10 Sep 2015

Holidaying with a Child........what a difference!

So I’m just back from my holiday, depressed as hell but back to reality and normality.  This was the first proper holiday we have had since Daisy was born, and man was it totally different from any we have had before.  Gone are the hangovers and drinking from noon with cocktails by the pool………….

Now we have travelled with her before, we’ve gone to London for a weekend, I also brought her to Holland with me to visit relatives, but we haven’t been able to have a proper, on our own, family holiday.  This is mostly down to Daisy being ill, but the older she gets the stronger she gets, so this year we decided to bite the bullet.  I know some people will read that last sentence and be like “WTF?”, but when you have a child who suffers with the illnesses Daisy has, and gets as sick as she does, it’s hard to plan anything and to be perfectly honest, I was always way to nervous to bring her away for more then a couple of days.  Even with this holiday I wouldn’t go foreign, there is no way I’m taking the chance of going to a different country and having to explain all the different issue she has to a foreign hospital.

So we went for a “Staycation”, and we picked the Wild Atlantic Way, mainly Cork, Shannon, Kilkee and Doolin.  We had listened to friends and colleagues saying that holidaying in Ireland was more expensive, but I don’t agree.  We were lucky to have a voucher for a two night stay in Cork City, so we just had to organise accommodation for the rest of week.  So straight to the deal pages I went.  I knew the areas we wanted to see, so I just picked the deals that were in the same location, called the hotels before buying any vouchers, confirmed availability, bought the voucher and confirmed the bookings.  The hotel vouchers we bought all had either dinner included or money towards the food bill, so that saved us some money.  We had wanted to camp (thank god we didn’t) but instead we choose to go Glamping instead, best decision EVER.

We stayed in the Maldron in Cork City, nice hotel but very lacking in atmosphere, there was nothing wrong with the hotel just a bit Blah if you get my meaning.  The food was grand, so was the room and the bar area but nothing to write home about, good or bad.  But I did love our day trips while in Cork, we visited Fota Wildlife and Daisy loved it.  I have to say I think I prefer it to the Zoo, it was great to get so close to the animals.  We went really early in the morning so we were able to see some of the animals getting feed and we got to some of the live talks from the keepers.
Fota Wildlife

We went down to Cobh after the park and just strolled along the quay side, then went in for a lovely lunch on the waterside.  Then next day we went to Blackrock Castle and Observatory.  This was brilliant, the castle itself is so picturesque and the tour is really interesting, but the best bit is the inflatable planetarium, it’s a must see if you are down that way.
Blackrock Castle & The nicest restaurant in Cork Market Lane
Our Beer Taster palette

We visited Shannon too but Gavin was sick the whole time we were there, so we didn’t leave the hotel, although there didn’t seem to be much around us, I happened to meet a friend in the hotel bar, so when Daisy had gone to bed, I went drinking with her!!!  The best bit about staying in Ireland was that when we decided to leave for holidays two days early we were able to ring the hotels we planned to stay in and found last minute availability and off we went, this was great for the little bit (only bit)of spontaneity.

Some of the beaches we visited, Kilkee, Spainish Point & Fanore

Kilkee was actually busier then I thought it would be and the beach was great, not too cold or windy and shops and restaurants right beside us.  However the hotel we stayed in was very old fashioned, they still used KEYS in the room doors, actual keys!!  And the staff in the bar were just plainly rude, we only stayed one night and that was more then enough. 

But the best part of our holiday had to be Doolin.  It was the furthest west either of us had ever been and I don’t think we were prepared for the weather we were meet with.   We stayed in Nagles Camping park, in the Glamping pods and I couldn’t recommend it enough.  The pods are nicely sized and so warm.  We had a double and single bed in the pod along with a sofa, there was a small fridge, kettle and counter top provided along with cutlery and plates/bowls, everything you could need.  The facilities on site were nearby and clean, with the hottest showers, which you need when you spend time in the windy beaches.  Having purchased wetsuits (a must) we decided to try out the wild sea and it wasn’t half as bad as you would think, even Daisy loved splashing around in it.  We did the tourist visits like the Cliff of Moher and the Aliwee Caves, both well worth the visit, we even took a trip to Lisdoonvara to see the “Match-making Festival” but lets just say, your not missing much if you decide to give it a miss.
Our Glamping pod in Doolin

Bird show @ the Aliwee Caves

Inside the Aliwee Caves
We had a very relaxed week, didn’t plan anything and just took each day in our stride, we didn’t have sunshine all week but all in all the weather wasn’t that bad by Ireland’s standards.  We tried to time our comings and goings so we were in the car driving to our next stop during the rain showers and we were pretty successful with it.  But it was a very different holiday then we were used to.  The last time Gavin and I had been away it was Cocktails till Dawn and dancing like maniacs.  This time it was maybe a pint in the pub/ restaurant at dinner then back to the room by nine.  I know we could have put Daisy in a buggy and stayed out later but I don’t think it’s fair on the child to expect them to sit quietly for hours and I definitely wouldn’t have her running around annoying other people.  What we tended to do was  have a drink or two in the room/Pod and go to bed early ourselves, that way when the Human Alarm Clock (Daisy) awoke at 7 am as she normally does, we weren’t wrecked and could get up and at ‘em and beat the crowds.

It’s mad but we didn’t miss the mad nights at all, and we both agreed that it was our favourite holiday, so obviously we are getting old!!!  Don’t get me wrong I still love my girly weekends away and it’s nice to get a babysitter and go on the tear with Gav.  I suppose it’s all a part of growing older and having your own family. 

Dee xx

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