How are you all doing?!
So, I’ve always known that feeling holiday blues is a real thing, but they’ve hit me hard this week, so I thought the best way to cheer myself up a lil’ bit was to write about it, and share my experience with you guys… and retail therapy of course… I have been treating myself to way too many books, as well as an impromptu massage earlier this afternoon.
Last month, when Mr OneBigStressball told em he was taking me on holiday to Spain, I was absolutely over the moon. The Spanish language does make up half of my University degree of course, and I loved every single minute of my year abroad. We’re incredibly lucky that we live close enough to Spain to be able to go and have a few days there every once in a while, and the fact that Mr OneBigStreeball booked it knowing I’d love a long weekend there was so special.
It was such an incredible four days away!
As soon as I finished with my last personal training client on the Thursday, I was buzzing and ready to go! I hadn’t had time before to pack, so I chucked a Spanish playlist on, and boogied around our room while throwing way too many outfits into too small a suitcase, sitting on the thing to get it zipped closed (no way were we going to pay for an extra suitcase!)
My friend Louise had come through to Edinburgh for the day, and since we hadn’t seen each other in a ridiculous amount of time, we decided to meet up at a local pub for a catch up and a giggle. Next thing I know, we’re two bottles of wine into a conversation and ordering dinner for ourselves. (At this point I was actually really quite tipsy and ended up telling Mr OneBigStressball to come and meet us, but told him we were at a diferent pub than the one we were actually in… oops).
We headed back to the flat after dinner so he could pack his bags, and so Louise and I could keep nattering, and, lugging our suitcases behind us, with our beers in hand, we made our way onto a train to Glasgow. I must point out that cheap flights in Scotland only seem to fly out from Glasgow and not Edinburgh, so it’s quite a faff to go on holiday, so to make it a bit easier, we stay in Glasgow the night before, both to feel like we’re on holiday a little bit earlier, but also so we don’t have to wake up at a ridiculous hour to catch a flight!
So we’d managed to score a room in a mate’s flat, and we fell asleep after watching some tv, giggling away and feeling all warm and fuzzy at the prospect of four days of zero responsibility and maximum sunshine. Our wake-up call was at 4am, as our flight was at 7, so we knew we’d only have a few hours sleep. In fact, we’d always known this, since the holiday was planned, and this is where I learned my first lesson of the holiday.
Do not drink alcohol the day before a flight. ESPECIALLY IF IT INCLUDES TWO BOTTLES OF WINE AND THREE CANS OF BEER.
As soon as I woke up I felt like shit.
My head hurt; my stomach was churning… standard hangover, you know the drill.
Mr OneBigStressball had next to no sympathy, and I don’t blame him- hangovers are self induced and if you don’t make bad decisions then they don’t happen. Simple as that.
Long story short, the traditional ‘airport pint’ was abandoned, and I spent the majority of the flight checking to see if the seatbelt light was on or off and whether or not there was a queue to the loo, while one painfully awful stream of bile after another threatened to make itself be seen to the world. Too much information? Sorry.
So yeah. No more drinking before a flight for me. Thanks.
Lesson number 2 of the holiday came about almost as soon as we got off the plane.
Uber doesn’t exist in Valencia.
That surely can’t have been so tragic or stressful? I hear you ask.
Yes. The answer is yes. Mr OneBigStressball and I are awful at planning, and we only ever get so far as knowing what country or city we need to be in. Not how we get to the hotel or anything like that. Planning is for losers. And people who actually want to enjoy their holiday as they won’t need to rely on Google Maps.
Is this an indication of how much we’re exactly like the horrid little millenials we so look down upon?
It’s all cool though- since roaming charges no longer count when you go to Europe, we managed to technologically worm our way out of the situation, and Google saved our lives by letting us know that there’s a Spanish equivalent of Uber called Taxify, and we were on our way to our Air BnB in no time.
The place was so sweet! We were sharing with the couple who owned the flat, and they had done up the room to make it really cute and comfortable! I’m always a bit wary about Air BnB’s that require sharing with people, but this one was absolutely fine!
As we’d been up so early in the morning, we had a quick nap before heading into town, which brought about lesson number three for the holiday.
Research where you will be staying before booking the damn accommodation.
Our Air BnB was advertised as being in the city center. It was not. It was 3km from the city centre, and about a 45 minute walk. Ok when you’re in a city like Edinburgh and you can use the walk as an excuse to stay warm- NOT ok if you are in Spain and the sun is beating down on you so hard you feel like you’re melting like the mad witch at the end of the Wizard of Oz. Except slower. And more painfully.
