Dad’s Life: A trip to the Dam

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MY wife and I had somehow managed to synchronise our holidays and the boys had nearly done their homework, so we booked a quick dash to Amsterdam.

 It’s a journey that different combinations of the four of us have done many times. We all love the Dutch city, and my sons were jealous that my better half and I had managed a short break as a late anniversary treat last Autumn.

 Funds were tight, so we shared a cabin on the DFDS ferry on our way out, and also shared a hotel room while in Amsterdam.

 The ferry journey has always been part of the fun for us, and I’m mystified as to why more people don’t take advantage of this mode of transport, right on our doorstep.

 Sharing the bunk beds in our cabin was a good laugh, and the food in the buffet restaurant was as good and as filling as ever. We even went to the on-board cinema before going to bed.

 We all have our favourite treats in Amsterdam. My wife’s favourite shoe shop is there; there’s a shop which sells 14-year-old Isaac’s favourite gooey American breakfast cereal, and there’s also Gabriel’s favourite restaurant – an Indonesian. I have a favourite sock shop, but don’t tell anyone.

 Our hotel – the Marriott – was pretty central and extremely comfortable. Again the boys were happy to share a room, which kept the costs down considerably.

 We only stayed a night, but with the overnight ferry crossings we were away for more than three days and it felt like longer.

 For our return journey, we’d booked two cabins, one of which turned out to be a three-berth and the other a double.

 Isaac was keen to be with us, rather than his brother, while 16-year-old Gabriel was delighted at the thought of some alone time, so everyone was happy.

 Instead of the buffet on our return journey, we ate at the on-board Steak House, which was fantastic, one of the best steaks I’d had for a while.

 My boys are certainly getting to the age when we’re starting to think of holidays without them – but both were asking when we’re going to do the trip again once we arrived home.

MY boys were impressively relaxed about returning to school. There were no moans or groans or complaints.

 Both claimed they hadn’t been given much homework over the half-term holiday.

 I was doubtful, but it transpired they were both right. Indeed on their return, both found out they had completed long essays a week ahead of time.

Rather than being delighted – as I would have been - they were furious that they’d wasted holiday time!