‘Have you got everything? Revision? iPod? Swimming Trunks?’
‘Have you packed your chargers? Tennis racquets?’
As usual on the day we go away I am standing in the hall shouting at everyone to make sure that they don’t forget the one essential item that they cannot live without for a few days.
I have been mentally running through lists for three days, checked in to Ocado three times to make sure our food delivery includes Easter Eggs and a ton of carbohydrates for Son 1 and Son 2. A short Easter break, but I might as well be planning a trip to Madagascar. It will be my birthday while we are away and I have added a few little luxuries to my own bag – a nice bubble bath, a new top to wear on my birthday and a trashy magazine.
Last Easter, my Good Friday was spent running around Heathrow trying to get on a flight to Costa Rica as I had rendered myself unable to board the plane with the rest of my family. This Easter would be different. Continue Reading →
Oh No…they’re coming
In the space of just a couple of days I have ticked off TWO of my New Year ‘Hopes’. Feeling pretty pleased with myself as I have finally booked our Borneo family adventure during the summer.
Now, I accept that spending your redundancy pay on a long haul adventurous family holiday might not seem sensible (ok, it’s not even remotely logical), but here’s my reasoning:
‘You’re a long time dead’
I once worked with a funny, witty Irish guy who used this phrase regularly. Whenever he was faced with a difficult decision, he chose the more exciting, less practical option, always justifying it by saying:
‘Ah well…. you’re a long time dead’
Before his 30th birthday he died in a helicopter crash and left me this legacy. Whenever I am faced with a fork in the road I choose the less logical, less sensible option in honour of Sean.
Half Empty Nest
Son 1 will soon be 17. He has a driving licence. He shaves. He is a man. Pretty soon he will have left this nest and I want us to have one more family adventure before he goes.
We have had some amazing family trips and as I now have more time on my hands I will have plenty of time to check the details of this one, and avoid being left at Heathrow like last year!
‘Have you got Esther?’ the lady at the Virgin check-in desk asked.
‘Who’s Esther?’ I asked
‘No…sorry… do you have an E-S-T-A?’ she tried again.
I guess the blank, confused look on my face answered the question.
It was 7.00am at Heathrow on a Good Friday morning. The airport was relatively quiet and my family was excited to be starting our trip to Costa Rica, meticulously planned more than six months before. We had a detailed itinerary, and I had made sure that every detail had been covered. Except I didn’t know about ESTAs. Our family travel usually takes us East and we hadn’t been to or through the US for a few years. The check-in desk is not the place to find out that a special licence is needed to travel to the US these days. The Virgin staff pointed me to the Internet Cafe upstairs and explained that it was possible to buy the ESTAs online and they were often quick to get approved, but that they can take up to 72 hours. My heart sank. Continue Reading →