Exactly one week ago today I boarded flight EZY8971 to my latest adventure.
Having moved straight from Ireland to Chigwell to Chelmsford to Disney in the three weeks leading up to my flight, I had very little time to register that it was actually happening.
I had no time to feel excitement, nerves or anticipation.
One minute I was stepping onto a plane flying from Dublin to London, the next I was taking that amazing step that I look forward to every time I book a holiday.
The step off of the plane.
The second that your foot hits the metal your body is enveloped in a delicious heat and your nose is filled that wonderful smell of...holiday. It smells of relaxation and good food and too many photos all rolled into one.
As I walked toward the tiny airport with a newly washed floor (why do foreign airports always have a wet floor?) I finally got a buzz of anticipation.
I was in Rhodes!
After two days of sitting in a white van with Tunisian men shouting in Arabic about which hotel they should send me to (yes, it was just as horrific as it sounds)- I finally made it to my new home: The Atrium Palace Hotel.
The hotel has glorious views, three fantastic pools, a gorgeous beach and- most importantly- plenty of double chocolate magnums.
So far I have loved it, and am so thankful that the arguments in the white van led me here.
But I can't help thinking that it would be even better to be here on holiday.
As I have been greeting guests in the afternoon, "Opah!"-ing on Greek night and Agadoo-ing at the mini disco I have, on more than one occasion, found myself daydreaming about my next summer holiday.
Being here has got me thinking about holidays and prompted a discussion with my new roommate, Cinderella, about those certain people that you see on a European summer holiday every single year....
1. Super mum. You know her. Her children are wearing special hats that protect every part of the body from the shoulders up- hats that are never seen in normal shops or at any other time of year. (Except maybe Sports Day.) The children's faces are white from sun cream, despite the fact that they are wearing full body swimming costumes and sitting in the pop up tent that they flat packed into their case, and are therefore unlikely to see any sun. They always have a picnic with them including fruit, carrot sticks and cartons of organic juice. Super mum can normally be recognised by her Simon-Cowell-style high waisted beige shorts (worn even in December), beige, open-toe, flat sandals and bumbag.
2. The Retired Couple. They love the resort that you are staying in and they have been coming here every year since their first baby was born. They love to talk to anyone and everyone- making friends with those around them at the pool, in the restaurant and during the show. Those that they do talk to will have a run down of the funny things that their children did here when they were little, and will probably be shown photographs of their grandchildren.
3. The Ones With Money. This isn't their real holiday, oh no. They go to Florida in July and India in August for their real holidays. This European holiday, along with their timeshare in Portugal and their three weeks in Spain in February are just little breaks. You know this because they announce it at ten minute intervals.
4. The Two Point Four Children Cereal Ad Family. The beautiful parents sunbathe whilst the children play happily in the pool. The children have matching swimming costumes and evening outfits. The girls have their hair french plaited and the boys practice ball games with their dad. They join in all of the activities put on by the hotel- and win every single one.
5. The Northern Family. When I was younger, my brothers- Mowgli and Chip- and I used to call a Manchester accent 'a holiday accent'. I always wonder if Northerners used to say the same about ours...?
6. The Family That You Wouldn't Mess With. It's hard to see if the dad has a body part that isn't tattooed, the mum has bleached blonde hair in a tight ponytail and the kids are called 'Destiny' and 'Paris'. You know this because those names are constantly being shouted at a volume slightly above acceptable- all.day.long.
7. The Ones You Can't Quite Work Out. He's in his twenties, she's in her fifties. Are they a couple? Or mother and son? You can see other people asking the same questions and sometimes even discuss it with other guests, but very rarely find out. Shame, really.
8. The Ultra-Happy, Hyper and Bubbly Entertainer who sings 'Morning!' at you just a bit too loudly when you're trying to come out of your ouzo-coma brought on by the previous night's antics. She's super enthusiastic about things like aerobics and table tennis while it's forty degrees and you didn't go to bed until four and all you really want is to read your book and sleep by the pool.
Now you will definitely slot into one of these categories.
Which are you?
I'm the last one.
I don't know what they put in the entertainers' water here, but gone is the girl who needed a bowl of cereal and an hour alone before being spoken to. I have now become that annoying, enthusiastic animator who bounces into breakfast and gets excited at the prospect of anything that involves dragging people from their sunbeds and putting, albeit begrudging, smiles on their faces.
Over the past year I have been lucky enough to enjoy working with every single one of these stereotypes and am so excited to be back in this happy industry.
So next time you're on holiday- look around for these characters and remember how brilliant they all are: your holiday memories wouldn't be the same without them.
I, for one, can't wait to introduce them back into my fairytale- and to continue to play character number eight in all of theirs :)