Boy does time fly when you’re on holiday eh? I can’t believe we are already home and back to our normal routine, sorting school uniforms, homework and sleeping in our own beds again! As quickly as it went it was a brilliant holiday and we had the best time.
After the disaster of our holiday last year (a week basically spent food shopping, cooking, cleaning, no kids for the girls to play with, and dealing with chicken pox) I decided an all-inclusive was the way to go so I could have a holiday too! It all started a little bumpy with a five hour delay at Bournemouth airport.
I then had the unfortunate situation of dealing with a rather mean man who was sitting in front of us having a go at me because Ivy was banging his chair. She was indeed getting a bit frustrated, having been up since 5am, and I was trying very hard to keep her happy and settled but it was proving difficult in a small space. There’s just a nice way of doing things though isn’t there and this man hadn’t been taught about those nice ways apparently.
I then stupidly managed to leave my leather biker jacket and hat on the plane (thankfully returned to me on the way home. Anyway, when we arrived at the hotel we were able to shake off the very long day of travelling. When we all jumped into the pool we could feel the stress just wash away. We stayed in a lovely family-friendly hotel called the Koala Gardens in Gran Canaria and it was just what we needed. Kids pools, entertainment, buffets, refreshments and snacks on tap. Brilliant!
We hired a car for the week so that we could explore the Island and I’m so glad we did because there was lots to see. We stayed in an area called Maspalomas which has a wonderful beach including their famous and protected sand dunes. More on that later.
Our first trip of the week was to visit a recommended area called Peurto De Mogan. It’s a beautiful area filled with lovely lanes, shops and cafes with a little river running through it covered with lovely bridges. The beach is gorgeous and there is also a lovely harbour filled with stunning boats. We spent the afternoon here and took out a pedalo which had a slide built on and Tilda was really brave to do this out at sea! Ivy decided it wasn’t for her until we came closer in to shore. We stayed for pizza at one of the waterfront restaurants and loved every minute. If you ever go, I would recommend staying in this area or at least visiting it.
Our next day trip was to go to Sioux City, this is a very different type of theme park to back home as it’s built as a real village from the Wild West inspired by the Spaghetti Westerns made famous by the likes of Lee Van Cleef! The back drop of the natural rocky surroundings made it so realistic. They have a saloon, bank, stables, water tower, church and even a prison.
They have actors to re-create scenes as part of the experience and there’s even a gun fight and stampede of real long-horned cattle and horses. It was really good fun, although the explosion during the ‘bank robbery’ had a number of children in tears! There’s an opportunity for kids and adults to try and lasso a fake cow and pet some of the animals. The horse whisperer was mesmerising as he led his gorgeous horse around doing tricks simply by being a guide to the animal. Again, add this to the list if you ever come to Gran Canaria. It’s something different and we all had great fun.
Mornings were often spent by the pool at the hotel and this was a great way to get Tilda lots of swimming practise. She is doing so well without wearing a float now and Ivy just loved being in the pool too making friends with other kids. In the afternoon we would go on more adventures. Our next was to go dolphin spotting out at sea on a glass bottom boat. We wondered if we would be lucky enough too see them as when we did a trip like this last year we didn’t see any. This time however luck was on our side and we saw the most amazing pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins, about 20-30 of them including babies all jumping and playing with us along side the boat and in the break of water. It’s always so special to see beautiful animals in their natural environment and the girls thought they were wonderful! The sea air got the better of both of them though and both fell asleep on the journey back to shore.
Another day, another beach, this time a place called Amadores. I thought this beach was one of the nicest, the sand was a more corse type of ground shell but I liked it and I even used it to give my legs a good exfoliate!! It’s only a few euros for each sun lounger and there’s lots of beach shops and beach bars here too. There’s also a massive inflatable in the water like an island for people to go and jump on but as this was going to work out at 36 euros for 45 minutes we thought perhaps we would save our money, much to Tilda’s disappointment but we were able to keep her happy knowing next day would go to the water park for a whole day for almost the same cost!
There are two main water parks near where we were staying, one is Aqualand and is the big fancy one that’s a lot more expensive for entry and for food but it’s not quite so suited to Tilda and Ivy’s age. So we got a great recommendation from one of the local guides to go to a much smaller and less expensive one called Lago Oasis. It was indeed perfect for them and it was a great way to finish off the week. It’s salt water though so a bit stingy on the eyes but still was the right choice for us. Leaving the water park for the end of the week was also our bargaining leverage for good behaviour throughout the week! Hey, you’ve gotta have leverage sometimes don’t you and it’s a little early to be using Santa?!!
On our last evening there was one thing that I had on my list that I just had to do and that was to get some nice family pictures in the dunes at Maspalomas. This is a natural conservation area thankfully so it will stay unspoilt I hope forever, and not flattened for more hotels. It’s quite incredible, although if visiting you should know it has a big nudist area, so if that’s not your thing then pick your route wisely!
We just headed to the outskirts as it’s a lot of sand walking for the girls so it was a case of getting to the nearest dune and that’s it. We managed to get a couple of great pictures which are going straight in a frame for sure. As you can see Ivy has embraced the Spanish flamenco style and I’m not sure she will ever want to take the dress off.
She met a little French girl in our hotel who had the same dress and for them it was the equivalent of love at first sight. They both wore their dresses every evening for dinner and just adored each other. Neither spoke the other’s language but that didn’t seem to matter and saying goodbye was heart-breaking as they were both in tears. I would love to show you a picture of them together but with my limited French I couldn’t ask her parents permission to blog it but believe me it’s adorable.
So that’s what we all got up to, but what did I take with me from QVC? Well I made sure to take some great fashion with me so I thought I would share a run down of some of my outfits!
First up one of my favourites, this fantastic short-sleeved maxi dress from Join Clothes in Coral Red. I could have lived in this dress all week, it was the perfect holiday dress. It worked for the beach and the beach bars and restaurants and was loose and airy and the colour is wonderful. Perfection! I teamed it with my Pretty You London flamingo slide sandal and matching clutch.
Next I really loved this look from Isaac Mizrahi Live. It’s a seersucker faux wrap shirt dress and is a great shape and style. The white and blue is a great choice for summer and could easily be used for work but also just everyday out and about. I like the slightly military style shoulders and the fun ruffle which softens the look. I wore this for dinner at the hotel.
Lastly this brilliant jumpsuit from Onjenu. I chose this for our pictures in the sand dunes because of the colours and pattern but also the ease. It is an instant fashion fix and as always with Onjenu it just seems to work on any body shape. There’s no zips or buttons you just step into it and pull on up over your shoulders and that’s you dressed! Perfect when you are time poor.
So that’s my holiday round-up, thanks so much to those of you who kept up with what we got up to over on my Instagram and Facebook, you left some lovely messages which hopefully I can make sure I reply to now that I’m back home. There are also a few more pics over on my Instagram for those who are interested.
Also one last thing, our winner of the Radley handbag can now be announced. Congratulations to Emma Breene! I hope you love your handbag and matching purse which will be with you very soon.
Check in next Tuesday when my blog will be back to my usual mix of beauty, fashion, food and of course what’s been going on at QVC.
Lots of love