Our first family holiday dubiously began with an early morning row en-route to the airport. Does anyone else ALWAYS end up arguing before a flight?
My partner is one of those people who’d turn up 12 hours early for check-in if I’d let him. I’m the daughter of an ex-airline pilot, so I’m much more relaxed about the whole process and refused to sit around Gatwick, with a tired, angry toddler, for five hours – especially since I’d already checked in online the day before.
Car-squabbling aside, we were pleasantly surprised to find that travelling with an ankle biter entitles you to some rather special treatment.
Our lovely check-in fellow at Virgin Atlantic gave us extra leg-room seats, we were ushered through the short security line, and we had priority boarding (if I’d known about those perks, I might have been tempted to have kids much sooner).
Once on the plane we discovered the flight wasn’t full, so Big Sis even had her own seat. Sure, there were a few strops along the way, but all-in-all she was pretty well behaved – mostly thanks to Upsy Daisy, the portable DVD player, and a never-ending supply of
bribes yoghurt raisins.
From the moment we arrived at the Windjammer Landing Resort, St Lucia, we were made to feel totally welcome.
I loved seeing Big Sis take her first swim in the ocean and her first dip in a swimming pool. Our gorgeous villa even had a jacuzzi making ‘Buboooos’ (that’s bubbles to you and me).
‘St Lucians love children,’ we were told, and it’s not a line – they genuinely do adore kids. Big Sis was totally and utterly spoiled. The staff always greeted her by name and made the biggests fuss over her.
When she threw a rather unladylike strop at dinner one night and threw her cutlery on the floor, the waiting staff just smiled and gave her a fresh set. And I mean a real smile – not one of those forced ‘that’s why children should never be allowed out’ rictus grins that London waiters give you. When her screeching got too loud for the nearby diners to politely ignore, our waitress took her for a walk, to let us finish our meal in peace.
The next day, when the resort store didn’t have the right size nappies in stock, the shop assistant offered to pick us up a pack on her way to work the next day! I nearly keeled over with shock – I’m more used to sales assistants acting like they’re doing me a favour by taking my money.
It was those little touches that really made our holiday, and allowed us to completely relax, and enjoy these amazing views…
We were very grateful guests of Windjammer Landing Resort, St Lucia.
• read about our family adventures at Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall.