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  • Froggee 987 posts

    The origin of this trip was almost a year ago when I secured Virgin Atlantic flights direct from Edinburgh to Barbados (premium economy out, upper class back) using Virgin miles. The flights had perfect times. It was a dream come true. Then Virgin cancelled the route and moved us to flying from Manchester. As this would have involved taking the boys out of school for an additional day, getting to Manchester, and dealing with Manchester Airport’s infamous Security procedures, I felt compelled to cancel. Too much added hassle for a short trip.

    This made Froggee very sad.

    In what can best be described as an emotional-compensatory-outburst, after a suitable grieving period, I booked flights to Tenerife as a replacement. This time I chose to fly with the more reliable Irish scratch card operator Ryanair. We decided to fly on the Friday that the boys’ school broke up for half term which felt naughty as education is important. But my emotional well-being is totally importanter. We mainly chose Friday because the flight left at 1:45pm rather than RyanAir’s 6am offering on the Saturday. But it helped that the cost was half of Saturday with the price for all four of us being a meagre £475.94 including as many bags as we could possibly wish to bring and our choice of seats. The flight back was a more spirited €1,076.74 but, all told, it wasn’t much more than half the cost of Virgin’s fees, taxes, and surcharges on the Barbados flights. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

    Actually more likely – winner, winner, “Mediterranean chicken panini” dinner. Ryanair’s catering leaves a lot to be desired. But I didn’t care. The last time Family Froggee went on a winter sun holiday (if you exclude the Scottish Riviera), Freddo was but a twinkle in my eye.

    The holiday almost wasn’t. 18 days before we were due to depart, Mrs Froggee came down with the worst lurgy she has ever had. I have never seen her anything like as ill. This made her dalliance with Covid seem like a fun day out. After its initial onslaught the lurgy eased off for a couple of days but then came back enraged. Mrs Froggee spent a further week in bed with a rolling fever, sore throat, shivers, aches and headaches. I took her to our excellent GP who set a nurse practitioner loose on her. Breathing fine, glands up, blood oxygen okay. Conclusion: “have a prescription for antibiotics but I don’t think you should take them as it’s probably just a bad virus”. Mrs Froggee hunkered down and eventually beat the bug by herself. I behaved like a single parent with added caring responsibilities and eventually she improved. Heroically I didn’t catch the bug.

    Until three days before we were due to leave.

    It hit me fast and hard. On Tuesday I felt fine dropping the boys off at school. I almost wasn’t able to collect them. I’m not sure how I prepared dinner but I couldn’t eat it. I pushed an otherwise tasty piece of trout around my plate, nibbled at some pak choi and then retreated to bed feeling freezing cold but burning up. Mrs Froggee was back on the school run on Wednesday despite still feeling a bit wabbit. I barely ate that day and could neither prepare, nor eat dinner. I kind of felt okay on Thursday. Fever gone. Appetite back. A bit tired. I successfully prepared and ate dinner. Freddo commented that I seemed much better. “Thank you Freddo, why’s that?” “Because you’re not curled up in a ball on the couch daddy.” Indeed.

    Friday I was good to go. Hoorah. Freddo was ecstatic that I was better. He was happy to admit this was mainly because he was excited to go on holiday but he was also missing bedtime stories which Mrs Froggee was not quite up to resuming. No concern about me whatsoever. Kids are emotional vampires. They puncture your heart and suck the love out of you

    Kermit had the lurgy at the same time as Mrs Froggee and, rarely for him, had a couple of days off school. Its origin is unknown. But it should be noted that there were a bunch of tonsillitis cases in Freddo’s class a few days prior to the lurgy’s onslaught. And Freddo did have a mild cough for a day or two round about then. Perhaps he was the Typhoid Mary of tonsillitis.

    Anyway. I think I was meant to be writing about Tenerife. On Friday we left chez Froggee at 11:15am with on over-excited Freddo and a correctly-excited Kermit. 25 minutes round the Edinburgh City bypass saw us parked in the multi story car park at 11:40am The fact that £48.59 seems okay for nine days parking shows that airport operators have won. Like last time, Ryanair checkin was super efficient. Parking included fast track security which could have been much faster if we weren’t allocated to lane 1 which meant for the life of us, we couldn’t get our trays onto the conveyor belt as lanes 2-6 had first dibs. The duty free shuffle was as annoying as ever. And then Edinburgh Airport reached a new low. After you are excreted from the forced duty free experience, there are a couple of taps where you can fill water bottles. One of those taps was broken. So there was a queue. It took longer to fill our water bottles than It did to drop our bags off. Or to clear security. And the queue was much worse by the time I was done. I could feel the hatred from the queue as I filled up four bottles. How difficult is it to provide working taps for drinking water? It wouldn’t surprise me if management deliberately cut off the water supply as a precursor to bringing in a paid fast track water supply station.

