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Although my hubby likes going abroad for a holiday, I don't. Here's the reason why: I do not enjoy the travelling aspect one little bit!
The first stage is arriving at the airport where, safely through security, we wait for the flight. And wait. And wait.
I've read the magazines I've earmarked for the plane journey. I've done every single puzzle in them and now I'm reduced to doodling beards and glasses on all the faces. Being a boring technophobe, I don't have a smart phone or tablet, so I can't play games or surf the net.
In between checking the board, we play I- spy, noughts and crosses and hangman. We have coffee at six different cafes and trot endlessly to WH Smiths. Well, I think, some fresh magazines might have come in...
Finally, finally - our flight is called and we board the plane.
We take off and all is fine and dandy – only it isn't, as directly behind us there's a family with a toddler constantly kicking my seat. Hubby doesn't want me to make a fuss, so I keep my counsel. Yet surely we're entitled to sit in comfort, as the family behind us are?
This is what we've paid for, after all.
Me and hubby swap seats, yet the hard- beat kicking never lets up. Those six coffees have taken their toll. Oh why is there always a long queue for the loos on planes? I decide to leave it and hang on until we land. But 4 hours plus is an awful long time to hang on! On landing, once through passport control, I rush off to the ladies while my hubby collects our baggage. As I re-join him at the carousal, I observe passengers happily scooping up their cases and quickly skipping off – except us.
So we wait. And wait. Until finally, finally – we scoop ours up too and head for the coach. When we arrive, we discover that everyone is seated and ready to go.
The entire coach full of passengers, plus driver and rep, have all been waiting patiently for us.
There's lots of resentful glances as we shamefully shuffle on and silently take our seats. Sorry folks, but it's hardly our fault, is it? The coach journey takes around 2 hours in order to drop everyone off at their hotels.
And naturally, our hotel is last on the list. To top it all, with all the winding roads and excessive sudden heat, I begin to feel sick. I root out a small carrier, just in case. Finally, finally, we arrive at the hotel.
This had better be worth it, I think, as I heave our baggage into reception...
Hooray! We go home today.
Bags packed, hubby and I park ourselves on a sofa in the hotel reception area and wait for the coach. Very much like the holiday itself, there's nothing much to do. We spend hours people watching and vacantly look out to sea. We wait and wait. Until finally, finally, the coach arrives - and I'm forced to face the twisty roads and the strong sensation of sickness all over again! When we're dropped off at the airport, we join a cattle- grid like queue. 45 minutes in, we realise it's the wrong check- in line.
We hastily push past folk and eventually locate the right queue. It must be the correct one because it's full of moaning Brits. (I don't blame 'em!). Once through security, we find a cafe and sink into our seats. Phew! After all that faffing about, it's nice to catch our breath. Then, through the garbled announcements, we pick out the words 'Manchester - boarding now.' Yikes! We ditch our coffee and like headless chickens, fly to the boarding gate.
We board the plane - only for me to be reunited with the kicking kid family.
On arrival in Manchester, there's a sea of around what looks like three thousand people at passport control. We wait and wait until finally, finally we reach the front. We race to the train station – only to discover that we've missed a train by seconds. The next one is due in an hour. We can't even have a cuppa, as all the cafes are shut. It's late at night, it's cold, we're utterly exhausted, stressed out, hungry and thirsty and, to top it all, I've got a throbbing headache.
The headache tablets are in the suitcase somewhere and neither of us can be bothered to dig them out. After the train, it's a long bus ride home.
If we've missed the last bus, we'll be forced to stump up extra cash for a taxi. I think we've spent enough on this holiday as it is. So, is it worth the hassle and expense? My hubby seems to think so.
Me? Well, I'm not so sure...
Written by Sharon Boothroyd.