Holiday haggle of apposite opposites
T is that time of year for me to dust off suitcases and hunt for passports. My longed-for annual holiday is just around the corner: four weeks of bliss, when rising at 6am and putting out the rubbish bins will fade to a distant memory. After many months of planning and heated discussions with my husband, it’s hard to believe the moment has almost arrived.
Each year, countless hours are spent at the laptop, searching for the perfect destination. The choices seem endless: a safari in Kenya, seeing the Great Wall of China, visiting ancient hamlets in Greece or joining the glitz-andglam crowd in the south of France? After a hard year’s slog, I decide that a bit of luxury at a French seaside resort would be perfect for restoring my energy levels. But my more energetic husband is lured by pretty pictures of the Apple Isle and thinks a rather vigorous walking tour around Tasmania may be just the thing.
Naturally, we want to go somewhere we both will enjoy. So Europe it is, but with a compromise. While my need for rest and relaxation has been taken into account and will be catered for in France, my husband’s wishes for a more adventurous sojourn also will take us to Albania. He has bought an arsenal of solid walking boots for the more mountainous areas. According to the guidebook, he assures me, there are donkeys that can be hired to take the more fragile tourists up the steep bits. So my mind is on padded pants rather than sturdy footwear.
It has taken months to get ourselves organised, and I think this time-consuming scheduling is what makes it easier to last the long distance from one holiday to the next. But plans also have to be made for those left behind, like our great dane, Bonza, as demanding in accommodation as his mistress.
This is also his once-a-year treat, so we want him to have a good time. With luxurious pet accommodation shooting up everywhere, I have discovered a place where every woof is catered for.
Looking around the large single rooms (no cages here), I am astonished to find airconditioning, fluffy cushions, piped classical music and a hydro-bath for the geriatrics.
The service they offer also includes peticures.
The pets are better catered for here than are customers at some five-star hotels. While half my annual salary is paying for Bonza’s stay, I can only hope we will be as well looked after at our choice of destinations.
And of course, once back home the question beckons: how in the world will I survive the next 12 months? I suppose I could start by planning next year’s trip right away or, to break up the year, book ourselves a special weekend retreat where we will be as pampered as Bonza. The least I have come to expect from any hotel these days is to be carried to the pool in a sedan chair, should I suffer a sore toe.
But for the time being it’s up and away. There will be plenty of time in France and Albania to contemplate the next escape.