Reflecting On Our Travels

My recent trip to Fairways Country Club in  Quinto do Lago in the Algarve, Portugal was my most fun trip there to date, which I put down to a couple of facts. Firstly, my daughter came with us, for the first time in 7 years, and secondly my MIL wasn’t actually well enough to get out of the villa much, which meant I could go out and be a tourist. This meant that I had much more say in what we did, whilst we were out there. Instead of going to the same restaurants on the same day of the week, my daughter and I were able to get out and explore the area, like I had never done before.

We went on the pedalos, at the lake, a first.

We went on the Buggy Safari, a first. You can read my review on Trip Advisor by clicking here

We discovered The Shack, a first. My Trip Advisor review is here

We played tennis, a first.

We ate at the new restaurant Bovino’s, a first.

We listened to live music at The Shack on Thursday night, a first.

My husband and I ventured into Faro, after dropping my daughter off at the airport, a first.

I went shopping in the local area either with my daughter, or on my own, a first.

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We also did  some things that we do most visits to the Algarve.

We Barbecued a lot, more than usual, as my MIL wasn’t well enough to go out to eat. Fish, just 2 minutes each side, with barbied veggies and boiled new potatoes. These meals were simplicity in themselves, and so delicious.

Simple food, fish, algarve, quinto do lago

We had a Pimm’s most nights.

We visited the gypsy market at Quateira, for an hour, where I had my first donut there.

We watched Andy Murray playing at the French Open at Roland Garros.

We had freshly squeezed orange juice and loads of fresh fruit for breakfast.

We swam in our pool everyday, we read lots and we chilled lots.

What Now?

Well the case has been unpacked. The bikini and suntan lotion have been left in the case. As we live in Scotland, there won’t be much call for either before our next holiday in warmer climes in January 2017. My DD and I are off to the Caribbean for my Birthday on the 5th, and New York for my DD’s 21st on the 14th. We have been planning this since she was 15, so 6 years in the wait. It is all booked, just needs to be paid for. Luckily whilst I was away the phone kept on ringing and I have even more work this week, to make up for the weeks I was away.

The artisan dishes that I bought to transform our dated hors d’hovres tray are now in situ, with a little creativity to get them to stay in place when the wheel revolves. What do you think?Dishes transformed

Caribbean and New York awaits, but before that, MB and I have a short break in Budapest in October. I hope that my holiday exploits have kept you amused and informed. I have writen several reviews on Trip Advisor, links are in this post.

Blessings Joy

27 degress and only 7 am

Our last day, and the first day that hubby and I have got up early and gone for a walk along the beach. The temperature gauge on the car said 27 degrees at 7.11 am, boy I think it is going to be a hot one today.

We have in the past either got up early, or gone for a walk at sunset, along the beach, once the madding crowds are away. I have to admit, people are not my thing. To be there when there are very few people about is wonderful. To gaze out to sea, and imagine that I am living several hundreds of years ago, and dreaming about what was across the Ocean, over the horizon, is what I like best. Even my hubby annoys me, when he stands in my view and blocks my vision. He did it several times this morning, and I moved away, eventually he got the message, and stood behind me, protecting me, whilst I stared out, and imagined.

Today I saw something on the beach for the first time. The first thing I noticed was lots of seagulls, hovering over the sea just metres from the beach, and I was curious as to what the were feeding off. It then became clear as we discovered little fish, like whiting, stranded on the beach. Damn I wish I’d had my camera on me this morning. The first few we saw were flapping, and so we carefully picked them up and placed them back into the sea, to await thier fate. Would they survive the seagulls that were offshore?

Not long after that, the fish we found seemed to have very little life in them, but still we returned them to the sea, but after about 10 minutes, the ones on the sand were stiff and lifeless. We were too late to save them, and it would appear that they would not even keep the food chain alive, as nothing seemed too interested in using their poor forlorn bodies as nourishment for themselves.

Have we left it too late? Tomorrow we leave the villa at 8.30 am. Will we get another walk on the beach in the cooler temperatures, before we fly home tomorrow? Best get packing if I want to go for it!

Blessings JoyActivity, movement, physical exercise, health, joy, plato

 

Embarassing Moments

With only 2 days left of our holiday, it is time to reflect on how things have been.

First the good things. This was the first year since 2009 that my daughter came with us. That meant that I had experiences that I would never have had if she had not been here. My hubby and his Mum are traditionalists (read boring) and like to go to the same places every year. So mydaughter and I took the Buggy Tour on Tuesday and discovered The Shack on Thursday. We had a fantastic night there on the Thursday evening, where we had a fun experience with Holly Willoughby. My daughter, who is also Holly, has a friend who is obsessed with Ms Willoughby and buys a calendar of her every year. DD went up to “Ms Willoughby look-alike” and asked if she would allow her to take a selfie, to show her friend back home, only to hear Ms Willoughby say “It’s ME!”

