I’m ba-ack! Did ya miss me? I know it’s almost like I was never away, what with the brilliance of scheduling posts, but I’m here today to tell you all about my mini break away to finish celebrating Rachel’s 18th birthday. But hi again everyone! How’ve you all been? Feels like ages since I sat to write a post.
I’ve got a bit of the holiday blues. It was great being away in the sun, even if only for a weekend. Makes me realise I should’ve gone to Ibiza when I had the chance all those months ago! But anyway, I promised you a write up of my time away so here goes.
We left the house at 9:30 on Friday morning, excited but tired and ready to just start the holiday! When you’re only away for 3 nights, every minute counts and so once we got through security we headed straight to the bar. What holiday starts without a drink before the flight? For once, I got travelling with no delays, and soon we were on the plane preparing ourselves for take off. Rachel and I had the middle and aisle seats, but luckily no one came for the window seat and so we were able to sprawl out along the row. We passed the 4 hour flight talking, listening to music, and watching films on my iPad. Finally got seeing the live-action version of Peter Pan!
When we landed in Lanzarote, it was a quick and easy route to baggage reclaim, and soon we were in a taxi on our way to the hotel. Unfortunately our taxi driver got a little lost along the way but it just meant we were 5 minutes later in getting to the hotel than we had originally thought.
First impressions are always important, and I wasn’t quite so sure when we got out of the taxi. When I had booked the hotel back in August, there hadn’t been any pictures of the front of the hotel from the street, and so to arrive and see it right beside a sports bar I was slightly worried about what it would be like. This worry disappeared as soon as we walked through the doors, though. The reception area was big and bright and the man at the check in desk was smiling – always a good start. When booking, I had only paid a deposit, and so paid the rest while we checked in. Our passports were scanned, we signed a couple of forms, were given a map of the grounds, and told to wait to the side as someone was coming to show us to our room. Our room was over to the left of the hotel, and so we walked past the restaurant, the bar, and the entertainment lounge before we were told our room was just up the stairs and on the left. Rachel had the big case while I tried to figure out how to carry a handbag and a travel case – it’s a lot more complicated than it sounds! It was only when we reached the door that we realised we hadn’t got a key… so back I went to reception and collected it. Then began the confusion of the door. We couldn’t unlock it! No matter what way we turned the key, it constantly sounded like we were locking it over and over again. Eventually we somehow got inside and were pleasantly surprised with the room.
I had asked for a double bedroom just for the two of us – we don’t mind sharing when on holiday. So imagine our surprise when we found ourselves in an apartment with a lovely big balcony! Just a shame my request for a pool view had been completely ignored. It wasn’t worth asking to move though, and so we unpacked quickly and went downstairs for a drink. Did I mention we were all inclusive? We took a walk around our half of the resort and saw the mini golf area and the tennis courts. There was a €20 deposit for each of these (so you got your money back after returning the equipment) and golf cost €1 per game, while tennis cost €6 for 2 people for an hour. If we’d been there longer, we might have considered it, however all we wanted to do was lie by the pool. Unfortunately there was no one around the pool by 5pm and so we decided to take a walk and investigate the surrounding area. We didn’t go too far, mainly because the idea of getting lost in a new country without adults (shh no 21 and 18 does not make us adults) but we found the sea front! It looked so calm and peaceful, and Rachel got to walk on the sand for the first time in almost a year. For some reason she loves it! We soon headed back and got ready for dinner, not really sure what to expect.
The restaurant was a reasonable size, with lots to choose from, but all the tables were crammed in together which made it difficult to navigate around when you had food and/or drink in hand. For anyone all inclusive, there were bottles of wine and some wine glasses at the bar for you to help yourself, as well as there being a serve yourself drinks area with beer and soft drinks. Starters were salads, some fish, and soup options, as well as some cheeses and cold meats. The mains consisted of a couple of different meats, a fish option, some sort of rice dish, and always chips. For dessert, you could have either ice cream (in a bowl or a cone), fruit, cakes, jelly, or mousse. The staff were all friendly and easy to approach, and very quick to clear between courses. That first night, Rachel and I took a mix of salads and cold meats with some fresh bread to start. I then had the chicken korma for dinner which was quite nice but knocked me out of the running for our lent challenge within the flat. Rachel had pork in a creamy sauce and it was delicious. So tender and just melted in your mouth! Now, for dessert, I hadn’t even realised I’d broken my lent and so I had a lemon mousse that was a bit disappointing, while Rachel sampled the cakes. After dinner, a chat, and quite a few glasses of wine, we decided we were shattered – I’m not ashamed to admit we were in bed by 9pm and asleep before 10!
Saturday morning was bliss – waking up to see the sun shining in and feel the heat of the day before it had even really warmed up. We went down for breakfast – a fry up followed by some fruit – before taking up our positions on the sun bed. The bar opened at 11 for us to get a drink, and so we played a hand of cards before moving back to the beds for a while. Eventually we went over to the pool bar for lunch. As part of our meal plan, we could either have a buffet lunch in the restaurant or something off the pool bar menu. Rachel had spicy chicken wings while I had fish. It was alright, but we agreed that we would eat in the restaurant on Sunday. It clouded over mid-afternoon, so we decided to venture out again but further this time. We found a little shopping centre and had a little look through it, before walking out and finding ourselves at the beach! How did that happen?? It was gorgeous, and by this stage the sun had come back out. We ambled along the sand, enjoying the heat and peacefulness of the entire thing. Eventually we headed back to the hotel and lay in the sun again. By this stage, the pool area was quite quiet and the air had cooled a bit. This wasn’t helped when the sun disappeared behind a layer of cloud again, so we packed up and went to the pub beside the hotel to watch Ireland play England in the final match of the six nations – what a great match!
We went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner, feeling very much in the holiday spirit. Dinner that night was lovely again, a similar starter followed by a pasta dish and then fruit and cakes for pudding. Now, we were more awake and ready to join everyone in the entertainment lounge. We sat down with our glass of amaretto each and some man came over to us, having identified us as the youngest in the hotel, and told us he was travelling home in the morning and had some vodka left that he couldn’t travel with if we would like it so naturally we thanked him and accepted it. It was huge! You know those big bottles you put in optics in a bar? Yeah, we had pretty much a full one of those given to us. Never mind that, Rachel then won a bottle of sparkling wine while playing bingo! Saturday seemed to be a lucky day for us. We sat up to listen to the music afterwards and headed to bed around 11.
Sunday we woke up to the sun again but a stronger wind. After breakfast, we took up our positions on the sunbeds and agreed we weren’t moving very far. I read my book (and finished it so look out for that review coming soon), we had a few drinks, and we were just so relaxed. At lunch, we went into the buffet restaurant and I was so excited to see calamari! After this, we moved back to the sun and just stayed there until about 5ish again. With it being our last day, we didn’t want to waste any of our valuable tanning time. After dinner, we moved through to watch the entertainment again – flamenco dancers – before heading to the room to pack. We crawled into bed, set our alarms, and were sad to be saying goodbye so soon.
Monday morning came very quickly and I’m not going to pretend I wasn’t exhausted. We arrived in Belfast around 11:30ish, and I got back to the flat at around 3pm – almost 12 hours after I started travelling.
It was a great mini break, and one that was definitely needed. I feel like I cleared my head and got a little perspective. I woke up on Tuesday feeling ready to take on these upcoming exams, and I can’t wait for the summer break. It’s good to get away, even for a short time, just to remind yourself that it’s okay to take time to yourself. A little self-love goes a long way.