Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A Family Holiday........escaping to the sun


The winter/spring cold grey weather left the mamami family feeling rather down.  We were all in desperate need of some serious sunshine.

The Diva’s were constantly snotty, I was a little (ahem) grumpy and fed up (I totally blame it on my low Vit D) and Mr P was surrounded by three not so happy girls – which in turn made him not so happy.

So having discussed our holiday checklist we decided that over the Easter break we would go to the Canary Islands.  Pre-children this would not have been our natural choice of destination but the flight time was good (just under 4 hours), weather promised sunshine and the hotel was child friendly. It ticked all the boxes.

We chose Maspalomas a popular beach resort located on the southern tip of the island of Gran Canaria. With its promise of beautiful beaches and amazing weather we had high hopes.

We were staying at the Lopesan Baobab Resort – a 5* ‘family friendly’ hotel, the architecture

and design inspired by the neighbour continent of Africa.

Now we weren’t sure what they meant by family friendly. In my experience family friendly can mean anything from ‘we tolerate children and have basic facilities’ to ‘we adore children and do all we can for them’.

Luckily for us the Lopesan Baobab Resort fell into the latter.

The weather lived up to expectations. We all got our Vit D fix and despite using factor 50 we came back several shades darker, the hubby even managed to burn his back – he refuses to believe me that Asian skin burns.
  
Food
As typical of most European destinations they don’t really get the concept of vegetarianism. Luckily for us our Diva’s adore pasta and pizza and this they did have so all was not lost. It did get a bit tedious seeing them eating the same food everyday and so despite paying for all-inclusive we did eat out at the local restaurants on several occasions - more for our sanity than the girls might I add.

Kids Club
The hotel had a great ‘Animations Team’ and whilst our girls didn’t want to go to the kids club they were able to join in with various daily activities that included Parents (oh yes and we thought it was a break).  From pool-time singing (Mr P’s highlight of the day I kid you not), to bouncy castles, egg painting and mini-discos the children were well looked after.

Pools
Like most families we found a spot and being creatures of habit we stuck to it! It was a beautiful pool with a large shallow area, great for both girls. We were the resort party animals. The pool was home to the daily Aqua Aerobics class followed by the Kids Club singing and
dancing entourage.  Both activities had loud music and for over 1 hour it was like being in a night-club, it was also the signal for a rather large cocktail.

There was no chance of reading or chilling out but the girls loved it. We tried to move to a
quieter location but it was met with so much wailing that we gave up in the end and stuck to the 'party zone'.

Spa and Health Facilities
They had a gym, but not your nice – looking out to the pool/sea type. It was dark and had no windows. Quite frankly it was a great excuse not to use it.
They did have a few other outdoor sporty activities. I managed yoga and step aerobics – I only did them twice but felt justified in having used premium suitcase space for trainers and gym-wear.

With regards to the Spa what once would have been high on our list of holiday treats, has slightly slipped in priorities – so I can’t say I looked into it or had any treatments.  However I did have a massage before I left to go on holiday to make up for this.

Verdict

So would I recommend Maspolomas? Yes, the flight time is short and it's perfect for a quick get-away. If you are looking for culture, sightseeing, art then it may not necessarily be the right place for you. For those looking for beaches and sunshine it was a great location.

Would I recommend the Lopesan Baobab Resort? Yes but only if you have Children. If your's are older or you don't have any then I would say choose somewhere a little less 'energetic' and 'full on'.

Would I go back? Yes, for a weeks break to get some sunshine.

Did the girls have a good time? Yes - they didn't want to come back.

So now that we are back we are looking to book our next holiday. Hmmmmm do we think the 2 year old will be up for long haul? *ponders longingly at world map*........











































Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A Family Holiday...........


Remember pre-children holidays? Our pre-children holidays were all about total 
self-indulgence – faraway destinations, luxurious hotels, spas, and fabulous restaurants. It was all about escaping, relaxing, reading and listening to music. It was in a nutshell pure bliss and all about us.

As a family of four things are not quite the same.

Diva 1 (5 and a half) loves travelling, she has been on many long haul trips. Loves flights, eats most things, can sit through several movies (not that we let her but it’s good to know she can). Is a champion colourer and can do this for at least an hour.

