You know you’re in Maspalomas when you’re greeted like a long lost friend by an excitable Spanish gay chap who you’ve never met before, as he hugs you while giving you a kiss on each cheek (how very continental) before welcoming you to ‘paradise’!
While the UK was covered in snow I was stripping off at my adults-only, all-inclusive, 4-star hotel in Gran Canaria (yes, it’s a hard life). I don’t know what gets into me but the minute I arrive in Gran Canaria I can’t keep my vest on!
All-inclusive food and drinks means over-indulgence renders you incapacitated for hours on end. Thank heavens for the fabulous rooftop terrace (with bar, obviously). I’ve had some surreal moments during this holiday; not least when I spent the evening with a couple of Swedish guys watching a female contortionist and her strongman partner on stage, as I knocked back large glasses of Baileys on the rocks.
I did occasionally drag myself away long enough to enjoy boaty things and travel around the island a bit but the majority of my week involved nothing more strenuous than slathering another layer of sunscreen onto my burnt bits. Feliz Navidad!
I had two choices regarding my remaining annual leave; stay at home and generally potter around doing not very much, or return to the Canaries. Guess what I did… Yes, just three months after returning from Lanzarote I chose to return there for a cheeky, Spanish spring break.
I’d been to Costa Teguise before so it seemed a wise move to stick with familiar territory, albeit at a different complex this time. Just four minutes walk to a giant beach and literally surrounded by fabulous shops, bars and restaurants, the location was spot on. I was allocated a great apartment with sunset views and although the weather was bordering on insanely hot on a few occasions, there was always plenty of iced sangria to cool me down.
During my stay it was the annual triathlon and I’ve never seen so much lycra in all my life; wasn’t sure where to put my eyes! I also managed a return visit to Puerto Del Carmen to see how it now looks eight and a half years after my last visit (quite different as it turns out!) I wonder where I’ll be off to next?
As I’ve never held a proper salaried position before, and am therefore unfamiliar with the concept of annual leave, I genuinely thought I’d used up all of my hours when I spent half of December in The Canaries – but apparently not! After a quick check of the works HR website I discovered that I had over a week of paid leave to take on a use-it-or-lose-it basis. So after a hectic couple of hours trawling the holiday websites and a bit of maths, I’ve managed to nab myself a cheeky week in the Spanish sunshine in the spring. OMG I just love being an employee.
I’ve only just lost the tan from the previous holiday and here I am now planning yet another all-inclusive week of sun, sand and sangria. This time last year I was self-employed, and only bringing in enough cash to just about cover my bills. Never in a million years did I think that within twelve months I’d be enjoying all the perks of being paid to laze around under palm trees for the second time in under six months. It just goes to show that you never, ever know what’s just around the corner… so you should make the most of any opportunities while you still can.
This week I booked my annual leave online and today I received an email to say that my manager has approved it! Now, anyone who’s been employed for years probably won’t understand what all the fuss is about, but for those of us who are usually self-employed, the thought of being paid your full salary while roasting yourself on a beach thousands of miles away from the office is almost too good to be true.
I’ve now been trawling through holiday websites and currently have my eye on a fabulous, all-inclusive fortnight in The Canaries; fourteen days and nights of sun, sea and sangria while still receiving a wage. For the first time in my life I’m actually going to be paid to spend half a month getting drunk, ogling Spanish lifeguards and generally having an enormous amount of fun. It really does appear that good things come to those who wait, so hang on in there because you never know what exciting new experiences might be just around the corner.
OMG, where do I start?! Just returned home from a whole week of Spanish sunshine and pina colada slushies and I’m already checking out prices and dates for my next holiday. With my old school chum as my co-hort it quickly turned into ‘Two Go Mad With a Selfie Stick’ as we took every opportunity possible to capture every fabulous moment for posterity.
The rooms were spotlessly clean, the drinks were plentiful, the entertainment was rather good, the staff were the friendliest people on earth and the location was perfect. We bought new shoes (obviously), trawled around ‘tat’ shops giggling at rude bottle openers, put the world to rights laying on sun-loungers on the beach under the stars and decided that midday was officially wine o’clock.
It’s amazing what a bit of sunshine and a few palm trees can do to two fifty-somethings, as we re-lived our teenage years, albeit with slightly greyer hair and much more disposable income. It may be some time before my liver recovers…
Woo hoo… another holiday in Lanzarote, BOOKED! I adore the Canary Islands and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be returning there this year. Although I’ve been to Lanzarote twice previously I’ve never been to Costa Teguise, so this is even more exciting. There’s lots of new places, new people and new experiences to look forward to, not to mention all that gorgeous sunshine!
As I appear to have lost more weight since my Gran Canaria adventures last December I’ll need some new clothes, and new swimwear too. It’ll be fantastic to be lazing around on a vast beach under rows of palm trees being surrounded by bird-of-paradise flowers again. I can almost taste those sangrias and mojitos already! Now where did I put that Spanish phrase book…?!
Just got back from a fantastic week of winter sun in Gran Canaria and I think I’m still a bit tipsy.
A few thankyous; to Bex for being naturally blonde in every way possible, to Ian for being so sweet (and for explaining the lighthouse thing), to Carol for introducing me to baileys on the rocks, to Paul for all those brandies, to Len and Maria for all those fascinating travel tales and to Stefano – REALLY?! Also, muchas gracias to all of the very fit waiters for providing high quality Spanish eye candy for the entire 7 days. Those tight black t-shirts over rippling muscles made an old lady very happy!
I think I learnt more in the past 7 days than I did in the past 7 years! Apparently 9 Bailies on the rocks isn’t enough to numb the tedium of Country music… but 10 is. Going topless round the pool is a liberating experience and hilarious to watch all those wives giving their husbands the evil eye if they so much as glance up from their kindles. And hangovers are easily cured via the late breakfast menu at the poolside bar – where all-inclusive alcohol provides hair-of-the-dog to accompany the ‘full English’.
Feliz Navidad / Merry Christmas – hic!