Birthdays on the Road

Our middle daughter turned 11 yesterday, and we weren’t very prepared. I had booked us into Marina de Venezia, a Eurocamp destination with a massive waterpark, specifically to arrive on her birthday – her gift. What I hadn’t factored into those plans was that it was a five hour drive from Monterroso to the Venice Lido where the camp is. So, instead of waking up on her birthday morning and being able to enjoy the water park, she woke up to packing and then driving. And five hours was the actual driving time. As in, if you don’t stop to pee or eat, and you don’t take any wrong turns, which of course, we did. Although, I must say, I was much more adept at getting us back on the right road this time. I didn’t panic, and now that I know that just because one road crosses another on a map, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can get on it, things are better. Duh.
So, we arrived at the camp ground at about 3:30pm, and by the time we registered, found our caravan, unpacked a few things, and walked a very roundabout route to the waterpark, it was a half hour before closing. No matter, the looks on the kids faces when they saw it, and the squeals of delight as they launched themselves into one pool after another was worth it. Still, a weird birthday for her. No cake. No friends or family to celebrate with (except us of course), no gift wrap for the couple of little gifts we’d been able to find in Monterroso…different. She had mixed feelings about her day. It was fun, and she’s excited to be here for a week, but it was a day of missing people as well. It’s even harder since we have no Internet access now, because she doesn’t have that instantaneous contact with anyone.
This place is great for the kids, and that’s what it’s for, really – a week’s respite from travelling around, sightseeing. For us, the respite from driving, packing and unpacking is great, but this no longer feels like Italy. Actually, it feels a bit institutionalized. You stick your hand out the car window on the way in and have a permanent bracelet strapped on, and then you go out and find reception for your “holiday provider”, one of their couriers shows you to your quarters, and there are occasional instructional PA announcements that feel slightly disconcerting somehow. There is everything you could ever need here, shops full of grocery items with German, French, British, Swiss, and Italian names, catering for familiarity regardless of where you’re from, restaurants, toy and hardware stores…I’m not a huge fan of places like this. Doesn’t seem authentic – I could be anywhere.
On the other hand, there’s also miles of sandy Adriatic beach where I could surely get lost with a book from time to time while Dev takes over the demands of water slides and toy shops…

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Birthdays on the Road

  1. Lara Ryan

    Happy birthday Darragh!! xo Hope you made up for the car today!

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