28/4/17 – All the Canadians

For some reason, the oldies decided not to knock on for us for breakfast, so we ended up going down by ourselves and catching them just as they were leaving. Had the usual quesadilla, bacon, sausage, sauteed potatoes and nachos. I do love their nachos. We took up some prime positions by the pool – still in the shade, because it really is blistering hot here; I know, I’m ashamed of myself too – and I got my writing game on. Bust out three pages before getting highly distracted watching three girls playing Marco Polo in the pool with some little kids. We’ve only ever seen this game played in American movies, so it was highly entertaining to us.

One of the girls then expertly saved her drink whilst rolling out of the pool, so I told her it’s always a success as long as you haven’t spilt the drink. We then got talking to them, which lasted all afternoon. They were friends from Canada called Danielle, Daria and Gelisa. They were very funny and apparently very happy to have made new friends, as they posted on Snapchat. We got so carried away chatting that we missed the lunch slot entirely. Inconceivable! We hit the snack bar instead and I had some pulled chicken, chicken nuggets and chips. Very sophisticated, of course.

We opted out of more drinks for the afternoon, because we knew we had a heavy night ahead of us. The girls all sat in the pool for a while, so I sat on the edge with them with my notebook so that I could half write and half chat, which ended up being mostly chatting. Managed to get a little more done on the sunbeds before me and Kel conceded we should go back to the room to start showering, as we had to have an early tea before Coco Bongos. Said goodbye to the girls and went back to the room. Did the usual of squeezing in some writing between getting ready, so that I was only a page behind where I wanted to be.

We went back to the Mexican restaurant this time, since it only had scheduled sittings and going down earlier meant we were right on time for the first one. I had some oddly multi coloured nachos with their hot sauce, taco rolls, refried beans and beef tostadas. Still need to try their tortilla soul at some point, but I kept filling up on everything else. I had chicken fajitas for my main. Super yummy! We had a look at the pudding buffet, but weren’t too enamoured by it, so we decided to go over to the other restaurant and look at theirs. We spotted the oldies in there, so we sat with them whilst we had ice cream with strawberry sauce. Much better.

Kel had left her phone on charge and I didn’t want to take my phone out with my, so we went back to the room for a little bit before our bus was due so that we could switch. I also squeezed in that last page I wanted before we had to go down. I am never going on holiday during a NaNoWriMo event again. It makes it feel so much more like a chore to get the pages done, when sometimes I just want to read or sunbathe or watch Clannad instead. We got on the most air conditioned bus ever. In my tiny, pineapple playsuit, it was bloody freezing. We also had to sit on there for ages in the hotel drive, because there was a faff with a mother and daughter pair who had bought their tickets, but the daughter wasn’t old enough. Expensive tickets to not get refunded, but what did they really expect from a club? You need ID. That’s just how it works.

The first stop on our special little bar crawl was Senor Frog’s – one that amused me, as it had been on Impractical Jokers. Really nice, fun little bar with a live band playing and everything froggy themed. It was beach side too. Just a shame it was so damn windy – I spent the entire time having to push my hair out of my face. We got free cocktails and free shots there, as it was all-inclusive with our tickets. No idea what either of them were, but they were both drinkable. We then had some odd margarita/mojito mash-ups and made friends with a Canadian couple called Andrew and Alisha. Seriously, there are so many Canadians here. They tried out the oxygen bar where they plug tubes up your nose, so the oxygen helps the alcohol into your blood stream faster and gives you a natural high; plus it’s meant to make your hangover a lot better the next day. Safe to say, me and Kel were happy to just tackle all that the old fashioned way. Shoving anything up my nose didn’t sound like much fun. One of our rep people then had us standing up on our chairs to a very fast forwarded version of Macarena and then some House of Pain (what a tune). I’m all for dancing on chairs and tables, but it’s a little more terrifying in heels.

We then walked round to our next coach stop, chatting to Andrew and Alisha on the way. They rent a property with forty-one acres of land and apparently get deer and porcupines in their back yard, wow! Though apparently not so wow for their pitbull that just wants to eat everything. The coach took us to the next place, Salsanero. I was given a vile cocktail upon going in – tasted like soda water and a lot of alcohol. I quickly ditched that and got us some better margaritas instead. The music in here was a lot more Spanish. As the name suggests, clearly somewhere where you learn the proper dances, rather than just going to a club. We took our own entertainment in watching a guy in pink shorts, who was dancing around all goofily and totally looked like Murr from the back.

We didn’t seem to be in there long before being moved onto Coco Bongos, which was just across the road. We were given more cocktails as we went in. These ones tasted quite medicine-y, but were at least better than the weird soda water one. They suddenly became a lot more drinkable when we were given shots to down on the go as we were directed through, which turned out to be pure tequila. My gag reflex was certainly strong with that one and I had to glug a fair bit of my weird cocktail to recover. Those of us on the specific Coco Bongo tour had our own level, which the reps were trying very hard to lead us all too. Difficult when there’s so many of you in the group and the club is completely rammed, especially when I managed to lose sight of the guy in front. Thankfully, whilst I was looking all lost, one guy turned round and asked if I was on the tour too. When I said yes, he just grabbed my hand and dragged us both through all the people, right up until we got to our designated level. Bless. It was more hilarious when I spotted the pink shorts and realised it was non-Murr.

