Friday 15 November 2019

Little people come to visit!

August 2019

We had talked on numerous occasions about how great it would be if our grandchildren could come and visit us and experience our new life.  So, with some planning we decided to make it a reality.

By mid July we knew that we wouldn't be going any further than Mallorca this year, so we booked flight tickets for Olivia and Finlay.  Millie wasn't quite old enough to leave her parents for that long, but we hope she can come when she gets a bit older.

We agreed that it would only be for 5 days this time as it would be their first time abroad and as neither of them had stayed for longer than one night on the boat, we weren't sure how they would settle.  The plan was that I would fly back to England and then fly back with them to Mallorca and then the same for their return trip.

Where to stay? We wanted to stay somewhere that was relatively close to the airport, that had good beaches and lots to do for families.  It was also important that the marina was relatively secure as we didn't want little ones to go wandering off and get lost.  

I knew just the place, El Arenal. I had stayed there a number of times with my family when I was growing up and had very fond memories of it and knew that it was only 20 minutes from the airport, the beaches would be safe and there would be plenty to do.   I checked out the marina in El Arenal and it looked perfect, with plenty of visitors spaces, good security, onsite bar and restaurant and a lovely big swimming pool. Perfect!  We phoned a few days ahead to make a reservation for the coming week.

El Arenal Marina and CalacEs Fornàs
We arrived at El Arenal the Sunday before the grandchildren were due to arrive and found that there was a beautiful little cala (Es Fornàs) on the east side of the marina which would be perfect as there were only two ways onto the beach - by sea or steps and as it wasn't very big the children could have some freedom on the beach, but always be in sight. 

Monday we headed into the marina.  We decided to go in early so that we could get our bearings and get Offbeat securely moored before I left on Tuesday.  There would be plenty for Mark to do whilst I was gone as he had to transform Offbeat from being our sailing boat to a boat safe and fit for two children to live aboard.  This would involve stowing things away, putting netting up around the guard rail and adjusting the pasarrel so they could easily climb on and off.  There was also food shopping to be done as neither of us fancied dragging two young children around a supermarket in 35-40° heat!

Tuesday I headed back to England.  I was looking forward to seeing the family again, albeit a very quick whistle stop tour.  It was lovely to see them all and spend time with Millie before I headed off again.

Early Wednesday morning Jamie, Olivia and Finlay's dad, picked me and took us to the airport.  To say they were excited would be an understatement, they were buzzing!  There was so much that would be 'firsts' for them they couldn't decide what they were looking forward to the most.

Excited little people!
I will never forget their excitement as we headed to the departure lounge and they watched as our plane was being prepared, or the moment we took off and they realised we were in the air. I think that moment will stay with me forever. Luckily it was a clear day, so the flight didn't seem to take too long as they spent most of it looking out of the window.

As soon as we arrived at the marina and met Mark it was ice cream, drink and swimming pool and there they stayed until early evening! 

Off for bread and croissants 
We had a wonderful time with the grandchildren and soon fell into a routine.  Mark would get up with Finlay and off they'd go to the bakers for fresh bread and croissants.  I think the little old lady in the bakers took a shine to Finlay as he always came back with a little something extra. This gave me and Olivia time to get up leisurely and get ready for the day.

We had hoped to take Offbeat out one night and sleep at anchor but the weather wasn't going to let us.  Although it was beautiful sunshine and incredibly hot, the afternoon sea breeze was crazy and as they hadn't been out on the boat before, we didn't want to put them off by getting seasick.

So, instead we spent our days either at the beach or at the swimming pool.  It was lovely to see them enjoying themselves so much, even if I did spend 6 hours in the swimming pool one day!  Evenings were spent either at the marina restaurant or on the boat where we played games, watched the sunset and looked at the stars. 

Night out!

Fun in the sun!

Crazy golf and dinosaurs 
We did agree on a change of scenery one day and spent a happy afternoon playing crazy golf in a dinosaur park.  There wasn't many people there, which was a good thing as we were not the most coordinated of players, but Olivia soon got the hang of it and beat us all.

Sun setting on a great holiday

All too soon the holiday was over and it was time to head back to England.  I think it's safe to say they had a good time as they want to come back again next year!

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