A couple of weeks ago I took a rare weekend out of London and flew to Italy. Sounds very indulgent and la-di-da, trust, this is not a regular occurrence for me. I’m not like Jamie from made in Chelsea, deciding to take all my friends to Ibiza for a week cos we have ALL the money. I just have a lovely friend with a lovely house and a father who likes to book spontaneous family holidays. So that’s how this weekend of relaxation and family fun came about, and I am molto glad it did because wow I needed the break and detox time it brought.
I say detox, I don’t mean it in the traditional healthy sense. We OBVIOUSLY ate many many carbs and Italian goodness and 7 course meals, because, Italy. It was more of a detox from life and cities and getting drunk and technology. And it was great. The house is situated up in the mountains of pescara where not many tourists dare to venture, and has glorious glorious 360 degree views. Being November we weren’t expecting much in the way of sunbathing, and true to form our first day brought mainly fog. So we decided to ascend into an extremely mountainous village where it was more foggy and chilly, good choices. However YES fabulous choices because we discovered ‘Nicks Bar’, a chalet type establishment with old school Guinness posters on the wall and the best hot chocolate of my life. PLUS he added some mysterious orange rum liquor, which is just what you need after a cold walk filled with random animals accosting you. Jks they were cute. This was so much the best hot chocolate that we bought 5 packets to take home and make our own deliciously Christmassy beverages.
The next two days pleasantly surprised us through the appearance of some mid-20s sun which we thoroughly enjoyed on our roof terrace whilst sleeping and reading Bridget jones in equal measures. Usually on holiday I would be busy planning how to make the most of our time, visit all the sights, and squeeze in every vaguely-holiday-related activity we can. This time we literally just relaxed. And it was so ideal. Two hour nap at 5pm? Of course, we’re on holiday. We spent an entire morning doing a ‘photoshoot’ causing many Italian farmers to worry for our sanity. It may have involved us draping ourselves across our rented car, pretending an old crate was a jail that we had to break out of, creating a panorama clone that had hilarious consequences, and much skipping leaping ladida-ness. But hey, gotta make the most of those views, right?
The food. Wow. Italian food is just the best isn’t it? I mean I’m not sure I could live there permanently because I would DEFINITELY get fatty boom boom but for a weekend, give me all the carbs and cheese you got. We had delicious pizzas and pastas, a meal consisting of every kind of fish and shell-type edible thing you can imagine, and a 7 course vegetarian extravaganza. Serious we had to cancel the last two courses which I’m very ashamed of but OMG SO MUCH FOOD. And beautifully presented as well.
Food aside, my favourite thing about this holiday was spending time with my wonderful extended family. It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper holiday away together and this was just as hilarious as they always are. We ended up teaching the mothers about the terms ‘hotline bling’ and ‘booty call’ which caused them to come up with a scheme of sending us snapchats saying ‘Drake hotline blanged me’. Yep, that’s what all the kids are saying these days. We also had a standard embarrassing adult moment whereby there was a painting of a man holding a long thin vegetable and Valerie took it upon herself to ask the Italian waiters if this was meant to represent anything… Suffice it to say we all ran out of the restaurant sharpish.
The whole weekend was just lush, I didn’t worry about the fact that I basically had no wifi, I didn’t have to think about horrible London trains and work stress and being proactive and productive all the time. I literally just chilled. In the most beautiful surroundings, which obviously made it one thousand times better. We are too guilty of trying to squeeze as much as we can into time off work, when actually the best thing for us is to relax. Life is often too much in its routine form, we don’t want to add more to the time we have out of that routine. So don’t feel guilty taking some time off to do nothing, to chill, or to go away and make the most of a friends house in a sunny country for no reason. It’s worth it.