Dad’s the Word Column: Our First Family Holiday Away

Freelance writer, blogger and married dad-of-two Gareth Ellis talks about the highlights of his first family holiday away…

Recently, Jess and I took the kids on holiday – our first one as a family.

On Friday we travelled to Haven Hopton, close to Great Yarmouth, for three nights and honestly, we really weren’t sure what to expect. I mean, we were taking two toddlers on a breakaway with a LOT of firsts for both of them.

Here’s a few highlights and funny bits.

Highlights:

  • How much Rupert loved the sea, and the beach in general. Emi could have taken or left it, but Rupert loved building sandcastles, jumping over the waves and paddling.
  • How much both kids loved the pool. Considering this was Emi’s first time in a pool and Rupert hadn’t swum since he had lessons around two and a half years ago, they both took to it amazingly well. Even if they didn’t want to wear the floaty swim vests we’d borrowed for them.
  • Making seaside slime and decorating bottles with coloured sand – two activities the kids loved.
  • The fact they sat still enough to take part in the above activities.
  • The kids not only meeting new friends but Rupert remembering all of their names.
  • The journey home was amazing. Not because it was the end of the holiday but we did it without breaks and the kids didn’t cry once in the whole three hour journey.

Funny things:

  • The fact that we took one bike and one scooter and BOTH kids wanted the scooter at the same time.
  • How much food both kids ate. They just didn’t stop, they ate fish and chips, pancakes, ice creams, snacks, sandwiches, fruit, ‘family crisps’ (pringles) and so much more – Emi just didn’t fancy eating when we actually went out for dinner.
  • Emi screaming so much we couldn’t actually eat in the restaurant we’d booked on Sunday night – forcing us to literally just walk out and go to the car…she then ate pasta back at our ‘holiday house.’
  • The first night Jess had to sleep in a single bed next to Rupert (in another single bed) while I slept with Emi in the double bed as they wouldn’t settle next to each other.
  • Hearing tiny footsteps and looking up to see Emi’s little face, cheekily beaming at us after our attempt to get them to sleep. I think she enjoyed the novelty of being in a bed without sides.
  • On the first night we left the evening entertainment and got stuck in the soft play next door until 9pm – we couldn’t get either of them out of there.
  • On the first day Emi didn’t want to go in the pool so sat and munched the majority of a share bag of bacon fries.

All in all, it was such a wonderful time. We got to do the most important thing and that’s make memories for us and the children and that’s all we could have hoped for.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s adventure.

Gareth writes a regular blog at www.garethellisblog.wordpress.com and you can follow him on Instagram @dads_the_word_blog. He is also a freelance writer open to new opportunities, and you can view his website at https://www.garethelliswriter.com/

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