We were up pretty early again so, after getting dressed, we took a walk down to Cabanas de Tavira, which is not too far from my parents’ place. Cabanas is a lovely seaside town, with lots of cafes along the front and a boardwalk too. We walked to the end of the boardwalk and back and stopped for tea and toasties in one of the cafes. I have to say, the Portuguese know how to do good toasties.
After our brunch we walked back and I have to say I was starting to feel the heat on my back. Could I live in it I wondered? We had some cool drinks at my parents place before dropping to Gran Plaza again for some shopping. While there we browsed the shops and checked out garden furniture for our new place. It would be a while before we needed it, but there is not harm in looking.
My Dad picked himself up a grill and table for his own decking. He had been considering a barbecue but thought this was a good alternative. Less cleaning involved. BattleDad and I spotted some lovely garden table and chairs in a shop called JYSK.
After looking at garden furniture, we stopped for tea and cakes up in the food court from the coffee shop before my mum and I hit C&A. It’s a shop I used to frequent regularly when they were in Liffey Valley all those years ago. While Mum and I shopped for clothes, the men got the food shop in Continente. Fair swap I’d say.
Enjoying dinner out on the desk was lovely and relaxing and someone was ready for bed by 7pm, leaving us adults to have a few hours peace before we turned in ourselves.
We all were awake early, partly thanks to a certain little boy. We got up and dressed and headed into Tavira for breakfast on the square. This was the first time BattleDad and I had been into Tavira together and it felt a bit strange. We both were familiar with the town but separately until now.
We then headed to the Municipal Offices in Tavira to organise our fiscal numbers. We were seen within an hour but at least it was done and dusted. Afterwards, we headed to an insurance brokers to get home insurance for our holiday home. I enquired about pet insurance and found our dog is covered (up to a certain amount) on the home insurance.
With all our business done and dusted we headed to Gran Plaza Shopping Centre for some lunch. The food court there has plenty to choose from and it is always good food. After filling up we got supplies in Contenente (think Tesco or Asda) before heading back to my parents’ place. We got our swimming togs on and went for a swim in their pool.
As lovely as it was, it was a tad bit cold so we didn’t stay in too long. After showers, we got into our pj’s as we weren’t planning on going anywhere else for the rest of the day. It was a quiet evening after dinner with BattleKid settling quite well. We spent another few relaxing hours on the deck with my parents before heading to bed ourselves. Yes, I could get used to this way of life!
After staying overnight in a Holiday Inn Express not far from the airport, we were up at 4.30am to get to Bristol for check in. We didn’t fancy getting up at 3am to make it to the airport for 5am, so decided a hotel closer by and more sleep was a better idea. After dropping the car off at the Meet and Greet in the Express car park, we made our way into the terminal. We checked in with no problems and made our way through security in record time, thanks to mama booking FastTrack.
We went into the Brunell Bar and had a good breakfast before our flight was called at 6.30am. The flight was quite a smooth one after takeoff at 7.20. As we headed south we left behind the cold and grey and replaced it with sunshine and blue skies. This was our first time visiting Portugal together as a family. I had gone last Easter with BattleKid on my own and BattleDad in January. He had gone as a scouting mission to check out options for us moving down there.
We arrived just before 10am and soon found the bus to take us to our car hire a few minutes from the airport. And this is when we got a nasty surprise. BattleDad had hired a car online and paid for the full excess waiver. However, the car hire company (not to be named) would not accept the other insurance policy and so we had to take out theirs, at an extra cost of €100. Not the start of our holiday we were expecting.
We arrived at my parents place just before mid-day. They had emigrated to Portugal just a week before and were in high spirits. Lunch and a relaxing catch up were in order after our flight.
At 3pm, we visited the park where we were planning to move to and I saw our static holiday home for the first time. BattleDad had viewed it in January during his trip. We met our site manager too, who is very nice and helpful. After seeing the home, which was waiting to be sited, we visited our plot and I was impressed by the size of it. I thought “Yes, we can do this for a few years”.
