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Friday, 10 May 2013

Two Kids and a Yurt

Prior to having children I had a rule about holidays; thou shalt not replicate.  I wanted to see and experience as much of the world as possible, I didn’t feel in my younger years that I should return to places already visited when the world held so many other unexplored destinations. If I did return to a place I’d already been to, I would seek to stay somewhere new, discover new things, try to make my experience different to the one before; try to make it count the second time.

How things change when you have kids; this year we have three holidays planned, and bar a couple of tweaks here and there, they are exact replicas of the holidays we took last year.  Unadventurous? Possibly. But the fact is, they’re tried and tested. With two small children, limiting the hassle factor, minimising stress and ensuring we have a relaxing time is high on my agenda. Knowing that the accommodation and location passes muster, that there are facilities and activities for the children to enjoy is a great starting point and limits adrenalin and unnecessary stress once we get there.

Last week we found ourselves holidaying in a yurt in the Canary Islands.  The exact same yurt that we stayed in last year.  As we arrived, it seemed strange, casting my mind back to the year previously. Back then we didn’t even know of EB’s existence; it was strange to think that as I had wistfully sipped sangria, unbeknown to me, he was there, but barely yet a thin blue line.  Only one year later, there we were, returning with him, as a family of four not three. It felt surreal.

Friends were surprised when I told them we planned to holiday with two young children in a yurt.  “Is there more than one bedroom?”  “No. We all just sleep in the same tent”.  “Oh, I couldn’t be doing with that, I like mine in a separate room” said one.  If your kids sleep through the night, or you’re accustomed to nightly privacy then this might be a concern.  But as we play musical beds all night in the UK, I figured that being in one ‘room’ (albeit one that slept 6) wouldn’t make much difference, in fact, might make life easier. (As it was, both boys slept pretty well...thanks to the effect of constant fresh air and the very comfortable beds.)

Pip absolutely loved staying on the Finca (small farm) the yurt was situated on.  I was unsure whether he would remember the previous year's trip, then aged 2 3/4, but he seemed to have no previous recollection of the place, exploring it excitedly, as if he were seeing it for the first time.  His enthusiasm for everything was adorable. I would have liked to have bottled it, kept it on a shelf, to release it’s vapours and drink them in, later in life.

He adored our outdoor courtyard kitchen, outdoor bath, the warm cosiness of the yurt and the way the mosquito nets draped themselves over the beds.  The children’s play area with trampoline, playhouse and swings kept him amused for hours in the early evening prior to teatime.  But the piece d’resistance;  Molly the donkey, the chickens and the ducks.  Simply feeding our food scraps to the animals each and every day, and entering the chicken shed to search for eggs for our breakfast, a small wicker basket in his hand, was, as far as he was concerned, the best thing ever.  It’s easy to forget sometimes, that it’s these simple things that young children love so much.  When I tucked him into bed each night, asking him what the best thing about his day had been, his answer was always the same, ‘feeding Molly and the chickens’. Not the submarine ride, or the visit to fire mountain, or building sand castles on the beach, or the indulgent ice cream’ - no, just an old lame donkey and some greedy, egg laying birds.

And for me, my favourite thing; having my Husband around for one whole week and being together as a family. The old adage, two pairs of hands are better than one is certainly true.  Parenting two children felt a lot more relaxed with two parents each and every day and, a little less lonely too. It was the first extended span of family time we’d had together since EB’s birth when Husband took paternity leave, and five months in, I really appreciated it. Holidaying with two young children isn’t easy but nonetheless I came home feeling properly rested - despite only finding the time to read a mere thirty pages of my book.

As for the Canaries, parts of the island we stayed on (Lanzarote) were commercialised, but there were some lovely secluded pockets too, including the fishing village we were situated in.  The weather was unseasonably poor the week we were there and the wind did a good job of slapping my hair to my forehead on a few occasions, but it didn’t matter, I had no desire to get my post baby body in to a bikini - and Pip was happy on the beach whatever the weather.  


Next stop, Greece, - altogether again in a ‘family room’, on another holiday with a tried and tested blueprint. I am hoping for more sunshine on our next trip and by then, I will want to pour myself into a bikini. It’s time to fore sake the cake (or at least limit the consumption slightly) whilst pavement pounding the flab away. I’ve got a month to do it. Watch this space.

Details of our accomodation can be found at www.lanzaroteretreats.com/eco.

10 comments:

  1. I remember you going last year and loving it then. Sometimes when you return somewhere it's not the same, so I'm glad it was just as good this year and you all had such a lovely family time.

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    1. Yes, that's always a risk isn't it? I think we'll give it a rest next year and try something new, but this year with a 5 month old in tow, it was perfect! Thanks for commenting. x

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  2. How nice to get away. Sounds like the perfect break for you. I know exactly what you mean with regards to having a little bit of help. The trade off for being able to stay at home and still have a comfortable lifestyle tends to be a husband that works very hard and very long hours. I simply enjoy the chance to have a shower without constantly worrying that I can hear the baby cry.

    No holidays for us this year as everything has to go towards moving back home. It's going to be a long year but worth it.

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    1. I know what you mean about the shower! A long shower is a luxury these days!
      Am sure for you, moving back home will feel like a holiday when you get here :0)

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  3. I so remember you Yurt adventures from a year ago - how lovely to be going back as a family of four, and it sounds like you all had a perfect time, and children generally love animals so hurrah for Molly the Donkey. It must be a lot of fun for Pip to wake in the same room as his parents. And another fab holiday to look forward to! X.

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    1. Generally, I think kids love camping/ tents. Such a sense of adventure. It's so good for families too, no TV or WIFI makes you switch off completely and focus on each other.x

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  4. Holiday's definitely take on new meanings now, it is so much easier going somewhere where you know what is what and tried and tested. I don't like how kids never get the memo about holiday lie ins though ;)
    Sounds like you had a good time though, kids really do like the simplest of things. Hope you have sunnier/warmer weather on your next holiday x

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    1. Thanks. Yes, Holiday lie in's - we definitely need to work on that one!

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  5. Sounds like a better experience that our yurt holiday! Certainly nothing wrong with going back to the same place if it works for you, why not? I love your descriptions, no need for photos :)

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    1. I think ours was probably warmer :0). x

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