Posted on 17 November 2016 @ 2:24pm


Tenerife: Full-Day Port Leave!

We woke up excited for a full day of exploring the island and everyone made sure to finish provisioning and cleaning stations as fast as possible.  As soon as we were finished some people got picked up by their parents and others went in groups of four together.  I made sure my parents got to the boat early so I could spend as much time with them as possible.

Once my parents picked me up, we headed to the place they had rented so I could take a long shower – that was more than the 1-minute long showers we have on the boat. Almost everyone with parents or relatives who came to visit went to their hotels to shower or use the beloved Wi-Fi (I admit, I had spent the previous day at the rental place using the internet).  Once we got there I showered, changed, and gathered all the stuff I needed for the long ride to the Southern part of the island. We had been really hoping that the weather would be better there since it had been rainy for the past couple of days where the boat was docked in Santa Cruz. Of course the few days the Gulden Leeuw was in Tenerife it was during the only 14 days a year that it rains!

Once we arrived in the Southern part of the island we were happily surprised to find out that it rarely rains at all in this part of the island.  So we had perfect weather and it was a beautiful change of view compared to the rainy past couple of days.  It was really nice spending time with my family and walking around exploring. Eventually I began to realize how I can’t simply get candy whenever I want with my parents around, or how there was always a plan on what to do – something that was new after being able to freely explore and wander in our groups of four in other ports. Although it was a change to what I had adapted to, it was really nice to spend time with them.

For lunch we went to the Hard Rock Café. I had never been to one before, so it was an interesting and cool experience. I expected to see some artists I knew on the wall of signed records but most of them were Spanish; although, Britney Spears’ shoes were in a glass case!  We sat down and ate some mediocre food, but I got a chocolate shake so it was all good.

After eating we headed down to the boardwalk and walked along the ocean and caught up on all the stuff going on in our lives.  They told me about all the things I had missed that were going on back home with my sister, my friends, my family, and of course, my dog. I told them about my new amazing friends, my super cool teachers, and all the fun times we have together.  By the time we had finished talking and wandering around it was sunset, so we went to the beach and watched all the amazing colors before us in silence, taking in the moment.

After that sweet moment we headed to a place called the Oriental Monkey for dinner. It was a sushi place! I love sushi, and it was always my family’s tradition to go out for sushi on Sundays. We always went to my favorite sushi restaurant, Yumi, and to this day, I have not been able to find a sushi restaurant that tops Yumi. The Oriental Monkey had good food, and some stellar Miso soup, so it was nice to have a nice Sunday dinner with the family.  I ate so much I could barely move (not really, but still it was good!). After dinner we still had some time before curfew so we went and got some gelato and thought about what we wanted to do next.

After finishing my mint-flavored gelato we started heading to the car.  We had decided to take the long way back, all the way around the other side of the island so we could take in some new scenery. We got back to the car and got comfortable for our 2-hour ride. Even though it was dark it was still really interesting because there were lots of tunnels and my Dad and I would hold our breath whenever we went through them, just like old times. 

It was a nice calming ride.  We got back to the rental place with some extra time on our hands so I took some time to FaceTime my sister. We talked about school and about how our mutual friends were doing. It was nice to talk to her. 

Then it was time for us to head back to the boat.  We got all the stuff my mom had brought for me from home into a big bag and started walking back to where the boat was docked.  We took our time, knowing that it would be a while before we would all spent a day together like this again.  I will never be too old to hold hands with my parents, so that’s exactly what I did, and it was nice.  Once we got closer to the boat we met up with people also on their way to the boat, so we all walked the rest of the way together talking about each other’s days.

Once we got to the boat I said goodbye to my parents and gave them extra big hugs, saying our last goodnights for a while. It was a sad moment, but now I have the next time I see them to look forward too! I miss them already.

Candy shops

Streets of Tenerife

Street stall snacks

-Written by Lily, an English 11 student