I thought it was about time I wrote another instalment of my Firsts series; I've previously written about my first kiss and first job, so check them out and please try not to cringe too much at my first kiss tale.
Back in 1998, when I was eleven my family booked a two week holiday to Acludia in Mallorca, Spain. It was a big family holiday, my mum's two sister, their husbands and two kids came; there was a lot of us. My brother and I had never been abroad before. We spent every year holidaying various places in the UK with my Mum, Nan and Grandad but this year we were going on a plane. Unfortunately due to my Nan's disability she couldn't fly and the fortnight away would be the longest time away from our grandparents since we were born as we lived with them.
I remember being so excited. I'd never been to an airport, I'd never been on a plane, I'd never been out of the country; it was all a massive adventure. We flew out of Manchester airport and I was lucky enough to get a window seat. Full of beans is the only way to describe it. I lied about my age to the cabin staff so they'd give me an in-flight adult meal instead of a kids and remember turning my nose up at what was served. However, mother did what mothers do best and told me I wasn't eating scrambled eggs it was mash, and aeroplane food tasted different, so I munched away. I don't know why that memory has always stuck with me...
When we arrived at Palma airport I was smacked around the face by a heat I'd never felt before and immediately removed my coat. Yes, I was wearing a coat. We got a coach to the hotel, checked out the room and went straight to the pool.
Over the next two weeks we spent most of the time at the beach, in the pool, in the kids club or exploring the town. Since our holiday was all-inclusive, my immediate family (brother and mum) were named 'the chicken family' as every time we ate at the hotel we ordered some variation of chicken.
The three most memorable things of our holiday were living up to the Scouse stereotype of being a thief; having my hair braided; and the night entertainment.
Scouse stereotype - Next to our hotel there was a shop that sold souvenirs, sweets, milk, practically everything, and my cousin and I went there every few days for supplies. This one day I saw a purse I really liked and decided to buy it with my pocket money. I put the purse and a lollipop on the counter, handed over the correct money and the lady at the till gave me change. I looked at the money, looked at the woman and as I was about to say something my cousin picked up my items and dragged me out of the shop. As we reached the door, I looked to my older cousin who told me to 'run' and we did. I didn't realise what we were running from at first but later found out I'd only paid for the lollipop. I felt guilty for a few hours but made sure I didn't go back to the shop for the remainder of the holiday. Oops.
Hair braid - I'd seen everyone from my class that had ever been abroad come home with one of them fancy cotton braid-things in their hair and wanted one. I mentioned it to my Mum everyday and finally after moaning for a few days my uncle gave in and said he'd take me and my cousin to find someone to do our hair. We walked for hours until we found a lady sat on the corner of the street with a baby and all the equipment. My uncle looked after the ladies baby whilst she added cotton to mine and my cousins hair. I got pink and purple, and thought I looked bloody fantastic.
Night entertainment - Every night at the hotel there was either a show, games up on stage, karaoke, or some form of entertainment. The kids (including my four cousins, brother and I) all did a little performance one night; they did a Mr and Mrs type game which my aunt and uncle took part in; and some pretty random shows. I remember quite a few of them as if they were yesterday - it was loads of fun.
It was such a good holiday, even though I ended up with prickly heat. Pale prin for life.