    The water delay left us less time in the Amex-platinum-secured plaza premium lounge than would have been ideal. So we wolfed down some lunch, clearing them out of sausage rolls, and made it to gate 1F just in time to be the last in the priority +2 bags queue for our flight. Boarding was swift. I was all for letting Kermit go up the front steps by himself but Mrs Froggee called him back given we were seated in row 31. I always pick seats towards the back with Ryanair as this provides easy access to two toilets compared to the sole khazi available at the front. And as Ryanair always board and disembark using both doors, being near the back is just peachy. We were ready early and pushed back bang on time. Flight time 4 hours and 20 minutes. Mrs Froggee was comatose from travel sickness pills so as usual I had two children to entertain. Praise be the Apple iPad. Sadly Freddo is the most annoying child in the world. At one point just as I was dozing off he woke me with “daddy does it cost money to take hand luggage?” I played a complete game of monopoly with him, which Freddo the natural born capitalist won without any assistance, and then thought perhaps I might be allowed to read January’s High Tech Strategist (don’t ask). I got midway through the second sentence before “daddy, look at the penguin I drew”.

    The flight reminded me somewhat of the tedium I experienced when I tried to read War and Peace. The difference of course was I bailed out of War and Peace after 50 pages but no such parachute option was available to me on FR6621. Obviously I was subjected to relentless kicking from Molly who was behind me but this is considered part and parcel of the full RyanAir experience so I didn’t even dream of complaining. To be fair, Molly’s parents were fully engaged entertaining their two children and the positivity from the father in particular was awe inspiring. Maybe a few more years and he’ll be a broken man like me. After securing the culinary delight of pizza and chips for the boys’ dinner (€5.50 each) and “Barilla bolognese” (€6.50) for Mrs Froggee we were getting close to Tenerife. I settled for a Pret A Manger Posh Cheddar and Pickle baguette which I’d bought for an outrageous £5.99 at Edinburgh Airport. I hadn’t eaten one of these for a good couple of years and forgot about the importance of removing the red onion from them.

    The pain of the journey wasn’t over yet. We were given a bonus ten minutes of flight time when we were put in a stack. I should add that this ten minutes was spent bouncing through thunder clouds because it was bucketing down in Tenerife. Yay. And I spent this ten minutes strongly wishing I’d removed the red onion from that baguette as I did onion burps in sync with the turbulence. On arriving at Tenerife South Airport the cabin crew proudly announced that we’d be using a jetway and would therefore only be disembarking from the front door. My initial “Oh goody we won’t have to go out into the rain” was replaced with “how long until we get off this plane” as my strongly held belief in both exits always being used by Ryanair was heartlessly destroyed. The feeling of devastation was somewhere between that of finding out the truths about the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. The answer to “how long until we get off this plane” was 15 minutes. In some of the stuffiest air imaginable. Then we found another queue to stand in. A pre-queue if you will. We had to wait before we were allowed to join the actual immigration queue. Welcome to the Brexit. When we got to the officially sanctioned immigration queue there was a merge pinch-point where we met another pre-queue. The fellow from the couple on the other side cunningly said “after you” undoubtedly expecting me to reply “no, no, after you” as all card-carrying Brits would. “Thanks very much” said I, which is just about as rude as it is possible to be. We nipped in front of the couple and didn’t look back.

    There was no sign whatsoever of toilets in the immigration area but implausibly neither of the boys expressed a desire to go. The family who were behind us on the plane did not have such luck and the mother went off with Molly never to be seen again. I worried about Molly for much of the holiday. Once we were finally stamped into Spain, it turned out we’d taken so long that they’d removed our flight from the displays in the baggage area. I got to play hunt the luggage eventually finding it on carousel #1 which was, of course, the last one I checked.

    We then made our way to the transfer desk of Sierra Y Gonzalez, the taxi firm the hotel had booked for us and after a brief wait there, we were told to follow a man. It appears this hombre must have been in training for the Olympics as he took off like a bull with gas. I didn’t stand a chance to keep up given I had a luggage trolley that had strong feelings about only turning left but even Mrs Froggee could not keep her eyes on him as he sprinted out into the darkness and rain. He had cunningly chosen to wear all black you see. We returned to the counter of Sierra Y Gonzalez which appeared to make the fellow at the desk’s day. After a modest interlude, Spain’s great hopeful returned. He then escorted us to a taxi in “warm down” mode where we got to stand in the rain while the driver finished a telephone call. We then stood in the rain while the boot was loaded.

