If you are a regular to my blog then you will know how much I was looking forward to our first ever family holiday. A whole week with my 2 favourite people, it’s safe to say I was extremely excited.
We arrived back to a surprisingly sunny Swansea on Monday after having a brilliant time in Majorca. Now everything is unpacked and we are getting back in to the swing of normal life, I have got some time to tell you all about our unforgettable week of fun in the sun.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
First family holiday in Majorca
The first day of our holiday, we were not flying until 6am Monday morning so we booked to stay in a Travel Lodge close to Bristol airport. We should have been waking up all excited and eager to jump on the plane taking us to those beautiful golden beaches and the warm Meditterranean sea, right? Wrong! Oli and I were abruptly awoken by a screaming Leo at 5am. This is really not like our boy and after the initial groggy please go back to sleep cuddles, we started to realise something wasn’t quite right. Leo was making an awful wheezing noise and was really struggling for breath. We freaked out and got straight on the phone to the out of hours doctor and by 7am we were at the hospital. The doctor seemed quite concerned and even hinted at a possible hospital admission. I was trying hard not to fall apart, the thought of my baby in hospital terrified me. We were told he had a viral infection preventing him from breathing from his chest, instead he was using all his stomach muscles to get the air in and out. He prescribed a 3 day course of steroids and said if he was no better by midday he would have to come back. After all this, we told the doctor about our holiday planned for the next day. Doctors orders were if Leo responded well to the first dose of steroids then there was no reason we couldn’t go.
Following one traumatic administration of medicine, one more trip to hospital and several near nervous break downs, we finally came to the decision that Leo was improving slowly and we should still go. After a horrible stressful morning we arrived in Bristol and we were exhausted to say the least. All me and Oli wanted to do was sleep but Leo had perked up now and had other ideas. It turns out sharing a room with a toddler is pretty much impossible, hiding in the bathroom and sitting in the dark made no difference, he knew we were there and there was no chance of him nodding off. After a spin in the car he was finally asleep in his cot by 9pm, only to end up in our bed 2 hours later. This awful nights sleep was just the cherry on top of the cake, what a nightmare of a day. Our fingers were tightly crossed that tomorrow would be better.
Another rude awakening, this time by the beeping of my phone alarm at 3am. After only 5 hours sleep me and Oli were starting to feel like we were transforming in to zombies, Leo on the otherhand seemed quite excited to be awake in the dead of night. After packing up our things we said goodbye to our room and headed to the airport.
Bristol Silver Zone car park was very easy to find and the booking in process was even easier, thank God because my tired brain could not have coped with anything more complicated. As we were there so early check in and security was quiet and we got through to the departures lounge in no time at all. Leo was wide awake through all of this and seemed to enjoy just taking in all the busy airport surroundings. Just after 5.30 we were on the plane ready for take off, at last! After months of stressing about taking Leo on a plane, the moment was here and I needn’t have worried at all. He was excellent. We had packed his favourite books, a few toys and my tablet was full of his favourite Cbeebies programmes.
We had to sit through quite a lot of TwirlyWoos and were forced to read the same book countless times but it was worth it, not a single tantrum and no crying at all. After what felt like years of travelling, we arrived at the Olivia Apartment just before midday. Leo had fallen asleep in the taxi from the airport so we were able to unpack everything, have a good nose around our accomodation and take a massive sigh of relief, all while he snoozed happily in his pram. After all the stress and uncertainty of the last 24hours, it just felt amazing that we had actually made it, we were on holiday! Once Leo woke up it was time to go on the hunt for some food, none of us had eaten since we had a coissant at the airport at some stupid hour. The nearest beach was only a 5 minute walk away so we found a nice little beach bar and got ourselves a burger. Leo didn’t seem to care that we were finally on holiday, he was in a foul mood and we were getting quite a few grumpy stares. Once we finally persuaded him to eat something he seemed much happier and we all strolled over to the supermarket to stock up our fridge for the week. The shop was massive, you probably could have fit 4 of our local Aldi in there. We bought 60euros worth of food and headed back to the appartment, me and Leo walked while Oli pushed a pram overflowing with shopping bags – one of the downsides to not renting a car. Now we were fed and watered and the fridge was full to the brim, it was time to get into holiday mode. We hit the pool and splashed around, soaking up the sun and just generally loving life. Leo probably would have stayed in the pool for the rest of the day but exhaustion was starting to beat Oli and I so we walked back upstairs to our home for the week. I somehow managed to cook us all pasta, get Leo to bed and drag myself to bed before I literally passed out, praying for a decent nights sleep and to wake up refreshed and revived tomorrow.
