The participants: Me, Kev, 51, husband, father, son, friend. In fact, just about everything to everybody on this holiday. Wife, Tam, 45. Daughter 1, India, 18. Daughter 2, Georgia, 15. Grandma, 84. The girls Grandma, my mother. Susan, age kept quiet for fear of kick in soft tissuey area. Our friend from Tulsa. Attending in part: Sharon, see above for age. Friend from Texas. Evan, 21, Sharons son. The day you leave for the airport is always an exciting time, but a day at work has to be endured before departure. It actually doesnt go too slowly and Tam and I leave early to be home around 2.30pm. Showered and refreshed were off to pick Grandma up just before 4.00pm. Here comes the first dilemma. How to fit 4 suitcases and 5 people into a Citreon Xsara? The people part isnt too bad, but the suitcases turn out to be a bit of an issue. They are moved in and out and repositioned several times before a conclusion is reached these babies aint all going to fit in the boot together! We always knew it would be a tight squeeze and had thought about getting a train or taxi to the airport, but financial constraints meant driving was the wisest choice. In the end Grandmas holdall has to be positioned on the floor in the back of the car between poor Indias legs. India is very good about it and barely moans at all even though her legs are quite squashed. The only thing she says is that her sponge hurts. Now sponge is an affectionate term her boyfriend coined for the squeezy bits at the top of your buttocks and has become a bit of a family saying. As descriptions of fatty deposits go, we like sponge. Anyway, Indias sponge does take a fair pounding as the trip to Gatwick takes over 3 hours. Normally it would be an hour or so shorter, but its the start of the bank holiday weekend and the traffic is heavy. We have to leave the M4 due to warnings of bad delays further up and make most of the journey across country. Still, were in no hurry and some of the countryside is very pretty. We arrive at the Gatwick Hilton and drop off Grandma and the girls along with the suitcases while Tam and I drive to the car park a great deal at £59 for 16 nights using Summer Special Parking. By the time we get back to the Hilton, check-in and drop the bags in our rooms, its 8.30pm. Were all hungry and so head off to the airport to eat in Frankie and Bennys. Not the most sophisticated place to eat, but better than paying the extortionate prices at the Hilton. The place is packed, but we get a table almost straightaway. Food consumed includes a burger, calzone, pizzas and chicken strips. Its all reasonable enough and is enjoyed with drinks, Tam and India having Mai-Tais to celebrate the start of the holiday and the end of Indias International Baccalaureate exams. Grandma has a glass of Chardonnay, which Tam tries. When Tam remarks how much she is enjoying the calzone, Grandma says You mean the white wine dear? We all fall about laughing and decide its time to take whats left of Grandmas glass of Calzone away from her. This may have come just a bit too late as Grandma spies a rather tall gentleman serving food. Oooh, hes a big man she exclaims. Kev grabs Grandmas Calzone and downs it in one. Its the safest thing to do. Back to the Hilton where we have a drink in the lounge before bed around 11.00pm.