DD did not believe her, and asked for her ID, and the lovely Holly said that her ID was in her married name. The lovely Dan was sitting right opposite her. What a lovely lady she was, rather than tell my daughter to go away and leave her alone, she was on holiday, she happily posed for a selfie with my Holly. (It is my daugher who won’t give me a copy, as she thinks I will use it, in my blog just like this) So here’s a picture of the Group that were playing at The Shack.

The Shack, Quinto do Lago, Algarve, Portugal, Holly Willoughby, Peter Jones, Dragon's Den

The Group @ The Shack, Quinto do Lago, Algarve, Portugal

NEWS FLASH

The Daily Prompt has just announced the word for today, and it is Embarassing so I will now continue on the theme of Holly’s kiss, which she took just minutes after I had taken the photo above. (At this point I had no idea who the the Scandinavian looking woman was, nor that I had captured her in this photo, when I was taking pics of the band, who are very good by the way) Not too long after this, Holly and hubby Dan shared a kiss, which she uploaded onto her facebook page. To date it has had 323k views. Here’s a photo I took when she first showed Dan that clip.

Holly Willoughby The Kiss

I don’t know who will be more embarassed, Holly for having her photo plastered on my blog, or Holly for me telling you about her asking HW for a selfie, thinking she was a look-alike.

Blessings Joy

Daily Prompt word Embarassing https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/embarrassing/

24 Hours Later

It has been a full 24 hours since I stood on this spot and watched my daughter’s plane take off, as she headed back home, leaving me on holiday with my husband (MB) and my MIL.DSC_0270 I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hubby and I spent a lovely morning exploring the old parts of Faro. This put me in my element, I love exploring old towns and cities, I almost have the sense of having lived in those times, and I know the twist and turn of the narrow streets. Our holiday has taken a twist of it’s own too, since my DD left.

 

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There has been a sense of serene-ness, interspersed with some paranoia from my MIL. She accused me of “going into her room early this morning, and telling, nay demanding, that she should get up”, she told my hubby. At this point I had not even set 1 foot downstairs, and hubby knew this, so for once I heard him defending me. All too often I hear her saying things, and he doesn’t defend me, but in this instance he did. Much as I think that she needs to kick her own arse out of bed, before this holiday is completely over, and we are heading back to the UK, I hadn’t actually said it out loud…..I hadn’t even set 1 foot down the stairs at this point.

MIL has now gone into whimpering child mode, which really sets my darker side on alert. I really must try and remain calm, so that I can enjoy the rest of my time here. Husband is now piggy-in-the-middle as he tries to get her to at least get dressed and go out once in the holiday. So far she has remained in a nightie. It is 10 days now! I can hear her whimpering to him, but we really do need to get her out so that the cleaners can get in and clean the villa, including her room!

2 HOURS LATER:

Well we managed to get her dressed, and take her out to lunch. What a saga that was, she moaned and groaned all the time we were out. Nothing that we did could make her say anything pleasant. It was too hot, her feet hurt, her legs hurt, she didn’t want anything to eat, she wanted to go back and lie down on the bed. We went for a short drive after the non-event of lunch, and she was like a spoilt child, just wanting her own way all the time. Hubby wanted to take her round the area to show her the work that had been taking placce since she was last there. Well she refused to even look out the window. I realised that I sometimes act like this, and that her behaviour is a mirror being held up to me. I vowed that I would try and be a little bit more pleasant to MB in future.

Well only another 2 full days here. I will miss this place, but I sincerely hope that this is the last time we bring MIL. Her health is just not up to the journey, and then the heat. This saga is about to come to an end. I will now look forward to holidaying out here in the future and seeing more of the Algarve than I have done in the past.

Blessings Joy

Playfulness Returns

For much of my adult life I have had the responsibility of being a single parent, and I think it led to me loosing some of my playfulness for a while. I took my parenting role very seriously. For example I never drank alcohol when I was on my own with my daughter, because it would have left me unable to care for her, had she fallen ill and needed taking to hospital.

Even on holidays that we had when she was a young child, I perhaps did not let my hair down too much as I should, as I believed that I should act like an adult, and to that you may possibly read boring. Added to that I had a car accident when my daughter was 6, and for the next 3 years I was in a lot of pain, and being playful was something I was not.

Playing Grow Old George Bernard Shaw

So these past 9 days it has been good to do some playful things with her, as adults. Here are some photos of us on holiday doing fun things together.

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As I write this and look at others who have writen for the Daily Prompt of Playful, I come across A Sunken Thought who talks about her Mom as a single parent, and I begin to remember playful things that I did do, when my daughter was younger. To make Christmas a bit more fun, when it was just the 2 of us, I would make a Treasure Hunt out of her presents, and write her clues that she had to solve to win a present. When we moved to Scotland when she was 11, I had exhausted all my clue writing talents, so when I came across some mice in stockings, I bought a dozen, and now every Christmas I hide those, 1 for each present. Maybe I am playful after all.

What have you done today to be playful?