    Only once these tasks were complete were we allowed to get in the taxi As a stickler for rules, I had agreed to pay an extra €6.42 for a booster seat for Freddo on top of the €64.20 transfer charge. That is each way so x2. The booster seat was sitting in the passenger seat at the front. As the driver commenced his pre-launch procedures, I channeled my inner Duolingo, pointed and asked “para el niño pequeño?” I was rewarded with a shrug of the shoulders as the driver fired up his engine. Quickly passing it behind me, Mrs Froggee fitted the booster at a speed only a mother in fear of her offspring’s life could have managed and we were off.

    The driver smashed though the exit gate, and as we reached an escape velocity on the first roundabout it became obvious that the driver was from an ancient Amazonian tribe who believe that a little piece of your spirit is taken away every time you use a car’s brakes. We were subjected to some truly awful Spanish music and to be clear there is much Spanish music I like. Freddo probably sensed my emotions and chirped out “I like this music”. Yes son because, like you, it is beyond annoying. For once I was pleased that Kermit had let off some of his trademarked malodorous bombs in the taxi. I psyched myself up not to tip, murmured gracias and ran into the arms of the bellboy at Hotel Suites Villa Maria where we were staying for the next eight nights. He gently conveyed us to reception where a lovely lady checked us in. I had to banish Kermit to the far side of reception in case the receptionist’s customer service skills were not up to smiling into a fart storm. The bellboy then buggied us off to our villa. I almost fell off going round a corner. It would have been ironic to survive the taxi ride only to fall at the last hurdle.

    Happy days, we made it. We vaguely unpacked and got the boys locked down. We had booked a three bedroom villa so the boys could have their own rooms which generally reduces the fighting. But given that Mrs Froggee was still coughing like Doc Cotton and I seemed to be a bit stuffy after the lurgy and flight, the boys were told in no uncertain terms they were sharing so mummy and daddy could get some sleep.

    I desperately needed to sleep. Which I couldn’t. I was still buzzing from the journey. Plus I always expect to get murdered the first night in a new property. I gave up at 11pm and started to read the Financial Times. It didn’t work. Then when I did manage to fall asleep, time and again I snored myself awake. This is not normal. Whatever the bug was that I thought I’d vanquished, it was having the last laugh. I guess I must have eventually fallen asleep or else I couldn’t have been woken by Kermit at 7am with the immortal words “daddy there’s no internet”.

    There was but I wasn’t in any mood to hook him up. Oh well breakfast awaits.

    Breakfast was included in the €4,317.15 we we were paying for the eight nights. After washing down an ibuprofen lysine with a cappuccino given the migraine that was pending, I got stuck in. It was one of the better breakfast spreads I’ve seen outside Asia. They had pretty much everything. As one of nature’s born suckers I loaded up on porridge and roast vegetables (in different receptacles) as why have champagne and smoked salmon when you can eat cheap stuff? The boys ensured they got in as much sugar and chocolate as possible. Why not? They’re on holiday.

    After breakfast we explored the property. There was a small play park so we let the boys play. They “played” on a seesaw. This involved Kermit using his superior weight to strand Freddo mid-air whilst shaking the seesaw. “Stop it” screamed Freddo. “Stop it Kermit” shouted I. “Let Freddo down” shouted Mrs Froggee. Kermit gave the seesaw a final shake which saw Freddo lose his balance. Instead of doing a simple fall like a normal kid, Freddo kept his feet wrapped around the beam. This resulted in him pivoting 180 degrees as he fell and with great skill he managed to land his head on the metal bracket that held the seesaw in place. Cue much screaming and a golf ball sized bump on Freddo’s head. We have a saying in the Froggee household that it isn’t a holiday without Freddo sustaining a head injury but at approximately 14 hours after arrival it was a new Scottish record.

    And with that we fell into a vague routine of big breakfasts, light lunches, and early dinners. The boys played a bit in the play park, went swimming in the big pool and were in and out of our villa’s pool. It was a bit chilly for the grown-ups but they boys enjoyed throwing “water bomb” balls at us until they managed to lose them all down the cliff we were on the edge of. We actually used the kids’ club a few days which kept both us and the boys sane. And they had a kiddy disco at 5pm each day which Mrs Froggee dragged them along to a few times. It was a pretty stress-free break. The boys weren’t overly keen on leaving the hotel once they realised that walking down the hill entailed having to walk back up it again. Fair enough.