All of the little balconies overlooked the main stage and dance floor, with step-like levels so that more people could fit and still be able to see over everyone else. We couldn’t get onto one of the steps straight away, so we couldn’t really see anything, but then they suddenly released lots of sausage balloons and me and Kel entertained ourselves with those for a while, like the children that we are. Whilst Kel was then getting up on one of the steps that had become free, I was watching her and didn’t realise I was hitting non-Murr on the head with the end of my balloon. Thankfully, he found it funny and just gave it a shake.

Once we were on the steps, we decided to launch our balloons off the balcony like javelins. Well, Kel did. I tried to do the same and managed to hit one of the overhead speakers, so that it bounced back and landed in some guy’s face, who was clearly like ‘where the fuck did this just come from?’ He tried to javelin it too and hilariously, also bounced it off the speaker and it came right back to me, so I got another shot at it. On my second try, I finally managed to launch it off the balcony and into the crowd. The whole time, we had reps going round asking for our drink orders and delivering them right to us. We chose to stick to the margaritas all night.

Our visibility of the stage had been pretty limited until that point, but as the crowd started to thin out, we finally got to see what was going on. The crowd was huge – looked like what I imagine New Year’s Eve to be at a hugely televised American event. It was basically like being in a night club that stages a pop culture themed Cirque du Soleil. They had full dance performances of medleys from artists like Bruno Mars, LMFAO and Pitbull. Real choreographed dances too. Then they had staged fights and aerial acts between Jack Sparrow and Barbossa, Spiderman and Green Goblin, The Mask, and the guys from Tron. Tron acts always look so good because of the light-up suits, but their aerial work was something else. Serious highlight for us was when Satine came out n her trapeze to Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, going into a whole little Moulin Rouge segment. Far too much love for that movie.

Our reps started directing us back outside before the club closed at three, so we headed back to a congregation point where we were all directed towards the right coaches. We got stuck with an insanely noisy group of Colombian girls. Now I’m all for appreciating Colombians, because they hella pretty, but these were just damn annoying. Two of them were from our hotel and trying to ask us what our room number was. Dodgy or what? Safe to say, we didn’t tell them anything. I was prepared to make up a fake number if we had to.

There was no question that we weren’t doing anything when we got back, other than going to bed. Personally, I was just glad to get rid of the heels, because it had been a very standing-only kind of night. Maybe next time, I’ll just stick to flats.

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This is not your average night club.

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27/4/17 – Just a few mishaps

Latest get-up yet, at just after nine. Had to hurry a little to get ready as breakfast finishes at ten. At least that was the plan. The oldies had already gone down to eat, so we were still catching up. On the way over, we found a giant bearded dragon type lizard on the rocks in front of the lobby – had honestly thought he was a statue when we saw the shape of him the other day – so I stopped to take pictures of him. Just as I was walking away, I tripped up the kerb a little. Kel was busy laughing at me and then full on fell in a hole in the grass and twisted her ankle. Now that was definitely Jesus at work. I ran down to the breakfast hall to let the oldies know about the hold up. Dad took Kel a makeshift ice pack and then we helped her down to breakfast before it closed.

Dad came round with me when I was getting food and I had to pick out things that Kel would want for him to put on a plate. I got a cheese quesadilla, sauteed potatoes, bacon, frankfurtas and nachos for myself, followed by a pancake with strawberry syrup and a waffle quarter with Nutella. After breakfast, I helped Kel to find some sunbeds, then went back to the room to sun cream up, pack both our beach bags and take them down to the pool. Kel did her sun cream in the toilets.

Even though it was cloudy most of the day, it was still over thirty degrees and very humid. The sun would come out for brief spurts throughout the day and when it did, it was scorching hot. Had to have quite a few dips in the pool (and even more margaritas and strawberry daiquiris) to cope. I was finding it difficult to concentrate on writing in the heat, so I read more instead. Took great amusement in watching the aqua gym in the pool, mostly because of two young American guys who were getting far too into it, particularly when they had to do races of carrying each other bridal style. Very amusing.

We broke for lunch and I had the usual suspects. Mm nearly died when I accidentally flicked my fork across the table and thew lots of rice at Kel in the process. Oops. This kind of stuff happens to me, alright? Back out to the sun for more reading and attempts at writing. I fold my notebook in half when I’m writing, so I didn’t really want to rest it on my sweaty legs. Managed to get some pages done though. A bit later on, after more cocktails, me and Kel decided we wanted to try out the snack bar – probably because it was right behind us. Had some fries and some nachos with cheese sauce, mmm. Sadly, couldn’t sit by the pool with it, so had to rejoin the oldies after we’d eaten.