We had a lie in, woohoo! Well 7am but hey, it’s better than 3! Today, we decided we would find Palma Nova beach, bigger than the one we found yesterday and supposedly only a ten minute walk away. Well, not for us. After walking around in circles for probably an hour, following highly questionable directions, we were on the verge of giving up when we finally found that stretch of white sand I had been dreaming of. Before we came away we purchased a beach tent, it only took about 5 minutes to set up but with all our other stuff it looked like we were taking over the entire beach!
Once we were done setting up camp it was time to introduce Leo to the sea. I love the sea so was a bit dissappointed when Leo pretty much flat out refused to go in. I managed to wade out with him a little bit but he was crying and grumpy, it was only then I realised with all the time wasted getting lost it was well past his nap time. Oli rocked him to sleep in his pram, I got my book out for the first time and lay down ready to soak up some rays.
No such luck. I was slowly nodding off when Oli shook my shoulder and informed me he just heard a rumble of thunder. So we quickly packed everything up and made our way back to the appartment with 5 minutes to spare before the down pour started. While we waited out the storm in our appartment we had lunch, listened to music and just chilled out. It wasn’t long before the sun had his hat on again so we ventured out again to Palma Nova, directions cast aside – we knew where we were going now. As we were strolling around checking out the shops and restaurants the rain made an unwelcome return. We ran for cover in a restaurtant called Dolphin Bar and had our first alcoholic drink of the holiday. For some unknown reason I ordered myself a Purple Rain (inspired by the conditions outside perhaps?), which had more alcohol in it than I am used to having at 2 in the afternoon!
We taught Leo to say ‘Hola’ and he was enjoying showing off his new word to the waitress, little flirt he is. The rain didn’t seem to want to stop so we decided to just embrace it and wandered back home anyway. Despite the fact he was getting wet, Leo didn’t want to go in his pram and he walked all the way home, up all the hills and everything. We all had yummy fajitas for tea and then it was time for a very tired Leo to go to bed. After the exhaustion of last night, this was this first evening Oli and I could enjoy some time to ourselves and relax. I knocked us up a jug of my very own cocktail recipe, we named ‘The Son Caliu’ after the town we were staying in (for anyone who’s interested the recipe is: 4 shots of Vodka, 2 shots of grenadine topped up with pineapple and orange juice, it’s yum). We sat on the balcony in the lovely evening heat, drinking cocktails, eating pate and playing cards. It was lovely and I was now officially in the holiday spirit and couldn’t wait for some fun in the sun tomorrow.
Today was a beach day. We were out of the house by 10, pram again being used as our substitute car, straining under the weight of towels, buckets, the tent, our picnic and a thousand and one other things we felt we needed. Once again we set up camp, the blue sky told us we were not going to be leaving early today. After yesterday’s tears in the sea, I decided to try and make it seem more fun to Leo. So once again I waded out with him on my hip but this time I splashed him gently and bounced up and down until he was laughing. Once he realised the sea wasn’t scary after all he really enjoyed being in there. After more encouragment than Leo, Oli joined us in the water and we all spent ages swimming and splashing around.
After all that fun it was time for Leo to have a sleep, he cwtched down in his pram and me and Oli had 2 whole hours to ourself. Oli was engrossed in his book while I dozed beside him. I felt like I was baking in the heat so I went for a swim in the sea. When Leo woke up we all tucked into our picnic and played in the sand for a bit.
It wasn’t long until we all found ourselves back in the sea, I seemed to have successfully converted both my boys to the joys of the sea, yay! After our first full day on the beach we were all very tired, we came home and Oli cooked tea while me and Leo watched Cbeebies – yes, there was a T.V there. After Leo had gone to sleep it was time for Oli and I to retreat to the balcony again where we finished off the jug of cocktails, played mini scrabble (I won!) and played cards. I was feeling sleepy from all the sun, swimming and alcohol so it was an early bedtime for us. Earlier in the day we had bought tickets to Palma Aquarium so I was looking forward to our trip tomorrow.
