Welcome back to my little mini series where I am looking back over our family memories, if you have missed one you can pop here to catch up.
When Alice was ten months old we went on our first family holiday and we thought that would be our only one for that year. But, then our friends asked us if we would like to go away with them and their son. We instantly said ‘Yes’, I mean why wouldn’t we?
Then I started to think about the logistics of taking Alice abroad, the amount of stuff we would need. Thinking about what it would be like on the plane with her…
So of course I took my natural approach and started a list. Writing down everything we would need to take for Alice, it was a long list.
We had booked a villa in Portugal and we would be setting off in September, about three weeks after Alice’s first birthday.
Thankfully our friends like to be organised too and were great at finding ways to make our lives easier. We used a great company that would deliver two cots, two highchairs and a bath support straight to our villa on the day we arrived and would then collect them when we departed. Perfect!
Everything else was pretty straight forward. We knew the rules on what we could take for the little ones to drink and eat on the plane. It was then just a case of packing everything, Andy was taking his golf clubs which turned out to be really handy, as I managed to squeeze the packs of nappies in there.
We stayed at a hotel the night before as we had an early flight out. We were in bed by 7pm whispering so not to wake Alice and also trying to tell our bodies to go to sleep, as we would be up early. Luckily as a parent you are pretty exhausted and getting to sleep is never normally a problem.
It seemed strange waking Alice up to leave, I transferred her to the pushchair and she kind of dosed as we made our way out of the hotel and into the car. Then it was just a short drive to the airport.
We got on the plane and were lucky they were in rows of two seats near the window, which meant we wouldn’t annoy anyone next to us. Luck then wasn’t on our side as we had a short delay sat on the plane, I remember saying to my friend we should be half way there by now. Anyway, we were soon off and I gave Alice a bottle to help her ears, this made her quite sleepy and after a couple of rocks of the arm she had fallen asleep on me….bliss! Luck was then on our side, as my friends little boy fell asleep too. We smiled at each other, pleased that our babies were sleeping and not causing the havoc that we worried about.
Once we arrived we picked up our car, loaded everything in and set of for our Villa. It was set on a resort, that was like a housing estate of Villas. Some people lived in them permanently and others like ours were rented out.
The Villa was amazing, really spacious and plenty of room for us all without being on top of each other. The cots and highchairs were all delivered and we were all set for our week.
Our days were spent swimming in the pool, which was a little bit on the cold side. I brought Alice an inflatable car with a roof that protected her a bit from the sun. She loved it. The little ones would have their daytime nap and we would have a couple of hours to sunbathe, how amazing is that!
Or, we spent our days at the beach. We found a couple of lovely ones, but on one of them we got to see more than just the sea. We had ended up on a nudist beach, thank goodness Alice was only twelve months old!!
Our villa had a lovely garden away from the pool, that was nice to play in with some shade.
Once the little ones were in bed, we would either have a barbecue or cook dinner and spend the evening eating outside and chatting. It was perfect.
We had one day of rain in the week, but luckily the resort had an indoor swimming pool that we could use. Other days the men played golf and my friend and I even managed to have a spa treatment on the resort.
We had a lovely time and when you have babies, it is nice to go away with another couple, so that you can put them to sleep and then enjoy some company.
Once our week was over it was time to pack up and head to the airport. Sadly, the journey home wasn’t quite as smooth for me. In the car Alice had the biggest nappy explosion ever and I had to change all her clothes.
Then when we went through security Alice was asleep in the pushchair and the security man said he had to see her eyes, so I had to wake her up. What was that all about?
This meant I then had a tired grumpy Alice to take on the plane. She was ok to begin with, but then I could tell she was overtired and that is never good. It took everything in me to get her to sleep, she was crying, I was stood at the back of the plane rocking her. Eventually she went off, my arms could barely hold her anymore and I managed to sit back down with her still asleep. Then the seat belt sign came on and we were about to land. Great, I was never going to get the seat belt on her without waking her.
Luckily she wasn’t too grumpy that she was woken up, those twenty minutes of sleep was just enough to see us off the plane.
We survived our first holiday abroad and had a lovely time. Would we do it again? well, we are off on holiday next week with both our girls on a plane. Wish us luck.
Next week I will back with the decision to go back to work…