I promised to keep it short and sweet. A two night break in Norfolk – the four of us. They were uncharacteristically amenable, positive even. There was nothing else on the holiday horizon for them. Ilana (18) was childminding, then off to Israel for 9 months and Ethan(15) was working in a hair salon trying to get some money together for Israel Tour next summer. (My two grafters – who would’ve thought?) And Tony? Mr Outdoors just wanted to take some burgers and sausages and make a barbecue outside. Shouldn’t be a problem.
The morning arrived and 3 out of 4 family member’s alarms went off at 8 a.m. (No prizes for guessing who would have happily slept through the 60 or so hours we were to be away.) A little song and then a self-congratulating giggle came from Ilana’s room: “We’re all going on a summer holiday!” Wow, the Jacobs do Disney.
Almost three hours of bespoke sandwich preparation and ‘have you gots’ and it was time to wake Ethan. “Come on Eth,” I suggested, sneaking a kiss on the side of his head, “we’re leaving an hour ago.” A few spritzes of Eau de Adolescent and a selfie from every angle later and we were in the car, processed meat products and all. (My kids have always been encouraged to pack for themselves, my laziness masqueraded as encouraging independence, but I did have to assist when I saw Ethan wrapping his toothbrush in tinfoil as he couldn’t find a bag.)
And so began the long, flat journey to King’s Lynn. I had chosen this destination simply because I’d found a reasonable and clean apartment on “The Google” there. It was close to the city centre and had TWO bathrooms. What my dad would’ve called a “mechiah”. Besides, King’s Lynn had always put through a very strong team in It’s a Knockout so how bad could it be there? The car was quiet and in a Wendy Goldberg-esque moment, I turned my head to survey my beautiful babies. They were all earphoned up. Ethan looked me right in the eye and commanded “Bitch, don’t kill my vibe!” It was okay, it was the words of a rap. My little gangsta.
We finally arrived in “Lynn” and I spotted a shop proudly selling “Levi’s, Wranglers and Lee” jeans. Chas and Dave were playing at the theatre. Need I say more? The flat was lovely and the kids instantly bagged themselves the best room managing to make it a complete tip within seconds. (I was later informed by Ilana that it is easier to find things that way).
The next two days were filled with eating, sitting in traffic jams and trying to find somewhere for Tony to make his barbecue. We had a lovely paddle on the beach in Hunstanton and ALL went on the scary rides at the fairground. Happily Ethan captured the fun on his iphone and I shall treasure these photos forever.
Apart from cashing in a load of Tesco vouchers so we could ‘cane it’ at Prezzo, I’d also found something amazing to do in Wells-next-the-sea (before the award winning fish and chips)…coastal walking with alpacas. If you’ve never seen an alpaca, imagine a furry cross between a camel and a llama. “Aah, look how fluffy they are” said my fifteen year old son in a not very gangsterish way. The guide told us all about them and warned us not to look them in the eye or to stroke their head. Well, I think that’s what he said – I couldn’t work out half of it as he sounded like Bernard Matthews. They sure were bootiful though. He didn’t know anywhere we could make a barbecue outside.
That night we had a very poor meal at a fusion restaurant where they didn’t have any bottled water or noodles and served fried aubergines and rice calling it a curry. I berated myself, we’d spent all that money on a rubbish meal when we could’ve grilled the burgers and sausages in the flat. “Let go, move on,” chided Tony when I was still punishing myself the next day. “At least she’s stopped moaning about her underwhelming birthday” chipped in Ilana. Ha ha.
The journey home was longer than expected and it was Tony’s fault. Ethan threw his bag in his room, thanked us and sprinted out of the door to meet his friends. The three of us sighed and sat down to grilled sausages and burgers.