    The answer to the question “why not let the boys eat as much sugar and chocolate as possible” came on the third night of our holiday when, shortly after falling asleep, I was woken by Kermit who had the “worst tummy ache ever”. After rifling through the suitcases it became apparent that the usual remedy, milk of magnesia, was 2,000 miles away. Thinking on my feet, I made him a cup of peppermint tea and found some long forgotten about antacids in my bag of tricks. “Not recommended for under 12s”. Indeed. It’s also not recommended to let under 12s stuff their faces with junk but that boat had long sailed. I spent quite some time googling the three chalk-like ingredients in the antacids concluding that all were widely used in children’s medicines. I then divided Kermit’s weight into mine and rounded up to get 3 and gave him one third of a tablet. I told him to get into the bed adjacent to mine (all rooms had two twin beds in them) and to go to sleep. He was reticent to do so without puppy. He was well enough to retrieve puppy from upstairs. Kermit and puppy got into bed. Five minutes later Kermit and puppy got out of bed. “I feel much better now daddy”. To further mess with my head the kid then thanked me and left. He never says thank you. Maybe I was dreaming?

    After another poor night’s sleep I woke the following morning to find a cockroach as I got out of bed. Eek. The upside was Mrs Froggee had nabbed a Daily Mail from breakfast the day prior and finally I had found a purpose for the Daily Mail. Out of 1,793 Tripadvisor reviews of the hotel there is only one mention of cockroaches from six years ago. I’m that lucky. Cockroach not so lucky. Several well timed splats looked to have dispatched it. I went to make peepee and on my return, I swear I witnessed the cockroach gather its innards, repair its legs and walk off. At this point I went a bit Patrick Bateman on it. I don’t know why but after my murderous efforts I humanised the cockroach by calling it Colin. Sorry Colin. It was either you or me.

    Other than breakfast, dining options at our hotel weren’t great. We were happy to cater for ourselves at lunchtime. There were two dinner choices with the “fine dining restaurant” not opening until 7pm which is a bit late for us. The other restaurant was at the pool and was “okay”. Room service was weird as it appeared to be the pool restaurant menu with most of the good stuff removed. This was a real shame as eating at the table in our garden which had picture perfect views of the volcano and the sea was very pleasant. But no pasta (unless you were a kid), and if you didn’t want a pizza or burger you had a choice of half-decent wreckfish, brutally bad grilled chicken or steak which I didn’t even risk. Shame.

    It was at 6:25pm on 13th February that Mrs Froggee lost the will to live. We were eating dinner in our garden. 20 minutes earlier she had witnessed Kermit dip a chip in ketchup and then wipe his beketchupped fingers on the front of his t-shirt right in front of her. “What were you thinking?” she screamed at Kermit. I kid you not the boy had the audacity to reply “I was thinking there weren’t any napkins”. That was bad but then Freddo decided that it was of the utmost importance he have some of the Golden Delicious apple I was cutting up and lent across his plate to retrieve some slices from me. Not one to be usurped by his elder brother, Freddo produced the most comprehensive food stain I think I have ever seen on a t-shirt, Mainly ketchup but there was a bit of burger grease to add variety. I think it hurt so much because Mrs Froggee spends a lot of time choosing clothes for them from some “sustainable” brand called Fruggi. There is a roaring second hand market to sell the clothes into as the boys outgrow them. But tonight’s outfits were now significantly devalued. Like the loving husband I am I decided to try and save the T-shirts. So I liberally applied some Ecover laundry detergent the inner Boy Scout in me had packed, gave the stains a good rub and left them soaking overnight.

    Mrs Froggee and I had formally agreed to dispense with the 14th of February this year with a legally binding contract on the subject drawn up pro bono by @JDB. Apparently he also dislikes commercially driven holidays. However, whose spouse doesn’t love the gesture of a bit of laundry service? On the day that legally cannot be named I asked Mrs Froggee if she needed any clothes washed. Apparently she was good with the exception of wanting a backup pair of nicknacks for herself and the boys. And this is how I found myself handwashing my family’s underpants on the most romantic day of the year. In a concession to the occasion, Mrs Froggee chose to give me a pair of her panties that had little red hearts on them. Even with @JDB’s watertight contract, romance lives on.