Came back up to the room after to shower and furiously write some more pages in between getting ready. I also tried to do myself a vodka and lemonade from the optics, but it was so strong that I barely drank any of it. In the fridge for later, methinks! Tea was pretty much the usual routine, followed by joining the bar area afterwards for some drinks and entertainment. Unfortunately, the entertainment was a bit tragic. It was a mariachi band, who didn’t look at all happy to be there and just kept going on and on. They’d announce the last song, then they’d just keep playing. They did it three times before we decided to give up and go back to the rooms.

Me and Kel were much happier fending for ourselves in the room and watched a bunch of Improv-a-Ganza clips on my iPod, particularly New Choice ones. God, I miss this show. Kel then watched some of James Corden’s show, whilst I half watched and half wrote before bed. It’s still weird that he’s so big over here. He’ll always be Smithy to us, but sadly, Americans would never get the pure comic genius of Gavin and Stacey.

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Big fat lizards are otherwise known as omens of falling over.

1/10/15 – Last day on Gran Canarian soil

We got up, got semi dressed and went down to breakfast first, this time. Why have we not been doing this the whole holiday? Had my usual sausage, bacon, chips and cheese and ham toasted thing. It was the last one and I actually ran for it, so I felt I deserved it. Cath caught us at breakfast and told me off for not wearing something pineapple-y. Apparently I’ve gotta that reputation as the pineapple girl that I was kind of expecting. Guess that’s better than my reputation as the drink that I got on our trek in America. Though that one became apparent this time too, as Cath was surprised at how much I’d been drinking in the day, every day. Eh, I’m on holiday. We wanted to leave some time to do some more packing after breakfast before we went down to the pool. Kel had already spoken to the guy on reception to see if we could keep our room on for a few more hours, which was fine. We primarily did it just to keep the all inclusive going, as we figured they’d cut our wristbands off as soon as we checked out.

Once we only had a few necessities for the day left out, we suncreamed up and headed down to the pool. We were given more word searches to do. This one was much easier than the last. I did that and then another short story. Patrik tried to convince me to join the aqua gym by sitting on the end of my sunbed, facing me, and doing his stretches. I must have an iron will if I can resist that. I really didn’t want to get wet though, as I won’t be able to shower or do anything with my hair later on, once we lose access to our room.

Instead, we got roped into the paper plane game. Surprisingly, this was the one activity that got most people to join in – over forty of us altogether! All to play with paper planes. We were each given a sheet of paper and told to make a plane with it. That was a challenge in itself as I’ve never even made one before. I’ve always gotten other people to make them and then give them to me to play with. I tried my best to make mine aerodynamic, but when it came to us all lining up and taking turns to throw them, mine just insisted on going nowhere but down. At least mine was more awesomely decorated than anyone else’s – I’d written Thunderbird 3 on the back of the wing. The Barry/Murr guy almost landed his in the outdoor shower, which was funny as you had to stand where your plane landed, so he was practically standing in the shower. One guy even had to stand in the pool when his went really off course. Gutted.

We then went for our last inclusive meal of the trip. So sad. I bid goodbye to the rice, pizza, chips, beef with champagne sauce, lasagne-less pasta and some new garlic potato cubes that I really hadn’t gotten the time to know. I did my last bid to get drinks in before we checked out, so I ran down to the pool bar to grab another sangria and cocktail and left them on the table by our sunbeds. We then brought the cases down, put them in a storage room for safe keeping as we don’t get picked up till later and checked out. Apparently my drinks preparations had been futile – they didn’t take off our wristbands or say anything about the all inclusive ending. Happy days!

I went back to my shade after that. I didn’t want to risk the sun and getting sweaty because of the whole no shower thing. I don’t wanna be that icky person. Joel caught us and got us to go join Patrik for the new rifle shooting activity. Now this is an activity I can get behind! I did feel a bit stupid holding a giant rifle in my bikini and big sunglasses though – the kind of look you’d expect to be all sexy badass, but this was me, so it wasn’t. But it turned out I was pretty good at the shooting part. Even Patrik was like, “Who are you?” My first shot went wild before I got the hang of it, but I quickly got the highest score and also the first bulls-eye. Boo-yah! Nerf guns, eat your heart out!

Did more reading and chilling in the shade afterwards. Also watched some bits of Arrow on my iPod. Ah Brandon Routh, you are a pretty, pretty man. Eventually, I conceded that it was probably time to sort out my appearance at least a little before eating. Had to pop in and out of the room where the luggage was being held (more so than I should have needed to, because I was stupid and kept forgetting things) and got changed and did a bit of makeup in the toilets downstairs. It was actually just a horrible ordeal, as it was really hot in there, so I tried to be quick about it.

We then went for food around six, pleased that we got an extra meal more than we’d been expecting. Bonus meal! The evening menu has a split earlier on and they seem to serve different foods for each half. We’d obviously never been down to eat this early, so it was all new to us. Was initially horrified to see that they had a yellow rice rather the usual amazing rice, but then it turned out it just tasted exactly the same anyway. You deceived me, rice; well played. Also had some salted potatoes with the Gran Canaria sauce, some pork and crackling (wow), chips, a chicken drumstick and some chicken and chickpea stew, which was super yummy.

