Our Holiday in a Nutshell

Last week we were on holiday. We had a lovely week in Menorca but it wasn’t without its challenges… life with 2 kids rarely is I think! Here is a little about our holiday, in a nutshell.

So it started off pretty well, Monkey loved the plane journey and was so excited to be flying bless him! LM was less impressed, especially by the delay when we were sat on the runway for ages! She did sleep a bit though thankfully and we survived the journey pretty well.journey out

The hotel was lovely we loved our apartment and it was in a great spot, not too far from the pool but not too close for it to be too noisy in the evening. We opted for a 2 bed apartment which was very spacious and meant that hubs and I would have our space once the kids were in bed, compared with previous holidays where we have been stuck on the balcony or in the bathroom while Monkey was asleep.hotel

The restaurant was nice enough and there was plenty of variety in the buffet. The downside was that the set times were a bit later than the kids normally eat so was a bit challenging keeping them going some days… and the restaurant environment was a little distracting for LM at times so the dvd player and baby jake came to our rescue at most mealtimes. I know there was other people judging us and I probably judged us too but it was worth it to he able to eat without juggling a wailing baby. At least there was lots of other families with small children there which was brilliant as lots of us in the same boat trying to keep babies and toddlers happy.restaurant

LM absolutely adored the pool and was desperate to be in there whenever we went near it. Both hubs and I had so much fun with her in there which was lovely.LM in the pool

We also sometimes set up a dinghy with some water and toys so she could have a play in there and she adored that too.LM dinghy

Unfortunately though Monkey was not a fan of the pool. It was very cold as the water was being constantly recirculated and really didn’t ever get warm. As a result, after the first day Monkey point blank refused to go in and if we attempted to coax him in we were met with screams, shouts and full on meltdowns. Joy. Such a shame too as the kids pool was great with slides in and so all the other kids seemed to absolutely love it.. and LM had absolutely no problem with the temperature. We did occasionally persuade him to play by the side of the pool or paddle a little… but it took a LOT of effort!Monkey and pool

There was a lovely little beach literally within 5 mins walk and it was gorgeous, really secluded and surrounded by bushes so very peaceful. The only downside was that it is a preservation beach meaning that they are not allowed to remove any of the kelp and seaweed that washes up onto the beach so the beach was covered. Monkey and Daddy still had a fab time building sandcastles and we got LM paddling for a bit… but sadly she didn’t much like the sand so wasn’t happy there for long.the beach

So we had one little one who didn’t like the pool and one who didn’t like the beach. Not exactly a recipe for a relaxing beach/poolside holiday. After a couple of days we realised we needed to do something else as the kids were driving us mad and we were getting snippy with each other.

Our first little outing was a trip to the capital Mahon to visit the market. Monkey had a meltdown to end all meltdowns and we ended up using the naughty spot on a random street corner while I walked a screaming LM up and down in her buggy to get to sleep. Not exactly the best start! We did turn it around though and had a lovely boat trip on the harbour and a nice lunch. I will write more about that in a seperate post though.Mahon

The following day was a very chilly day and we planned on going to the little zoo on the island which was really lovely as many of the animals have been rescued and have lovely big enclosures to enjoy. Unfortunately it poured with rain shortly after we arrived meaning we go soaked as we looked round. We still very much enjoyed it though, and because of the rain we practically had the place to ourselves. The kids loved looking at all of the animals and running from shelter to shelter!zoo

In the evenings after dinner we generally wandered around with the kiddies, Monkey made friends with other kiddies and LM loved toddling around. She really is a sociable little thing and kept going up to people meaning I had to have a few slightly awkward conversations, but for the most part people cooed over her and she basked in their attention! One evening after walking around she had a little cry but got over it and we didn’t think much of it. I carried her back to the apartment where I looked down and realised my shorts were covered in blood! She had a nasty nasty cut on her toe and we felt like terrible parents for not even realising. Poor thing.

evenings

There was a mini disco at 8.30 every night that I am pretty sure Monkey would have loved as he loved dancing on the stage and dancefloor but LM was too tired to stay up for it and as they were sharing a room it was easier to put them to bed at the same time. So hubs and I took a few drinkies with us up to the apartment and either read our books, compared photos or just had a natter. Quite nice to have a change from tv and blogging that takes up our evenings normally!

