They awoke a little early on the grey, drizzly June morning. The two days of British summer in late April were a distant memory and it was the perfect time to escape the drudgery of their daily grind.
The children emerged bleary eyed from their bedrooms. They knew something was amiss but they had no idea of the adventure that lay ahead.
With everybody bundled into the car, they turned the Sat Nav to silent so as not to give the game away and headed for the airport.
As they pulled into the car park, they wondered when the children would realise that this was so much more than a day out. As dad got the suitcases out of the boot, Libby squealed.
“Dad, are we going on holiday?”
It was time to spill the beans. They entered the airport with the two girls dancing about in a state of excited delirium.
The flights went without a hitch and soon they were on the short coach journey to their resort. As the coach swung into the sweeping drive, mum glanced across at dad. They knew it was everything they had hoped for and more.
The sea view from their room looked out onto the beautiful white beaches of the perfect, unspoilt Sardinian coastline. Looking out of the window, mum had to pinch herself to remember that this Mediterranean paradise wasn’t just a dream.
The restaurant at the intimate spa resort sourced fresh, local food and everyone tried delicacies they had never even heard of. There was no hint of a complaint from anyone as they each savoured the delicious flavours and textures and drank in the scent of sea air over dinner.
Every day was full to the brim with activities for the whole family. The children loved the British childminders and made some wonderful new friends. Nobody knew it then, but in years to come the family would come to realise that these were soul mates who they would keep in touch with for life.
Mum finally had the spa day she had been craving all those months. From the moment she stepped into the spa, the cares and worries of the past year slipped away. As she relaxed in the jacuzzi and felt the masseur’s hands working the knots out of her tense shoulders, she forgot about the difficult times and remembered what it meant to spoil herself.
Dad realised the ambition of a lifetime by making the most of the expert tuition available and taking his first foray into learning to sail. Less than a year ago, he would never have imagined he’d be able to stand on the boat unaided, let alone sail it himself.
Despite all the incredible activities for the whole family, they spent plenty of quality time together. Libby honed her swimming skills and Lia developed her water confidence. At the beach, they teamed up to make sand castles, dig holes and paddle in the crystal clear ocean.
Mum and dad found the time to read the books they’d been saving for months and in the evenings, they sipped cocktails and watched the sunset from the balcony. With the children sleeping peacefully inside, they raised a glass to the perfect holiday and resolved to do it all again next year.
This is my bid to become a #MarkWarnerMum in the ‘creative writer’ category.