all holiday preparations were nicely underway. Then I read a tweet by Chrissie at mediocre mum, who mentioned that she needed to rush through a passport renewal as her daughter's passport expires within 6 months of her returning from their trip....*penny drops*.....a few frantic phone calls later, we discover that Turkey also demands a minimum of 6 months on the expiry date of a passport. What?! Our holiday preparations now include a 6 hour round trip to Peterborough tomorrow and a rather unfortunate £109.50 dent in our holiday spending money!
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