Sligo: Toddlers on Tour

Round Four: Attempting an Enjoyable Holiday as Parents with Small Children. (Be warned: There Will Be Vomit.)

We have taken a summer holiday of some type every year since Gigi was born. So four holidays in total. Sounds good, right! As many parents know, holidaying with smallies is a world of a difference from holidaying as a loving couple solo. So parents, we have to get our heads around that first. Let it go, as the Snow Queen once warbled and then we might stand a chance.

It isn’t that easy.

In Gigi’s first year we bravely ferried to the UK and rented one of those fairytale Castlecombe cottages.

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Beautiful Castlecombe.

We literally brought everything we own. Truth be told, I personally insisted we bring pot loads of equipment. I was Mummy Pig. I actually brought the kettle.

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The holiday was both lovely and exhausting. Imperfect in an idyllic setting. You see, I was always just a little bit uncomfortable. I was totally unable to relax.

A year later, with a one year old and a baby on the way, we tried staying in Ireland. Sligo. Rented a full apartment and brought the grandparents too. It rained a lot. The holiday was OK. Not really relaxing though. Moments of idyllic scenes- but very momentary.

Last year I was very late to book. A baby and a two year old- I was in the fear. I wrote about this last year in Holidays with More than One Kid-a Whole New World. Another family rental. Another holiday bringing grandparents. We chose Ring in Waterford. All looked lovely. The owner of our rental was a very strange lady and I clashed with her instantly. Unfortunately the rental cottage was their converted garage- on the family site. I hated that! The views were amazing. The place is pretty. I couldn’t wait to get away from it. There were a few more lovely times on this occasion (A Magic Moment )but it was mainly tough and uncomfortable. Brutal honesty. Again, I think we were just never fully at ease.

So as the holiday season rolled around again, Mr Paper took matters into his own hands. Euro Disney will happen in August. A life time dream- Disney and France. My girls adore princesses (especially Layle-ell Ariel) and ‘Minnie Mooshee’. Here is to hoping we meet Ariel and The First Lady Mouse.

In a desire to travel with grandparents (we like to bring them away once per year) and have a trial run, I booked two nights in Sligo again. Don’t panic- two nights in a four star hotel. No crappy rental. A family room (which must have been upgraded as we are in a suite). We are the Clayton (former Clarion and former hospital) which looks a bit like a castle/ institution but is impressive beautiful with lovely grounds.

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My girls think they are staying in a castle. Gigi wanted me to call in Princess Belle to admonish her baby sister over dropping blueberries on the floor.

We are still here. Day two. We are surviving. I don’t hate it. It hasn’t been treacherous. In fact, I would have enjoyed another night.

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It hasn’t been perfect. What is perfect though? Parents can’t compare holidays pre-children with holidays as parents. There are meltdowns. Soup is pronounced yucky one minute and delicious the next. They will poke each other in the back seat of the car with every prodding device known to human. We lost one of Gigi’s shoes. In my newly zen state of not overpacking, they were the only pair. The weather hit such temperatures (good thing, good thing, I know! )that a packet of crayons that I had left on the front seat of the car melted into a swirling pool of khaki patterned wax, hitting my jacket on its way.

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This is Ireland! ! We are not meant to hit Crayola Melting Temperatures. I have lived it though and once seen will never be forgotten. Gigi has been ill. Exorcist style, you can guess yourself, at a beautiful Sunday market (future blog) as she sat in her buggy. Everywhere. My lovely newly valeted car now bears an interesting aroma. Not a pleasant one. A questionable one. Ah well. That was the girls’ first and last ice-cream on this particular holiday.

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So we have had challenges. We have met them head on like Roman Gladiators.

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Occasionally we have ignored them until they went away like Romans who never made gladiator.

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Once or twice we smiled insanely through the chaos, where I tend to find myself singing a few bars of the Girls Aloud tune Something Kinda Ooh. (I find that has happened a lot since I had the children. A little like Mannie’s Moomin Papa in Black Books for anyone who gets the reference. Have a little watch here Chattanooga Choo Choo Earworm If not, take it as solid comedy recommendation ).

This is what I think may be called a coping mechanism. My girls are so used to hearing it that they join in. Everybody Ooh, hear my heart go ooh ooh…

So yes, a few challenges. Overall, a LOT less than previous years. Maybe we just deal with them better. A good trial run for travelling abroad. A good sign for future holidays!

Here are to changes in touring with teeny kids and toddlers. Holidays might be fun again soon. We won’t say relaxing- not just yet! Memorable? Yes. For good reasons? Yes! Thankfully!

I will be blogging highlights. People who read that will see a joyful rundown of lovingly encountered pretty moments. Those who read this post will also be aware of the Pull Ups War in Sligo’s Tesco (both girls had an epic argument over who got to hold a packet of Pull Ups with Minnie Mouse on them), the Waxy Bottom in the car park from Melty Crayola Conditions, The Lost Shoe and the Apocalyptic Post Ice-cream Throw Up of the adorable market which features in the highlights to come.

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Weren’t you lucky to be in the know!

PS. Any parents of one or more under two- it DID get easier. A different easy to what you might expect, but a very distinct change from exhausting, tear inducingly tough with nightmarish moments that you cannot awaken from. Cheers to that! (Raising my Diet Coke because I am too disinterested in wine, and diet as I still have a big belly that I call baby blubber but I DON’T CARE anymore!!!!). My babies are happy. In fact, so am I.

