Travel, First time Mum, Parent, diary, Photography

Photos of the week

A few days later than I originally planned but we have had a busy weekend. Here are some of the things we were up to last week.

Last Saturday Lee was at Pistons in the Park with our Mini club so Samuel and I went to meet him there. There were lots of cars on display as well as some quad bikes, which Samuel got to sit on. He absolutely loved it. His face in this picture just shows how interested he was.

Samuel loves ice-cream and here he is having a taste of my Jammy Dodger flavour gelato. It really was delicious and Samuel thought so too.

The sand fiend is at it again. He just can’t get enough of the stuff. Here he is at Whisby after we had had a play in their new soft play barn.

Samuel in a net swing with 2 of his best friends George and Evelyn. He loves other children especially older ones that he can follow around.

Having fish and chips with Samuels Great Nanna and Grandad. Samuel is eating fishcake here and he loved the mushy peas. We had such a lovely time with my Grandparents.

We are having such a lovely summer together I can’t believe it’s nearly over.

First time Mum, Parent, Photography, Travel

Photos of the week

I want to try and be a bit more active on my blog, so as well as other bits and pieces, each week I am going to post a few of my favourite photographs from that week. Ones that I haven't shared on Instagram. I know this probably is of no interest to anyone other than myself but I like that I will be able to look back on them.

Ha ha his hat in this picture! Trying to get him to keep his hat on can be a pain sometimes. Daddy put it on like this and he didn't seem to notice – too busy opening Birthday presents. We had such a lovely day celebrating Samuels 1st birthday.

I love this! I wonder what they are looking at? Samuel loves his Grandad and it was so nice having family time with Lee's side in Whitby.

Whitby Abbey – We walked so many steps to get up to the Abbey but we didn't actually go in. As you can probably tell this picture was taken from the top of a wall. Amazing views all round.

Completely windswept but so happy. Love being with my little family. Here we are on the beach at Whitby.

My poorly boy. Samuel was sick all over me twice. He is never sick. I felt so sad for him but I did enjoy the extra cuddles as all he wanted was his Mama.

So there we go. I take so many pictures I could have picked so many more but didn't want to completely bore you.

Cruising, First time Mum, Parent, Travel

Why Cruising is the perfect baby friendly holiday!

Lee and I went on our first cruise at the tender age of 22 and since then we were hooked. So we just knew that we had to take Samuel on one and we had been desperate to do the Norwegian Fjords for years. 

Lee and I on our first cruise

I know a lot of people wouldn’t consider taking a baby on a cruise and you know what they really should! Here are 10 reasons why cruising is the perfect baby friendly holiday:

  1. You can take as much luggage as you like. There is no limit to the number of cases or bags. Plenty of room for all that baby paraffernalia (we even took our perfect prep machine). 
  2. Check in literally takes 20 minutes! You arrive at the port, hand over your bags (see reason 3), go through security and passport control and then on to the ship to start your holiday. There is no waiting around so babies don’t get chance to get bored. 
    Samuel with all our luggage
  3. Your bags are delivered to your cabin and at the end of your holiday you place them outside your door so they can be taken off the ship. No need to worry about carrying all those bags and carrying a baby. 
  4. You are in a different place everyday so there is always something new to see and do. You will have a very well travelled baby with all the different ports of call. And just think of all the lovely memories you are creating together.
  5. The ship is so big with shops, swimming pools, bars, cinema and theatre. Lots to keep you and your little ones entertained. 
  6. There is a kids club with a play area suitable for babies and toddlers. The equipment is sterilised twice a day and the toys can be loaned out so you can use them in your cabin. No need to bring any with you. 
  7. The ship is so clean. There are constantly people cleaning and hand gel pumps everywhere to encourage good hygiene. Samuel loved crawling around on the floor and I never once felt worried about him picking anything up or getting dirty. 
  8. Travel cots are provided along with towels and beach towels. Again more luggage you don’t have to worry about taking.
    Samuel preferred playing in the cot rather than sleeping in it!
  9. Every cabin has a fridge. Perfect for storing milk and baby food. 
  10. At the end of the holiday you are given a time to depart the ship (which you request) so you can go and enjoy breakfast before heading home. 

So there you go! We travelled with Celebrity Cruises this time and as you can probably tell from previous posts we had a fantastic time. The only thing that went against them in terms of being baby friendly were the lack of baby change facilities on board the ship. There was only one baby change unit and that was near the kids club on deck 15. So if you were no where near that you had to go back to your cabin or make do with the toilet floor (it was very clean). A small thing but annoying if there was a poosplosion incident for example. Despite that I would definitely recommend cruising with babies. It was so easy and a lot of fun!

