Some End of Holiday Reflexions

I’m currently on holiday with my mum and A at the Almyra hotel in Cyprus (I will write a proper review soon, definitely recommended for a family holiday!) , we’re leaving in 2 days and boy did I need this break from “reality”. In the meantime here are some thoughts I’ve been having during our time away:

  • I had forgotten how eating outside is one of life’s great pleasures and so is reading a great book in peace by a pool
  • It is so relaxing to always be WARM, never having to worry if it’s going to rain or get cold
  • Life is full of simple pleasures that we don’t get to make the most of in London such as listening to the sound of the sea, slowing down, not rushing anywhere, not being anywhere crowded and catching your 18 month old toddler as she jumps in the pool with no fear because she saw the bigger children do it
  • Talking of toddlers, who knew you could spend half an hour emptying a pool with a bucket?! And how exciting sand and little waves can be
  • People from Essex and Russia are the friendliest we’ve met here, they both love a bit of bling and a nice chat it turns out!
  • Aperol Spritz is one of the best drinks in the world
  • I was surprised how it took me a few days to really disconnect and “slow down”, London life has a ridiculous pace, it can’t be healthy.
  • People may judge me but putting A in the kids club on a few mornings made a massive difference as we could use the quiet adult only pool and properly switch off (toddlers, pools and switching off are a match made in A&E)
  • A good trick for keeping toddlers occupied in a high chair is to give them a cup of hot chocolate and a tea spoon
  • Food poisoning on holiday really sucks but makes up for all those “treats” a little bit…
  • The majority of little girls at the hotel have names finishing in “a” : Bella, Georgia, Amelia, Ella, Jemima etc (pot calling the kettle black I know…)
  • Always do your research, we met a middle aged couple, who hasn’t realised it was half term and who hadnet realised in was such a family friendly hotel, needless to say they quickly found the adult only pool
  • The man lying on the sunbed in front of me has a seriously hot body

Back to reality soon! 

 

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Lunch with Great Granny

Yesterday A and I took the train to go and have lunch with my Granny. In the travel buggy she got and we made our way to Waterloo just after rush hour:

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Yes she has a lot of buggy “friends” to keep her occupied! They should really make more toys that you can attach the the buggy that don’t have a short attachment, none of them are really long enough so I created my own buggy proof toys!

We then got on the train to Salisbury, there is always the “where will we put the buggy on the train” stress. I initially sat in the empty wheelchair area, which is ideal but a wheelchair got on, mild panic set in (if I have to fold the buggy then how will she sleep ???!!) but thankfully, I found a good spot (this was about 30 mins later when she was napping):

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Arabella loves the train and finds it all quite fascinating:

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When she was tiny, I was scared to go on the Tube with her, let alone take a 90 mins train ride. The key is to time it well, ideally when they need to nap so you know that for at least half of the journey they will be asleep!

Granny is my dad’s mum and she is where I get a little “poshness” from, she deserves a full post as she is such an amazing lady, how many people’s Grannies are the world authority of fans ??!! (yep even her books are for sale on Amazon here and here for example). I will definitely write more about her in the future.

A and Granny got on like a house on fire, it was lovely to see them interacting, I think “G” (as my husband calls her, I don’t think she would approve!) was surprised at how much A had changed last time : “she can sit up?!”, “she is going to eat real food?!” etc.

Here are some sweet pics, Granny even got a cuddle (after we had move Granny’s second G&T away from A’s reach…)

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We had a lovely lunch, A only screamed once when a waiter she clearly didn’t like got too close! She was so much better behaved than at home at the moment, I guess it was all the noise etc. I am clearly boring or our flat smells, because the minute we got home she started whining again!

It’s amazing to think that one day I might have lunch with A’s children and their children but then I need to make to at least 90 like G has!

Before we left we took Granny’s first selfie:

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Yes A is a poser (I trained her well!). See you soon Granny!

Why I Love Our Cybex Callisto Pushchair

Back in the January sales, we bought a Cybex Callisto pushchair (http://cybex-online.com/en/pushchairs/callisto.html) as we needed something lighter and easier to fold than the Bugaboo Frog, which recently got a puncture so I have switched to this.

I’ll get straight to the point or its best “USP” in my opinion. We first used in on holiday in Tenerife and fell in love with it back then but I hadn’t realised a key feature which is that the hood can cover the whole seat and therefore the whole baby, which would have really helped in the sun!!!

Indeed no need for finding shade and using swaddling blankets and pegs:

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When you can do this:

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This is a seriously great feature that I haven’t seen on any other pushchairs. Most people have to buy a cover to keep  little legs out of the sun and create a dark environment that blocks out stimulation for naps.

