Sober Summer Holiday

Day 230: Back from my first sober family holiday. Was it easy? Did I enjoy it? Did I miss the alcohol? Well, let’s talk about it…

First of all let me set the scene. We were at Center Parcs in the Cumbrian Countryside. High ground surrounded by pine forest and wildlife. Living in a lodge albeit the amenities of a City Centre apartment. The Log fire gives it the ‘cost country’ finish though.

I think it’s important to reflect on something that made you smile at the end of each day. Whilst I resisted journaling whilst on holiday I did make a mental note of a daily highlight…

Monday: Collected the bicycle we hired for my 6 year old daughter from the Cycle Centre. She’s fairly new to riding a bike but recently advanced to no stabiliser wheels. She was brilliant cycling back to our lodge despite cars on the park roads and other obstacles in front of her

Tuesday: I’ll resist another soppy parenting highlight and just be honest. My football team Sunderland won 5-0 against Cheltenham. I would have been at the match if I wasn’t on holiday so I enjoyed following the game on my iPad once the little one was in bed. I also won £80.66 from a £5 football bet. I supped a few 0.0% bottles of beer too. That’s As much as a lad’s night I’d get on a family holiday these days!

Wednesday: Woke up before the rest of the family at 6am so took advantage of the silence and read the remaining chapters of my current book ‘Everything begins with asking for help’ by Kevin Braddock. It’s always a great feeling to close a book for the final time and reflect on what that read meant to you. My oldest daughter woke up next at 8am so I really did get a good peaceful stretch at reading before the day began!

Thursday: I brought my running kit as I’ve done on all of my previous visits to Whinfell Forest. Been feeling a bit under the weather with a sore throat and chesty cough so could have swerved it but chose to try and sweat it out. Managed 4.5 miles in the damp drizzle. Decent run around the quiet ‘village’ and back to the lodge for a hot shower. Running will never not make me feel better, even if only for an hour afterwards!

Friday: Friday mornings are departure day for most people on site who arrived Monday. We booked for 7 nights so not for us. We booked swimming and the whole water complex was the quietest I’ve seen it in all of our visits. I took advantage of the sparseness and had a go on all of the water rides – much to the amusement of my family!

Saturday: The grandparents arrived for the weekend yesterday so me and my wife took advantage of some down time. We played 18 holes of mini golf in the rain (which I won by one shot) and then I won 3-0 at Pool. Nice to remind her who the boss is. I wish!

Sunday: My 35th birthday so naturally I was spoilt by my wife and little girls. They love the fuss of a birthday. It’s been raining all week but I braved the English weather and went solo kayaking on the lake. As much as I love my family I love time on my own and it was a very relaxing albeit cold and wet time spent paddling.

Man in a boat

Holidays with young children are never a breeze but being sober and having a more positive outlook to each day certainly makes it easier. I haven’t wobbled drink wise and my anxiety levels remained low. I’m happy to be home though. There’s something about your own bed and shower that always brings you back to your abode.

So I’m off for a clean and an early night. Speak soon!

Author: Happy Daddy

A married thirtysomething Dad of two young daughters navigating my way through life a day at a time

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