48 hour pass…and lots of food.

I took advantage of Ryanair’s cheap flights this week for a quick 48 hour trip home to visit my lovely family.

Now Ryanair are not my most favourite of airlines and it takes gritted teeth and bags of patience to navigate your way through their online booking system ticking boxes here and unticking them there to make sure you don’t incur any extra charges. I miss the days when the price quoted up front was the actual price you ended up paying.

It’s not much better at the airport as in order to keep their costs so low the planes arrive at the 11th hour and you have about 10 minutes from the time the gate is called to get to said gate and board the plane.

Herded cattle is a phrase that springs to mind as once on the plane the already harassed air steward/people (what do you call them nowadays??) try frantically to get you seated so they can get turned around and away again.

All said though, 35 euros for a return flight can’t be beaten and so for that I am happy to put up with the discomfort that comes with it.

When you landΒ  (a loosely termed phrase) as Ryanair obviously teaches its pilots to plant the plane on the runway with all the finesse of an obese hippo, they play a rousing little tune announcing ‘another on-time Ryainar flight’ – woo hoo……

I then amuse myself by watching my fellow passengers leap out of their seats as soon as the seat belt signs go off and scramble for their bags before waiting necks craned, heavy bags in hand, all squeezed up together for the doors to open. It makes me chuckle to watch the franticness and the tut-tutting that ensues by having to wait 5 minutes. I love people πŸ™‚

Anyway, on with my trip. I coincided it with a visit home from the sister of my best friend. She and her husband live in Australia and she was on her annual trip back to Blighty so it seemed a good time to come back and see both my family and hers. I have known her sister for (ahem) 38 years and so in reality they are family too.

We organised a lovely lunch with the three of them and my mum, sister and sister in law. Lots of laughing, catching up and way too much food πŸ™‚ followed and it was such a lovely afternoon. Being back in their company always makes me appreciate what strong and loving women I have in my family. They truly rock.

That evening my friend and I went out for another meal to catch up properly. Afterwards as we walked to the taxi rank through the mecca that is Romford we reminisced about our days on Romford’s patch and concluded that we were well past that sell by date and that the bars sounded a trifle noisy for our liking now!!

The following day I had more time with my parents as we went and met my brother for lunch – more food πŸ™‚ A quick stop back at my brother’s house to see his latest DIY skills and to pick up Archie the dog he then took me back to the airport.

Zipping through the back roads of Essex with Archie perched on my lap watching the world race by we had a chance to have a good chat and by the time we arrived at Stansted we had caught up on each other’s lives again.

Before I knew it I was back in Malaga, ditching the big heavy coat as I walked out into a very spring like evening and being picked up by hubby.

Although it was a quick visit it was lovely to touch base with my family, see them all in the flesh and be able to hug and laugh with them in a way you can’t over the phone.

So, I should thank Ryanair for getting me there and back safely and on time……and all for just 35 euros. πŸ™‚

 

 

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Visitors..

We had my best friend and hubby visiting for the last few days and have had a fun time being tourists, eating too much and partaking of the odd glass of beer and wine!! The sun shone brightly for two of the three days and we got to see more of the coast line just before we move on from this area.

We explored the stretch of coast from Malaga to Marbella, taking in Benalmadena on our first day which is built up and very touristy. Despite the abundance of ‘English style’ bars along the beach we managed to find a really nice spot on the sand and wiled away an afternoon eating, drinking and catching up. That evening we went down to Torre del Mar for an Italian which wasn’t overly good unfortunately. Despite attempting Spanish we were given blank looks back from the waiter although we tried the exact same phrases with another waiter the following night with success – go figure!!

The following day we went up the coast in the following direction to Nerja. We all enjoyed this pretty seaside town which is totally different from the coast the other way. It has the right mix of bars, restaurants and shops but manages to keep a ‘Spanish’ feel to the town. We found a lovely little cove and bar for lunch followed by a little mooch around before heading back to base. Another evening out in Torre del Mar for a much nicer meal before we headed back to the campsite with some bottles so we could all enjoy a drink together.

On their last day we headed back towards Malaga so we would be on the right side for the airport. This time we stopped at Fuengirola which supposedly has the ‘nicest marina on the Costa del Sol’. It is a bigger version of Benalmedana and with grey clouds and showers it felt more like Blackpool. Stepping off the sea front was like stepping into a ghost town as most of the shops are shut on Sundays but we managed to find a little square and a nice bar for lunch. If you walk around a bit you can find some nice parts of Fuengirola as everything ‘British’ is concentrated on the sea front. I personally don’t get going abroad and wanting the exact same of what you have at home but I guess some people like the familiarity.

All too soon the weekend was over and we dropped our friends back to the airport for the flight home. It was great to see them and we had a brilliant time, so thanks guys for making the trip and I know I promised not too but here are some photos of your few days in Spain!!!

Lunch in Benalmadena

Me and my ‘bestest friend’!!

Me and the boys!!

Nerja

Me and hubby

Secret garden..

Beautiful crystal seas, so inviting on a hot day!

View from the beach bar

Fuengirola in the rain!

Group photo!!