Babymoon – Mykonos

I have wanted to go to Mykonos for ages – so babymooning was an ideal time, as I wanted something with guaranteed nice weather, without having to travel too far, or stopover anywhere. You can fly direct to Mykonos from Heathrow, which is how we travelled. I was surprised as I was expecting to have to stopover in Athens so when I discovered direct flights, I was sold.

Given that we booked “last minute”, this holiday wasn’t cheap.. especially given the Greek economy is meant to be awful (though not sure how, as it’s so beautiful, weather is by and large always good and tourists are ripe!)

As always, travel blog will follow the same format of what we tried and tested, alongside several hundred beautiful pictures, as Mykonos is just gorgeous! I will say though – we wanted nothing more than to completely relax, so other than restaurants and our hotel (and Mykonos itself) we have literally nothing to review.. as we read, snoozed, and made the most of our last holiday for many years to come, child free!

Mykonos Blu Grecotel ๐Ÿ˜

This hotel looked lovely online – and really was! Somehow I had accidentally booked some kind of villa and we ended up with two huge beds (ideal as I needed lots of pillows for bump support!), 2 bathrooms, a jacuzzi bath and basically just an absolute tonne of space! I chose not to bother booking a private pool villa like normal, because you can sunbathe topless in Europe anyway, and I guess at some point I must have decided I wasn’t going to bother going fully naked [quite unlike me!!] this time… I’m glad I hadn’t booked one of these in order to sunbathe naked as they were all overlooked, so I couldn’t have been starkers anyway… not unless I was prepared to seriously shock some strangers!

Anyway, all in all, the hotel was just beautiful. White washed walls as you’d expect for Greece surrounded by beautiful blossoms. Neither of us thought the food was too badly priced as you normally find in-hotel the price of food is ramped up. This was useful as whilst I would normally have just breakfast and dinner on holiday, baby and I tended to get hungry at 3ish for some lunch! So we didn’t end up spending an absurd amount, but we didn’t go hungry!

The hotel has its own two-tier infinity pool, as well as having its own little private-beach/bay (Psarou: shared with two other hotels) for those sea lovers! This is where we spent most of our days as in a sucker for the sea/beach! The only downside to the beach was that it was quite stoney to walk on – I’m a super soft sand girl! Also, as we visited in May, the sea and pools were freezing (but beautiful and fine once you were in!) I expect if you visit later in the year the sea will be a beautiful temperature! The water was crystal clear beautiful.

Also – this hotel was fairly far out (5k) from Mykonos town itself, so you pretty much need to get a taxi in/out. This was โ‚ฌ10 each way and pretty quick, although we did discover at some point that the hotel seemed to have a car which would drop you in for free… but mostly when we asked, they’d just call us a taxi…!?!

Lastly, one thing I would say overall about Mykonos is that it’s not ideally set up for young children. There was a couple in our hotel with a toddler, but to me it seemed like hard work as there are lots of steps, particularly in hotels getting up and down to the beach etc!

breakfast at the hotel!

The only other things we have to review for this holiday, are restaurants. So here is where we went;

Nikos Gallop Restaurant

Nikos was across the road from our hotel. We actually went twice in the end as it was so cute with really great food – lots of different daily fresh fish choices, plus when we drove past it one evening when headed into town, it was absolutely packed, so we figured that was a good sign! They also are super extra friendly and welcoming to you when you go back, which was really sweet.

Eating on the boat at Nikos!

James was also pretty chuffed he got to eat out of a giant shell!

Mediterraneo Restaurant

Now, I apologise for doing this, and you’ll notice it as a theme, but some of the restaurants we chose were not exactly traditional Grecian. This Italian, is one of a few we visited, because little baby Marks wants CARBS. At this point, we loved a good pizza, and a good pizza this restaurant did. Everything you’d expect from a proper Italian pizza, and deliciously greasy which went down well with baby! They did however, struggle to comprehend having a cocktail without the alcohol – frankly, who can blame them?! – but we did get there eventually!

We also noticed as a bit of a theme in quite a few restaurants, being served “Mastika” as an after dinner shot. Some places it was nicer than others (particularly good at Nikos Gallop!) considering it smelt like Sambuca!

Petinos Taverna/Blue Myth Restaurant

This restaurant was within walking distance of our hotel, located within Petinos Beach area. The restaurant itself was slightly odd in that it seemed to be in some way affiliated with two restaurants across the road from it.. the menu’s were slightly different, but they seemed to be sharing waiting staff and the food seemed to also come from that direction! Decor wise they were quite different too, with the two across the road being a bit more super new-modern. Whilst Aggeliki was more modern classic..