No entertainment room tonight. We hung out in the lobby instead, so we could see what was going on and if our coach turned up. We had our free cocktail to share that we’d won from the movie quiz. It was called a San Francisco (woo!) No idea what was in it, but it was nice and sweet. I made the most of my last sangria before switching to pop. I really don’t wanna be drunk on the plane or, worse, risking a migraine from lack of hydration. Sadly, we didn’t get to see Joel, Patrik or Marek before leaving. It was an awkward time in between when they’re clearly usually getting ready before the entertainment slots have to start. Sad times. But at least we have their Facebook details. The practicality of the modern age.

The transfer was a bit horrific. It had been alright up until the last pick-up, then about fifteen people got on and every one of them had a child with them, all of which were screaming and crying and shouting. It was like hell got on the coach. I was surprised I wasn’t screaming and crying and shouting too. To make things worse, the girl sat behind me could not stop complaining. Everyone who knows me knows that I actually really, really hate kids, but no way do I ever go on that much about it. Sh was actually causing more of a fuss than the kids and the kids really were making a fuss. Her and her mom were clearly not the kind of people you want around though anyway. Soon found out that they robbed a mirror from a club and were trying to get it through security. I secretly hoped that they weren’t allowed.

Checking in was a real ball-ache, as there were loads of us and then hardly any people behind the desks. The plus side was that we were told our flight was gonna be half an hour early. Getting through security was brief, though I did get swabbed for explosives again! Why me, guys? Do I look that dodgy? Once we were through, we grabbed some drinks for on the plane and I bought a big bottle of citrus Grey Goose from duty free. I’m calling in my early birthday present to myself. Since I asked people for vodka anyway, that’s just like skipping a step. No seriously, I really did ask for vodka for my birthday. I’ll get more use out of that than a gift card for New Look.

We got on the plane and had a bit of a mix up with an older couple who had misread their tickets and were in our seats. They were completely fine about it and the man apologised, saying it was their fault, to which the woman corrected that it was just his fault. She gets how it works. I watched the Psych musical on my iPod to clear some time. It was funny because at one point, even though Kel obviously couldn’t hear it, she could see Shawn’s mouth moving and knew exactly that he was doing the ololololololol hoo-de-hoo hoo-de-hoo bit that she loves from Santa Barbara Skies. Well done, Kel.

After Psych, I watched several episodes of Impractical Jokers. Those guys never fail to make me laugh. I then listened to the Galavant soundtrack, did a little writing and a little reading, then thankfully, we were coming in to land. I’d been getting really tired, but I hate trying to sleep on the plane because it always makes me feel really bleugh and out of it. Which probably would have been made worse by the fact that I’d still pretty much been drinking all day. Getting through passport and baggage control on the other side was pretty quick, thank god. We grabbed a black cab from outside and found ourselves with a very chatty, travel-savvy driver. Awesome.

When we got home, I saw that Dad had put the hard top on my car for me. Aww. I guess we left the sun behind in Gran Canaria for the rest of the year. Would absolutely go back though and recommend our hotel to anyone. Great food, great drink, great place and great crowd. First shot at all inclusive was an absolute success too. For now though, I have to concede to grey old England. We got into the house and, of course, Izzy was very eager to get into my bedroom. She got onto my bed before I did and immediately took up all the room. Home, sweet, home, I guess.

One fancy cocktail to see us off!

One fancy cocktail to see us off!

28/9/15 – The day they took the rice away

As we’d gone to bed pretty late, despite it being our so-called ‘quiet’ night, Kel hit snooze quite a few times this morning, so we didn’t get up till around ten. Breakfast was out of the question yet again, so once we were ready, we went downstairs and hit the snack bar for brunch instead. I love this place – there really isn’t much of a gap when they’re not serving food. My very odd brunch consisted of a ham and cheese toastie, fries and chicken nuggets. Well, if that’s what they were offering, then who was I to say no?

I hit the drinks again early on to make up for yesterday. Started sunbathing, but had to be careful of my poor sun burnt belly, and wrote another short story. I’m getting the hang of this! The sun then disappeared and it quickly started raining. Not like British rain, but more than spitting, so we went to hide in the lobby until it stopped. I finished the Anita Blake book I was reading and ran up to the room to swap for another one. When we came down, we decided to go for lunch. I thought that was a good idea as I’d already had three drinks and was starting to feel a bit merry. Tipsy before lunch – now that’s what holidays are about. Food was yummy, as always. Had the usual rice, pizza and chips, more ravioli and some rump steak with a lovely kind of champagne sauce. It was so good that I went back for more of the steak and rice, as well as the sliced potatoes, which hadn’t been there on my first round.

Thankfully, it was dry again when we got back outside. We immediately got roped into playing darts. I actually came second, which was cool. I lost out to young Clive, who they were calling Magic Mike. That was also cool. I started to feel a migraine coming on, but I actually managed to conquer it before it really came into effect with my meds and drinking a whole lot of pop. Tone: 1, migraine: 0. We had another little dip in one of the cold balcony pools – again, only ankle deep for me. Who needs swimming? This fatty probably does, but eh. The sun never really came back out again, which was sad. I really need to tan my back now to even things up. I did get more writing and reading done though. And had more drinks of course, now that the migraine threat was over.