    To further add to the sense of occasion, both Mrs Froggee and I developed head colds that day. Coincidentally Kermit stopped incessantly blowing his nose at the exact same time. We had booked dinner at a restaurant called Salitre a ten minute walk down the hill in La Calete which was most pleasant. A nice bit of fish (turbot for Mrs Froggee and sea bass for me) with roasted vegetables and fries. The Spanish are to be admired in their approach to children in that if you ask they’ll offer a few child friendly options or will just do you a smaller plate of one of the mains. The boys had fish fingers which were basically a few smaller pieces of fish of pleasingly varying sizes and robbed Mrs Froggee blind of the calamari and prawns she’d ordered as a starter “for the table”. The desserts were simple but good. I let Kermit try my mojito sorbet which he loved but it would have been bad parenting to let him have a whole one so vanilla ice cream for him. The bill was a not unreasonable €164.62. As we left, the sun was finishing setting, the restaurant’s flambés were blazing, the waves were crashing against the rocks, and a busker was playing love songs on a guitar. But we stayed strong and ignored the sense of occasion. I considered putting my arm around Mrs Froggee but thankfully Kermit broke the tension – “I need the toilet.” Of course you do son.

    On Thursday We took the hotel’s courtesy shuttle to meet friends from Edinburgh at the Plaza del Duque. They’d recommended our hotel having stayed themselves many times. We went to the beach where men repeatedly tried to sell us scarves while the boys decided to get soaked by the waves given that we did not have a change of clothes with us. It actually felt like the scarf-sellers were queuing up to take their turn. It was relentless. Our friends were staying at Hotel GF Victoria. I had a snoop around it and it looked nicer than ours. But then we had a villa and they had a couple of connecting rooms. GF Victoria has a mini water park which the boys would have loved except for the small matter that Freddo is a couple of centimetres under the 1.2m height restriction and they are supposedly quite strict so it may have sucked if we’d stayed there. Mrs Froggee says I’m no longer allowed to call Freddo stubby as I’ll give him a complex but he is not a tall kid. Our friends asked after our hotel. I said that our pool was a bit cold. They asked if I’d called reception to get them to turn the heat up.

    I. Did. Not. Think. Of. That.

    Given that we were leaving in a couple of days I decided to revise history and we chose to keep the pool cool for sustainability reasons.

    We had an early lunch which was cheap and simple and then had one of these arguments about splitting the bill where neither side wanted to be seen as being tight-fisted. The result was ten euros being left on the table which hopefully made someone’s day. Then back onto the shuttle bus.

    I considered going to Siam Park but it looked like too much hassle so I just didn’t mention to the boys that there was a massive water park several kilometres away. Freddo knew a kid from school who was staying in the same hotel as us. The mum had already recommended restaurants to us and relayed news of their trip to Siam Park. Apparently they have a 1.25m height restriction for anything but baby slides. Freddo’s >1.25m friend had a blast. His younger brother not so much. Then to add insult to injury the family couldn’t get a taxi back for the life of them so ended up catching a bus part of the way and then walked their two whining kids the final two miles. Maybe next time.

    We went out for dinner again on Thursday, this time to “Rosso Sul Mare” which had an Italian vibe to it and was also recommended by the mum of Freddo’s friend. We booked on Sunday and appeared to be lucky to get a 4:45pm dinner reservation four days later. It worked out okay as service was pretty relaxed. Amusingly the waiter informed us that there wasn’t a kids menu but they can do smaller plates of the mains and if there was a national emergency then they did have some chicken nuggets in the freezer. Mrs Froggee does love her seafood. Alas I am a rubbish husband as I don’t eat shellfish. But I persuaded her to go big. So she order prawns and “Variety of Seafood” for the starters. The latter was a sharing platter (actually two platters) and was fairly impressive. Freddo made himself busy eating as much calamari as he was allowed. Kermit got stuck into the prawns and then inquired what Mrs Froggee was eating. “It’s a muscle Kermit”. Kermit wanted to try. We always encourage our kids to try new things even though it is destined to end in failure. “I like it” said Kermit. Oh? He went on to add “it looks disgusting but tastes yummy”. And with these pithy words, Mrs Froggee lost most of her remaining muscles. I made myself busy eating raw tuna and a carpaccio of salmon and another mystery fish. Not because I like raw fish but because I hate the awkwardness when they ask if you enjoyed your food and you clearly didn’t. I nibbled the cold octopus but left the rest to the team who claimed they liked it.

