Every January, the Burt family packs their suitcases full of bikinis and suntan cream, piles in to the car singing "We're all going on a - Winter holiday!" at the top of their voices and arrives at some idyllic destination with sun, sea and sand for two weeks of family fun in the sun.
This tradition had been broken for the last 3 years and enough was enough!
2015 was the year to rekindle our love for the family holiday with a much-excited return to the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic has been our preferred holiday destination since I was about 11. More importantly, the Iberostar Hotels in Punta Cana! I think we've stayed here about 7, 8 or maybe even 9 times - Jonathan and I practically grew up here.
There is everything you could need here: beautiful white sandy beach with clear turquoise water, massive pool, all-inclusive food, ice cream parlour, disco, 24hr room service, pool bar, cocktails galore, gym, spa, live shows every night... oh and did I mention 28ºC average temperature in January?!
This time we were bringing a few extra friends!
The boy and I flew in to Punta Cana with British Airways. I was surprised to see the airport had 2 runways now and an actual terminal building built with bricks - before, the entire airport was a gigantic wooden hut with a thatched roof. It was still a mass of chaos inside though!
The heat hit us hard when we got through to Arrivals, luckily I changed into my flip flops on the flight. We were picked up by a driver from IBK Services who dropped us off 30 minutes later at the Iberostar Bávaro where we had the biggest welcome from Mum, Dad and JoBro with champagne and beer in hand! YES!
We have arrived in paradise.
We walked through the hotel gardens to find our villa suite nestled between the palm trees.
Whilst we waited for our luggage to be delivered, we headed to the beach and I showed the boy around a bit as he'd never been before.
After a much needed shower and grub, we managed to stay up till 10pm until our tired little bodies were calling for us to take them to bed.
Next morning we woke to the sun streaming through our bedroom window! For a moment I had to remind myself where I was and then gave a little shriek of excitement! I slung on a bikini, woke the boy up (and the rest of the family) and got ready to enjoy my day in the Caribbean.
We took a stroll round the rest of the hotel after lunch
Can you spot a cheeky certain someone hiding behind the tree?
At 8pm, we met for drinks.
I should probably introduce you to the gang shouldn't I?
Well here we go then...
JoBro, the brother Jonathan
Mummy and Daddy
And the boy.
Not enough time to ease him in gently in to the Burt family, he's getting chucked in at the deep end this week!