Dexter and I have just come back from a short break (in Dover of all places,) and it couldn’t have come at a better time … for me at least.
Dexter was chosen to be a Junior Hotel Inspector for Best Western Hotels but this post isn’t a paid review of the hotel – his write-up will appear on the Best Western blog … I just thought I’d write about what we got up to.
When we found out we were going to Dover I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. Dover is a transient town. No one ever goes there to visit – it’s just a town you have to go through to get to France or the rest of the UK. It has a horrid reputation for being a bit of a hole if I’m honest but I was hoping that Dexter and I, glass is half full kinda people that we are, would be able to find at least something positive about our trip.
Dover is only an hour away from where we live and it’s a direct route. The trip, however, was peppered with trying to avoid potholes and roadworks, the duct tape holding my car window together flapping in the wind and Dexter playing Dizzee Rascal’s Baseline Junkie on repeat. Bad times. However, the forecast rain hadn’t arrived (yet) and we were excited just to be away from home.
Talking of which … as a single (nigh on penniless,) working mum, I don’t have money to bugger off for city breaks on a whim, or even take Dexter to Chessington or Alton Towers. Our weekends are normally full of things that cost very little: picnics in the park, adventure playgrounds, bike rides. I save up for a cinema treat (aka remortgage the house,) and the last holiday abroad we had was over six years ago. I’m not a woe is me person, just telling it like it is, so when an opportunity comes along like this, we grab it with both hands. Yes, it’s Dover. Yes, I’d rather be on Bondi Beach. But I was determined to make the best of it.
Our plan was to check in, have a mooch and see what was around. We were going to go to Dover Castle the following day (Dexter goes mental for knights, swords n that,) but we’re such laid back people the plan really was … not to have much of a plan (although my personal plan was to catch up on some much needed sleep, and just chill.)
We checked in on Wednesday afternoon and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. In fact, the whole time we were there, they were great. And if you’re anything like me, the staff in a hotel (or anywhere) are the reason why I would (or wouldn’t) go back somewhere. So credit where credit’s due.
Our first port of call was the beach. I say beach … it’s just a load of pebbles really but you know what? Kids bloody love pebbles. As much as they love sticks and bubbles. Which is A LOT. So I grabbed a coffee from the Starbucks that’s part of the hotel and Dexter and I just threw stones in the water. Yup … that was it. For hours. We literally just messed around on an empty beach and threw stones.
The sun even came out, which always makes me think of my late Mum, and it was just so peaceful. It was the first time in months that I’d actually just stopped. Stopped thinking about bills to pay, my ex, the housework, my job (actually, that’s not strictly true, I still kept our social media up to date while I was away – couldn’t help it.) It’s not often that you can just ‘be.’
The rest of the time away was spent throwing more stones, eating amazing food in the hotel, Dexter playing on my phone whilst I caught up on Twitter, watching The Hobbit and eating Kettle crisps in bed. He balanced coffee cups on my head, I ate creme brulee, dodged rogue emu sized seagulls and Dexter was even treated to room service for his dessert!
We were sad to leave – we’d only gotten to play Cowboy Builders five times (long story,) and we didn’t quite make it to the castle … but my batteries have been recharged and it goes to show that you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth (although Dover felt like it,) to have a good time. It’s about the company you’re with and the imagination you have.