holiday, Isla Jean

Our first family holiday

A couple of weeks ago we went on our first family holiday. Various people had told us that babies are easier to take abroad than toddlers or children so we should go somewhere abroad now. But I don’t think either of us could quite get our heads around sorting a passport for Isla yet, or what we should pack etc. So for our first family holiday we had just less than a week down in Dorset.

Due to a couple of weddings, a licensing, Isla’s jabs, Chris’ work and various other bits we were limited to when we could go on holiday, but I think we’re both glad we managed this time away as a family.

Surprise surprise we left home later than planned..largely due to having to sort out all our courgettes! We have never travelled light as it is, but a week away with a baby…my knees were up round my ears. The lovely English weather decided it would finally give us some glorious sunshine…right as our car’s air con needed topping up so we were all a little hot and bothered too. And to top it all off, the A303 was closed, so we crawled all the way along the M3, adding an extra 2.5 hours to our journey. So initially we’d hoped to arrive around 3 or 4pm, but we didn’t leave til 2pm, and didn’t arrive til gone 7:30pm so there wasn’t much of the day left by the time we arrived.

Thankfully Isla tends to sleep for most of the time on car journeys (I’ve just jinxed myself for saying that now, haven’t I?). But I always feel so guilty that she then spends so long asleep and in a car seat. We make sure we have regular breaks so she can have a stretch and feed, but I still feel so bad.

We hired a flat in West Bay, Dorset, which is just down the coast from Lyme Regis. And it just so happens to be where Broadchurch was filmed! I’m gutted they weren’t filming the next series while we were there, as I’d love another glimpse of David Tennant. Yes, I know, weird crush!


West Bay, where Broadchurch was filmed

The flat was pretty basic, and although it was advertised as ground floor, there were steps up to the front door, then steps down to the flat door, and further steps down to the bathroom. It was quite bizarre. However, it had everything we needed…apart from hand soap!!

Our first full day there we explored West Bay. It’s only a very small village, but very busy. The sun was still shining so the beach was full of holiday makers. There were several fish & chip huts, and ice cream shops. It would have been rude for us not to try them. I can strongly recommend plum sorbet, and fig and honey ice cream. Yum yum! We also found a wonderful emporium. It sold so many weird and wonderful things, and at absolutely bargain prices. i bought Isla a book (Little Miss Chatterbox, for 50p, as she constantly chatters away these days) and a sign for our kitchen for £2. Obviously, with it being a seaside town, there was an arcade so we had to have a cheeky play on the 2p machines. We both love them!!

Unfortunately I has one of my headaches for 2 of the days we were there, so I didn’t  really feel up to doing much. Chris looked after Isla a lot of the time, and  took her out for walks  etc so that I could try to get some sleep. I felt so bad that my stupid headaches meant nearly half of our holiday was put on hold. Chris said he didn’t mind, and that it meant we weren’t rushing round doing things and relaxing instead…but then again he wouldn’t say if he was annoyed by it anyway.

We had a lovely dinner out one night at The Station Kitchen. The food was lovely, and we were given an amuse bouche, a sorbet palate cleanser (that had champagne in), and the truffles as well. The service was really fantastic too, with attentive staff who chatted to us about Isla, and also their family. I always find that really good service can make a meal so much more enjoyable.

We managed a day out to Dorcester, followed by Durdle Door. It was tipping it down in the morning so we left late hoping it would clear (and also cos Chris and Isla were still dead to the world at 11am!!)  Thankfully by the time we found a parking space there were lovely blue skies. We had a lovely lunch in a coffee shop and a mooch round the shops. I bought a few books for Isla, which I’ve decided to keep for Christmas presents. Yes, that’s right. I said the C word. In August!

We then drove on to Durdle Door. We’d both been there as kids, although Chris has no memory of it. Word of warning – it is NOT pushchair friendly unless you’re super fit! A sign there warns of a 45% hill, and not to attempt it in flip-flops or stilettos! This hill takes you down to the viewing point. There is then a further 150 steps down to the beach. We didn’t make it down to the beach as we’d taken the pushchair with us, and Isla being Isla slept through the whole thing!!!

Durdle Door

Durdle Door

Isla at Durdle Door

Isla asleep at Durdle Door

On our last night it was so so windy. There were weather warnings in place for gales, and possible flooding! The wind certainly kept me awake, but thankfully there was no flooding. It was still so windy the next morning, which made packing the car fun!

We went out for breakfast, which was really nice, and then headed to the arcade for another quick play on the 2p machines (I said we loved them!) We also went for another wander around the emporium, as there were 2 floors we hadn’t looked at before due to having the pushchair, so this time we put Isla in the sling and had a good mooch. There was a lovely rocking horse we found there that we were in two minds about, so carried on wandering. We decided that at £25 it was a bargain, and would be ideal for her soon, as it had a seat in it which would support her to sit up, rather than the traditional rocking horse where she’d need to balance (and be older to use) We even decided we’d have room for it in the car. But guess what? After wandering round it all, we forgot about it completely, and were half way to the M3 by the time we remembered. I was gutted!!

All in all, in was a fairly successful first family holiday. I can’t wait for our next one to St. Ives in three weeks time with my parents.

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