I have had a whole week and a bit off work and it has been splendid. The week started with the first trip abroad with the husband for many years. Prior to last week’s flight, the last flight we took just the two of us was when we de-emigrated (is that a word) and returned to UK on 31 March 1999. The last holiday we took together was a long weekend in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon almost exactly 20 years ago. It was somewhat marred by me being inexplicably exhausted and very very sick. A pregnancy test on our return clarified that we were embarking on a new adventure.
And that chapter of life is coming to an end. And as one chapter ends, we tentatively start a new one of life post dependent children. And what a way to start. We spent three nights away in Barcelona whilst youngest offspring was away on a school trip. Barcelona was the chosen destination due to logistics – the flights went from our local airport and the times fitted with the school trip times. Freedom is not quite ours, but frankly, having some restrictions on travel made the choice of destination easy.
And what a destination! Barcelona lived up to all the hype from friends who had visited previously. The hotel recommendation was great (Hotel Curious is very central, very quiet, basic, but really friendly and includes a great breakfast), transport into and around the city was easy and cheap. The city has a beach and the most beautiful basilica I have ever seen, even if La Sagrada Familia is unfinished. What more could we need?
Mostly the weekend was precious as we rediscovered how to holiday together again. Having just two voices in the decisions instantly reduces time taken. Twenty years later we discovered we are still very happy wandering, stopping for a lot of coffee, and then beer/cava in the evenings. Popping into bars to just have a drink was a treat. Not worrying about the effects of delayed mealtimes on children’s blood sugar levels was a relief. The biggest discovery was that our children really like to know what the aim of a walk or an excursion is. “Just having a look around” has never cut it for them, but I had not really realised how different that is to our holiday needs until last weekend.
A hugely successful first trip away without offspring. We did miss them though and spent a good amount of time pointing out things they would love to see and it was odd not to hear their opinions on the city. And strange not to just have them with us. Family McMillan have had amazing holidays as a foursome and they are always an adventure. I shall miss them indeed. But its good to know there is a different type of holiday awaiting us.