After getting up with Leo every morning so far, I was really happy that Oli took over morning duty and I got to sleep until 9. Oli woke me up to the information that there was coffee and croissants waiting for me on the table, I was feeling very spoilt. Once we were all ready to take on the day we walked down to the local park and Leo had half hours play in there while we waited for our bus to come and collect us to take us to the Aquarium. Leo enojyed his first ever journey on a double decker bus and after about 20 minutes we had arrived. Leo was ridiculously excited and was running from one tank to the other chanting ‘more more fish’ as he went. The only fish that managed to hold his attention for more than 10 seconds were the yellow seahorses, he loved those brightly coloured neigh neighs.
Although he was being a bit crazy, Leo was also being very sweet and going right up to the glass and saying ‘hello fish’ , ‘hello snake’ – he was looking at eels when saying this, close enough! We had a luch break where me and Oli, perhaps a bit inappropriately, had fish. It was lovely though and Leo enjoyed his fish goujons, are we evil? Next we ventured over to the shark tank, the deepest in Europe at a depth of 8metres. It was amazing! The sharks were nowhere near up to Jaws standard but it was still amazing being that close to them, Oli had a bit of a fright when one appeared out of nowhere while he had his face up against the glass. While Leo had a sleep in his pram, Oli and I looked around the whole aquarium again and this time we were able to read all the information about each of this fish, it was all very interesting. I would say we took approximately 200 photos because, you know, you never know when you might need a photo of a jelly fish or a pirahna. Once Leo woke up we looked around some more, making a return visit to his beloved seahorses. After walking all day it was time for a coffee, we found a soft play area and introduced Leo to the ball pit while we got our much needed caffeine boost.
Our time at the aquarium was almost up so we hit the gift shop where we bought Leo not one, but 2 soft toys – a clown fish and I will let you guess the second one, it’s not hard! When we arrived home me and Leo went for a fun swim in the pool while Oli tidied up and had some chill time in the appartment. For the first time we all sat out on the balacony and had a yummy tea, Mediterranean pizza and salad.
Leo had a bit of a late night and for the first time all holiday he happily cwtched down and went to sleep, I think his 2 new cuddly friends may have had something to do with it. After a busy day, Oli and I decided to give our evening cocktails and cards on the balcony a miss and instead opted for an evening cwtching on the sofa watching Peter Kay, the best of the 3 DVDs the appartment had to offer.
After an an awful nights sleep, I took back over my duty as morning parent and left Oli in bed. We were both awake twice in the night following a mystery banging noise at 2am and a fire alarm at 4am, I am so happy we don’t live in a block of flats. While Oli was catching up on his sleep, Leo and I went off on a mission to buy milk and postcards. I thought this would be some fun mummy and baby time but Leo made me carry him the whole way as he was in a bad mood, despite not waking once in the night. After carrying my almost 2 year old all around Son Caliu, I was knackered by the time we got back only to remember that today was the day we had decided to walk the hour’s journey in to Magaluf. As with most walks this holiday, we got well and truly lost. The hour’s walk was closer to 2, we walked round in a circle and ended up on a beach we were sure must be Magaluf beach. We set up the tent, sat in the shade and wolfed down a lunch of left over pizza and crisps, all that walking had given us quite the appetite. We all went for a swim in the sea almost straight away, the heat was unreal and it was hard to just sit in it. Leo took very little encouragement to get in the water and we had a great time playing with his little watering can and he even got brave enough to walk around in the shallows without holding our hands. We sunbathed for a bit while Leo sat at our feet playing with sand, he seemed to enjoy rubbing it into my back for some reason, bit weird but also quite nice, like some kind of exfoliating massage.
This was the hottest day so far so it wasn’t long before we were running back to the sea to cool off. Me and Leo floated around on a rubber ring while Oli twirled us around, it was all great fun. Leo played in the tent for a bit while Oli read and I sunbathed on the rubber ring, I had let my sun cream routine slip and managed to burn pretty badly. The heat was starting to get to Leo so we packed up and headed off to a restaurant we spotted on our walk earlier. Of course, being us and keeping with the holiday tradition, we got lost. When we finally found the restaurant it was right opposite the beach we had been on all day and further investigation into street signs revealed we had been sat on Son Matis beach, not Magaluf! We found ourselves a table in GodFather’s restaurant with a decent view of the beach the otherside of the road. I was feeling adventurous and decided to order the mixed chicken and seafood paella, I’m all about soaking up the culture you see! I am so glad I took a risk because it was amazing. All the seafood was already peeled so I didn’t have to go through the ordeal of getting muscles out of their shells or ripping the heads off prawns. Oli had a tuna steak which looked and tasted amazing and Leo had a very Spanish dish of chicken nuggets and chips. We all had a lovely meal and Leo particularly enjoyed smothering his food and hands in Ketchup and mayo, or red and blue as he likes to call them.
