Isn't it strange how age changes your expectations of holidays? I remember clearly as a teenager reaching a stage (as I suspect most teenagers do) when I considered it definitely more fun to go on holiday with my friends rather than my parents. Yet earlier this year when we went to France, it was the natural choice to go on holiday with my parents. Not just because they could babysit (although thank you...!) but because I wanted to go on holiday with them, knowing that we would enjoy similar things, and wanting them to spend some quality time with Ellie - see Ellie on holiday in person, not just through photos.
Similarly I can remember a time when, whilst envying the afflence, I was bemused by why people would buy a holiday villa. Why limit your holidays to one place when there is so much to see and do around the world? Yet here I am having just come back from Center Parcs at Nottingham for the eleventh time (probably, I've lost count). And will definitely be going back there again.
It doesn't stop my desire to visit many many places, but it is a perfect way to relax, unwind and have an idyllic holiday (for me, anyway). It's only an hour from home, so I'm not at all tired when I arrive. I know where everything is (which is lovely for someone with such a poor sense of direction). It's an isolated village, which could be anywhere, and feels a long long way from work, housework and the world at large. There are lots of fab things to do, but I don't feel I have to do more than I want - because I can always do some next time. And, best of all - it's all child friendly. All of it. From the moveable step in the villa bathroom, to the staff who say 'thank you for letting me know' and bring a replacement when you tell them your child has tipped their drink on the restaurant floor. And, I know that is their reaction - so even when this time nothing was split, I hadn't wasted a moment's anxiety in case it was.
I feel better than I have for a long time. (I'm going to hold onto how I feel right now. Picture it. Feel it. Remember it for when work hits tomorrow!)