No really, that’s a photo of a ball that floats on water, torpedoes, pair of trainers, more goggles than we have pairs of eyes in our family, a snorkel and a plastic bag for additional detritus that we seem to collect each day.
It’s fairly representative of one aspect of this holiday – the bit where you get uber organised to make it all happen smoothly. I’m starting my review of a week with Mark Warner in Levante, Rhodes, with this as Lovely Bloke will find it hilarious that my first thoughts are of practical recommendations. Regular readers will know that domestic tasks don’t feature highly on my radar when in the UK.
The range of photos that follow encapsulates everything I want to share with you right now. Why? Because to my mind, the best way to ensure that you have a really good week when you’re on a Mark Warner holiday, is getting organised – for yourself and your troops. Here’s my top tips on how you can do just that….
I know it sounds really boring, but do go to the briefings. There’s one for each group of childcare and welcome drinks on the evening that you arrive. Lovely Bloke rates the Sangria and had two glasses – mine and his. I’m stuck on a lovely brand of lemonade called “Vap” – I kid you not. I was there to listen to what was on offer, where we needed to be and when. Mark Warner are very thorough in this area, because there’s so much to choose from and it’s a good idea to make a plan of what you’re going to do. Once you’ve been to the briefings and got two copies of each of the timetables of what is on offer, (one for you to keep safe and one for someone else to lose, even though they will insist that they will keep them safe…) you will know where you need to be, when and which person you are looking for, for each activity.
Kit – for all the family, Kids Club and for being at the pool
I know, you’d think there’s not much to say here, but there is lots that we are learning about this… I’ve taken these photos at the end of the first full day here. We’ve come back to the room and Lovely Bloke has taken the boy to children’s tea. I have set to work, taking everything – wet and seemingly dry and put them out out to have check in, and put onto their airer to get the fresh air and warm wind on them. You’d be surprised at how smelly things get when you’re not wearing them much!
I figured that by taking photos of it all laid out, it would be my best way of showing you what we are using each day:
Of course, there’s the basics – everyone needs a towel (they’re provided here in a sandy colour with the white ones being for in room only) and swimmers. You’ll put your swimmers on before you to go the pool, with some shorts and a t shirt over the top. After that, everyone needs a sun top / rash vest – to keep the sun off your shoulders and neck and also, for when you’re out on the water. It is good to have that between your skin and the buoyancy aids which have all sorts of clips and straps and potentially itchy bits on them. And finally, everyone also needs a hat – our boys have the hats from the Gap with the straps underneath. They are perfect for out on the boats, because they don’t blow off when the wind gets up.
Kids Club kit
Our boys are both going to Kids Club in the mornings and are in separate groups, so here’s what they each need for a session – morning or afternoon, in Club. They can’t share their kit, because they are different ages and so go to different places at different times…
A rucksack / back pack that they can carry themselves
A bottle of suntan lotion. We labelled ours using stickers and put their names on them.
A pair of shoes that are good to wear on the beach – crocs, flip flops or beach shoes.
A pair of trainers that are good for sports and playing games away from the beach.
A spare set of clothes, including undies. Ours have had the indignity of having to go commando more than once when we’ve forgotten and it cost us heavily in ice cream.
And at the end of this list, here’s the good news…
They do not need money. There’s nothing for them to spend it on.
They do not need food. It’s not allowed at club, to ensure that allergies don’t flare up or cause a problem.
They don’t need to take water with them. Club provides them with water and writes their names on the bottles, every day. They give them water every morning, afternoon and evening – a fresh bottle, so don’t worry about returning the bottles or needing to replenish them. We still put one in their bags for in case they want a slurp before they’ve been given out, but they always come back full, so perhaps that’s overkill on our part.
For the rest of the time, here’s the other things that we take to the pool with us:
Playing cards (not that we’ve had chance to use them in the daytime)
A book – for each of us. There’s points where it’s very hot so there’s nothing better than some time out with a book and a calippo at the bar.
Flippers and snorkel – our boys are just discovering the joys of snorkelling so we’ve caved and bought them…
Earplugs – the boots versions, made of what looks like clear plasticine or silicone are best. Not foam ones.
Waspeze and after bite – there’s only a couple of wasps around, but Elliott did stand on something in the grass and it left him with a big sting that had to be removed, so it’s good to carry it with you.
All our Family Kit goes in a huge waterproof bag – it’s the blue one in the pictures. The boys are using a rucksack each. And I’ve got a bag that I’m currently reviewing from Mint Velvet, so I’m using that because it’s got a great inner zip and keeps everything safe. With it being soft, I also put it under the towel and use as a pillow when I’m snoozing.
So, that’s it for now. I think. You will notice a lilo in the background – that is strictly contraband in my book, but Lovely Bloke and Elliott came back with one from the shop. Because it’s contraband, all three of the boys think it’s simply The Best Thing Ever, so I’m leaving it to pass whilst it’s keeping them quiet…
Anyway, it’s time for dinner soon, so I’m heading for the shower and thinking positive thoughts on the subject of hair detangling without me crying too much – pool and sea water all day long produces a wild, back combed look that I try to heal each night and usually, don’t make much progress with. Wish me luck.
PS. We are on holiday and using the #MyWeek – which thousands of people are using at the moment, to show different sides to their Mark Warner holiday. We’re here on review and have paid for some of out stay here, but not at the usual going rate. We stayed here totally under our own steam in June this year and had such a good time, and loved sharing everything that when the opportunity came to return, we took it with both hands and quickly packed our bags!!!
PPS. Hello House Sitters – hope that your little one isn’t eating too much of the Lego! Thank you for keeping our house safe whilst we are away x