I’m starting to get my groove back. Slowly but surely. Peanut is out of that newborn stage and we’re finally getting into a little routine. He’s doing well and giving us lots of smiles and making those adorable gurgling noises. It certainly makes up for the continued broken sleep. With a vast improvement in the weather, too, it means we’ve been getting out a lot more.
On Mother’s Day, my husband did a fine job of making sure I felt special, and we spent a glorious day at National Trust’s Ham House. Set back from the River Thames in Richmond, this majestic property dates back to 1610, and the gardens gave ample space for Monkey to expel some energy. I’ll be writing a more detailed post of our time at Ham very soon.
With the Easter holidays, we’ve been spending a good deal of time catching up with friends, eating and drinking just a little too much. So when my boys and I met up with pals for a walk along the nature trail at Box Hill, I enjoyed being able to work off the recent excesses. While I’m not quite ready to get back in the gym, it made me yearn for more exercise. In a few weeks, I’ve made plans to do the circular stepping stone walk in the same area – stunning scenery, woodlands and plenty of steep steps. I’ll let you know how I get on!
Easter also meant a lot of chocolate. It’s become somewhat of an annual tradition to do a few Easter egg hunts. One at home – where we all joined in – and one with friends, at some local woodland.
Last week, we embarked on our first adventure as a family of four to Lisbon in Portugal. It was an interesting trip for many reasons – but I can say it was a relative success. We had wall-to-wall sunshine, Peanut travelled well, hardly made a peep on the flight on both journeys, we had a wonderful accommodation, ate great food, and we all made it back in one piece.
Aside from the logistics and strains of travelling to a busy capital city with a five-year-old and 11-week old baby, we really did enjoy ourselves, even though we had three significantly fraught events – well, they do say things come in threes…
Firstly, I’m ashamed to admit that I left my fancy DSLR camera in the back of a taxi. Yep. A seasoned traveller as I like to think I am, I currently have the brain the size of a pea. I was too busy making sure the children were ok, and that I had my bag with me and, when I had realised, the car had driven off. Luckily, it was insured and after waiting for some time at the police station, it looks like I will be reimbursed. I moved on quickly, after all possessions are just that, and I was determined not to let my mistake ruin our trip.
On our last full day, we wanted to head out of the city and spend some time on the coast. Only 20 minutes away by car, we jumped in a taxi. Not only was our driver a little old school – no seat belt and ripping through traffic like a racing driver – on our return, we were whiskers away from being involved in a catastrophic car smash. A huge lorry hit a car behind us, who then swerved into another lane. The noise was atrocious. and hubby and I were shaken, realising just how lucky we all were. Even the driver told us in broken English not to dwell on what might have happened. And he was right. I didn’t want to imagine the unthinkable. I just hugged the children very hard when we got out of the car.
I’m normally so with it when we fly, but on our return home, we nearly missed the flight! What was even worse is we purposely arrived at the airport early to give ourselves plenty of time. But no, we all had to sprint to the gate, which happened to be at the very end of the airport – me running with the baby in the pram, Monkey doing a sterling job of keeping up, and my husband trying to run without dropping all of our belongings. The notice boards weren’t working properly, so instead of using my instinct to go straight to the gate, we pottered around the terminal, buying gifts. Thankfully, we weren’t the only passengers to have done the same thing and we avoided the stony glares once we boarded the plane. We did laugh once when we took off, we must have looked a right old state running across the airport!
While I will soon settle down to write about what we got up to in Lisbon, I’m also looking forward to attending Traverse 17 in London in a few weeks. A large group of family travel bloggers will be staying together over the weekend to attend this huge conference. I can only imagine how much wine will be flowing, and I am sure we’ll all have plenty of fun – especially as I will be having a night away from the kids!
I hope you all had a fabulous Easter, and enjoyed yourselves, whatever you got up to. That’s it from me, for now. I’m still recovering from our Portugal exploits in a darkened room…