Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Puerto Paradise

Back in July the boys’ dad decided that I should take the boys away on an ‘aeroplane’ holiday. Slightly offended that a) he doesn't consider our drives to fun campsites with amazing beaches in southern France good enough and b)he feels at liberty to tell me how to spend my hard earned cash. Anyhow, wanker aside, it did get me thinking about taking my little boys on an adventure.  Not an action expedition adventure, nor anything particularly culturally taxing, but I was thinking more of an adventure of appreciation and discovery. I just wanted a good, old-fashioned beachy family get away.  Ordinarily, lack of cash would have prevented me even looking on but this year is no ordinary year.  Having sorted out mum’s finances, there was just enough in the bank to pay for my planned treat.  
So I began to research resorts, scouring endless websites for a European escape that would cater to all of our 11 – 43 year old needs.  This would include somewhere sunny with a bit of life, but not full of drunk chavs (or any chavs for that matter), a modest apartment with pool, pretty natural beaches but also with banana rides for teenagers, rustic food available but with a good choice of restaurants, excursions that everyone would enjoy  and grass. I’m funny like that and when I’m lying around a pool with my Mateus and my book I don’t want it to be on concrete. Just one of my standards, shall we say. Anyway, I found all of the above. In one place. And right on the money. Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca ticked all of our boxes. And I swung wildly between clicking ‘buy’ and feeling utterly guilt ridden at spending my mum’s money on something that she would never enjoy. It felt wrong, disrespectful and I lost sleep apologising to her for continuing with life. But of course, kind friends told me that it’s exactly what she would have wanted me to do: take the children on an adventure, spend time together, laugh, eat well, take photos and make memories.
With the dawning realisation that this is the final year all three boys will be in school, the decision to ‘buy’ was a no-brainer. This may be the last time the four of us go away together at all...
Puerto Pollensa was all that Trip Advisor said it was – pretty, safe, clean, mountains, clear seas and white sand, with lots to do and see on the island. But better than all the stuff was the precious week I spent with my boys, quality time that I just don’t get at home. I learned a lot about all three of them, and their relationships with each other, and I enjoyed their company on a new level. I particularly enjoyed watching my nearly-men drinking the odd beer with dinner but also acting like children in the pool, unaware of the teenage female attention they were attracting (even with the naff temporary tats they bought from the Spar).
And so we took a pebble that had been in our garden and kept it with us as we went around the island. The pebble went to the beach with us, on the boat, to all of the restaurants (our favourite was the Marina Cafe, or ‘the one with free wi-fi’ as was known in our party), to the marina, the Church Square market and even to Aqualand. And on our last evening, full on mojitos and nachos, we (Ellis*) threw our pebble into the bay, where I hope it’s still now, representing our little family, our good times and the very special lady who paid for them.

See, I DID get grass!

The bay where mum's pebble is :)

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