The rain cover is great too, it actually FITS and stays put:

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The handlebar is quite high, which I find comfortable but it might be a bit too high in you were on the short side. Folding it down is easily done by pressing on the button on the handlebar and pressing down on the back. Its got a handy pocket on the back of the canopy. The basket at the bottom is the main let down as its not very big and not that easy to access

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I still managed to fit quite a lot of “stuff” in it!

It’s not  the lightest of its kind but I can lift it and there is a handle on the side that you can use once its folded.The seat seems comfortable and large enough to last a few years. I think I’ll use the other one for when I go shopping or need to carry a lot of stuff but if not, this is the day to day buggy from now on.

It’s just so much easier to push, especially one handed which when you live in a building with multiple doors is a real plus!

Hopefully we’ll be using some more Cybex products in the future.

We Loved The Abama Tenerife!

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Hotel Lobby above.

I’m not sure where to start with the review of our stay at The Abama Ritz Carlton hotel in Tenerife, there is a lot to say as there are so many positives!

I will stick to what stood out: the grounds, the room and the staff.

As you drive up to the hotel (easy and quick to get to from Tenerife Airport South), you can’t miss it, it’s big and it’s kind of pink :). I was so relived the flight was over that a chilled glass of champagne whilst checking in put me in holiday mood within 2 minutes. And then they upgraded us to a one bedroom suite http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Abama/Rooms/Suites/One-Bedroom-Suite.htm) , I’m not if it’s because it was my birthday but it meant the holiday started off on a high note.

The room was BIG and nicely furnished with everything you could need, the best thing was we could put A to sleep in the bedroom and use the lounge without worrying about waking her up. This really made things more relaxing.

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They had customized the bed, which was a really nice touch (I kept the sign as it was so cute):

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As a surprise, my husband (you’re the best Mister B even though I know you don’t read my blog!) had organised flowers, a card and champagne:

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The hotel is big and we had to walk up a hill to get to the main hotel as our room was in the “Villa” part, which was great as we had a pool shared amongst only a few villas and access to the adults only breakfast at El Mirador, which I enjoyed! The view was amazing, the best I have ever had and the fact mini-B could not come along meant mummy had a lovely breakfast ALONE!

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The freshly squeezed orange juice was delicious!

We also dinner there one night, this time the “Spanish baby” who went to bed at 9PM came with us and munched on some salad:

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The view from El Mirador is exceptional and the food good too. There many restaurants in this hotel (over 10: http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/Abama/Dining/Default.htm) and this was the best we tried, we were on a half board package which included breakfast and 3 course dinner in some of the restaurants or 40 euros credit each towards dinner in the others (which we used in El Mirador so we only paid for drinks). We couldn’t use some of the restaurants as A is too young but they did provide a babysitting list from local companies if we wanted to do that. We also had a great burger from room service. Breakfast was pretty typical and I would say made up of 75% families in the main part, they have a quieter part with less children from what I understood but it can get loud, which is great when your baby is screaming, not so great if you are a hung-over conference participant…yep I saw a few whose headaches were probably made worse by the noise. We went to the bar for a drink one evening, drinks were definitely not cheap but it was a nice spot. This is the thing that we liked so much about this hotel, we felt welcome with A in the buggy everywhere. Many other parents were pushing their babies around in the evening trying to get them to sleep. On one of these sunset walks, we discovered the “secret pool and gardens”, so beautiful:

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Here is A having a great time at dinner and not sleeping!

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It was the first time we took A swimming and she loved it! I was a bit obsessed with keeping her out of the sun as you can by her attire below:

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We also went to the beach and she wanted to grab the sea, she also started getting frustrated in the pool as she couldn’t get hold of the water!

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You reach the beach via the funicular (hello Godfrey!) or by using the train or walking.

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WE loved sitting on our terrace and also the walk down to the villa after dinner, the grounds are super well maintained and beautiful. You didn’t have to walk up and down the hill but we did as it was good for my post baby legs, if you didn’t want to walk they would send a buggy to pick you up and they came very quickly!

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I quickly used the water facilities at the Spa and they were excellent, I’m sure the treatments are amazing. We didn’t use the kids club as it is for over 4 year olds nor did we use the Golf course nor the tennis courts. We did play ping pong once and the rackets were in awful condition, which was surprising given the standards of everything else..

We had a great relaxing time, it was the perfect first family hand would love to go back one day!

In the meantime, A’s new friend “Mister Ritz” is with us in London as a souvenir:

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