Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Our first family holiday, part 2

Now where did I get to? Ah yes, boarding the plane at Gatwick. Elizabeth was pretty good on her first plane flight. I managed to get her to sleep and feed, then she slept on the coach transfer to the ski resort as well. It was quite uncomfortable for me but I was still pretty tense at this point.

When we finally arrived at our hotel, we had a bit of faffing, as you always do, before we could have some dinner. We eventually managed to get Elizabeth to sleep is this unfamiliar cot, in the unfamiliar room with unfamiliar sights and sounds. Frans and I were very impressed with how Elizabeth handled everything. We had a normal night despite the changes.

The following morning Frans and I hit the slopes! What an interesting experience that was.... We knew that there hadn't been a lot of snow in the Alps for most of the season and especially in the 5 weeks leading up to our trip. Unfortunately Alpe d'Huez was no exception. Frans and I walked down a muddy slope to the nearest chair lift, about 100m from our hotel. The chair lift took us over grassy slopes, up to a nice icy mountain. That was rather interesting. So we set off in the opposite direction to everyone else so that we would end up over the other side of the ski area. I really wish we hadn't.

Please remember that this was my first time skiing for a year and my first stab at any sort of exercise since having Elizabeth. So off we went, down a blue run. Nice and wide, easy I suppose. No. I panicked, of course. I couldn't see, it was really icy and there was no way that was a blue run! It was impossible to turn and my husband was becoming increasingly agitated with me. I eventually managed to get down the short slope (after much encouragement and the promise of a cuddle) and I was ready to head back. I was vaguely aware that I was leaving my baby girl and I was pretty sure she was missing me. Apparently she was having a wonderful time with Nanny and Gramps. Who would've guessed?!  Frans and I did persevere and my confidence slowly came back to me. We actually had a good first day.

We had decided that we would try and stick to Elizabeth's evening routine as much as possible so we gave her a little wash and a bottle before putting her to bed. We then left her and went down to dinner, taking our baby monitor with us. It worked perfectly! Elizabeth slept really well, waking after 5 hours then sleeping for another 6.5! That was unusual but I was happy to get some much needed rest.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Our first family holiday, part 1

So our first holiday abroad was completely for the adults. We took a skiing trip to Alpe d'Huez in the French Alps with Elizabeth. We also managed to persuade my mum and step dad to come with us to be our babysitters :)

Before we left I was feeling quite confident about travelling with a baby, especially as I spent a week packing and was sure I had everything. The changing bag was packed with all the stuff I thought we might need on the journey, including several toys and a million nappies. OK, 10 nappies. But that's still a lot more than normal. Our flight out was at 13:45 so we left the flat at a very reasonable time (highly unusual for a ski trip) and our holiday began! When we got to the car park at Gatwick, everything was still great. Elizabeth was happily in her buggy and Frans was in control of our bags (and there were a LOT of bags). The short bus ride was a doddle and check-in couldn't have been easier or faster.

Then came security. I think this is when I started to become one of those panicy, annoying, stressed out mums. Nothing in particular caused this to happen, I just seemed to get a little worked up about having to get myself and a baby through security. The buggy wouldn't fit through the x-ray scanner so the security staff had to check the buggy themselves. All was fine. Then mum had some additional checks done on herself as we'd been hanging around for so long, waiting for the buggy and for whatever had delayed Tim. I think it was Tim that was delayed, though it could've been Frans. I was already absorbed with the faff of getting Elizabeth back in the buggy and getting all the bags and blankets in the right places. Eventually we got out of the way and moved through to find some food.

Proper stress fest! Time started to get to me at this point. I knew we needed to eat, I knew Elizabeth needed a feed, I knew that meant a nappy change would be needed and I knew our gate would be opening soon. I was being totally irrational and was seriously regretting going on holiday. So we got some food and headed for our gate. We all sat down and started eating while I fed Elizabeth. Frans went and changed her nappy so that I could eat but stress had already taken hold. I made sure the buggy was ready for the flight - twice. I made sure the bags were ready - several times. I think I may even have repacked one. The gate was then opened and I started panicking because Frans wasn't back with Elizabeth. Argh! Eventually he came back and we headed for the gate and boarded the plane.
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Tuesday, 5 April 2011