Posted in holiday, Lifestyle

Ibiza 2016

Hello my lovely friends! How’ve you all been?

If any of you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be well aware of the fact that recently I’ve been completely AWOL from all aspects of my blog, so please don’t feel abandoned.
Ibiza this year was good. I can’t say it was great, I can’t gush about it, but I can 100% guarantee that I didn’t want to come home again. We had an interesting flight out to Ibiza with Jet2 to start – firstly we were delayed by about 45 minutes with no explanation or apology. This really irritated me because we were already going to be arriving late enough, never mind a delay. Plus, have you ever been delayed on a plane predominantly filled with drunk Northern Irish people who’re excited for their trip to Ibiza? Let’s just say it was noisy, cramped and embarrassing (I mean, really. Have you heard our accents??). Finally we got up in the air and I plugged in my headphones to watch We’re The Millers – I still haven’t seen the end of the film so review will be up eventually. Mum and I had some prossecco and we relaxed into holiday mode. 

Drinks on the plane
About half an hour after the seatbelt sign had been switched off, I looked at Dad (who was sitting beside me) and asked could he smell smoke. Turns out one of the drunken a*******s had decided to light up in the toilets just behind us. He then proceeded to claim that the stewardesses has said he could. His passport was confiscated and he was told he would be arrested when we landed as smoking on an airplane is a serious offence. We could’ve all died! We settled back down and eventually the plane started to land in the country I’ve now adopted as my 3rd home (order being Scotland, Northern Ireland and then Ibiza). It was at this point that a delightful friend of Mr Smoker decided the seatbelt rule didn’t apply to him and so, as the wheels hit the tarmac, he stood up and opened the overhead locker to retrieve his belongings. Well we don’t know how he was aware of it but the pilot slammed on his brakes and yelled over then intercom “SIT DOWN NOW!” as the rest of us watched this eejit stumble to the ground. Finally we stopped and that was all fine, we began to gather our stuff and make our way into the aisles to disembark (can I use that for a plane or is it only used for a boat?) when once again we were instructed to take our seats. The Guardia Civil were coming on the plane to arrest our two idiots. Great start to their holiday! This however meant a further 30 minute delay in getting off the airplane. 
Arriving at the hotel felt like bliss. Someone came out of reception to help us lift our cases up, and checking in was straightforward as ever. We started downstairs to grab some dinner before the restaurant shut where we were greeted by staff we consider old friends. Hugs and kisses all around and a lot of talking later, we finally got something to eat around 9:30pm… I was starving!

So, instead of boring you with a day by day account of the trip, I’ll give you the interesting parts, or at least the bits I would find interesting.
Once again, there were a few changes to the hotel. Due to last year’s slating of the changes, a lot of the guests were around my age and only staying for bed and breakfast, not half board. This meant that management had decided to close the main restaurant and have us eat dinner at the pool bar. Here we were given a choice of 2 meat and 2 fish which were served with potato and vegetables. Now, we aren’t a stereotypical family from the island of Ireland. We don’t like potato. The thought of 11 days of meat, potato and veg was already quite daunting. It was then quickly explained to us that, for no extra cost, we could order something from the pool bar’s lunchtime menu. Considering the lunch menu from the pool bar was more a dinner menu anyway, we did this for a few nights. On our 6th night, José (who had gone out with Rachel and me for drinks the previous 2 years and had received a promotion this year to head of the restaurant – I felt like a proud parent!) came over to us and said that the next day we would be moving back to the main restaurant for dinners as numbers were increasing again. The cheer we let out! So note, if considering booking Sol Beach House Hotel Ibiza, go for it! It’s brilliant.

The other change was a lot of staff from last year had been dropped and a lot of new faces were introduced. However our main favourites were still there and we were able to continue our friendships with them all, we’ve even invited some of them to come visit us here in Northern Ireland if they’d like to come and practice their English for a week or so. 
We did venture out of the hotel a few times. On the first Wednesday, we went to the hippy market in Es Canar where we got a caracature drawn of us as a family – picture soon to follow! We spent a good amount of time browsing the stalls and it was good to experience however I don’t think I’d rush back as so many stalls were over priced. 
We also took an evening out to go to Ibiza Town and see what it was like in the evenings. Unfortunately we missed the parade and a lot of the shows as we ended up going shopping instead. However we did go up into the old town a bit and got some lovely photos of the port.


Those pictures don’t really do it justice but I felt I had to share them. 
The next night, Mum, Dad, Rachel and I met José for drinks in Es Canar, this was Mum and Dad’s way of saying thanks for everything over the last few years. We went to the bar that he’d taken Rachel and me to over the last 2 years and there was a Robbie Williams tribute act so it was a good laugh singing along and dancing when conversation was avoiding us. It was a good night but mum and dad dragged us back to the hotel before we could go to the nightclub or anywhere near the beach and so on Wednesday night we went out with him again.

This, of course, resulted in him getting very drunk and Rachel and I were semi drunk. As Wednesday was our last full day, we decided to treat ourselves to a cocktail before going to our rooms to get changed for dinner. Mum and I had some lemon gin thing that tasted delicious, Dad had a Bloody Mary and Rachel had some weird take on an amaretto sour. Except, it was one of our friendly waiters who made it and so she was drunk before she’d even half finished the drink. Considering this was followed by more predinner drinks, wine with dinner, and drinks at a party the hotel was having, it wasn’t really our fault that we were so drunk by the time José took us to the nightclub and we were dancing with him. After dancing for an hour, we decided to go to the beach – yes, that’s what you do at 2am. Rachel as usual wanted to go swimming in the sea and so we all ended up soaked. José at least had had the sense to strip down to his underwear before joining us in the water. We all walked a bit to dry off but José was complaining that he’d need a shower before bed. However, as he’s now living in the hotel and sharing a room with another member of staff, he couldn’t use their bathroom at 3am, so Rachel offered him our bathroom. We had a bit of a laugh after he’d showered off and then the 3 of us all tried to share the small double in the room until he decided he was too uncomfortable and also realised he needed to get up for work the next morning without being seen by any other guests or members of staff and so he snuck out again around 4:30ish. Needless to say, he didn’t make it in to start his shift at 10am.

