On 23rd June 2016, (yes the day of voting for the EU referendum in the United Kingdom) I flew out to Portugal with my boyfriend Daniel. We were excited to spend a whole week together in the sunshine and world of fun that Portugal was going to bring our way – and that, it certainly did.
Me being me, I was pretty much packed a week before our departure date, however there were a few last-minute things I needed to add of course – toiletries, hair accessories, and other little bits and bobs. I always seem to feel like I have forgotten something no matter how organised I am.
When we arrived at Manchester Airport we were in full holiday mode and ready to go once we had checked in and been through security. The only thing left to do was to get on the plane and begin our journey to Portugal. First though, you cannot forget the food part. So we decided to eat at Frankie and Benny’s. It was very worthwhile. Pizza and a beer for Daniel, meatballs and spaghetti, and a cocktail for me. Mmm… very nice indeed.
Happiness all round. Until you hear the dreaded possibility of a delay and “sorry for the inconvenience”. However, it was only a slight delay… or so we thought. We flew with Small Planet who neither of us had ever flew with before or even heard of for that matter until I booked the holiday as Daniel’s birthday surprise. T cabin crew were friendly on board and the flight was smooth and went quite quick despite the slight delay.
There was an experience once we had our baggage after landing and went outside to our transfers waiting around for over an hour for another flight to join us. Damn you France traffic control for being on strike that day. But eventually we travelled to our accommodation and we arrived safe and sound.
Once we arrived at our accommodation I was quite concerned as to where we were located. “Where are we?” was running through my mind and I looked at Daniel with my eyes watering once we entered our room because I was worried that it was not to his expectations or good enough to be his present. The next day, I had a completely different perspective, we found our way around as we always do (thank you to Daniel’s brilliant navigation and sense of direction that is).
There was a lot for us to enjoy in the area where we were. We found our favourite place to eat breakfast. We went here on two occasions. It is called Angie’s Place Bistro and Lounge. Danny ordered a full English, where I would order scrambled eggs and toast and eat his bacon because he does not like bacon. BACON! I know, he is a strange man.
We also found one of the most fun bars and restaurants called Scooby’s. Yes like Scooby Doo – the name sounds fun to you already right? We played the craziest game of ‘Krazy Golf’. I am not kidding. It was one of the most bouncy crazy golf courses ever where the ball took forever to stop moving once you had your go.
I am not sure how but I won. As for pool this year, I am afraid to say that I was not so good. Daniel won but I was pleased to have won a couple of games even if he did pot the black in during one game and it was not down to my (not so) brilliant pool skills.
Likewise with Angie’s Place, we also visited Scooby’s on two occasions. The second evening was without hesitation. Half price cocktails all day until midnight. We could not complain. Especially as the food was so delicious too. Picture this – a chicken zinger burger served with chips (and we did not ask for them, neither was it down on the bill to pay for the included chips – what a bonus!) I tried the pasta too but it was too filling for me to finish. Perhaps it was because I was drinking cocktails and needed to make room for those, eh?
We always make the most of what we can see and do. And on this holiday we visited five different beaches. All so beautiful but my favourite was Praia de Pescadores meaning Fisherman’s Beach. This was situated in the old town and I’d definitely recommended it if you were to visit Albufeira in the future.
Another key memory was our boat trip to the caves and coastlines. We were VIP guests if that’s what you would like to call it on the top deck. I felt important wearing a red wristband and seeing the best views possible. It was just our luck though that before we got onto the boat, there was a slight shower of rain and the first couple of hours into the boat ride were grey clouds above us.
It made the experience different when it came to sailing near the caves. Some we could only enter so far but with others it was amazing how close up we were able to get to them.
What a beautiful, long coastline too. The sun finally made an appearance on the way back so we soaked up the sun on the top of the boat. One thing I will not forget to mention is that there were dolphins. Not some. Not a few. Quite a lot! I was in my element. I astonishingly said “Danny looks there’s loads.” Like a big kid. Unfortunately, there were no kids around for me to have the excuse to blame the speech on them. So I proudly ran up to the edge of the boat and did not care what anyone else thought.
Taking that last point in mind. This holiday was to relax. And I will admit that I did not do that entirely. Of course I relaxed by the pool and on the beach but there were times when I should have had more focus on the holiday rather than worrying so much about my sunburn and the factors of stress back home. We were here together, and in every moment, I was thankful to be spending the holiday with my love and my best friend.
Worrying aside, I took a new approach and purchased two books from WHSmith at the airport. I finished reading Me, Me, Me by Charlotte Crosby. A lot of people know about the antics that the Geordie Shore house members get up to. But it was interesting to see a side of Charlotte’s life relating to her personal experiences outside of the drama you see on television. Having seen her on television made it more enjoyable to read as she is so funny in both methods of media.
The second book which I am only up to part three on is The Sky is Everywhere. It is an insightful and beautiful read so far. I am starting to learn about the life of a young girl who has lost her sister and I think (by the impression of the blurb) she is soon to find a new love. I am looking forward to being more engaged with this book.
Back to telling you about our holiday…
On 28th June, as sad as it was to know we would soon be flying back home in a couple of days, Daniel received his BA (Hons) Business Management and Marketing degree results. I am the proudest 5ft 3, maybe 4 inches woman in the world, and of all women for that matter. I predicted he would get between 63 and 66% and he did. He well and truly deserved to be graded with his 2:1 and the future holds so many bright and wonderful opportunities for him.
Daniel was congratulated by people on the same resort as us. I could not help but bring it up in conversation when we met someone. There was a cute older Irish couple (we always seem to make friends with older couples) and she told me that I had a lovely colour and that Daniel needed to protect the sunburn on his feet. She offered me teabags as well for our room. This could have been why we got on so well, Irish blood in us and we love a good cup of tea. She told me that they were from Tipperary and I was singing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary…’ in my head. A very ‘Tasha’ thing for me to do.
With all the happiness and new experiences that the holiday brought our way, I have to end this blog post with a big thank you to Bella, our lovely receptionist. She was our favourite member of staff. We had funny, and serious conversations together. She even shown me a photo of her swimming with dolphins with some family members. Obviously she knew how jealous I was because she could see how excited I got whenever we spoke about them. Unfortunately, Daniel and I did not have enough money to go to Zoo Marine where she experienced this.
On a brighter note, Bella liked my big, pink flower hair clip too. I wore it a lot and felt like a little Hawaiian girl. I would love to go there one day. But let’s save that for another time. Bella, you were very helpful and gave the best recommendations. Next time you get another birthday present to swim with dolphins, please take me with you!