We all managed to squeeze in pudding and then it was time for the long walk home. Leo was in bed just after 9, the lastest he had stayed up since he was tiny, and Oli and I spent some time chatting on the balcony and drinking Mojito’s (just the one for me, I had drank more this holiday than I have in the last 6months).
Leo decided to treat us to a lovely lie in today, think he was tired after his late night. It was another boiling day so we loaded up the pram and headed to Palma Nova beach again. Leo seemed a bit grumpy again in the sea and yet again we had managed to time our trip right at nap time. We got Leo to sleep in the pram, put him in the tent in the cool shade and did some sunbathing. After only a couple chapters of my book I was boiling so off for a swim I went. We had yet another yummy picnic when Leo woke up and we all went and played in the sea. On our very first day we bought Leo an inflatable car and all week he refused to go anywhere near it. Today when he was feeling brave he went and sat and played in it in the sand and I had a sneaky idea. Me and Oli grabbed either end and took the ‘boat car’ down to the sea with Leo still sat in it. We placed it on the water and..success, he loved it! We bobbed up and down and swam around for ages singing Row Row Row Your Boat.
Leo sat and played in his boat on the sand while we chilled out next to him. It wasn’t long though before the heat got too much for the red headed men in my life and we packed up and said farewell to the sand and the sea. We had tea and got Leo in to bed and once again Oli and I found ourselves playing cards and drinking on the balcony, what an amazing time we were all having.
Our last full day! It was father’s day so Oli was treated to a lovely long lie in while me and Leo played his new favourite game , the hiding game, and watched Cbeebies.
Once Oli was up we all lazed around for the rest of the morning, not wanting to admit we had less than 24 hours left of our holiday. Later on we strolled in to Palma Nova to do some souvenir shopping. Leo snoozed while we wandered around shops buying gifts for our family and Oli got me a cute shell bracelet and some pretty earrings. We walked home for lunch and I went and read on the balcony while Oli and Leo enjoyed some Dad and son time. It was yet another scorching day so we all went downstairs to the pool and had a great time in the water. Leo has become obsessed with hiding and saying ‘here it is’ so we were making his watering can ‘hide’ in the water and he ended up in fits of giggles every time it floated up from the depths and popped back out. The inevitable task of packing began in the late afternoon, I was very sad that we were leaving the next morning; I could have stayed there forever. We still had some Euros to spend so after Leo had a little play in the park we headed to the beach we visited on the very first day and had a meal by the beach again. I had gorgeous peppercorn salmon and Oli had swordfish and Leo as usual only ate his chips. Oli and I shared a bottle of wine and after food we sat on the beach and took in the view of the beautiful blue sky and sea one last time before we walked back home.
We settled Leo into bed and we spent the last evening finishing off the packing and chilling out on the balcony.
Oh no, home time! We were out in our taxi by 7.45am after saying a sad goodbye to the Olivias Appartment, our home of the last week. All seemed to be running smoothly at the airport until we were told at check-in that our flight was delayed by an hour! Leo was quite hard work and seemed just as grumpy as us that we were stuck here for the next 2 and a half hours. Once we got on the plane the pilot informed us that due to traffic issues we wouldn’t be taking off for another 35minutes, ahh! When we finally got in the air Leo was quite irritable but after a few books and episodes of Justin’s House he relaxed a bit. Me and Oli spent the whole flight willing Leo to have his nap but he held off until 5 minutes before landing until he settled down for a kip. I had to carry him from the plane all the way to luggage collection, this is a lot further than you might think.
We collected our bags, got back to the car and after a 2 hour drive we were back in our little house in Swansea. Although I was sad to be back, I was feeling really happy and proud of me and Oli. We did it! We took our toddler on holiday, there were no major dramas and we had an amazing time. Go us, we rock!
Have you recently been on holiday? Did you have a great time? I hope you did. All that’s left for me now is to get these hundreds of photos printed….!