My favourite holiday:

When Skig was 2, we went to Italy.  Lake Garda.  I thought George Clooney lived there, but got the wrong island.

The holiday started like most holidays do – stressful.  There were four of us.  Myself and my Other Half, our two year old son and our twelve year old tween. A fairly straightforward journey, and I’d even paid extra money to ensure that our hired car was big enough to take us all – at 6ft 3” and 5ft 9” respectively, plus all the paraphernalia that goes with travelling with a toddler, I knew we’d need that extra space. 

We arrived at the airport just after midnight.  All understandably tired and I was particularly stressed because I’d never driven abroad before.

After waiting an eternity for someone to turn up, the language barrier and late hour didn’t serve to improve my mood.  My Other Half, sensing ‘The Wrath of Kate’ (the lesser known Star Trek movie,) was about to be unleashed, stepped in and we were eventually handed our keys.

Our keys to our Fiat Panda.

Erm …

Hang on.

(Here’s proof!  Also, Skig looking way too cute!)

As I looked around at my dishevelled family, I wanted to scream at the car hire man, “But look at us!  We have eleventy billion bags!  My Other Half is over 9ft tall!  Are you serious?!”

The children ended up sitting on all the bags which meant their poor heads were squashed up against the roof of the car.  Driving with your head at a right angle, in a foreign country, for the first time ever, isn’t easy. We managed to get the buggy and a few rucksacks in the boot, my Other Half was blanketed with everything that was left over.

And we were off!

Straight through a No Entry sign onto the motorway and up the completely wrong way!

“ARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHH!!!!” was swiftly followed by a, “Reverse!  Reverse!” followed by another, “ARRRRRRGHHHHHHHHH!!!!”

A three-point turn done in 0.3 seconds on the slip road to the motorway ensured that … eventually …. we were on our way.

Ninety minutes later, we approached our trailer park/roller skate/mobile home … and I was weirdly optimistic.  This didn’t look so bad. A little on the small side, granted.

Alas – a tardis, it wasn’t.

We were so exhausted we fell into bed.  We flopped into the double bed, and promptly rolled straight into the middle and onto each other (and not in a good way.)  We moved back to our respective sides and … rolled back into the middle again.  I was too tired to fight it so we ended up spending the night pretty much in a permanent spoon position – not such a bad thing.

Right about now, you may be thinking, hang on, this is meant to be about your favourite holiday!  It all sounds … well … a bit rubbish.  But amazingly, it wasn’t.  Yes, we had an ant invasion, torrential rain and two German women fighting in the mobile home opposite.  But we also had the most amazing views over the lake, five swimming pools, a water slide that Skig wouldn’t leave, brilliant sunshine and lots of laughter.

The memory of eating stone baked pizza at our local restaurant overlooking the lake will stay with me forever.

It turned out to be our best ever holiday.


This is an entry to the Tots100/Al Fresco Holidays competition.







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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. It must be something about Italian car-hire companies. First time we went, we booked something similar size to a Mondeo for me, hubby, mum & dad. We ended up with a brand new Renault Megane with 12km on the clock. Driving around the Amalfi coast we ended up with two deep scratches back to the metal work within 24 hours. The next time we went we booked the same and ended up a bleeding Fiat Multipla, which are incidentally the work of the devil. I remember standing in Rome airport arguing that that is not what we booked when I realised that the person standing next to us was Dominic West. I felt like a right pleb!
    TheBoyandMe recently posted..Sunday 29th January 2012 – ‘Trio’ (29/366)My Profile

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