Saturday, 17 August 2019

Work, rain, save!

It's been a 'nothing' week!
No A'Level results here this year, that'll be next years highlight!!!!

Instead, it's been raining and raining and just a little more rain thrown in for good measure! In fact the whole month of August has been on the damp side! I've worked nearly every day since we returned from holiday, saving up for next year's week away in the sun!

I'd rather be wet, splashing around in the pool for a week, than waking up every morning to rain! Knowing we have next year's holiday booked, makes a wet month here slightly more bearable! 
Let's hope the forecast improves x

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Lots to celebrate this week!

On Wednesday the boy turned 17!!!

Where, oh where have those years gone?

A double chocolate brownie caked was asked for and a double chocolate brownie cake is what he got!! One more slice left for tea tomorrow!

Of course turning 17 means one thing - time to learn to drive!

And we went out twice on his birthday and a further couple of times since. "It's a lot harder than it looks" is his main review on driving! He's doing okay, a few more turns of the car park and local roads when quiet, about 8pm but he's doing okay. Lessons due to start in September once he's got a few of the basics and is a little more confident.

I've been super excited to be picking figs from my tree in the garden, think it was 7 on the last count, still a few to ripen, such a treat.

The weather's not been great since we returned from Majorca, a real mixed bag and I'd go as far as to say Autumnal the past couple of days. The Tor never disappoints, whatever the weather!

Instead of sitting out in the garden enjoying the sunshine, I've been busy inside researching and deciding on next year's holiday - happy to say it's booked, a sunny week in old town Pollensa, Mallorca, something lovely to look forward too.

Monday, 5 August 2019

The Villa

So as you know we have just returned from our week away in Soller. The second year we've braved booking everything separately, the villa, flights, transfers etc. We enjoy having our own private space, no maids, no sunbed dash, no all inclusive. Instead we like to come and go as we please, knowing we have our own pool and sunbeds to return to, regardless of timings. We eat out every evening, breakfast and lunch at the villa or bakery goods out and about. For me the weeks holiday is a week off cooking, thinking ahead about what meals to have, food shopping, other than the bakery run.

I spend hours and hours researching which area/resort to go to, what day trips could be made, a good town/place to base ourselves. When choosing the villa I focus on the proximity to the centre, bus station but also on the actual area of it's location. The children ideally wanted separate rooms but compromised on sharing for a slightly bigger pool. I filter my search to the number of people, rooms, price per night and always add in private pool, air con and WiFi. A washing machine is a bonus, ideally kitchen area out to the garden/pool area. A view is a welcome bonus and this years villa had it all. I would happily return.

The villa interior was clean, well equipped, in the most beautiful quiet location.

We had the most spectacular view of the mountains. I thought I'd miss being by the sea but this was just fine and the grounds the villa encompassed were lovely and spacious.

We had lemon trees full to bursting with fruit....

and orange and pomegranate trees, all for picking.

We were met on our arrival, after a 3 hour delay, shown around the villa, explanation of how to work the air cone, a brief chat about the surrounding area etc We didn't need to contact anyone throughout our stay, the pool man arrived on the penultimate day to check everything was okay, more for the hand over I suspect. Sam, always the first one in, loved the pool and the mountain vista.

I mean what a view to wake up to every morning!
So peaceful

The first morning we all wondered into the centre, a 7-10 minute walk through the most beautiful shady old town streets.

I however was the one to get up every morning to do the bakery run. It's actually one of my favourite times of the day on holiday. A little moment of time on your own. It's cooler, quieter, a relaxing start to the day and of course there is bread and cake involved too, what's not to love!?!

We breakfasted and lunched back at the villa most days.

We tended to go off out in the mornings, when it was slightly cooler, do our thing of the day - Sunday Soller, Monday Port De Soller, Tuesday Deia, Wednesday Villa day, Thursday Palma, Friday Villa day, then home on the Saturday. 

The pool is always the most welcome sight on our return and it's such a luxury to have. I think it's worth finding the right pool, spending a little more if you have to, as it was used so much. us all!!

  Last years villa was on the ground floor, this year the bedrooms were upstairs, made it all feel a little more spacious. We had two bath/shower rooms, a downstairs toilet and an outside toilet and shower too - spoilt for choice. I like the fact there was a washing line to the side, always in the sun to dry all the swim stuff and a little washing throughout the week.

Jeff doesn't like to drive when we're away, so we are reliant on the local buses, which are regular, air conditioned and reliable and with the Internet now, all the times, journeys etc were really easy to find.

We were a 15 minute walk to the bus station. Due to the narrow streets of Soller, there was just the one pick up/drop off point, so we did frequent the bench there most days

The local supermarket was on route, so we always got what we needed on the way home. We did have a Spar just 2 minutes away from the villa, which was great for water etc but it's opening hours were based on the locals rather than tourists.

It really has been a great week and the villa was perfect for us.

So if you want to holiday HERE then click through to 
the HomeAway website for all the details x 

Or look at the thousands of other villas available all over the island.

