May 212012

This past weekend was the next in the “Despedida” season, with a booking for eleven girls from Madrid who had reserved the house for the weekend. The bride was getting married in July, and they all planned to spend some time together for a leisurely weekend of relaxation and sunshine.

They arrived in three cars on Friday night at about 10.30, having encountered heavy traffic after leaving Madrid. However, they soon settled in to their rooms and then set about preparing a meal and listening to music up on the terrace. They were delighted with the facilities of the villa, and were looking forward to seeing the surroundings of the gardens in daylight, but meanwhile were more than happy to talk most of the night away together.

Saturday was a beautiful day, and they were happy to spend it in and around the pool, making a start on their summer tans and preparing for the evening ahead. Relaxation was the name of the game for Saturday, so the girls decided to order some home-delivery pizzas, in anticipation of visiting a restaurant for their main meal of the day in the evening, before then going on to Falkata disco. They set up a large table at one end of the pool under sunshades and had a leisurely lunch before then enjoying a siesta, either in their rooms or beneath the parasols.

They had arranged special transportation courtesy of the Falkata disco for that evening, so at 10.00pm a Falkata minibus pulled up outside the villa to take the girls out for the rest of the night. They were all dressed up and ready for photo opportunities on the front steps in plenty of time before the transport arrived, and then they were driven off to Playa de Gandía for a night on the town.

Sunday morning was spent in the sunshine around the pool, with the girls gradually emerging as the day wore on. They had had a great time the night before, and only very reluctantly started packing their cars for the return trip to Madrid. However, the time had come to leave and so we bade them farewell, but they had had a thoroughly enjoyable time and had been most welcome guests. Hopefully some of them may return to us in the future for a summer break from the city – we would be delighted to see them again, as it had been our pleasure to have them visit us here in Gandía.

May 102012

Despedida de Soltera

The weekend of May 4th, 5th & 6th saw the first of the “Despedidas de Soltera” of the season. A group of girls from Banyeres de Mariola – a small inland town in Alicante province – had booked the house for the weekend and were due to arrive on the Friday evening.

At about 7.00pm the first of the girls arrived, shortly followed by the rest, making a very full house indeed! The schedule for the first evening was to have a meal together and settle in to their surroundings. They were delighted with the house and its facilities, and had a great time into the small hours of Saturday morning with a party upstairs on the dining terrace.

Saturday morning was a fairly quiet time, with the girls gradually appearing around the pool and in the gardens up until lunchtime. They made lunch on the barbecue and enjoyed sitting out in the sunshine, although only a few were brave enough to venture in to the pool for a swim. The weather was good, but the water was still a little on the cool side! After lunch and a time of relaxation, they had organised a bicycle trip in conjunction with some of the bars down at Playa de Gandía – the idea is to go from bar to bar along a pre-defined route, sampling the different beers along the way that the various bars have on offer!

Whilst the girls were out on this “excursion”, the main surprise of the weekend was being organised at the villa – a singer (complete with backing group) was setting himself up for an evening’s entertainment around the pool. The bride had apparently said that she did not want a big lively party down at the clubs, so her friends had thought it would be a great idea to hire a singer for the evening to perform many of the bride’s favourite songs. When the girls arrived back from their cycle ride around the bars, the group was all ready to go, and fortunately the bride had not realised what was afoot – it was a huge and very pleasant surprise for her!

Their luck with the weather held, the singer was able to perform in the open air right up until midnight, and the girls had a fabulous time dancing to their favourite songs on the terraces in the garden. It had been a possibility that they would then go down to the clubs at the playa, but they decided they were having such a good time here that they would carry on with the party in the house, rather than disrupt things with a taxi ride down to the beach. They partied on until the small hours of Sunday morning and certainly did not feel they had missed out on anything by not venturing further afield.

Sunday morning and early afternoon were spent waking up very slowly and rather quietly around the pool and in the gardens in the warm sunshine – a sharp contrast to the razzle of the previous night! However, they made the most of the lovely weather during Sunday afternoon, and after a lunch on the terrace they took in the last of the sunshine, before setting off back home around 7.00pm. They all agreed they had had a great time, even though in the end they did not take advantage of the famous club scene that Playa de Gandía is so renowned for. The most important thing of course is that they – and especially the bride – had a time to remember, and we are pleased to say that they all seemed to have enjoyed themselves thoroughly. A good time was had by all!

May 032012

Jamie and Joanna booked in to stay with us for a week shortly after Easter, with the intention of visiting their son in nearby Denia during the course of their visit.  However, immediately after their arrival here they set off to see David and his girlfriend Charlotte, and asked if there would be availability for them to stay here for the first couple of nights also.  This was not a problem at all, and so we were pleased to welcome the whole family to stay later on in the day.

As a family group, they were very keen on outdoor activities, and were pleased – and surprised – to find just what was available on our doorstep in the way of walking and especially mountain biking opportunities.  We were glad to be able to introduce them to Dave Warrington, who runs a business in nearby La Drova and specialises in mountain bike hire, either accompanying his clients on guided and recommended routes or leaving them to their own devices.

Jamie and Joanna found that this was the perfect catalyst for a great – and somewhat impromptu – family holiday, as David and Charlotte soon decided they would like to stay with us for the duration and take advantage of the outdoor activities.  Most days they would set off – sometimes with Dave and sometimes independently – taking a packed lunch with them, and they would return during the course of the late afternoon, having explored a given route through the local mountains and hills.  Every day was a delight for them, because not only had they been largely unaware before they arrived of the existence of so many routes in the area and the beauty of the local surroundings, but also because of the fact that they were able to spend so much unanticipated time in the company of their son and his girlfriend.

One day they decided to have a break from biking and took the local train to the city of Valencia in order to do some sightseeing and get to know a city that they had not visited before.  Again, they were pleasantly surprised by what Valencia had to offer and the beauty and elegance of the architecture in the historic part of the town.  Coupled with the contrast of the ultra-modern architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias), they fully appreciated the diversity of everything that the area has to offer other than the standard expectation of Costa Blanca sunshine and beach!

By the end of their visit, they had had a really great time exploring the area on their unplanned activity holiday, as well as being able to spend far more quality time together as a family than they had envisaged.  It had been an excellent combination of biking and sightseeing, and of course they also managed to fit in some relaxation in the gardens here as well.

David and Charlotte returned to Denia to resume their obligations there tending horses and helping out on a smallholding, whilst Jamie and Joanna went back to England feeling they had had a refreshing and invigorating break from routine.  The weather had been sunny and warm – perfect for biking and getting out and about – so a good time was had by everyone.  We look forward to the possibility of welcoming them back here again in the future, as David and Charlotte are planning on spending quite a considerable time here in Spain, so you never know ….. another family reunion could be on the cards!