    We ordered a Margherita pizza for Kermit and Lasagne for Freddo. I had pumpkin ravioli and Mrs Froggee had lobster which comfortably cost more than the sum of everyone else’s mains. The pizza actually looked like something an Italian might recognise. And it was massive. After initial suspicion, Kermit got stuck in. Then Freddo also got stuck into the pizza as his lasagne had been cooked in stoneware and was scorchio. By the time it was cool enough to eat, Freddo was full, the pizza was gone and I didn’t get to try it. Sad face. I had some lasagne instead.

    We managed to squeeze in deserts before our 6:45pm eviction. I’m not quite sure how the bill only came to €142.50 other than the pastas and pizza were cheap (€10-€13) plus of course we don’t drink. Thoroughly recommended. I took the boys for their compulsory trip to the toilets on the way out. I should add that the place had the nicest, cleanest toilets I’ve ever seen in a restaurant. It’s almost worth going there just to visit the toilets.

    I had another lousy night’s sleep that night. Friday was our last day so we celebrated by banishing the boys to kids’ club and relaxing. We took them to the pool in the afternoon where a bouncy castle slide thing had been installed. Then dinner in our garden one more time. Lovely setting but food not a patch on the proper restaurants we went to. Weirdly I started to feel pretty lousy. By 8pm I had a fever. Ugh. The fever had gone by Saturday but I was shattered. And had sinusitis – just on the left side. Putting 2+2 together my best guess is that the family had got strep A which was rampant at the boys’ school this winter and I hadn’t shaken it off. A few bad nights’ sleep and a cold on top of it and wham. Again. Oh well good hand hygiene called for so I keep it to myself.

    Checkout was smooth. I’d paid the bill the night before which had come to €470.34 for five basic dinners. Reception had arranged for a bellboy to get our luggage at 8:50am and he was bang on time. Our taxi arrived at exactly 8:55am This driver confirmed that he had a booster seat and it was preinstalled. He drove smoothly. I tipped.

    The queues for Ryanair flights were BAD. Like blocking the terminal bad and it wasn’t quite clear where the end of the queues were as they were all squished up. There were five desks open so I chose the queue at the end next to a closed checkin desk. This turned out to be genius as that desk promptly opened. We jumped over which halved our queue length. Then the adjacent desk opened. We were given permission to jump to it on being asked where we were flying to and in the end only waited about ten minutes to check in. We were very fortunate. At Security we were chaperoned to a family lane which was super quick so the only real wait was to get our passports stamped. And that wasn’t disastrous. I was delighted to spot a water refill station near the gate so we filled our bottles and I paid €1.10 for one additional bottle from a vending machine as it was a long flight.

    The flight boarded via both doors. And was on time. Because I was shattered, I was allowed to sit in the window seat where I was reunited with Molly. Apparently her parents had also ticked the “do you want the same seats as you chose flying out” box when booking. And it was Molly’s turn for the window seat too. I was pleased as I had been worried that she’d been forced to spend her holiday stuck in Immigration but it sounds like they had a nice time.

    If the flight out reminded me of War and Peace, the flight home reminded me of Dante’s Inferno. If I were to pick three characters who best personified Dante’s beasts, we had the lion directly in front of me who, minutes after boarding, shouted “who the f*** let that off that stinker” at the top of his voice. (For once it wasn’t Kermit.) His wife, the she-wolf, developed a nose bleed halfway through the flight which she resolved by repeatedly dabbing it with her finger which she then licked. But my personal favourite was the leopard who, during turbulence when the seat belt sign was on, pressed the call button and then asked the member of cabin crew who attended to pass him a Burger King meal that he’d had sweating away in the overhead bin for three hours. Classy. Meanwhile I was micro-napping between volleys of kicks from Molly. Another one of Freddo’s friends was on the flight. One of his besties. I spent a reasonable portion of the latter part of the flight with three kids (and me) in our row of three seats. Mrs Froggee went off to chitter-chatter with the other mum. The flight felt much longer than 4h 25m.

