TRISH TAKES FIVE: By award-winning blogger Trish Burgess
Do you remember an episode of Only Fools and Horses where Del Boy enters an old painting of Rodney’s into a competition? Rodney wins and his prize is a family holiday in Majorca. Unfortunately he has to pretend he is 14 for the duration of the holiday and join in with all the Groovy Gang activities.
This came to mind when I was asked to review two Beaches Resorts in Jamaica over half term for my travel blog. My son, Rory, had been invited to go with me but as he is now at university I suggested my husband was the ideal teen substitute.
The luxury all-inclusive resorts, part of the Sandals group, are located in Ocho Rios and Negril. We’ve tried all-inclusive holidays before but nothing prepared us for the amazing facilities on offer: several gourmet restaurants, premium brand drinks, a huge variety of land and water sports plus high quality kids clubs.
Dougie made a bee-line for the Pirates Island Waterpark in the hotel grounds in Ocho Rios where numerous slides were on offer. He entertained an audience of watching mums with his rocket-like exit from the steepest slide and even persuaded me to ricochet down the long, twisty slide on a rubber ring. My pretend teen had several goes and loved every minute of it. We sent Rory a little video of his dad’s exploits and he was suitably impressed in the way our children usually are when we act like fools.
In Beaches Negril the vast seven mile stretch of beach was ideal for watersports. We took a kayak out for a short time, though there was much bickering from the back seat driver who seemed to think I wasn’t pulling my weight. Later in the week, on a Reggae catamaran cruise, Dougie tried his hand at snorkelling, under the watchful eye of the Island Routes professionals and his fretful wife, who remained firmly onboard. When asked later what fish he saw, he told me ‘yellow ones and purple ones.’
I kept Dougie away from the Xbox play lounge and teens hangout room, Trench Town, but our itinerary did include breakfast with the Sesame Street characters that are an intrinsic part of the entertainment for younger children. Far from feeling embarrassed to be attending without any children of our own, we happily posed for photos and Dougie even coloured in his table mat without going over the edges.
Whilst I enjoyed relaxing by the pool with a rum cocktail or two, I was keen not to let my grown-up kid have all the fun. I signed up for the Scratch DJ Academy and got into the groove. It was a fantastic session, learning the techniques of scratching and mixing plus I received a cool T-shirt and some dog tags to wear. I’d like to say I was a natural though I’m sure it was because the other kids had never used a record player before. Sometimes it pays to be middle-aged.
Check out my blog - www.mumsgoneto.blogspot.com - for more information and photos from our Jamaican jaunt.