The journey home was similar to the first and LM slept a bit on the plane but took a lot of entertaining the rest of the time. Monkey was really good but it was still hard work and by the time we had got our bags and the car and made the long journey home from the airport it was nearly 11pm. A very long day and I think we are still recovering actually!

It was a good holiday but it definitely had quite a few negatives unfortunately. I am not sure we will do the same type of holiday again at least not for a while, and hubs is adamant he doesn’t want to make a plane journey again until LM is around Monkey’s age, as he feels that the stress of the return journey wiped out the benefit of the rest we had gotten that week. I don’t feel that it was quite that bad but we do enjoy our UK holidays too so will stick with those for a while I think!

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Durdle Door, Dorset

On our recent holiday to Dorset one of the absolute highlights had to be the gorgeous day we spent visiting Durdle Door, a stunning rock formation on the Jurassic Coast…. but the day wasn’t without it’s challenges! I really didn’t do much research into before we went, and didn’t really take in what I did read, so I will be honest, I was completely unprepared for how tricky it was to get there.

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The car journey was fine and uneventful. Access is via the Durdle Door holiday park, where there is a pay and display car park. Some people were parking on the road outside the holiday park but it is worth paying for the car park. It is not too expensive really and it is hard enough getting to the beach and Durdle door itself from the car park let alone adding on another huge journey up/down a hill!

Why so hard? Well access is only via a very long, very steep, sandy/stony/dusty (so slippy) path down the cliffside. This gets you to an amazing viewing point, then there are around 150 steps down to the actual stoney beach. Don’t let this put you off as it is stunningly beautiful and well worth going, but please learn from my mistakes and be more prepared!

durdle door

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The steps down to the beach

 

First of all, we took way too much stuff. I had no idea what the route down involved and hadn’t really thought about the fact that the beach was stoney. So we went down very heavily laden with all manner of beach toys which we did not remotely need or use.

Our second mistake was taking the buggy – I had no idea there was so many steps at the end of the journey, it was hard enough getting the buggy up and down the slope and there is NO way you would want to carry a buggy down the steps as it is very busy and there are no safety rails whatsoever.

So anyway we struggled our way down the very steep dusty slope with the buggy and all our bags clutching on tightly to Monkey and keeping him well clear of the edge, wondering how far away we were going to have to go! Then we got to the viewing level, and like I say, stunning… then we saw all the steps and wondered what to do next…. so decided to have our picnic there while we pondered what to do.

durdle door 2

Eventually we decided we did want to go down the steps, having come all of that way. The buggy we had with us is a very cheap one we bought a couple of years ago to take abroad, thinking it may not last that holiday. It has still been going strong but we have had good use out of it so we decided to leave it at the top. We tucked it under a trailer being used as a bin and hoped it would still be there on our return, though we accepted the risk. (Thankfully it was there though hooray)

The steps were steep and there are no handrails but Monkey did so well and we managed down the steps with all our bits and bobs. We made a bit of a game counting the way with Monkey as he does so love to count! The Durdle door itself was very impressive but it was a very steep slope to the the sea and difficult to get to on the stones. Was nice to have a paddle, although neither Monkey or LM were impressed with the noise of the crashing surf.

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durdle door 4

We had a lovely time enjoying the sun before it was time to start the difficult journey back up hill. Let’s just say it was definitely a slog! We stopped halfway up for some ice cream as it was so hot, but it really was incredibly hard work. It was well worth a visit though we were exhausted by the end of it and I wish I had done some research before we went, so here is my advice if you are planning a visit.

