I never thought I would say this, but I really needed a holiday.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always enjoyed holidays. I just never appreciated them quite so much as I did this one. For me holidays were about seeing new things, having new experiences and perhaps some pampering and a little shopping where the budget allowed. This is still true, but frankly I just wanted to go somewhere with no cooking or cleaning and where I could focus on resting and appreciating my family. Do I sound like I’m 63? Sod it. At least I’m honest.
After baby no.4 I never really got a chance to rest. I know, after baby no.4, granted one does not get quite the opportunity to rest as they did with their first but then again not everyone is up mending the fire on day 2 either (I basically was). Then I had flu, followed by 2 or 3 weeks of frantic daily meetings for the new house (all with newborn and toddler in tow) then I packed up the old house (during school hours with new baby and toddler) and then we moved house with the then 5 week old baby and somewhere between organising and fixing up this new house and cleaning up the old one followed by pesach …. exhaustion set in.
It’s very strange to me that even though I live in a brand new house in this idyllic setting with beautiful weather and a deliberately relaxed pace of life, I still feel the need for a break. But I do. I believe that after having a baby (not to mention moving house…) we women need time to recover. Physically and mentally. To rest. Drink tea. Hang out with girls. That sort of thing.
Thankfully my respite came in the form of a languishing on a shelf voucher from Husbands work. A sort of achievement award that came with a Couples Weekend Away (??! A weekend without kids? Ha! I cannot even imagine such a thing!) so we decided to go away with kids midweek. A more affordable practical option. If less romantic. Fine with me. After all, it was the housework I needed a break from in any case. Not my kids.
Husband looked at several rather grim options (its more complicated when you have to accommodate a family of 6). For months nothing seemed appealing. Three days by Netanya beach but too cold to swim anyone? Three days wondering around Jerusalem? I know its not PC but I can’t stand Jerusalem. Apart from a few treasured friends it holds little appeal. It’s not my idea of a holiday. Eventually Husband sent me a picture of this place…
And I thought he was joking.
But no, apparently as we were willing to go off season, it was affordable. In my experience Israelis are wimps and they won’t consider swimming in anything much under 30 degrees C. We however are hardened Brits and will take a chance even in November, especially once we read the place has a heated pool. Hooray! We showed the kids the website and they oohed and aahed along with us until Jojo excitedly pointed out that the cabins had a kitchen, “look mummy, you can cook”. Terrific. I told him.
Of course the morning we were packing up and almost ready to go the first real rain finally came. In buckets. I sent the big boys off to shacharit down the road with dog in tow and they came back drenched. Husband couldn’t even load up the cars. My heart sank. This was looking to be a very British holiday. Cheerfully telling ourselves (in true British style) that It Would Soon Clear Up we set off only a half hour later than planned in the general direction of North and let nature take its course. It was still raining as we reached the Golan area so we decided to head for a favourite haunt – the De Karina chocolate factory in Ein Zivan. We hadn’t been there in three years so we could justify a return trip. Amongst the best hot chocolate in Israel, and includes a visit to the factory and a chocolate making workshop (see pic) which is always a hit.
It was still raining after that and we had a couple of hours to kill until check in at the hotel so we decided to check out this place;
Also offering a mini tour and a kiddie workshop we decided to go crazy and book in. Having spent the entire summer and chagim holidays running around in the fresh air its not often we find ourselves in the classic British predicament of What To Do In The Rain. So our kids got to see how wine is made in a boutique winery and we got to sample some top notch wine whilst they decorated and corked their own mini grape juice bottles. Happy faces on all 5 boys.
I’m no wine connoisseur but I know what I like. So if you don’t have the luxury of the Golan on your doorstep you can order from the boutique yourself. He ships abroad, http://bahatwinery.co.il
Finally full of chocolate and wine we headed off to our zimmer and even on a cool day Jojo (now age 7) commented that the place was even better than he had dreamed (quite funny when you look at the name of the place). We took the kids for a swim and went out for a nice meal at Iskander on the Jordan river. Having barely set foot in a pool all summer (other than swimming lessons) my kids were happy to spend the next two days hanging out (see blog on the misgav pool). They read their books by the pool. We got to take our time over breakfast. The baby loved crawling around there. Jojo found a bike and cycled around. Yaroni and I played a lot of table tennis. The staff were attentive without being in our faces. It was all very relaxing. I’m aware it is deeply unfashionable to mention this in this age of romantic couple breaks but I actually enjoy spending time with my children. Especially in an environment where I don’t have to clean up after them 24/7. They are wonderful company and I would choose them over anybody.