It feels like we’ve only been back 5 minutes – and the non-diminishing washing pile is testament to that – but we actually got back from Tenerife well over a week ago. Thankfully it’s still really fresh in my mind; all that sun, pool time and relaxation. It was the perfect family break for us.

Despite vowing to never go all inclusive again, the minute we discovered that Reuben could go to the kids club, we went to a Holiday Village. We flew out early (although an hour later than planned) on the day before Reuben’s birthday, on 11th August. The flight was a long one at nearly 5 hours but it was a far cry from our flight to Egypt. This one was relaxing and I was able to read loads of my book. I owe a debt of gratitude to both snacks and Paw Patrol for such an easy journey!

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

Once we arrived, a hot sticky mess, we found ourselves the snack bar and then hurried to the pool to cool down. It was soooo hot!

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

The next day was Reuben’s Birthday. I’d brought him a few little things to unwrap which would also be helpful for the holiday – some cars, a sticker book, some scoobie doo shorts (which were a huge hit but turned out to be way too big because they didn’t have an adjustable waistband. As if?!), a set of Paw Patrol phonics books, and a pack of balloons.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

That day Reuben went to a Pirate themed kids club and played in the pool. He had a lovely day. We didn’t get to properly celebrate until the next evening when we went out for dinner in the evening at the a la carte restaurant.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

However, what started out a lovely evening, where we’d all dressed up…

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

…turned into sweaty carnage as Reuben continually made a break for freedom and Mike had to run after him in 30 degree heat, chinos and a shirt! When they finally brought us the moment we’d been waiting 45 minutes for, his freaking cake with a lit candle, we were able to leave!

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

“Don’t touch that!” – Don’t worry I took this just as Mike was batting his hand away.

Thankfully the evening entertainment was amazing so all was not lost. There was both outside and inside kids entertainment and on that evening there was also a fair with loads of inflatables, and parrots for your very own weird family portrait.

Mike refused to let me put our photo in, sorry!

The rest of the holiday can be summed up by the following routine…

9/9:30 wake up and rush to breakfast.

Mill around until 12pm – just moving from breakfast back to the room and applying some sun cream seemed to take at least half an hour.

12pm – kids club and Mike and I would read at the Habana Bar (and potentially have our first drink of the day)

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

1:30 – go for lunch

3ish play in the pool for the afternoon.

5:30ish go back to the room to wash and relax before dinner (often involving a bit of TV and some reading for us). Weirdly Reuben would often have a nap just as in the night garden was starting. Insanity if you were back home!

7ish go for dinner

8ish go watch the entertainment.

In bed by 10pm.

I would never dream of putting Reuben (or Gabby) to bed that late at home, but somehow it just works on holiday. Often we’d all go to bed at the same time, which meant we were getting around 11 hours sleep a night…not always though. Mike and I would also sit out on the balcony with one more drink and talk about what we had been thinking about that day, ideas for when we get home, hopes and dreams, the lot. It was bliss.

It was also amazing to see Reuben’s water confidence develop. His confidence in the water went from amazing to through the floor once he started walking. For months he hated it and it’s taken us about a year to get him to the point where he doesn’t mind being in the water. But as soon as we arrived in Tenerife he just threw himself in and continued to do that every day for hours. By the end of the holiday he was all but swimming. He would jump and begin to swim to us, even lifting his head out of the water to get a breath.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

It was wonderful. Such simple days, filled with the same basic things but never boring.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

The views from the hotel were incredible. We were right by Los Gigantes, huge rocky mountains, and overlooking the island of La Gomera.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

On one of the days we treated ourselves to one of the private sunbathing areas where you get cava and fruit brought to you. Reuben and Gabby went in the kids club twice that day!

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village

We were also right by Siam Park, apparently the best water park in the world! So that needed a visit. It was weird walking around in a bikini all day but I was really happy in one of my Protest Bikinis and was able to do the ultimate test…the water slide test. I can confirm that it passed. Thankfully.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village - Siam Park

The Siam Park has a live shark tank with two rides that go through it, including the Tower of Power which has a 28m near vertical drop.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village - Siam Park

It has the most amazing wave pool I’ve even seen. It was huge and the waves were perfect, majestic things big enough to surf on (if it wasn’t so insanely busy).

The lazy river was great fun and the only ride Reuben really entertained, apart from the Lost City, and Gabby and I stayed on to the do rapids, which although meant queueing in a rubber ring for aaaages, was really fun and took us through the shark tank.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village - Siam Park

The Lost City was an amazing adventure playground that Reuben loved and basically spent 5 hours there. It was a bit chilly after an hour of following him around getting soaked but Mike and I took it in turns to watch him while the other one did a ride or two with Gabby.

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village - Siam Park

I also discovered I’m officially a mum. I was a massive chicken. I used to love going on any sort of ride but not anymore. No Tower of Power for me. After one of the rides I went on with Gabby in tandem she said I nearly burst her eardrums with my screaming. I wondered why my throat was so sore afterwards! Evidence from the Rapids:

Tenerife - our summer holiday to Holiday Village - Siam Park

Then, just as we were starting feel a bit portly around the tummy and dreaming of our little village and getting back, it was time to come home. Refreshed, regrouped as a family and ready to tackle life again with a fresh bit of perspective. I loved it.