Diva 2 (2 and a half) currently being potty trained – needs a wee at least once an hour. She hasn’t quite mastered the art of sitting through Peppa Pig let alone an entire movie. In her world all activities are 5 min based before boredom kicks in. Not quite as flexible as big sis when it comes to food.

So this meant that our more recent holiday was…well not quite like our holidays used to be. It got me thinking………our holiday checklist had somewhat changed!

PRE CHILDREN CHECKLIST
POST CHILDREN CHECKLIST
Long Haul – The further away the better. Exotic destinations, lots to explore and see. Chance of being upgraded. Able to watch at least 2 movies.
Short Haul – Just get us there fast. There will only be so much we can do to keep our children entertained on the flight. Don’t be fooled by their size. They need more legroom, walking space and sleeping space than an adult and will complain or worse cry loudly if it’s not to their liking.













Grown Up Hotels - the number of adults outweigh the number of children. It’s usually very sleek, calm and quite.

Kid Friendly Hotels  - Children will most definitely outnumber adults. On the plus side it means that any bad behaviour, rude manners go unnoticed. We are all in the same boat. Less white, less sleek!

Spa facility with lots of amazing treatments.

Kids Club with amazing activities and well trained staff.

Beautiful infinity pool, plenty of sun loungers. Peace and tranquillity.



Shallow, child friendly pool preferably with a water slide or some other brightly coloured water feature. Plenty of sun loungers oh and a good child friendly poolside menu.



Great Restaurants with a la carte menus, great ambience, good food and a great cocktail and wine list.

Restaurants with high chairs, Pizza, Pasta, Fish Fingers and Ice cream on the menu. Buffet is best! Anything alcoholic will do!


Great things to explore & experience.


We are not moving from the resort so it better be good!

Trendy, cool bars with great music and live entertainment.

Just somewhere to sit after dinner where children are not frowned upon, can cause chaos and parents can drink!


The more I thought about it the more I realised that this also extended to other areas including packing. Gone are the days where I would pack Agent Provocateur underwear, cute matching outfits, shoes & jewellery. These days our suitcases are more likely to hold swimming nappies, bucket, spade and colouring books.

So once you have picked the right place and packed the right stuff hopefully
you will get to go away and have that stress free family holiday. Well at least that’s the plan!

Would love to know how your holidays have changed since having Children and if they haven’t how do you get on!

Next week look out for my thoughts on our chosen family destination – Gran Canaria. 




Wednesday, 27 March 2013

New Job Role - Fairy Godmother......



I am ridiculously happy and scared at the same time.

I have been asked to be a Godmother. Extremely pleased that I have been chosen by my friends to hold such an important role and clearly very scared that somehow I will mess it up!

Being a Hindu means that we don’t have ‘Godparents’. We have a LOT of customs – this is not one of them. So this is incredibly new to me.

Having done some research I found out that the traditional role of the Godparents was to guide and look after the Child’s religious path however today the role of the Godparent has become more of a ‘supporting friend’ who takes a special interest in the child and is there to help when needed but does not stand in for parents.

So whilst I’m not Christian in faith (the Church allows two Godparents of which one needs to be Christian) she and I do believe in a lot of the same things.

  • We both believe in Karma and that ‘Things happen for a Reason’. 
  • We both have very similar Values and Moral Beliefs.
  • We both adore our Children and are doing all we can to ensure that they grow up to be well-balanced adults, with high self-esteem and strong values on how to behave and treat others.

So to my gorgeous Godson I promise;

  • To be there for you should you need me, help guide and give advice when asked.
  • To not forget any important dates and to try to make it to any important events that involve you.
  • To make sure that I inspire and teach through the gifts I buy and activities we do together.
  •  To keep you in my prayers and thoughts and wish you a stress free , successful life ahead.

I am looking forward to seeing you grow and hope our bond grows too. Love you little prince. Hope this Fairy Godmother can do the role justice.

So finally any thoughts, tips and advice from Godparents or Parents on what they think a Godparent should and should not do would of course as always be most welcome! This Fairy Godmother is open to suggestions.