Sunday, 4 December 2011

Travelling abroad with a 5 month old


This past week Leo and I have been in Tenerife - Cosa Adeje in Salvaje, and so many firsts have taken place for Leo over this short time period, he has flown for the first time to go on his very first holiday, and while on holiday he has experienced the beach and sea for the very FIRST time!


Over all, the holiday was very enjoyable and when it came down to the airport it was not as complicated as I expected it to be! I had worked myself up about it for no real reason at all….In the end I decided to just take boiled water, as I had been pre-warned that if I took the ready mixed milk cartons then I would have to open and sample each individual carton. Not only is the milk very unpleasant but even Leo as a complete milk gannet, would never drink 3 cartons of milk in the 2 hours you have once they are open!

So the advice I can offer a first time parent embarking on a first time holiday, is don't stress yourself out with worry, it will all slot into place when the time comes. Take as much boiled water/milk for the flight and the day/night ahead, as I found Leo got through so much more than he usually does and it was nice not to have the added pressure of sterilising as soon as we arrived. Muslins are a absolute necessity and toys for baby are a lovely touch to keep them occupied, Leo had his Alfie bear...much to the disappointment of everyone around him!

Leo's first flight was easy sailing from the word go, although as soon as take off came around...Leo decided to pick that moment in time to forget his bottle and fill his nappy! I am sure my lovely boy knows to do this each and every time it is utterly impossible for me to change him! This became apparent when he did it 3 times on the outward flight and 4 times on the home bound flight!




Upon finally getting our bags and pushchair back in the luggage claim, it was off to face my next greatest fear…Luke driving abroad in a European rental car! This was something I had never known him do before and I was absolutely terrified something would happen with Leo in the car.

The hire company were not based at the airport and to get there we had to take a shuttle service, when we got on the small bus there were no seats left for me to sit with Leo safely, and to my horror no one at all offered to give up their seat so I could sit Leo and myself together! I was absolutely disgusted and I sat there silently stewing while Luke sat with Leo on his lap in his car seat. How could everyone just sit there when there were no seat belts for me to get Leo strapped in safely!?

I was in two minds whether or not to voice my opinion but for the sake of everyone I sat quietly cutting daggers, and when the couple opposite me commented on how gorgeous Leo was, I was even more angry! If they had noticed him and I, why oh why not offer to help us!?

The hire company Orlando Hire, were based in a garage at the bottom of the steepest slope I have ever seen! We spent the best part of an hour trying to finalise all the details, and I found that they were not very helpful at all! Once it was all sorted I was growing increasingly aware that we were going to have to drive back out of the garage….up the steep slope and on to the opposite side of the road!

It is safe to say that driving on the opposite side of the road, lost in a foreign country and with a un-confident driver was absolutely terrifying! We were travelling with Luke’s family….but once they had disappeared and we were left alone with no idea where we were headed, I just wanted to tell Luke to pull over….

We finally managed to get to the villa, and all the stress of the car company and the rollercoaster car journey faded away. As the holiday progressed Luke became more confident in driving around and I became more at ease.

The villa was lovely and had everything I needed to cater for Leo, the company Villa’s Plus had been made aware that their was a baby coming and they had provided us with a travel cot, high chair and baby walker. The baby walker was a lovely find for us as it allowed Leo to expand some energy and have a kick around, it was also the perfect place to sit him and feed him…once he was placed in a corner so he couldn’t run backwards away from me, mid feed! Leo is still a bit small for a high chair in my eyes.


The week was spent looking in the local shops and towns, heading to some of the beaches, swimming in the pool at the villa and heading out for meals in the evening. We even went to the other end of the Island - Puerto de la Cruz and visited Loro Parque. This is an amazing animal park with Dolphins, Killer Wales and everything aquatic you can imagine.

They put on the most exquisite Dolphin show I have ever seen in my entire life and words cannot describe just how spectacular it actually was. The dolphins catapulted the trainer into the air and then some!


Although Leo couldn’t marvel at the animals in general, he still enjoyed looking at the lights in the tanks and seemed to enjoy the day in general.

When it came to Leo’s first time on the beach, I wanted to make the most of it and expose him to the sea and sand, collect some small shells to put in his scrap book and just make it a memorable experience for us all.

Leo enjoyed being held upright in the surf and kicked his little legs when the waves came and wrapped his feet, he began to anticipate the waves and kept getting excited. We dipped his feet in the sand so he could feel the different textures and then quickly had to wash him down as it was only a matter of time before he decided to eat his feet again…


 



 
We got Leo back, fed, bathed and ready for bed before heading out for dinner each night. He was brilliant and would take some of his bedtime bottle before proceeding to sleep through dinner and would wake up on the walk home. I then took him straight to his room, fed him and put him down. He then slept all night long! Which as many of you know…has not been a regular occurrence since he was 16 weeks old!

One of our other days was spent out at the Go Carting track, I was coaxed into giving it a go against my better judgment, so Leo spent half an hour with his Nanny.

I am pleased to announce that I won the race between Luke and his Step-Dad which was very un-expected…but also a real accomplishment for me!


Of course there was swimming in the pool at the villa, which Leo throughly enjoyed! It was lovely to be able to take photos of Leo enjoying his time in the pool. He has only swam once prior to going on holiday but obviously in public pools it is impossible to photograph these days because of all the worrys that come with it. So I am pleased to have got the footage that I did :-)


Luke, Leo and I witnessed a sunset and sunrise on our holiday, and I had never realised quite how quickly both events occur. I have never seen this happen before and it was lovely to watch with both of my boys.



This closed our week away and the next morning we were putting the finishing touches on packing our bags for the flight home. It is always nice to get home after being away, but it was even nicer getting home to the crisp December weather, it didn’t feel like Christmas in Tenerife and seemed so odd seeing all the decorations mixed in with the summer weather and climate.

While we were away Leo managed to roll back over from his tummy to his back! He is changing so quickly and just growing up! Why don't they stay small for long? It seems the baby days are numbered...I just want to freeze time and keep him small.

We are now in the process of putting our tree up and getting into the festive spirit. How have all of your weeks been?

Laura & Leo xx

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