We have arrived home after 10 days in beautiful Vilamoura in The Algarve. This was our first “proper” holiday away since Amelia was born.Last summer we drove from London to Padstow in Cornwall,that holiday was very different,as she was only 14 weeks.
I have previously written a post on travelling with a baby, see here, as we are used to travelling back and forth to London with Amelia. I’m a terrible packer,I bring too much,always have and always will I think. I packed two outfits per day for Amelia,toys,nappies and all the other baby paraphernalia needed. My saving grace is my Buggy Transport Bag,we have the Bugaboo Transport Bag,there are also some great Universal Travel Bags for strollers on the market. It’s great for hiding bits in, as the cases are not weighed. Buggys & strollers are free to check in the hold with all airlines. I just use my baby sling, from Olives & Applesauce around the airport.This time round however,the check in staff did weigh it when tagging, and there was raised eyebrows when the scales tipped 28kgs, “is it only a buggy in there ?” She asked,cheeks burning I nodded and said it wasn’t a stroller,it’s a heavy buggy! She wasn’t buying it,but let us off,phew! With each extra KG costing an obscene amount of money with Ryanair,we would be eating beans on toast for the 10 days if we had to pay.
The 6:30 am flight was perfect,Amelia slept most of the journey,after we woke her at 4am to drive to the airport. 2hrs 20mins later,we stepped off the plane to glorious sunshine and heat,this was the moment I looked forward to the most,that blast of warm air when you step off the plane.
A 20 min taxi ride took us to our apartment,I unpacked straight away,I hate living out of suitcases. We took a walk around the marina,hoping Amelia would go for her nap- this didn’t happen,we had to deal with one very cranky,sleep deprived little girl for the rest of the day. Amelia slept in a travel cot in our room,and we did worry how she would sleep alongside us,but she was great. With regards naps & keeping her home routine,we made a few mistakes for the first few days. We tried to take her out in the buggy for her naps,but she just would not sleep,this was the same for bedtime. I had these great ideas (notions!), of giving Amelia her evening meal,play,bath,we get ready and then walk to a restaurant while she fell asleep and we have our meal in peace…..this happened ONCE and once only.
We gave up walking around and around trying to get her to sleep in her buggy,we decided we would just let her nap in the cot in the apartment,this worked out so well. She woke at 6:30 every morning,had a bottle,played,then had breakfast at 8am. We would have breakfast at this time too after Amelia’s daddy went to the local bakery for some yummy croissants and pastries (I regret this now,post holiday tummy). Nap time was at 9am, I would go to the pool at this time while Amelia’s daddy would sit on the balcony. Once she woke at 11am,she had a snack and then down to the pool for an hour or so. Lunch at 1am, I had made some chicken, potato and carrot on the two ring hob in the apartment,but she just did not want to eat hot food while we were away,so she ate a lot of tomatoes,banana,chorizo,olives (this was a new food), cheese,bread and fruits. I know that chorizo is high in salt,but it was the only meat she would eat while we were away.She drank a lot of water (swimming pool water included !!), and ate plenty of watery fruits such as watermelon,pears and grapes,so she was kept hydrated.
After lunch,she would play for a bit,then back down for her afternoon nap….cue mummy time again,my husband doesn’t like to sunbathe for very long,so he would have a nap too or sit on the balcony,while I wandered back to the pool. It was so lovely to have this time to myself and to have help for the 10 days.
Amelia would wake around 3pm,small snack,suncream and off we would go to the beach,with half the apartment in tow.Picnic blanket,”UV Family Tent” bucket, spade, toys, towels, changing bag etc. We stayed on the beach for an hour or two, it was a 5 min walk from our apartment,and then pack up and go for a walk around the beautiful Marina in Vilamoura, always stopping by the Häagen-Dazs ice – cream shop (I think we tried every flavour!). Some days if Amelia was in good form,we would stop at one of the beautiful outdoor restaurants and have a drink.
Back to the apartment after our afternoon out,and we would all just chill on the balcony and have another drink (or two), give Amelia dinner,weetabix,yogurt and tomatoes, she decided she did not like scrambled egg anymore while we were there,this was disappointing,as it is one of my “go to” foods when she doesn’t feel like anything else.It was lovely to eat outside on the balcony every day.
Once we we all showered,and ready we headed out to dinner. We would get out around 6:30, always praying she would fall asleep on the way,but of no…she was never going to do what we planned. We eventually realised it was less stressful and easier to just let her stay awake for dinner. We brought the iPad,but Amelia was so busy watching people passing by as we sat outside,I didn’t need it. If she wanted bits off our plate, we would give it to her,but she was generally happy with breadsticks. Once we had finished dinner,we gave Amelia her night time bottle,and walked around and headed home,she generally was asleep by the time we got to the apartment. I would just put her to sleep in the clothes she was wearing, she is a non – transferable baby,so if I woke to change her,there is not a hope in hell she would have gone straight back to sleep.
The rest of the evening was my favourite part of the day,with little to no wifi access,and the TV was crap,unless you like BBC World News all day long,we sat out on the balcony and just talked!Drank lovely wine,ate some more and talked again. We even said we should have an hour every evening of no TV or internet/phones when we got back,this was a great idea in theory,but it’s not going to happen.
We really had an amazing holiday,this has just touched on it briefly.Amelia has come home whiter than when she left,I think I was a little bit OTT with keeping her in the shade and using copious amounts of SPF 50, which seems to be “bullet proof” in keeping my fair skinned lady protected.We used Bepanthen SPF 50 & La Roche – Posay Anthelios SPF 50, she had so much fun swimming and playing with other children her age. Here is hoping to a nice warm summer spent on the beach.We will be back without doubt next year.A 2hr 20min flight is just perfect when flying with children,and at this time of the year you are more or less guaranteed good weather.
Where will you holiday this year?Do you try and keep your children in the same routine when on holiday?
T & A xxx