The Thursday before last I had an unexpected call from an old friend. Would we like to take advantage of their timeshare at Glenmore Sands? They had a six-sleeper holiday flat available the following week, and for various reasons they couldn’t take advantage of it. One of the reasons was them living over 8 hours from the place. We live only two hours away. Would we be interested?
We deliberated. It took nearly five minutes to rearrange our lives (including a fancy emailer to all our clients), for us to say Yes Please! And off we went.
The week away was not without it’s share of mishaps. First of all, the girls left behind everything they’d packed except a few favourite toys. I’d packed their giant massive art set, school stuff and some books to read. They had a couple of toys. But we’d left behind the Monopoly (horrors!), and all their clothes besides the ones they had on. However, a quick jaunt into the local “town” (a small, badly maintained street with a grocer, fishing tackle shop and (thankfully) a discount clothing store) saved the day. Surprisingly, the shop held nothing at all that we were looking for, but some clever improvisation (ahem) allowed us to manufacture a remarkably diverse wardrobe from a particularly frugal shop. Of course, it helped that we spent most of nearly every day on the beach! And it’s mid-winter!
We borrowed a brand new game of Monopoly from the resort’s reception desk, and played a lot of that. The girls are fiends and nearly wiped the floor with us! I didn’t win a single game by myself, and won only one team match. Even that was a fluke! Their mental arithmetic is, officially, improved thanks to this week away. The resort also had a limited array of satellite TV, and the girls did watch more cartoons than usual.
However, as I’ve said, most of our time was spent on the beach. We swam. We climbed. We forded lagoons and investigated rock pools. We found the remains of a ship wreck – perfectly timed after a month studying ships! – and we lazed on the sand. We built sand castles and collected shells. We found driftwood and used it to play beach-tic-tac-toe. We watched the sun rise over the sea – twice!
In the middle of the week, on a friend’s recommendation, we visited the apparently-famous (and rightly so!) Mac Bananas on the main road to the South Coast. What fun! Papa Bear was defeated by their bar-one-and-banana pancake. Goldilocks jumped on the coolest 3D trampoline, while Red Riding Hood had a pony ride (her favourite!). They fed the animals in the “petting zoo” and climbed all over the Treasure Island-style jungle gym. The food was amazing, and the banana crumpets I made from the bananas we bought there were the best ever.
Other than leaving the clothes behind, Papa Bear had to head back into town (two hours away!) to do a support call on our second day there. I had to create and send a proposal to a client (who accepted!), and create and send an electronic emailer (which was a success). But other than that we did no work at all. We read, played games, drew pictures, watched TV, enjoyed each other’s company, and generally recharged. It was wonderful! This is the first time we’ve ever had a nuclear-family-only holiday, and the longest holiday we’ve had since the kids were born. And that was ten years ago! We have no idea how we’ll ever thank the kind family that gave us their holiday, but we’re trying to think of a way. Suggestions are most welcome!