The day of the holiday is here.
7am leave house with Llyw, Adelaide, Genie and Torin plus dog.
Get onto M4 and Torin says “we’re nearly there”. It’s going to be a long day.
Arrive at brother in laws at about 8am. No answer at door. I try to convince kids to leave dog tied up outside house but they refuse. Robert answers door half asleep. He’d been told 9am so was not impressed. He reminds me that if Bryn (my father in law) comes home from hospital the dog can’t stay. I decide that’s a problem to cross if it happens. Because if I think about it now I may end up in a mental institution.
Everyone back in the car to start the journey properly.
Sat Nav says 3 hours. Should be there at about 11.15am. Flight leaves at 4pm. Plenty of time.
At about Reading we pass Doug on the motorway. Great merriment from kids.
Crazy merriment from kids.
Craziness from kids.
Doug indicates to go to services as we have so much time.
Decide it’ll be much cheaper to buy crisps and drinks from WHSmiths rather than self service restaurant.
Llyw helps. Llyw decides to tell cashier that we are a big family and we are not just fat. She laughs. But appears relieved.
An hour spent eating crisps and pop.
Everyone decides they hate my car and fights ensue over who will go in Doug’s car and who has to endure my car (or my driving?). It’s not my mess it’s theirs!!
In my eight seater car I end up with the three youngest and littlest.
In Doug’s five seater he has 4 biggest.
But at least the Llyw-Adelaide combination has been removed.
Sat Nav says we have one hour to go and we will arrive at 12.15.
Plenty of time.
Then we hit M25.
Kids keep asking me how much longer. I convey time from sat Nav. I omit to mention Sat Nav time means nothing in traffic jams.
Doug is following me and insists I follow his traffic driving of changing lanes. In my opinion nothing good ever came from changing lanes. Find a lane and stick to it. A motto for life.
I change lanes to appease my better half.
Our lane undertakes by about a mile.
After three times I decide to stick to my own rules.
Pass coaches that undertook me 20 minutes ago.
Ha ha ha.
No good ever comes from changing lanes.
It’s a small victory that makes the extra hour of traffic jam kinda worth it.
We eventually arrive at about 1.30pm. Flight leaves at 4pm.
Not plenty of time.
Everyone gets more energetic as tensions rise causing spiralling chaos.
Torin refuses to walk through security scanner on his own. Meaning Torin has to be searched the old fashioned hands on way which he also screams about. They give him a “I flew through Gatwick security” sticker which he insists Mack wears instead of him.
Half way down a corridor we realise we’re missing a bag. Go back to retrieve it. It’s been queued for an extra check. I mentally go through what is in the bag to consider what has made it fail. Admit to myself could be practically anything as have lost will to keep track of what is in each suitcase. I THINK I put all shampoo etc in suitcases….. Should I have declared my pills? Was my test at the 3cm blade rule vs jewellery making pliers too dangerous?
It’s the DVD player. It goes through again and everyone is legal and above board. We’re one step closer!
30 mins till flight.
Kids remind us that they were told we’d eat in the airport and insist on food.
Find restaurant with food everyone will eat.
Wait for table that will seat 9.
Rush to chose and order.
As soon as last plate of food is on table, ask for bill. £110!!!!
£110 for food that only half was eaten by only half of us be because “it tastes funny”
£110 for food that was eaten so quickly it’s amazing we weren’t sick.
But kids (and Doug: it’s very very very important he’s fed on these stressful occasions) are fed. We make gate just as they are boarding our row.
We’re all in. Bags are all in. Kids are all happy.
“Thank you for choosing British Airways today for this flight to (where are we going again?) Alicante” much laughter from crowd.
“Unfortunately we are experiencing a delay which has two parts.”
“The first part is that our air traffic slot isn’t for an hour, the air is very busy today and that’s the soonest they can fit us in”
“The second part is that there aren’t enough luggage containers in Gatwick airport fo the number of flights on this busy day and we can’t fly until your luggage has been loaded onto the plane.”
“So we’re going to try and find some containers in time for our slot”
“We don’t actually have another option right now so we’re just going to hope for the best”
Great. An extra hour of trying to entertain kids in small area.
“We switched the seatbelt sign off so you can move about the cabin”
That’s kind of them.
I get the illicit DVD player out and put Horrid Henry on.
Then Peppa Pig.
Then the iPads.
Then the toys.
Finally they say they’ve fixed the luggage issue and we’re taxing to runway.
Never heard a plane full of kids enjoying take off as much before. It was lovely. Everyone super excited! (Imagine frequent older fliers not so impressed)
Kids say they’re hungry. I say food will come in a minute. That’s why you fly British Airways after all.
Food is New York pastrami or egg and tomato sandwich.
Adelaide and Llyw at least try.
Adelaide starts wretching and throws mouthful of sandwich into napkin.
Remember cream crackers in hand luggage for Genie’s car sickness.
Everyone eats many cream crackers.
Except me and Doug who now think British Airways New York pastrami sandwiches are food of Gods.
Arrive in Alicante. (I thought we were going to Valencia, but hey, who cares)
Locate mum, dad and Sara in baggage reclaim who tell us they lost passports on the plane. Because no Danson can have an easy, simple holiday experience.
Coach breaks down on way to villa.
Spanish, non-English speaking driver says “one moment please” and tries recognised machine fixing trick of turning off and back on again. Bus fixed. Hooray!
Bus driver can’t find villa. Takes many wrong turns and requires to reverse round cliff top corners.
Much craziness. Much excitement. Much shouting.
Yay! We’re on holiday. Love everyone. Why don’t we do this all the time?