  • Be prepared for a long walk and wear good shoes – my flip flops weren’t the best choice of footwear for the journey!
  • Don’t take everything but the kitchen sink – there isn’t sand, there won’t be sandcastles.
  • Go without a buggy if you can, there are stairs at the bottom that you won’t want to carry a buggy down… it’s not much fun pushing the buggy back up the hill either!
  • Be prepared to carry a little one if their little legs can’t manage it (see why you shouldn’t take too much down with you!)
  • Take plenty of drink, and food.
  • Go to the toilet before you head down – unless you fancy a wee in the sea  as there no facilities down there.
  • Pay for the parking, it is a long enough walk anyway let alone walking even further to avoid paying.
  • Use reins or keep a hand free for your kiddies – there are no safety rails whatsoever!
  • Enjoy the view as it is stunning!
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The Yorkshire Coast: Whitby & Runswick Bay

When  you think holiday, you very often think seaside or beach. Not all holidays of course but they do seem synonymous. For our holiday to Yorkshire I knew that most of our days would be spent exploring the countryside inland, but, Monkey does love the seaside so I wanted to see what the Yorkshire coast offered us in terms of beautiful beaches, and we were not disappointed.

We kept an eye on the weather forecast and chose the best day weather-wise to head to the coast, as we knew it may be a little chilly or breezy compared to inland. First stop was Whitby. Hubs had been before many years ago but I had never been and it was a gorgeous day and Whitby is a lovely seaside town and really picturesque.

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It is also very hilly! We were in Yorkshire so I know I shouldn’t be surprised but pushing the buggy up some of the steep hills definitely gave my legs a good workout compared to the flats area that we live in! We loved the view from the clifftops down to the lovely beach below and across to the aAbbey. After visiting Fountains Abbey we decided not to see Whitby Abbey up close and focused on the town itself, having a lovely wander round, and we stopped at a gorgeous child friendly café for lunch.

Whitby

We then headed a little further North up the coast towards a little place I had found called Runswick Bay. A lovely small fishing village in beautiful enclosed bay with a gorgeous sandy beach. It was a lovely day and with the bay being enclosed we were very protected from any coastal breezes and had a lovely time.

Runswick Bay

It was LM’s first time on a beach and she was good as gold lying in the shade of our wind protector while Monkey and Daddy had a whale of a time making castles and exploring the beach.

Runswick Bay 2

It was such a beautiful spot and I was so glad we found it. The hill to get to the beach is massively steep though so worth bearing that in mind when thinking about carrying things/children.

 

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Fun at the seaside – who’s the biggest kid?

On our holiday last week we spent a lot of time at the seaside. At Gorleston beach to be precise. Just south of Great Yarmouth there is free parking right next to one of the loveliest beaches I have been to in a long time. WP_20140601_09_52_32_Pro WP_20140601_12_35_26_Pro

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Our lovely Holiday, 2014

Last week we had a very lovely family holiday. We didn’t go anywhere glamorous or exotic but we still had a wonderful time. We stayed in some lovely self-catering accommodation in Corton, a small village in between Lowestoft, Suffolk, and Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. It was a lovely place, and I shall write more about it in a separate post.

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We can see the sea! 24 months

Just a short post from me as we are on our hols at the mo (though it’s almost over, sob :() but we have a very definite Word of the Week this week!

sea

Quite fitting as we can see the sea from our little holiday home and have been to the beach at every sunny opportunity, but mainly this is our word of the week as it is one of the words Monkey has learnt this week.

Throughout the week he has been shouting and saying “Sea” at basically every opportunity! Now there are obviously two meanings Sea and See. Most of the time it has been very definitely directed at the Sea, but as the week has gone on he seems to have started saying ‘see’ when he wants us to look at something, which is also very cute.

Anyway, I am sure I will be sharing lots more of our holiday with you, but for now I am going to go and make the most of every minute we have left! I will just leave you with a quick piccy of Monkey enjoying the beach.

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