Because of the heat and all the drinks, I was feeling in the need of some Red Bull. I was in such a lazy mood that I even paid the extra and got it from the vending machine in the hotel, rather than leaving the complex. Hey, I still had to go up and down a couple of stairs for it. Chilled in the room with said Red Bull before showering and getting ready. I feel my life on holiday follows a bit of a routine. Food, drinks, hopes of sun, more food, more drinks, Red Bull, shower, more food, more drinks, possible entertainment. I’m good with that. I wore my little black dress that I originally bought for Stu’s wedding. Like the conga line, this dress comes with bad memories that I’ll just have to drink more to forget.

Food for today was, of course, rice, pizza, fries, tiny chicken drumsticks, lasagne and mash. I got really excited about the mash, as it’s one of my favourite foods, but it was kind of odd. It tasted a bit like the cream sauce that lasagne is made of. Ah well, mash is mash. I went back for more of it still, as well as the lasagne, but was horrified to realise that they’d taken the rice away by that point. Do you guys not realise how much I love that rice? At least I still had pudding to come. I had yet another kind of jelly and some creamy coconut mousse. I’m generally not a big fan of coconut, but they got the flavour ratio just right.

We swapped rooms after food. The entertainment was another karaoke, but more of a proper karaoke this time – various guests taking part, rather than some weird, possibly hired couple monopolising everything. Marek started it off with a very dramatic, shouty and out of tune rendition of Enrique Iglesias. However, the best part was a German woman singing a song, her girlfriend running up to join her, then the first woman proposing on stage after their song. It was so cute. I’ve never seen a public proposal before (even if I couldn’t understand exactly what was being said, though let’s face it, the “da” was the most important part). Didn’t think my first one would be a German lesbian couple at karaoke, but that’s definitely quirky enough for me.

The biggest downside to the night is that I seem to attract some weirdo every time I go through the lobby to get another drink. It was mostly the bartender who kept giving me all the vodka and who then sabotaged the cocktail machine whilst I was trying to use it, likely because I’d picked that rather than going to the bar to be served. But this time, it was a man who was probably older than my dad and barely spoke English, but was very insistent on kissing my hand and knowing where I was going to be all night. Ick. I managed to escape by feigning not being able to understand him at all.

For some reason, the chairs in the entertainment are particularly hard and, since I broke my tail bone a fair few years ago (don’t ask), spending so much time on hard chairs really gives me some jip, so we ended up moving to the much comfier chairs in the lobby. Kel was happy with that, as the lobby has wi-fi. I haven’t even turned my phone on all holiday. She did test a quiz on me though to see what Disney song I’d have play at my wedding. I got I See The Light from Tangled. Erm, best romance song from Disney ever! Thanks, quiz! I also made friends with a new cat that had been hanging around the lobby. We called this one Jesus. For some reason, as an atheist, giving things Biblical names is much funnier.

It was crazy hot tonight, for some reason, so we decided to take our leftover drinks that we’d grabbed on a last minute run before the all inclusive ended back up to our room, mostly so we could escape to the fan. We did that and watched another few episodes of Fruits Basket. Kel got me to pick randomly by number though and I somehow kept picking the super sad ones. Next time, I’m picking just based on favourites! Can’t be dealing with the sad malarky on holiday.

The happiest kitty!

The happiest kitty!

27/9/15 – I don’t love all inclusive

Oh man, this morning was painful/not really existent. I woke up at some point and had to have another chucking session (sorry, readers, but it’s the truth). This time, I had the sense to actually use the toilet, rather than the balcony. There’s something about being sick that’s just so horrible, but it then makes you feel so much better afterwards. Double-edged sword and all that. I slept on and off for the next few hours, finally getting up at around half twelve. I managed to sleep off some of the effects, but still felt totally bleugh. I never would have guessed how tough it is to put sun cream on when you’re hungover. All I knew is that we needed to get downstairs asap, as we hadn’t had non-alcoholic drinks in well over twelve hours and I was in dire need of liquids. Because of not having our own fridge, as well as the whole drinks being available for free at most hours of the day thing, we hadn’t had any pop in the room.

We decided that food would be a good idea too, so as well as guzzling a few glasses of pop, I forced myself to chow down on starchy foods to soak up the excess alcohol – meaning more rice, garlic potatoes, pizza, a bread roll and some spicy beef stuff just because it looked nice. Actually enjoyed it all still, but it did take me a while to get through. That’s when you know I’m not feeling my best; when it starts affecting my eating habits. We had a little cool down in one of the mini pools afterwards (they work as a waterfall in different levels). Well, my idea of a cool down was only getting ankle deep, since it was still so frickin’ cold.

