Back in July, this Yorkshire fam-a-lam travelled to the beautiful Lourdas Kefalonia in Greece. The island is probably best known for the book/film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The only memories that I have of that are the book laying on my step mums bedside table when I was younger. Other than it being in Greece, I was pretty clueless about our holiday destination.
So why was I going?
Pretty much a year to the day, I received an email invitation from Matthew and Ellie inviting us to their wedding in the beautiful Kefalonia. Matthew and I have literally know each other since I was born. Our parents have been friends since their late teens. There are quite a few old pictures lurking in the archives of us in the bath together! Oh, and holding hands and being made to kiss! You know, those awkward things that I know make my son do with his little friends! We really wanted to go but we also knew that I’d be on maternity leave. Financially it might not have been possible. All I can say is, I’m so glad we did.
It was to be Sienna’s first holiday.
We’d not travelled with Lucas until he was two and a half so I was a little nervous about flying with a baby…mainly because of all the crap that comes with them!
The main things I learnt about travelling with a baby was:
Don’t take so many clothes!
In hot countries they are either in their swim stuff or just in a nappy. The only time she wore actual clothes was on an evening and the wedding. I could have actually just took her seven outfits and her swimming suit.
Cots abroad are hit and miss!
We requested one when we booked the holiday but when we got there, they were all being used. We had a double (two beds together), a single bed and a sofa bed. For the first time I co-slept in the double with Sienna, Ric had the single and Lucas the sofa bed. When the cot arrived, I can only describe it as a net shopping bag on a frame. I wasn’t comfortable with her being in there. She would be right next to Lucas too and might wake him in the night. With this in mind, we kept the first night set up for the week.
Babies are more adaptable than older kids.
I thought that Lucas would be the one that we could keep up later on a evening with no problem. Sienna would need her routine more but I was wrong! (It pains me to say that.) Sienna had her bedtime feed and went to sleep like she did at home. She woke after an hour or so and then was happy to stay up till at least 10pm, sometimes later. Lucas was struggling by 9pm, probably due to his lack of naps. Sienna was still having two, sometimes three naps. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to leave the wedding far earlier than I ever wanted to! Sienna was asleep in the buggy and Lucas had no where to lay down. He ended up asleep on my knee! They did both sleep in a little though, which was awesome!
If in doubt, sing!
Obviously this doesn’t work for all babies but Sienna loves the high chair song from our Relax and Sing classes. Whenever I needed to keep her quiet, I would sing this song to her. On take off and landing it was most effective. She was a little wriggly but as soon as I started singing she settled and sat calmly on my knee. I got bored of the lyrics after a while so started some holiday themes lyrics instead!
Baby Led Weaning was definitely a good route to go down.
Since coming back, Sienna has been more open to spoon feeding but at first she really wasn’t. This was brilliant for going on holiday because we didn’t have to take any pouches or baby food. As we were self catering, we got some bits and pieces at the supermarket: bread, cereal, water etc. When we ate out we just gave her bits of our meal. The salads in Kefalonia are delicious! She had a lot of tomato, cucumber etc and it made it so easy!
Highlights of the Holiday
I think my highlight of Lourdas, in Kefalonia, was Lucas and Sienna playing together in the pool. Lucas hasn’t seen Sienna “swimming” yet as I take her to SwimBabes when he’s at preschool. He was so encouraging and gentle with her. Watching them float around in the blow up shark together was super cute! I was excited for future holidays, seeing them splash about together.
I’m more of a pool penguin than a beach babe.
The sand annoys me because it gets everywhere, I don’t like salt water and everything is a little further away. My husband loves the beach so I have to compromise from time to time. Actually, being forced to spend time of the beach has made me like it a little more.
I like being on the beach for the sound of the waves.
Lucas will happily build sandcastles for ages. The first day we went down to the beach it was so windy I thought we would fly away! The waves were huge and rolling in high up on the beach, everything was being swept about. It wasn’t very pleasant…even my beach loving husband agreed with this. The second day it was a lot calmer and more enjoyable. Lucas and Daddy went off down the beach to snorkel. Sienna was sleeping and I actually got an hour or so in peace alone. With the stunning beach views, it was the hour of “me time” I needed!
We stayed in the Antonia Hotel, ran by a big guy. He didn’t do much or say much more than “Welcome! Welcome!” with his arms out stretched. His staff run the hotel excellently, from the bar staff to the cleaners. Each one was happy, friendly and great at their job. We had a family room with a little kitchen area at one end. We were pleased to be on the ground floor. It was a quick walk across the grass to the pool.
There were always lots of sun beds available and the pool was a good size. Obviously, it wasn’t the type of hotel that has splash pools, entertainment and kids clubs. I don’t think there is a lot of that in Kefalonia anyway. It didn’t really matter for the week that we were there. Ric loves to be in the pool as much as Lucas so he was always entertained. Lucas would happily play on a sunbed or faff around on his tablet too. As we were on holiday, I didn’t limit his screen time as much. Anything for a peaceful life!
Finally, the real reason we were there, Matthew and Ellie’s wedding.
The location was the beautiful Andromeda Centre, set into the hillside with unbelievable views of the coastline and the mountains.
Due to the heat in Lourdes Kefalonia in July, the wedding was in the late afternoon. It was cooler and by the time we sat down to eat, it was perfect.
Unfortunately, the late wedding meant that our two little people were pretty exhausted, see point three above!
There’s so much more to tell!
Seriously, this post could go on for another few paragraphs: the capital of Kefalonia and the sea turtles, Mum’s injury, her villa etc. I don’t want you to get bored! Check out my Instagram for pictures while we were away. There are also pictures and videos in the highlights too.
Travelling and holidaying with the kids wasn’t has stressful as I thought it would be. Everyone is more chilled on holiday. The routine goes out of the window, which is fine for a couple of weeks. Children are resilient and adaptable. Lucas and Sienna quickly fell back into their routines once we were home. Lourdes Kefalonia was beautiful. We’re already discussing possible holiday destinations for next year. All we know is that we would like two weeks, either half board or all inclusive. It needs to be very child orientated so, if you have any recommendations, please comment below. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.