Working Holiday or Holiday Working?

I know this post is long overdue.  There is so much to write about and so many pictures (oh SO many pictures), I fear, you might be bored by the end of the post.  Oh well, if you find your mind wandering off or your eyes closing while reading – just close the page – I wont be offended.
On the 28th of June I got a phone call from a family who had gotten my name from an agency I was signed up to do temporary work with.  The Mum said they were going on holiday and was wondering if I was free for the week.  She wasn’t sure what day she was leaving or where they were going.  I told her I would call her back.  The next day I got a phone call that said they would be going to an island off the coast of Spain and could I come?  She offered me more money that I had suggested and I said, (without thinking), YES!  She told me we would be leaving the next day (Wed) and that their PA would get in touch with me with all the details.
As I calmed down from the initial excitement I realized that I didn’t know how old the child was, what the parents were like, or any other details.  I was taking a big chance – and as the time got closer and closer I got more and more nervous.
Wednesday I left here about 7:30 in the morning to get to the airport in London.  3 trains and 1 tube later I arrived in once piece (but was still VERY nervous).  I got a call at the airport saying the family was there and where to meet them.
I was put at ease right away when I met them.  They were a young, fun couple with the cutest baby ever (20 months old).  They told me, as I waited, that the Villa we would be staying at was in Mallorca, Spain and that we’d have a personal chef while we were there.  I started to realize that this wouldn’t be a “normal” holiday.
We were met at the airport by one of the staff that had a small cooler filled with chilled water, fruit, and fruit bars.  We followed her to the Villa.  I was struck by the beautiful mountains on the island – I don’t know what I expected, but not mountains.  It was absolutely stunning – and absolutely HOT.
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As we pulled up to the Villa, “D” our chef, and “T” our house manager were waiting outside the front door to greet us.  They brought my bags in and showed me up to my room – asking if it was “acceptable” – uhhhhh yeah?!?!?!
DSCF4894Here is the bathrobe and slippers that were in my closet. DSCF4895Here is my bed (MASSIVE) and very comfortable.  The room was air conditioned and very big. DSCF4897This was the view from my window.  The two palm trees.DSCF4898The first night I came up to bed to read my book and found that the cleaners had stuck bookmarks in all of my books – just an added touch.
I forgot most of the trip that I was actually working.  The baby’s bedroom was right next to mine and I had a baby monitor.  I was to get up with him in the mornings (around 7), feed him breakfast, play with him, keep him out of the sun from 11 – 4, feed him lunch, put him down for a nap, play with him some more,  feed him dinner (I didn’t have to prepare the meals – the chef did that), play with him, bathe him, and put him to bed.  He was by far one of the most pleasant children I have ever watched and had such a cute personality – even on the day he woke me up at 5:30 – he was a joy.  The worst thing that I had to deal with was the weather.  His parents were so involved that they were always around to play with him, swim with him, or help with meals.
Here are some of the views:
DSCF4900 Looking out of my bedroom to the landing.DSCF4901Looking down from my bedroom to the entry way – notice the basket it was full of all kinds of drinks when we first arrived. DSCF4902Looking down to the entry way. DSCF4903 Looking out of the large window to the front of the Villa.
Here are some pictures from the rest of the Villa;
DSCF4909The Master Bedroom – it also had a HUGE walk in closet and huge bathroom. DSCF4911Inside dining table (always with a bowl full of fresh fruit), we didn’t use it at all – we always ate outside. DSCF4912 The Kitchen where “D” worked her magic.  I didn’t spend much time in here at all (it was so nice!)DSCF4913The table where we had all of our meals. DSCF4914The sitting room – we didn’t spend much time here either. DSCF4918The beds outside on the patio. DSCF4919The couches outside were we’d sit and chat and eat.
One of the best parts of the house was a “Kids Room” where there were toys, TV, arts and crafts, and books.  It was such a good thing to have (I don’t know what I would have done without it).  I later found out that a nanny is included in the price of the Villa – but she didn’t live-in so she wouldn’t be there in the mornings with the baby.
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Every morning when it was just me and the baby, we’d walk up and down the long drive (taking advantage of the lower temperatures).  Here are some pictures of the grounds:
DSCF4920The pool (obviously). DSCF4921 DSCF4926 DSCF4928 So much land to walk and play on.  The grass was horrible though, really coarse and hard to walk on – didn’t seem to bother the baby though.DSCF4937The baby walking up to the gate. DSCF4942   Another perspective.
So, most of the time we were at the Villa, and I must admit I did get a little stir crazy.  I was really excited we we decided to go to the port for the day.  Since “D” was off on the weekends, we went out and had lunch and walked around the port.  The parents took the baby with them and I got to walk around for a bit on my own (trying not to die of heat stroke!).  It was really nice to get out and to see the sights.  Here are some pictures from the port:
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One day the mum and I took the baby to the beach.  It was a drive straight up a mountain and down the other side to get to a beautiful beach.  It was so nice.  She played with the baby in the water and I sat on the beach (in the shade).  We left before it got too hot or too busy. 
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On the ride home from the beach, we stopped at a look out point and this is what I saw:
DSCF4962 DSCF4964 DSCF4965Stunning…. just stunning.
One night the mum and I decided, after dinner, to go shopping in the town.  It was so nice to go out, just us girls, and shop, talk, and just experience the town.
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After the first few days, the rest of them just flew by.  After I put the baby to sleep – The parents and I would have amazing food.  The chef was so professional and even the dad said that it was the best food he’s ever had – and that is saying something because he’s traveled the world.  I tried things like: steak, caviar, quails eggs, hummus, white chocolate and asparagus soup, prosciutto, and so many others.  It was the best (poshist – is that a word?!?!?) food I am sure I will ever taste.  We had great conversations at dinner and I really got to like the parents as friends as well as really good employers. 
It was finally time to go home.  We stopped at the aquarium and I was mostly interested in the jellyfish (I have TONS of pictures of that). 
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We got to the airport and just relaxed until we got the plane.  It was super hot (STILL) and when we got on the plane they had the air on so strong that this is what we were greeted with:
DSCF4994It looked like smoke – a sight like that is bound to make anyone a bit nervous.  It turns out the flight was fine, just 2 1/2 hours.  At immigration we parted ways (they had another flight to catch and I had to stand in line FOREVER).
I got on the train home and was promptly kicked out of the first class coach (I didn’t know it was First Class) and after a week of First Class treatment – real life came crashing back down.  Chris was nice and met me at the train station in London and rode back home with me.
It was such a good experience.  It could have turned out so bad, but it turned out amazing.  I hope that I am able to help them again.
If you’d like to see all the pictures (no, this isn’t all of them) click on the link below:
http://cid-4efd483657adb90d.skydrive.live.com/browse.aspx/.res/4efd483657adb90d!1939?ct=photos
or visit my old Space:  http://jamieandcompany.spaces.live.com/
*Click on the pictures in the blog to get a closer look!
*No pictures of the baby due to privacy. 

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