I felt well enough to top up on my sunbathing after that – I just made the most of the all inclusive via endless pop this time. Did more reading and also wrote a good chunk for Affinity, which I’ve been struggling with for ages. It’s not consecutively the next scene, but hey, I’ve gotta go where my creativity takes me. The sun disappeared behind the clouds for good around five-ish, so I did a run to the shop for Red Bull and general pop for the room (not making that mistake again). Had a bit of a chill with my book and Red Bull before showering and getting ready. Back on the pineapple track today with one of my pineapple playsuits. Yes, one of. I may have brought three with me.

Not sure what the theme of the food was this time, other than awesome. More of the rice, potatoes, pizza, raviola, meats, etc. I kept it limited for pudding this time with all strawberry flavoured things – mousse, jelly and a crepe with strawberry sauce. We’d generally been having a glass of sangria with our meal every night, but we both chose to forego that part tonight on account of alcohol still being more on the bleugh factor than the yes factor. That soon changed for me though when we went through into the entertainment area. I haven’t made the most of the all inclusive today – I need to catch up. I could only hack a few cocktails this time, but at least I made the effort.

Our usual entertainment people were off today, as it’s Sunday, so we just had karaoke on instead. That was then primarily taken over by a Spanish couple, who may have been hired by the hotel – who knows? The woman clearly thought she was way better than she actually was and the guy got so breathy with his mic that you’d think he was having a love affair with it. They butchered quite a few songs that we knew and, all in all, it was pretty dire. But of course, we got our own entertainment in making fun of them. Mean, but true. We’d sat with Brenda and Karen, Kirstie, Kymm and their friend Pete (who they’d told us the night before was too boring to come and party) so we all had a laugh together. At one point, Brenda had gone for drinks and when she came back, the Spanish woman had started singing I Want To Break Free. Karen shouted at Brenda to get her hoover out, so she did, across the dance floor. Very amusing.

At one point, Patrik popped up, despite the fact that he wasn’t working. He told us he was going to see a show that some of his dancer friends were in and asked if we’d like to join him, which was very sweet. Kel wasn’t feeling up to it though, because of the earlier hangover, and everyone else is going home in the morning, so they passed too. We stayed up chatting for a while after the ‘entertainment’ ended. Kirstie and Kymm were first to retire to bed. We decided to go back to our room when everyone else did, as the all inclusive had also ended. Kel didn’t want anymore to drink anyway and I still had a Kopparberg in the room.

We came back up and had planned to watch the next episode of Chuck on my iPod, plugging it into the speakers. I’d clearly misjudged though and hadn’t realised there was another episode she needed to see first, which wasn’t on my iPod. Boo. No matter though – I have a hell of a lot of stuff on my iPod, so we chilled with a couple of episodes of Fruits Basket instead before bed. Gotta love that show!

Watching everyone conga through the cave during aqua gym certainly helped me forget my hangover!

Watching everyone conga through the cave during aqua gym certainly helped me forget my hangover!

25/9/15 – Where everybody looks like everybody

We got up fairly early. We’d both been doing very loud yawning and stretching as we got up, so I joked, “Who can make the most noise?” And a man immediately sneezed somewhere outside. I think we have a winner. We got all dressed and sun creamed up and headed down to breakfast. The food hall is huge and has a lot of variation of foods, though it’s not very logically laid out. We didn’t even make it to the typical hot breakfast stuff. By that point, I’d already filled up on bread rolls, cold cuts and cheese, a croissant, watermelon and this really nice cheese on toast with salami thing. Guess we’ll have to explore the rest tomorrow morning.

Our pool is very big and very pretty. We got sunbeds on the decking, overlooking it. There were activities going on throughout the day and we have three entertainer/rep type people hosting everything and wandering around, trying to encourage people to join in. They’re called Patrik, Joel (pronounced Jo-ell) and Marek. Patrik is very much the Slovakian Captain Awesome and Joel commented on my diamonds tattoo being Harley Quinn and that she wanted it. I do believe that’s the first person to have brought up that particular tattoo and not had to ask what it means. Kudos, Joel.

She gave us word searches and sudokus to do whilst we were sat around the pool. Hardest fucking word search I’ve ever done too! Some people went off to play shuffleboard. We abstained as we had no idea what the hell it was. Other people were then roped in to make pretzels, as we have a German Octoberfest kinda theme going on for today (the reps were all wearing cute green lederhosen type things). I passed on that too since you had to wear little latex gloves for it and those kind of things always bother my hands, but Kel had a go at that and then the aqua gym (water aerobics) too.

I probably looked like the miserable one, but I’d been developing another migraine by this point. I’d really hoped they’d leave me alone for this holiday, but apparently not. I went back up to the room to take one of my meds and bury my head in a pillow for a little while before coming back down. Once the meds kicked in and I felt a bit more alive, I could finally start making the most of our all inclusive deal. Had a couple of sangrias and a couple of cocktails whilst sitting by the pool, reading and writing. Very nice! My only complaint is that as pretty as everything is and, despite the fact that the air itself is quite warm, there is no sun! Where is the sun! It even started raining a bit on more than one occasion. I can’t believe I flew ten thousand miles for this shit. (Very harsh exaggeration, but I just wanted to get my quotes in).