    But we got back on time. Thankfully we deplaned via the rear door where we walked into some pretty dreich weather. Five degrees centigrade, a strong wind and enough rain to make you run. Immigration was surprisingly smooth. Kermit saw a friend from his year who it turns out had also been on the flight. There was some initial confusion at baggage reclaim as, if you believed the boards, Ryanair had two flights landing from Tenerife half an hour apart. It turns out that the Friday evening flight did not go until Saturday and the poor people who had booked on it were delayed 16 hours. I thanked the Lord this had not happened to us. We found our car at the first attempt in the multi story car park and I drove home in what was now a torrential downpour, safely arriving at 5:20pm

    After our October holiday when we got home at 1am to a cold house, I had vowed to work out how to set holiday mode on the heating. Well it turns out that if you’re away for eight nights you’re meant to enter the number 7, not 8. This was a problem. However I’d left the frost protect on at 15 degrees so things could be worse. I looked at the thermostat and it was 11 degrees. Things were worse. It turned out that our Worcester Bosch boiler had decided to develop a #9 error and had shut down to save itself from overheating. On investigation this happened on Monday with the kicker being an extra 3kwh of daily electricity consumption while various pumps were calling for heat from an uncooperative boiler. Ugh. After a couple of failures I managed to get the boiler working again but on a reduced flow temperature. Sadly it takes a long time to get a stone built Victorian house warm at the best of times, but much longer with an asthmatic boiler.

    Just like our last holiday we went to sleep wearing sweaters under additional blankets.

    Would I go back to Tenerife? Maybe. We didn’t touch the island in terms of all the things there are to do. It was merely a means to a bit of winter sun to reinvigorate the soul. But it’s a long way on a low cost carrier. With children. Next year I think I’ll just take a higher dose of vitamin D.

    The end.

    cabal of rabid baboons 109 posts

    As always, an entertaining read, thank you Froggee.

    Olly 249 posts

    Well, that was an epic even by Froggee standards but an enjoyable one nonetheless. I think you missed your vocation.

    It did make me wonder why you queued to fill the water bottles rather than load up when you were in the lounge though?

    freckles 192 posts

    More Vit D and super strength Vit C with zinc (about 90p for 20 effervescent tablets fron Aldi) for next winter – help keep the mature Frogee’s healthy next winter 😀

    Sounds like you need a holiday to get over a holiday.

    Froggee 987 posts

    Well, that was an epic even by Froggee standards but an enjoyable one nonetheless. I think you missed your vocation.

    It did make me wonder why you queued to fill the water bottles rather than load up when you were in the lounge though?

    Thanking you kindly. Unless I’ve missed it, the only water option in that lounge is a big glass dispenser that they seem to fill up with ice which slowly melts. It can be hit and miss whether there is enough water in it and I do wonder how clean that arrangement really is. I mean I’ll drink it when I’m in the lounge but I’d much rather fill a bottle with fresh tap water rather than stale ice melt off.

    Richie 1,040 posts

    Great report, thanks. I note Jet2 fly from Edinburgh to Funchal, a slightly shorter flight, not sure if that might be a future consideration.

    The Savage Squirrel 599 posts

    Loved it as always Froggee.

    AJA 1,127 posts

    I need a holiday to get over reading that epic. That said, my better half has announced that the On the beach adverts which offer lounge access if you do a 4 or 5 star holiday are reason enough to avoid going on holiday for the foreseeable. So I will live vicariously through the Froggee holiday trip reports.

    I like Tenerife but am not sure I could stomach a 4.5 hour flight on the Irish scratchcard operator, however reliable they may be. I just about cope with CE on BA from LGW but at least the 160TP earned from the return trip is useful.

    JDB 4,649 posts

    @Froggee thank you; as ever, a fantastic read. I have to admire your fortitude in flying Ryanair for 4½ hours – we once flew to Dinard with them and one hour was enough to know, never again. My wife subsequently, and contrary to advice, once road tested Easyjet so I have been saved from that. I’m afraid that much though the pedant in me enjoyed the multi faceted story, it was concerned by the multi story (sic) car park albeit I think Americans may spell it like that.

    Froggee 987 posts

    @Froggee thank you; as ever, a fantastic read. I have to admire your fortitude in flying Ryanair for 4½ hours – we once flew to Dinard with them and one hour was enough to know, never again. My wife subsequently, and contrary to advice, once road tested Easyjet so I have been saved from that. I’m afraid that much though the pedant in me enjoyed the multi faceted story, it was concerned by the multi story (sic) car park albeit I think Americans may spell it like that.

    Ouch. I can’t even blame multi-story on a typo. Just plain ignorance on my part. How have I missed that all my life?

    As it happens we’re down to fly EasyJet in May. I’ll report back.

    Froggee 987 posts

    Great report, thanks. I note Jet2 fly from Edinburgh to Funchal, a slightly shorter flight, not sure if that might be a future consideration.

    I think we might still be banned from Jet2 after Freddo went all B. A. Baracus on them when he was a toddler and screamed for an hour and a half whilst trying to escape.