The Pramshed

53 thoughts on “Sligo: Toddlers on Tour

  1. Glad you linked the other holiday posts, I missed them since I was also on vacation then. Kids do get easier, once they develop interests beyond tv it is even more magical. Good luck in euro Disney, someday I hope to get to Ireland with my family so I’m going to start making them play in the rain;)

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    1. Definitely a good plan to practise rain play😊 a light raincoat that can work as a cool weather coat is needed too. Always go hooded😊 the kids are really showing personality these days and I love it!

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  2. I remember ice cream vomit it is as if it comes from their boots the most revolting thing I think I ever cleaned. My three chundered in unison it would have been funny except… there was no change of clothes and When a policeman stopped to ask if we were okay as we had pulled off the motorway, he frowned and wanted the reason for three kids crying, green and naked in my car… but as they say it gets easier… or maybe we learn what not to give into especially on a long journey. Great blog .

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  3. hehehe I’m sooo glad that there wasn’t a vomit photo. I read with trepidation, wondering about causes (and effects) of vacation vomit. So glad you let us kept those images on the preprocessing side of our eyes;)
    And so glad you all survived!

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    1. I don’t even like writing about Vomit bit it had to be told!! I couldn’t take pics at the time and it didn’t cross my mind !! I wouldn’t do it to you all😁 we definitely survived…once we made it past the jellyfish.

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  4. I am so impressed you take the whole family on trips! For one reason or another I’ve always managed to leave the kiddo with an adoring family member instead of bringing him along on most occasions. I’ve feared this exact thing–a vacation that feels like work. I do, however, look forward to the golden years. The years when he’s old enough to spend a day wandering and still likes me enough to want to be away from his friends. He’s 8 now, so we’re getting there!
    I commend you for packing the family up and traveling! Though it does have its challenges you’ve definitely found the laughs and the joy! I’m looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

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    1. I was thinking the same thing! lol

      My parents used to hire a cottage out in Connemara, and we’d travel over there with 4 kids (sometimes 5-6 if my little brother and I brought friends!), 3 cats and a dog. I LOVED those holidays. I still love Ireland because of them…but reading this I realise it must have been a nightmare for my parents. We were so lucky not to notice their stress. We just had fun and made amazing memories.

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  5. Aww, what a lovely sentiment at the end! Before I go into how I agree that holidays with children do get easier, I just have to say that I had a little squawk of excitement when I saw your Castle Combe picture! My parents live in Castle Combe (I was brought up about 5 miles from there!) and I got married there-it’s a very special place to me! Hopefully you managed to avoid the miserable landlady in the pub…!
    Our first holiday with our five month old was a disaster-the weather in the Dordogne was apparently the worst it had been in June since records began, or something like that, and the baby decided he wasn’t going to sleep at night, and only for 20 minutes at a time during the day, but having to be rocked the whole time. I announced in tears that we were never going on holiday again…! The next year, we also had a three month old in tow-things weren’t much better. But, this year, at 4 and 3 years old, I can honestly say that we had an amazing time!!! I’ve got my eyes set on Euro Disney too-I can’t wait to hear how your trip goes!!
    #bigpinklink

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    1. Thank you so much, your saying all of that makes me feel great even though I wish your Dordogne holidays had been better. I know what you mean though- it is a real struggle when they are little and we feel like all good holidays are never to be again. I honestly feel like Euro Disney will be wonderful but I am prepared for over stimulated children, mass meltdown and Verruca Salt style tantrums over overpriced Princess gear. (A lot of the use of the word ‘over’ there!!).
      I will be blogging the course! ! #bigpinklink

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    2. I loved Castlecombe by the way and framed my pictures for the wall so we can never forget it. I can recall a hotel and a lunch but not the landlady. The cake stall with the trust system sticks in my mind though! !

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      1. That’s Mac’s house! He used to run that entire row of houses as a bakery, but didn’t have them insured, and they caught fire one day… developers took most of the row and turned it into holiday lets, and all Mac could afford to keep was that tiny little bit in the corner-he makes those cakes as a homage to his baking past, but now mainly makes a living from being a tv extra!! The restaurant at the Castle hotel is lovely, however if you go across to the White Hart, the landlady is awful…! Read the TripAdvisor comments for horror/entertainment value!! It’s all true!!!!

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      2. This is gold! I love hearing about the lives of villagers and my husband and I really thought and wondered what it would be like to live in a village from history now really a living TV set. I heard there were only so many registered townsfolk and it seems like the perfect setting for its own story to be made. Poor Mac. That is quite sad but I love his stamina to bake out of memory. It is wonderful. I must read about that pub. I was definitely in it and he a vague memory of a strange experience not getting tea or something like that but was so overwhelmed with baby minding I didn’t keep it in mind. You should blog about this stuff. If you are allowed!

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  6. Oh it so tough travelling with little ones, I long just to travel with my husband again. Hang in there, you’re doing great! It is any consolation our little one is sick every time we go in the car. The car and car seat permanently have an aroma of sick. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG x

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  7. Holidaying with kids is kind of different. You are still occupied, just that you are away from work. It does depend on the age of kids but still, it is involving!
    I will look forward to reading about the farmer’s market. I wrote one on Jaipur recently, Orla

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  8. Holidaying with kids sure can be a challenge, not that I would ever change it. We are just back from a weekend in Center Parcs with my 7 and 3 year old nieces. You’re constantly on alert, watching that they are ok. Even though I cannot run after them myself!
    I finished a book recently called Normal People, I’m guessing this is part based in the same Sligo?

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