First drinks! Yes, I was the greedy one who had two. Is anyone really surprised?

First drinks! Yes, I was the greedy one who had two. Is anyone really surprised?

We grabbed lunch from the snack bar at some point in the day, which is right nearby the pool, along with the one bar. I had chips, sausage and a giant pretzel. Then a bit later I had a bread roll and a teeny cake from the ‘coffee and pastries’ stage. There is hardly any time in the day when there isn’t some kind of meal being served. This suits me just dandy. I tried to make sure I had a glass of pop for almost every alcoholic drink I had to try and start hydrated to prevent further headachey stuff. This is the kind of thing you have to worry about when you start getting old. I think I’m gonna spend this holiday peeing.

Following the German theme, they also set up a game of beer pong. Sitting on the decking is the best place because we could just watch everything across the pool. We also kept hearing this stupid Istanbul song whilst they were playing. It’ll be like the German equivalent of that gabbu-gabbu-gabbu song we kept hearing in Greece last year. As it got later, we decided to have a wander out of the complex to find a nearby shop to stock up on necessities for the room. In my case, this is Red Bull, Kopparberg and crisps. In one of the shops, I did spy a big litre bottle of Grey Goose for about fifty euros! I know what I’m doing if I have money and case space left when we leave.

We came back up to the room to chill for a bit, shower and slowly get ready. The shower is super powerful and awesome. I love a power shower – it’s so much easier to wash your hair in. I drank my Red Bull and wrote another short story in between getting ready. I wore my poofy pineapple bargain dress from Primark, which is just too cute to have only been three quid. We’ve established that people will probably think I’m a nutter, as most of the clothes and accessories I’ve brought with me have pineapples on them and I even have a pineapple tattooed on my foot. So yeah, they would be correct.

We came down for food first and had fun around the illogical buffet again. I had a bizarre turkey skewer, chips, yummy herby potatoes, cuts of beef (which didn’t seem at home with everything else), lasagne, meat tortellini, meatballs and some delicious rice. There’s something about European rice. Greece, Turkey, Spain – they all clearly add some very tasty things to it. Then for pudding I had jelly, strawberry ice cream, a little toffee eclair, peach slices and strawberry and pineapple mousses. I love pudding buffets more than anything. After eating, we moved into the ‘entertainment’ area, which is basically lots of tables and chairs pointed at a little stage and dance floor space. Of course, throughout the night we were making the most of the all inclusive again with sangria and cocktails, then progressing to some very strong vodka and lemon.

The entertainment was actually hilarious. Firstly, they were getting people up to do the conga line. They grabbed Kel, but I escaped because of my big shoes that I’ve already fallen over very painfully in before, despite how much they tried to nag me. This is where I start to get a bit annoyed, when people pester you to get up and do something. I’m not like one of those miserable people who just sit in the corner – if I want to join in with something, I will, and often do. I actually quite like a good conga line, despite some very awkward past romantic experience with it (don’t ask), so know that I have a good reason if I abstain. In this case, not wanting to fall flat on my face feels like a good reason.

I was actually very glad I said no, since they quickly turned it into a limbo tournament. I’m pretty good at limbo, but again, certainly not in my big wedges. I couldn’t do the classy thing of taking them off either, as one of the waters had smahed a glass not long before. I’ve had to have glass picked out of my foot once before and I’d really rather not repeat it, thanks. We took fun from watching everyone else play and from just people watching in general. We found a lot of lookalikes. There was a creepy guy on his own who reminded me of a weird Murr from one angle and a younger version of Barry from work. There were a couple of Chris’s from work, a girl from the Inbetweeners, a young Clive from work, an older Curt Smith and an Asian Steve Frank. Not forgetting our very own Captain Awesome in Patrik too.

After the limbo tournament, we watched them all dancing to some of the classic songs like the Macarena and the Cha Cha Slide. It was particularly hilarious because Marek has absolutely no rhythm at all. He was all over the place. He did try though, bless him. They then got everyone to bring their chairs in front of the stage. Obviously we thought we were going to watch them play Musical Chairs. But no. They all sat down in a circle and moved their feet around to the music, then when it got to the chorus they all got up, picked their chairs up over their heads and started dancing around with them. It was absolutely hilarious and so not expected! That’s definitely the oddest game of Musical Chairs I’ve ever seen.

This is how everyone should play Musical Chairs from now on!

This is how everyone should play Musical Chairs from now on!

They pulled the tombola and the entertainment ended from there, as did the all inclusive, boo. After eleven you have to start paying for your drinks. We finished up the ones we had and decided to go for a bit of a wander down the road just to see what else we could find that was nearby. We clearly chose the wrong road because all we could find were little houses and a black cat that I dubbed Satan. Satan became our best bud for the walk and followed us around for a while, before we got bored and decided to head back. Time to build up the fan tower again!

09/1/15 – The girls have been let out

It’s a new year and we’re off on the road again! Like an idiot I forgot my travel notebook this time. I brought three notebooks with me but none of them happen to be that one! But no matter, I figured for this girly four-day weekend I can just document things on my old BlackBerry for now. Praise the lord for Word To Go!