    Cruising, First time Mum, Parent, Travel

    Norwegian Fjords Cruise – Stavanger

    Our final port of call was the city of Stavanger. Located on the southwestern corner of Norway the cruise ships are able to dock right in the city centre. 

    We headed into the heart of the city centre with its cobble streets and well known shops. We then happened to stumble upon ร˜vre Holmegate. A quirky street, lined with bright coloured buildings, consisting mainly of bars and cafes. We decided to stop for a coffee at the colourful Hanekan. The weather was beautiful so we made the most of it and sat outside. 

    We then took a steady walk back down towards the port taking advantage of the great view of the ship and found a pub with seats outside. 

    The Hanson Hjรธrnet had a fabulous atmosphere but like most places in Norway the drinks were very expensive. 6 beers came to nearly ยฃ50. That being said as it was our last port of call we had another and got some nachos to share. 

    Afterwards it was a quick stop for postcards and it was back to the ship for a swim. Another fabulous day was had. 

    Cruising, First time Mum, Travel

    Norwegian Fjords Cruise – Alesund

    On Thursday we arrived in Alesund at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord. It is known for its Art Nouveau architecture and fairytale like turrets can be seen on many of the buildings. 

    Upon leaving the port we headed for the town centre. There were lots of high street style shops and restaurants to explore but as that was not what we had come for we circled back round towards the ship. 

    We decided to go in the opposite direction and were pleased we did. We stumbled across the older part of the town with lovely views and nice bars and restaurants. 

    The babies were napping so we found a bar that had seating outside. Once again it was a beautiful day. The bar was called Anno. It was situated on the waterfront and seemed popular. We ordered beer and a hot chocolate for me and enjoyed chatting and watching the world go by. As it was so nice we decided to stay on and have another drink. I had a wine this time and we also ordered pizza and olives to share, both of which were delicious. 

    We then headed back to the ship to once again make the most of the glorious weather.

    Cruising, First time Mum, Travel

    Norwegian Fjords Cruise – Geiranger

    On our third day we arrived in Geiranger which lies at the head of the Geirangerforden. Named as the best travel destination in Scandinavia by Lonely Planet, the Geirangerfjord area has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

    We exited the ship and into Geiranger via the long gangway which zigzagged from the Eclipse to the port side. The little ones quickly fell asleep for their naps as we took a wonder through the small village of only a few shops, cafes and a supermarket. 

    We were heading for the waterfall walk; 327 steps going close to the Storfossen (waterfall). The waterfall walk runs from Geiranger Centre up to the Norwegian Fjord Centre and hotel Union with fantastic views along the whole route. 
    We took it in turns to go up so there was someone to stay with the babies (definitely not a walk for small children). 

    We then went back into the village and found a local cafe/bar to enjoy a drink. Lee had a beer and I had a delicious hot chocolate. As it was another nice day it was then back on to the ship to enjoy the sunshine. 

    Cruising, First time Mum, Parent, Travel

    Norwegian Fjords Cruise – Flam

    Our second port of call was the beautiful Flam. Situated in Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sagnefjord. It has a population of only 350 but has on average 450,000 visitors a year. Most come for the Flam Railway which takes you to the high mountain plateau at Myrdal.

    As we had 2 little ones with us we decided just to get off the ship and have a leisurely stroll around. We had spotted a children’s playground from the ship and this was our first stop so Samuels cousin Henry could have a play. I don’t think I have ever been to a playground and been surrounded by such incredible views. 

    We then headed down to the shoreline for some pictures then back up into the main village to look in the souvenir shops and get ourselves a drink. 

    We went to a local bakery and enjoyed tea, coffee and the biggest cookies I have ever seen. 

    Next we decided to take a walk up the mountain side to make the most of the views. It was a steady walk and not too steep. There were some fantastic vantage points and some interesting pieces of art/sculpture along the route. 

    When it started to get a bit too high for my mum we headed back down and found a local bar. We sat outside as it was lovely and warm and the adults enjoyed a beer whilst the children played. 

    We then headed back to the ship to enjoy the views from the sun beds and allow Samuel and Henry to have a swim. It was strange sunbathing and seeing snow on the mountains. Not the weather we were expecting at all! 

    That evening we enjoyed a glass of champagne and breathtaking views as we sailed out of Flam and on to our next port of call.