The first and last romantic trip

by Máire Baker

This story is part of our 'Romantic Travel Stories' series, featuring tales from luxury hotel guests which were sent in for our travel writing competition.

Photo by Jamie John Davis.

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When my husband and I got married in 1994, we could not afford a honeymoon, but we saved hard, and the following summer, we headed off for a week in Portugal.

This was our first ever ‘sun holiday’ and we were very excited. We felt it would be all the more special, as shortly before we left, we had found out that I was pregnant - this would more than likely be our last holiday alone for a long time!!

Unfortunately, I began to feel ill in the car on the way to the airport. It got worse on the plane journey, and consistently worse during our time in Portugal.

In fact, I spent almost all day, every day, lying down in the apartment! I was so sick that I often couldn’t even keep down a glass of water or cup of tea. Every day, the cleaners told me that I would never get a tan if I stayed indoors!

Sometimes, I got as far as the door of the apartment block, and had to turn back as I felt too ill to go any further.

We had a few short walks on the beach in the late evenings, when the heat of the day had died down. All of the tourists had deserted the beaches at this stage, and they were much more tranquil and romantic than in the heat and bustle of the day. Once or twice, we also managed to enjoy a small meal in a local restaurant.

While I unfortunately have few memories of Portugal itself, I have very fond memories of my new husband taking care of me while I tried to overcome my sickness. I sent him out every day to find whatever food I was craving – salty crisps, sparkling water, watermelon, chips.

The following spring, it was all worthwhile, when our beautiful baby girl arrived! We now have three wonderful daughters, but unfortunately have not managed to have a holiday alone since our trip to Portugal 15 years ago!

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