Got up fairly early and got ready, packed the last few things I needed, then headed out to pick up best cousin Sarah. She was very impressed that she go to go in my ‘posh’ car (oh yeah, I have a Mazda MX-5 now! Check me!) Got a little lost on the way to her flat because I have a horrible sense of direction unless I’ve been somewhere twenty-plus times, but a few phone calls later I managed to find it. As we were pulling up back at the house Kel was also doing the same, having picked up Auntie Ann and Auntie Helena. Our taxi then rolled up too. Great timing! Grabbed the cases, said bye to the dog and then all piled in.

We were dropped off on the high street on Kings Heath at our pick-up point. Me and Kel did a quick run down the road to Greggs like the classic Brits that we are. My first try of a sausage, bean and cheese melt was nicely successful. We claimed six of the back seats of the coach when it pulled up. It’s very cushy. Fold-out tables, lots of leg room and plenty of little hidey holes about the seats to hide all the parts of our picnic that we’d brought.

Only just got on the coach and we already have the sweets out AND fits of the giggles!

Only just got on the coach and we already have the sweets out AND fits of the giggles!

Felt like we’d barely been on the coach when we were pulling up at the services in Corley. Not exactly far from home. Grabbed some fruity Volvic and some yummy hot chocolate from Starbucks with Sar (they spelt my name right on my cup too, woohoo!) Back onto the coach – again not for long – and then we stopped off at Hopwood too. So basically a three-hour round trip to get to just outside of Birmingham, where we’d just come from. That’s logic for you.

When we got back onto the coach AGAIN we started up the picnic. Cheese and onion cobs, sausage rolls, posh M&S crisps and mini eggs. Not complaining about the crazy route now that we’ve gotten food out of it! Had an actual couple of hours this time before the next stop in Sedgemoor. I had to give in to buying some Red Bull this time (been trying to quit again but that never seems to last). It was so warm on the coach that I’d been in danger of falling asleep. Can’t afford to waste precious writing and/or nattering time!

As we rejoined the coach for our final stint we were told that we didn’t have to worry about our suitcases – they’d be delivered straight to our hotel rooms. We thought this was very fancy until we remembered that when we’d first loaded them onto the coach we’d forgotten to put our provided tags onto them, so in a panic we’d just put any tag onto any case. So the chances are we’re all going to get each other’s cases. Let’s hope our rooms are close together or we’re going to have to go trekking round to play swapsies.

We did some house window shopping once we got into Torquay. Some real weird-looking mismatched places! I started playing silly buggers and trying to tickle Auntie Ann’s head with the end of a phone charger and hilariously when she looked round the woman across the aisle pretended to apologise for it. Auntie Ann clearly then thought that must have meant they were friends so started chatting to her, whilst the rest of us were sniggering in the back.

We got our first views of the sea and the ‘English Riviera’ side of Torquay and then arrived at the Torbay Hotel. Straightaway me and Kel concluded that we’d gotten stuck with the reject room round the corner. It’s much smaller, the toilet doesn’t flush properly, the view’s crap and I found a woodlouse within minutes of being in there. Eek! May be going down the corridor and spending more time in the other two rooms.

After a while me and Sar started getting the giggles over some of the drama stories. We tried to style it out over a pretend game of footsie across the bed, then quickly escaped to one of the other rooms with Kel for a drink and our own gossip. Once the restaurant was open we retrieved the oldies and headed downstairs. Straightaway we could see that we’ve managed to end up on an old biddies weekend. We are genuinely the youngest ones here. Ah, this is going to be amusing…

Meals were included and we had a few choices for all three courses. I had a potato and leek soup to start, turkey with various potatoes and veg (which I obviously avoided) then a Belgian waffle. Not bad considering it was free! Had another cider, then the weirdest Cosmopolitan ever. Since when do Cosmos have tequila in them?! If you happened to read my blog posts from Greece last year you’ll know how much I hate tequila. Still drank it though of course. I’d paid for it, duh.

We moved into the ballroom to play bingo. Yes, that’s the equivalent of the night life here. And oh my god, it was like that episode of Impractical Jokers… Old people take bingo really, really seriously. None of us won anything, which was probably a good thing. I wouldn’t have put it past them to hold it against us! We seem to be looked down upon as we’re younger. After that was a cabaret act. I’m totally open for having a laugh but even I was like cringe at the cabaret woman. We did attempt to join in with a few of the songs. They played some Elvis in commemoration of what would have been his 80s birthday yesterday – respect for that; happy birthday, King! – and thanks to The Simpsons I know most of the words to Que Sera.

Had some more drinks and chilled to some 50s and 60s music for a while after the cabaret act had gone before retiring to the rooms. Had to open the window to air ours out for a little because it was roasting. Never expected to be lying around in my underwear in January! Here’s hoping that the entertainment tomorrow will be a little livelier…

Just smile, act normal, be quiet and maybe we'll fit in more...

Just smile, act normal, be quiet and maybe we’ll fit in more…