It was a trip three years in the waiting.
We booked the family holiday back in 2019. When Covid hadn’t yet started its deadly rampage, when ‘social distancing’ was unheard of, and when you could cough in public without causing alarm. With homes miles apart, my Mum and siblings and I were looking forward to celebrating Easter 2020 together. A large cottage in the Snowdonia mountains was reserved, maps were purchased, and potential adventures planned. Back then, our only worry for the upcoming trip was the Welsh rain.
But then mere weeks before the holiday, the Coronavirus hitched a ride to the UK, and the country went into lockdown. We were all told to ‘Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives’. Only go out for essential reasons, keep two metres away, and wash your hands whilst singing ‘Happy Birthday’. So -like everyone- my family spent Easter 2020 in our own gardens. Heatwaves and BBQs and Easter eggs. Miles apart.
We postponed our trip for the following year. Optimistically, and naively, we assumed the pandemic would be long over by then. We’d have our family Easter in twelve months time. Or maybe not. As April 2021 approached -once again- the UK was fighting another Covid wave. Although we could leave our homes, group mixing was limited to six people, and all indoor social gatherings were banned. For the second year in a row, we spent Easter in our own gardens. Sunshine and Simnel cake and Easter eggs. Miles apart.
But this year we could go! Third time lucky. 🙂 After three long years in the waiting, after two cancelled trips… we finally made it to Wales. It was slight touch and go in the weeks proceeding; as Covid and Chicken Pox infiltrated homes. But, thankfully, we were all healthy and well come Good Friday. Since our original booking, the mountain cottage had been sold; so instead we were given a luxurious cottage on the Llyn Peninsula. And the family had changed also; an excitable pup and lively toddler had now joined the ranks.
The first evening was brilliant. 🙂 We played on the beach, ate fish and chips in the sunshine, and drank and chatted and laughed and revelled in each others company. This was only the second time, since the pandemic, that we were all in the same place at the same time. And the first time we’d been inside together. 🙂 But, sadly, the get together was only to be for one night. On Easter Saturday, Gary, Emma and Libby all awoke with Covid; so reluctantly headed home. And Mark fell ill with exhaustion, and so took to his bed for the final two days.
But despite deeply missing them, the rest of us carried on holidaying and had a really lovely remainder of the trip. There was wave-jumping and sea-swimming and rock-pooling. There were board games and family runs and an exciting Easter egg hunt. We celebrated my Mum’s recent retirement with fizz and glow sticks and ‘pin the alicorn on the unicorn’! And on Easter Sunday, I cooked a delicious feast for us all. Yep, on day three, I had enough energy coins to spend three hours in the kitchen! Amazingly, wonderfully, thankfully, my body had fully bounced back from its bout with Covid, and was on top form. Having spent so many family trips exhausted and ill, recovering in my room, missing out on activities… it was absolutely awesome to be well enough for all the family fun. I needed a few days in bed on our return, but I didn’t miss a moment of the trip. 🙂
It was a family holiday three years in the waiting. But it was worth it. Even if we were only all together for one night. 🙂