    NorthernLass 8,267 posts

    Great stuff, @Froggee! You renew my relief that those days are finally behind us 😂. Our first foreign trip after lockdown was Ryanair to Tenerife (it was green list and ridiculously cheap!), after 2 years of no sun or international travel I couldn’t have been happier if I’d been in BA first en route to the Maldives. I bagged exit row seats for me and OH, but sadly the two 15 year olds were too young for these and had to sit in the row in front – so it does get better, this parenting thing!

    strickers 723 posts

    Excellent work as always Froggee, I do hope you were treated to the Voldemort Airways on time bugle? I believe this is normally used to ensure everyone is wide awake and ready for evacuation style disembarkation, maybe they forgot and that is why it took 15 minutes?

    Andrew. 512 posts

    Froggee, I see you parked in the multi-storey

    It’s all change at Edinburgh Airport with the withdrawal of the bus service that previously connected the terminal with the Airport’s long-stay car park. The only option is to walk – which would be utterly awful in an Edinburgh monsoon.

    *But*

    On Saturday, my brother took advantage of the free 30 minutes parking in the long-stay car park. It took me less than 5 minutes to stride out the tram end exit of the airport, over the bridge to the new Taxi area, along the left side of the taxi arc, over the pedestrian crossing into the Mid-stay car park, zig-zagging along the temporary pathway, and through the open gate into the long-stay.

    1958 72 posts

    Great report. Always look forward to reading your contributions.
    When my kids were younger, it was incredible how often they would be sick on the last day of term (and consequently caught that day’s flight, which had been booked long in advance). Once the cost for a departure to New York on the first day of the holiday was exactly double the cost on the previous day). As a great man once said, “education is important. But my emotional well-being is totally importanter.”
    ps – Wish that I had worked as High Tech Strategist, as it sounds a better life/work balance, as evidenced by the time taken to write such a wonderful trip report!
    pps – We gave up on February half-term trips as our kids got older. Preferred a longer trip during the Easter break.

    cin3 168 posts

    Why didn’t you fill up water in the lounge?

    And did you really let your children litter the ocean with presumably plastic water bombs? 🙁

    Froggee 987 posts

    Why didn’t you fill up water in the lounge?

    And did you really let your children litter the ocean with presumably plastic water bombs? 🙁

    I refer the honourable @cin3 to the answer I gave on water at 21:48 last night.

    The three “water bombs” were absorbent fabric balls which were excellent to play catch with in the pool. Or throw at parents to soak their clothes. They were not meant to be disposable. The “cliff” led down to a golf course, not the ocean. I considered seeing if I could vault the fence and climb down to retrieve them but was put off partly at the prospect of idiotic middle-age injury but mainly by the fact there was a cctv camera.

    elguiri 223 posts

    Another great recount @Froggee – eagerly awaiting the collection of these short stories out in time for Xmas…

    Similar to @NorthernLass we also visited Tenerife during the pandemic as it was on the green list. Using recommendations on here we stayed at the GF Victoria and very much liked the rooms (even the cheapest room comes with separate lounge area made up as double sofa bed), the kids club let us have some relaxing time (and to try out the infinity pool hanging over the edge of the roof).

    Unlike @Froggee, we did venture out and went on road trip around the island (getting lost and ending up going down a 20% steep farm track with cliff edge on one side), which with the windy roads and the ‘less-cautious’ local drivers doing 70 round the hairpins and nearly taking us out, ended up with little Guiricita vomiting 4 times in the car. As it was a Sunday nothing was open in the villages we passed, and we ended up using all napkins, baby wipes and the airport see-through-liquids-bags we could find (note to self, wrap the bags in something opaque when taking them from the car down the road to a rubbish bin. It will stop the stares and comments).

    cin3 168 posts

    Why didn’t you fill up water in the lounge?

    And did you really let your children litter the ocean with presumably plastic water bombs? 🙁

    I refer the honourable @cin3 to the answer I gave on water at 21:48 last night.

    Sorry just saw this. Simplest would be to just ask for water or use the bathroom taps.

    NorthernLass 8,267 posts

    @elguiri, that made me laugh as the first time we took our hijito to Tenerife he threw up Coco Pops all down his front as we climbed the winding roads up to Teide national park. That was the last time we let him have “treat” breakfast on holiday! We gave up and went another day, but he still ruined the trip by moaning about being cold and refusing to walk anywhere once we’d got off the very expensive cable car, so we ended up just sitting in the cafe with some cake and hot chocolate until it was time to go back down.

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