So Cabify it was again! (In a bid to never have to mention Cabify another time, please assume we used it for any journey that took us from our Air BnB to somewhere cool, and for the return journey also. Because we did. Yes, we spent almost £100 in taxi fares over the long weekend, but YOLO, as the kidz say.)
The city of Valencia is so cool. Unlike a lot of ‘old’ cities in Europe, where you get the feeling of it’s age but are also bombarded with modern touches and architecture, Valencia made it feel like we were being transported back to Gothic Spain, where one could gaze out the window onto the square while nibbling on an olive and fanning oneself in the heat that would inevitably be intensified by a huge corset dress. Just me? Okay.
We explored the city a little bit, spurred on by suggestions our Cabify driver had made on the journey in, and found a tiny little ice cream place that was making those ice creams that are actually made out of yoghurt and chopped up on an icy plate a gazillion times before being made into waves…. No idea what they were called, but I got a mango flavoured one and it was delicious. If something is that tasty, you don’t question it, you just eat.
We traipsed around finding dinner, and ended up having a few tapas while sipping on sangria and agua de Valencia (gin, vodka, orange juice and Cava) and watching street performers. Safe to say we were beat after a 4am start and wandering around a new city! An early night was called for, and we snuggled into our cute lil bed.
Our second day started with a wander around the central market, grabbing some A M A Z I N G paella for late breakfast.
After this, we learned lesson number four.
Don’t sign up to a walking tour in a hot af country that begins at midday. You will want to die.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being in a city that is super warm and sunny, but we got halfway through the tour and couldn’t continue. I felt awful. The girl doing the walking tour was so lovely as well, but we were flat out going to faint if we had kept going. So we tipped her early and made our excuses to leave, giving us more time to chill at the market, eating chorizo and sipping beer.
We went back to the air bnb after lunch, to chill out by the pool for a while before making our wat to the main event of the day… something that I agreed to because I knew it would make Mr OneBigStressball incredibly happy. There was a friendly football game going on between a Valencian football team and a German one, and we got tickets to watch the match at the Mestalla football stadium. It was I N S A N E.
The way the stadium is built means no matter what seat you’re in it’s an incredible view, and our seats were waaaayyyy up at the top of the stadium. We were surrounded by an incredible atmosphere, and we won 3-0!! I’m not usually fussed about football, but it was so cool to be caught up in the rush of excitement! Who would’ve thought I’d enjoy myself at a sports game?!
Day 4 was BEACH DAY!
I am absolutely in love with the sea, and being by the water makes me so happy. (Fun fact: I hate sand so being at the beach is both stressfull and relaxing at the same time, it’s weird.)
Chilling at the beach is so fun, and the weather was so warm, getting into the sea was like dipping your toes into a bath!
We had paella for lunch, got (another) Cabify back tot he Air BnB, and had a nap (the beach life really takes it out of you ya know?)
That evening, it was my turn to pick an activity, and I just had to show Mr OneBigStressball a part of Spanish culture that I believe to be unbelievable.
We went to see a flamenco show!
Our original plan went down the pan because the place I’d originally picked out turned out not to be open on Sunday nights, so I started to get worried about not being able to catch a show. However, the internet came to the rescue, and we found out about a place called Cafe del Duende, which was actually not too far from where we were staying. It mentioned on the website to arrive early, and thank goodness we did, because the queue was already quite long when we got there. It’s not a ticketed show, so basically, as soon as the tiny venue got filled up, they closed the doors and brought us drinks.
I don’t even have the words to describe the show we saw. The passion and love just excuded from the dancers, and the guitarist was so skilled, we spent the entire hour in absolute awe!
Have any of you guys seen a flamenco show?
On a high from the event, we made our way home, and stopped off at a Japanese restaurant to end the night with a yummy dinner, and I couldn’t have asked for a cuter way to end our holiday.
I even tricked Mr OneBigStressball into eating takoyaki! (octopus) Needless to say, he was NOT happy with the deceit, but hey ho, he tried it eh!?
I get holiday blues really easily, and it was around this point that I started to get a bit sad that we had to go home the next day, but I was with Mr OneBigStressball, and he managed to keep me smiling! Valencia won our hearts, and we will definitely be going back in the future!