Our 1st trip away…
A few weeks ago, Michael surprised me by telling me he’d booked an overnight stay for us in the Lake District in a place called Shap. Before Alfie came along, we had quite a few mini breaks to places such as York, Southport and we stayed with family in the Isle of Man. We visited all of these places on a few occasions and really loved them, so when Michael told me we were going away, I was really looking forward to being able to take Alfie with us and him have his first trip in a hotel and to go somewhere new.
We foolishly left the packing until the morning we went, thinking as we were only there for one night, we wouldn’t really need that much. You forget how much stuff toddlers do actually need! We ended up leaving much later than we planned, but it actually worked out really well as Alfie napped the majority of the way there.
We arrived at 2pm and the hotel was in the middle of nowhere! There was nothing around us at all! Panic set in cos I was worried about being able to entertain Alfie for all that time with nothing around and he’s not great at travelling in cars as he gets bored and doesn’t like being restricted in his car seat, so I didn’t want to be cooped up in the car whilst we found somewhere to go. When we arrived at reception, the lady told us we were too early to check in so to go to the bar where we would get complimentary afternoon tea. The guy who brought this over tried to balance too many things on the table and as such, Michael’s plate fell off the table. His instinct was to try to catch it, which resulted in the food spilling all over his arm and down his jeans and all over the floor. The guy serving us mumbled an apology and told Michael to leave the food on the floor, which we did, expecting them to clean it up. Another plate of food was brought out to us, but the spilled food was left on the floor, meaning we couldn’t put Alfie down. Not the easiest when one of his favourite words is ‘down’ and he likes to be independent and explore.
Once we’d finished afternoon tea, we took Alfie outside for a bit of a walk about as in the ground of the hotel were lots of streams and waterfalls and bridges over the water. Alfie was in his element walking and running everywhere. It was lovely to see him so excited. The weather was pretty miserable, as you can see from the photo’s but I tried not to let it dampen the mood.
At 3pm we went to check in to our room and I was really impressed as it was lovely and really spacious. Alfie again was in his element running around everywhere and up and down. When he found the toilet he started shouting ‘wee wee’ on top note. Which is rather cute. We let him run riot for a while in the room whilst we had a cup of tea and sorted some bits out before going for a walk. In the grounds of the hotel, there is a nature trail where you can sometimes see red squirrels. The walk was actually really lovely as there was more streams, waterfalls, bridges to walk over. All I was thinking all the way round was I have to get my April me and mine photo here. Lo and behold though, my batteries had died in my camera and I didn’t have spares, so I planned to take them on the Saturday…
With Alfie usually eating around 5.30ish, we decided to eat out and skip the meal in the hotel (they were also charging £21 per head which I thought was a little steep for just one course). We had a drive in to the local town and found a chippy where we decided to eat. Alfie was so well behaved. Usually when we’ve taken him out recently he’s started to play up simply because he doesn’t like being strapped in to high chairs or the pram and he wants to walk or get down and be able to be free, so I was really pleased, not to mention relieved when he was as good as gold.
Back at the hotel later on, they didn’t have a bath which was a bit of a problem as part of Alfie’s routine is we bath him every night. We decided to give him a shower instead though and it was the most fun Alfie had all day. He absolutely loved it and was so excited, waving his hands everywhere and trying to catch the water. It was fantastic to watch him so happy and excited.
Michael and I had a lovely quiet evening. He popped down to the bar for a pint and left me in the room with Alfie and I sat in silence reading and it was lovely. I used to be really into reading and I would read at least a few books a month, but since becoming a Mummy and it being so easy to access social media via or phone’s or tablets, actually sitting reading a book is something of a luxury these day, so it was one I really enjoyed for that 30 minutes I was alone with a sleeping toddler.
During the night, Alfie woke and wouldn't settle back for another 2 hours. Me and Michael were exhausted and took it in turns trying to settle him but to no avail. Finally at 2.30 after being awake since 11.55pm, we finally got some sleep. Saturday morning was a bit of a rush as we didn’t realise breakfast was only served until 9.30 and cos we’d been up half the night, we only got up at 8.30. Then we couldn’t find the room key so had a frantic 20 minutes looking for it. Michael had actually left it in the outside of the door when he’d come back the night before. I’m just glad I put the chain on the door once I’d let him back in ! Men eh!
Saturday was a total wash out weather wise and the photo’s I’d wanted to take were impossible because the trail was a big muddy mess and it was raining too. I was absolutely gutted. Where we were was so picturesque. We all got in the car and belted up just as there was a break in the clouds, so we jumped out of the car and found a spot on the path in front of the stream which wasn’t a mud pit, I set my timer and dashed back down the embankment and we managed to get our me and mine photo. It’s not the best effort, and I’d got a really good idea of what I wanted to do, but I’ll have to save that for another time.
All in all, despite not getting off to the best of starts and the weather not being on side, we had a lovely time and it was so nice to get away just the 3 of us with literally no contact with the outside world. It made it so worthwhile seeing Alfie have so much fun and being able to explore the nature trail freely.
It’s made me ever so excited for when we go on honeymoon as Alfie will be with us J