We will be returning to Majorca next year - we like it, it's easy to get to from Bristol, we're aware of the travel/transfers etc when we arrive, it's lovely to meet up with friends there and there is still so much of the island to explore. So I'm off to research next years holiday - it'll have a lot to live up to!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Beautiful Soller

Well that flew by - a sunny, happy week in Soller.

It wasn't a great start - a one and a half hour delay at the airport, then sat on the plane for a further hour and more but the pilot put his foot down and we got to Palma with 5mins to spare from getting delay compensation once over the 3 hours!!

The transfer taxi was all booked, didn't have to wait long, a 30 minute drive and we arrived at our new home for the week. I always worry whether it'll live up to the pictures, thankfully this did and some! Of course Sam was the first one in!!

We spent the first day exploring Soller, finding the supermarket, as our closest Spar was closed on a Sunday. It certainly was a less touristy area.

Soller is a beautiful town. Quiet is possibly not the right word to describe it, as there were people around, the tram travelling down to the Port through the centre but it had a calmness about it. We breakfasted in the Square, found the train station, Miro exhibition, then wandered back and spent the afternoon at the villa.

On Monday we went to Port De Soller via the Tram. 

 It was nice, not as nice as Puerto Pollensa, where we holidayed last year. We had a wander along the seafront, swam in the sea, had an ice-cream, then got the bus back to Soller, with the promise of returning one evening.

On Tuesday we left Sophie behind. Jeff, Sam and I caught the bus to Deia, then walked down to the rocky cove at Cala De Deia. It was a proper rocky path and mix of roads spiralling down to the sea. 

A scene from The Night Manager was filmed there. We didn't go to 'the' cafe, instead ate our bakery breakfast looking out to sea, after the most welcome swim in the rocky cove. The walk back was hard going in the heat but we were grateful at the top in Deia for a shady bus stop and air conditioned bus back to Soller.

That evening we met up with good friends Steve and Jan, who are lucky enough to live on the island. It was great to have a catch up, always a good time and delicious food. 

We spent Wednesday having a relaxed Villa day.

Jeff and I went into the Square for breakfast, 
the perfect spot for a little people watching and good coffee.

That evening we got the bus down to the Port, in the hope of a sunset (not that impressive) and a different spot to eat. My one rule on holiday is that I won't cook. I'll put together breakfast and lunch but the only thing I'll cook is a boiled egg!! It's my one week of the year where I can have a week off. It was certainly more expensive here than in Soller, which I actually preferred.

The alarm was set for Thursday morning and a day trip to Palma. I loved the city and will happily return but it was far too hot for 4 people to just mill around.

We went to Palma on the old train from Soller, through the mountains. The station in Soller is beautiful, quite arty and it was lovely to sit and eat our breakfast there, in the peace and stillness of the station before other people arrived.

As I said Palma was great, the architecture, atmosphere, mix of old and new. We stumbled on areas rather than having a plan for the day. The Cathedral was impressive but it was so hot and exposed. Our plan had been to walk along the seafront but there was no real shade, so we headed back to the old town and their shady streets and found a quiet square to get a drink.

We had lunch in St Cristo Bakery. I always do the bakery run on holiday, getting fresh pastries for breakfast, bread for lunch etc. I chatted to Alfonso most mornings, mentioned we were going to Palma and he told us to find his wife Rene in the Palma bakery, "tell her Alfonso sent you!!" which we duly did, 10% off and we got to meet his lovely wife. I love meeting people like that on holiday.

So Friday, our final day, pretty much went like Wednesday, with Jeff and I breakfasting in the Square, lunch back at the villa, time relaxing by the pool and our final evening in the Square.

Saturday came around far too quickly. We breakfasted at the Villa, having to leave at 11.30. Our pre arranged transfer arrived, super speedy drive down to Palma airport, where we spent the afternoon waiting for our flights.

It was a lovely holiday, time together, although whatever the age, Sophie and Sam always bicker. Not helped by the fact that they had to share a room but that was the compromise when booking for a larger pool. I do wonder if that could have been our last family holiday as a four. I'm guessing Sam will still holiday with us next year, maybe Sophie but she may have started her placement year by the time we go. I'll share villa details with you in the next post for anyone that's interested, this is way too long as it is. Sadly it's Adios for this year but as always, I'm beginning to research where to go next year. Always need something to look forward too x 

Friday, 26 July 2019

Holiday prep!

It's been a busy old week - with a day trip to Cornwall to celebrate early with this one. Granny will be 96 on Saturday, we'll be on an aeroplane, so we brought forward the celebrations with fish and chips for lunch and chocolate caterpillar cake for pud!

I love seeing Sam and Granny together, he's now a giant!!

It was lovely, although brief to see her x

Here's wishing her an early happiest of birthdays x

Sophie, Sam and I all finished work on Wednesday and Sophie and I decided on Thursday, the hottest day of the year, that we ought to start the packing!! I've done lots of bits and pieces before but we lay it all out together 'tit for tat' and then I end up doing the actual packing bit, performing a minor miracle and getting it all into the actual case!!

This is the Villa! Hoping it's as lovely when we get there!
There's always that bit of trepidation about what you will find but all the photo's have recently been updated on the listing and it does look lovely - will share on our return xx