We’ve only gone and done it. You know those hotels? The ones we’ve spent our entire adult life avoiding? The hotels packaged up with charter flights and transfer coaches all wrapped up in a kids club bow with nightly entertainment (God help us)? Yep, well we’ve just thrown our hard earned cash at one of those happy, jolly, Butlins-in-the-sun, type places and, you know what, I couldn’t be more excited.
Yes, I trawled through Voyage Privé and Secret Escapes desperately hunting for a boutique Greek hideaway that would agree to throw food and water (ok, wine) at the three of us for a week all in for £1000. Funnily enough, it was about as easy as finding lips on a chicken. I stared wistfully at the clean, white lines of Santorini-based beach-side establishments, framed by crystal blue seas and remembered a time of pure abandonment, pre-kids. A time when I could still sunbathe topless without scaring the locals; a time when all we needed from a holiday was a comfy bed, a cabana and a kindle.
Now, of course, as with everything post-procreation, our needs are different. So different in fact, that I don’t recognise myself. At one point, I was actually hunting for a WATERPARK resort (don’t worry, I stepped back from that particular circle of hell) and starting to get real-life stressed about Kids Clubs that only accepted kids who were 3 years old and up.
An actual real life conversation in our house went something like this:
Me: “Do you think we could pretend she was three? You know a really small, but really talkative three year old?”
Jimmy: “No. She’ll totally snitch. We can’t trust her.”
Me: “What about in the evenings? We’ll have to make sure the hotel has a babysitting service if we want to have a dinner by ourselves.”
Jimmy: “Jeez…the McCanns ruined it for everyone, didn’t they?”
Too much? Probably but it shows you the extent of our holiday u-turn. No longer do we want peace and quiet. No longer are we hoping that no one with kids sits next to us on the airplane. While we could feasibly drag the Small to a romantic, cliff-top paradise with 12 rooms and an infinity pool, the reality is it would be shit.
Let’s face it, unless there’s slides and water fountains and inflatables bouncing around all over the place, she’s going to be bored. She wants happy, jolly gap year students from Wolverhampton to do a dance class for toddlers in swimming nappies. She needs a playground, a balloon modeller, a man dressed as a dancing crab to lead her on a conga around the night-lit pool. And what’s more…we need it. The more entertained she is, the easier our life is. The more knackered she is, the less likely she’ll be pissed at the fact that a random, but perfectly lovely, Greek lady is going to be keeping her alive while we chomp down on some all-inclusive buffet scran and some watered down local booze.
It’s not pretty, but it’s pretty perfect for us right now. Crete here we come.