We headed back to my folks place and took a walk around their site. We passed by the pool and had a break at the playground before having a late dinner. We got BattleKid into bed by 8.30pm before another catch-up on the deck with my parents. The weather had been good to us on our first day and we went to bed just after 10pm, looking forward to the rest of our holiday. I even managed to finish a book I’d be reading. Go me!
We were up for 7.30 so got washed and dressed before having breakfast, our last of our Christmas holiday. While I got on with the final bits of packing, BattleKid watched the Lion Guard. Thank god for Disney Junior. I also managed to finish my book too, a first in a long time. I don’t get the chance to read books much these days unless it’s in bed before sleep.
We checked out at 11am and left our luggage in the luggage room at reception as we had a while to wait for the taxi to the airport. We headed to the themed restaurant at the sea front for a cuppa and some cakes. BattleKid also had a final play in the playground.
At 12.15 we asked reception to call a taxi and were still waiting 30 minutes later. It was a bit ridiculous. BattleKid fell asleep and stayed asleep until we had checked in for our flight at 1.20 and headed through security. I had kept an eye on the departures of Bristol Airport and thankfully our plane had left on time from the UK so we were looking good for a better time of it than our journey to Tenerife.
We got through security no problem and went to find somewhere for lunch. We had plenty of time before our flight was due to take off so found a seat in O’Leary’s bar and had a rather nice lunch. After eating up, BattleKid insisted on having a ride on one of the amusement cars. It combined a ride with a photo, but typically he was looking down when the camera took the picture. What a waste of money!
We walked around the airport, getting a few bits for the plane before heading to our gate when called. However boarding was delayed until 16.45, 15 minutes after our departure time. So much for getting home on time. We then sat on the plane until the doors finally closed at 5.10pm. The captain made an announcement after the doors closed to say they had been on the ground for 2 hours and he had been calling for passengers since 4.10pm! For some reason there was congestion in the terminal and although he and our plane were ready for an on time departure, the ground staff couldn’t get their act together! We took off at 5.28 and had a few snacks on the plane to tide us over.
BattleKid fell asleep on the way home from the airport and we transferred him straight to bed when we got home in the hope Santa would make a special delivery that night as we’d not been home Christmas Eve. And he did!
Although we enjoyed some quality time together, it wasn’t quite the holiday we had hoped for. We came away feeling quite disappointed and let down, particularly where the hotel and pool were concerned. I somehow don’t think we’ll be going away for Christmas again, unless it is to Ireland to spend it with family. Would I recommend Tenerife as a destination? Yes, but I would stay in a bigger resort where there are more things to see and do. I wouldn’t recommend our hotel for Christmas or any other time of the year. It needs some serious updating and a face lift.
As per usual, we were up before 7 so pottered around before getting dressed and going downstairs for breakfast. After filling our bellies we headed for the nearest pharmacy to get some cream for BattleKid who by this stage was tearing itchy, especially along his neckline!
The pharmacist confirmed it was heat rash and off we went back to the hotel with the sole purpose of trying to keep his mind off the itch. It reminded me of our damn chicken pox episode in Lanzarote a few years ago!
We stopped at the playground and let BattleKid run around for a while before heading up to our room to allow me to start packing us. BattleKid chilled out on the sofa with Disney Junior on the TV for a while and then playing with his stickers. I usually reserve them for the plane but this was an exceptional circumstance.
We went for lunch just before 1 before heading back to our room. We had hoped to spend some time beside the pool but the breeze was just too much and we knew BattleKid would want to get in and end up freezing again. The cold wind against wet skin just wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to get him out of the pool. So we forwent the pool which was a shame. Had the pool been properly heated like advertised we’d have spent a lot more time in it.
After mostly packing us I read for a bit before having a snooze on the bed. BattleKid even got 20 minutes himself. Gone are the days of 2 hour marathon naps and boy do I miss them!
Our usual nightly routine of showers, dinner, bedtime and Mr Robot rounded off our last night in Tenerife. It had been a bit of a mixed holiday all round. Strange to be away at Christmas, nice to see some of the island and go to Loro Parque. Epic in terms of making a huge decision about our family’s future but disappointed with the hotel and non-heated pool situations.
Home day tomorrow.
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