Goodbyes are always the worst and suffice to say I was crying a lot as we left. With the cost of the holiday, there’s no way we’ll be back any time soon and we have no idea if or when we’ll next see our friends. I’d like to hope that we’ll go back in a few years, but the cost needs to come down and our friends most likely won’t still be working there.

So for now, I’ll just keep looking at the pictures and focus on the memories from this year. Who knows, maybe I’ll go by myself next summer?!
Ktkinnes xx

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Posted in holiday, Lifestyle

Day One and Two Nights

Hey everyone! With a heatwave currently hitting the UK, it’s less likely to make you jealous that the temperature here is lovely and warm.

As you may have guessed from previous posts, I’m back in Ibiza for probably the last time. We arrived later than expected due to firstly a delay and then secondly, half way through the flight some half-wit decided to be smart and smoke in the toilets. Not a good move. This resulted in him having his passport confiscated and being escorted off the plane by the police when we landed. His friends could be heard giving off “It was just a feg, like!” – we could’ve killed them. So we ended up just getting a taxi to the hotel to get here as quick as possible.
We checked in, a few minor changes to the checking in procedure, and someone was sent to carry our cases up the steps for us – a nice touch! A quick journey to the rooms where we dumped our bags before heading down to dinner where we saw a few familiar faces beaming at us. We were quickly told by José that Alvaro no longer works here but we don’t know why, and it seems to be the same with a few other faces we were looking forward to seeing. Seems management’s changes have included staff. 
One of the main changes is that dinner is no longer served in the restaurant but rather outside in the pool bar. Starters have been significantly reduced and are along half a wall, your main course is a choice from 4 things on a menu or you can order from the pool bar’s menu, and puddings are beside the starters and are also significantly reduced. José explained all this to us as quickly as he could, promising to make sure we have a “big happy holiday” – we definitely have missed him! By the time we were through with dinner, it felt like we were home again.
After dinner, we took a walk up to the old piano bar, no longer a piano bar after the 2015 renovations but we still call it the piano bar for ease. We were met with more smiling faces and hugs from staff, the usual questions of how is everybody etc and we remembered to ask if the waiter from last year who had told us his wife was pregnant (at only 6 weeks) if the baby had been born and how old he was. We had a great night talking to old friends, and went to bed around midnight after quickly unpacking everything. Rachel however was refusing to sleep, apparently too full of energy. Not a great first night’s sleep!
We got up in the morning and went down to breakfast. Now breakfast was exactly as expected and remembered. It was great to see that the hotel actually had quite a few staying in it, even if they disappear after breakfast. Sunscreen was applied and we took up our usual positions by the pool. After an hour or so we had to move however as a bunch of young Americans were being obnoxiously loud and talking for the sake of talking. The rest of the day was purely a routine of sunbathe, swim, drink some water, reapply sunscreen and repeat. At about 6, we came up to the room again to start getting ready for dinner.
There was a very limited choice on the menu and so Rachel ended up ordering a salmon spaghetti off the pool bar’s menu. We had our starters as per usual, had our main course, and then some fruit for pudding as we were far too full for anything else. We then took a walk down into Santa Eulalia and had a drink in a bar after asking at one of the stalls about getting a characature of the 4 of us. One guy claimed 80 euros was a brilliant price and was as low as he was willing to go, so we walked to the top of the promenade where we were quoted 45 euros for the exact same thing! 

Meanwhile, Rachel had been complaining of a sore stomach. We chose to semi ignore her as she seems okay at the start, even she thought it was just from walking too soon after a large meal. However, the closer we got to the hotel on our way back, the worse she began to feel, even sitting down at one stage and saying it hurt to even walk. When we got back, she went to Mum and Dad’s room to get an antacid to see if that would help but it wasn’t doing anything for her. One of the couples we’re friends with offered us prescription gastro-problem tablets so Rachel took one and we came to bed. We’d literally been in the room 2 minutes when she started throwing up.
It’s now 4:20am and she’s still on-off sleeping and throwing up but we aren’t sure if it’s sun stroke or food poisoning. Will keep you informed. All we know is that Rachel has managed to be sick ever year we’ve come here. Okay, the first two times were probably alcohol induced but tonight definitely isn’t. We can survive on 2 hours sleep though, it’s not like we’re doing anything tomorrow. But for now, I’m away to see if we can sleep at all. Feeling a little queasy myself but that’s purely from listening to Rachel for the last 20 minutes.
Wish me luck!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

First night, first impressions

So we currently are sitting outside at the pool bar in Sol Beach House Ibiza. The hotel has undergone major renovations over the winter and on the majority we are happy. The staff we loved are still here and just gave me my “special mojito”  (more alcohol than anything else) and they all remembered us! The only downside would be the dining room but I’ll give you that info when we get home.

All I can say is, it feels like home here and I’d happily keep coming for years to come. The reviews make it seem a disaster but truly we love it. Hope the holiday is as good as our first impressions!
Ktkinnes xxx