Blessings Joy

Dailp Prompt Word Playful https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/playful/

The Smoothest of Holidays

We like things to go smoothly anytime of our lives don’t we? But holidays we truly prefer to go smoothly, above all else, and there are plenty of things that we want smooth for our holidays too. They are, in no particular order:

A smooth journey, for us that started when the taxi arrived to pick us up and take us to our local airport.

A smooth transition through the airport, all passports to be present and correct, along with all boarding passes.

Smooth take-offs and landings.

Before we even get to leave, smooth legs, armpits, and bikini lines.  Not sure that my MIL is worried about those though.

The smooth cold marble floors that seem to be in every villa we have ever stayed in.

The drinks that go down so smoothly on the hottest of days.

DSC_0183

The smooth and even tan that we hope to obtain whilst we are away.

The smooth departure this morning, as my daughter prepared to leave us, and travel on her own on a plane, for the very first time.

Here’s a couple of not quite so smooth things from our holiday:

Last night we ate at a restaurant that seemed to be plagued with biting insects that came out in their droves as the sun set. Today our skin is not so smooth.

Our smooth flat bellies before we left, now appear to have a bit more roundness to them.

Have I missed anything from the list of smooth things on holiday? What does it conjure up for you?

Blessings Joy

Daily prompt word Smooth https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/smooth/

Last Day on Holiday for Daughter

Today is my daughter’s last full day on holiday with us. MIL, MB and myself are here for another 4 days. DD had wanted to play tennis all week, and so this morning we hired some tennis racquets and went out for a knock-about. It is near on 40 years since I last played a game of tennis, when I was at school. At my first secondary school, tennis was obligatory, and I was in the school team, but when my parents moved, when I was 14, I was sent to a school that didn’t do sport’s at all, let alone tennis. I took up squash instead, out of school, and never really played tennis again. So I was quite pleased to see that old skills rarely leave you. We hired the racquets, but we had to buy the tennis balls, so now we are the proud owners of tennis balls, 4 of them.

Tennis Four Seasons County club Algarve

When I was a child I would play with 2 balls against a wall. Did this have a name? There was a rhyme we would chant as we bounced the balls off the wall, and caught them again. Can anybody remember it? I could also do it with 1 hand. I am going to practice again to see if I can recapture my childhood skills. Have you retained any childhood skills recently.

Blessings Joy

I Wish I Could Remember

childhood summer memories

DD

My daughter never fails to amaze me about her memories of her childhood. She gives me accounts of things that happened when she was a child, and asks me “Don’t you remember?” Now, I know what is important about my daughter’s childhood, is different to what she deems important, but the fact is, I am always amazed about the clarity that she has about some events. She recalls quite vividly what she ate, what she was wearing etc, at what I consider, quite insignificant events.

I can remember these events in the photos below, because they only happened this week, and I have photos to remind me. Many of my childhood memories I recall because we have a box of photographs, and I can see that we were wearing a certain outfit at a certain event, unlike my daughter who has it stored in her childhood memory store.

 

I, on the other hand, have very few memories of my childhood, and have few vivid memories if any. The ones I do have are mainly unpleasant ones, like the slap that my sister gave me across my back, because she had wet the bed, and wanted me to take the blame for it. I guess I was about 8 and my sister was 13.

I was the youngest of 5, and have few memories of my siblings during my childhood, other than they were all a fair bit older than me, and so they hung around as a group of 4, and I was a solitary child within the family. I would escape into books, my favourite as a child was Enid Blyton and the Famous 5 or Secret 7.

My daughter and I are on holiday at the moment, at the place that my husband brought his children when they were children, so it is full of their childhood memories, not ours. Are we missing out on something?

What childhood memories do you have? Did you go to the same place every Summer, or did you go to different places? For me, the world is a big place, there are far too many places that I haven’t been to, that to keep returning to the same place year after year is not my thing, although I can see the plus side of the familarity. How about you?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/childhood/

Blessings Joy

June has Arrived and it’s 30 Degrees on Day 4

A conversation the day before we left for our holiday, with 1 of my clients:

“My sister lives in the Algarve, they’ve been having rotten weather so far this year!”

Our flight was delayed leaving Prestwick, we believed because there was a thunderstorm forecast for Faro airport. We arrived to find the pavements were wet, and we had missed an almighty storm, since then we have had glorious weather, and the temperature has climbed daily. Today at mid-day it was 30 degrees centigrade.

This morning we went to the market, for my daughter. When we arrived there we suggested a meet up point after an hour. MB and myself have been several times, and it is not that great, but I thought that my DD would enjoy a couple of hours mooching around. However after an hour, when I thought we would be asked to stay for another 2 hours at least, she said “It’s shite” and was more than happy to leave.

We are now back safe and sound in the villa. MIL is still in her room, she is still to arrive!

Andy Murray was 3 games to 0 up when we got back, he is now trying to take it into a tie-breaker.

Weather; 30 degrees celsius

Clouds; Negative

Book; The Sea Lady: Margaret Drabble 2/3 through, 100 pages still to go.

Swimming; none today, but will go later when the sun cools down a bit.

Blessings Joy