When we visited neither of us were particularly hungry (but hungry enough to need something!) so we both just had starters, which were good, but the menu overall had looked really yummy, and staff were friendly but not pushy to get you to eat with them!

Trio Bambini ice cream!

There were a couple of these dotted around Mykonos old town. Normally I’d prefer traditional, individual ice cream shops on holiday, rather than a chain, but we’d be dammed if we could find after dinner these little unique ones we had kept walking past before dinner! Instead we kept stumbling upon Trio Bambini which had a huge selection of ice creams (sundae’s, crepes and waffles, come to think of it; think Treatz/Creams/Sprinkles/Kaspa’s dessert places we now have in the U.K.!) which more than did the trick.. I may have even had on our first night in Mykonos town, eyes bigger than my belly and requested one too many scoops! Who’d have thought that possible given the current size of my belly!!! Portions weren’t scrimped upon!

Pepper Souvlaki

We chose Pepper Souvlaki one night based largely on appearances… it was slightly hidden up cute little alleyways, plus I fancied Greek food dripping in yummy houmous/tzatziki etc. I wasn’t thrilled with the lamb feta burgers I ordered, but James had souvlaki (which I largely lived on at lunch ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿ˜!) which was really good. I guess baby reallly wanted carbs.. ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚

Mykonos Dove

This restaurant looked the part, from the outside, but really, wasn’t great. Once again it was down on Petinos Beach. They didn’t have a lot of what was offered in the menu, which I can only assume is because they’d only opened within the last week, but did have wood fired pizzas, so yep, you guessed it, pizza once again for me! Not that I was complaining as it’s what I wanted. The pizza was good and the restaurant was beautiful – although unfinished (more noticeable when you walked inside/used the facilities) – but I was just a bit miffed that most things I asked for from the menu, they didn’t have.

Casa di Giorgio Restaurant

Yes you guessed it – Italian again! I am gutted we didn’t stumble upon this restaurant earlier though, as you’d probably have found me there every night! The restaurant was packed full but the service was still really attentive and fast. And the food was FANTASTIC! Fresh pasta and delicious pizza’s that I’m salivating over as we type.. must get James to make some fresh pasta sometime soon! I would happily eat here forevermore – the menu was huge and so hard to choose from! I’d 100% recommend finding this restaurant whilst in Mykonos and enjoying the delicious fresh pasta!

Everywhere you look, it’s beautiful!

Food/Eating Disorders/Pregnancy Cravings – we each know our own bodies better.

I was riled, a few months ago, watching a couple of programmes regarding eating disorders – something I always watch if I know it’s on, because I am simply fascinated, still. The first, was the “Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia.” And another with Louis Theroux. I remember, whilst watching, that both James and I were gobsmacked – and I have, from experience, a lot more understanding and knowledge of Anorexia.

What I will say from the offset, is that anyone that can be considered a role model should think very carefully about what they are saying/posting, although I believe if you are going to suffer with an eating disorder (or any other mental health issue), you will probably do so regardless of what you see/hear etc. I think you are pre-disposed within your genetic makeup in the same way some people get Cancer, and others don’t. However, I don’t believe the likes of Kim Kardashian (pains me to even write her name in one of my blogs ๐Ÿ˜ซ!) and the idiotic things she – or other similar individuals – say/do/post are going to cause eating disorders in young men/women, but I do think at times they are selling utter shite. If you are hungry, food or drink (not booze people๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ!) will suppress your appetite, not a lollipop ๐Ÿญ, ladies and gentlemen. In fact, I am currently eating a Chupa-Chups lollipop and am quite sure that once I’ve finished it, my appetite will no longer be suppressed and I’ll simply move onto another snack..

I seem to have this inbuilt part of me that has this need/want to help and support others, hence why I continue to write this blog.

Mark Austin and his daughter Maddy gave an incredibly open, and honest account of life with anorexia (Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia). Everything they both said is the exact kind of situation that happens with mental health illness and destroying families. The exact same happened in mine: anorexia isolates you, it makes you cunning and kuniving and it destroys relationships. Parents – or those that have no chance to understand – are angry, frustrated, exasperated. I hope history doesn’t repeat itself, and when I first started writing this – I was also still hoping anorexia hadn’t entirely destroyed my ability to have an embryo/blastocyst implant and carry a healthy pregnancy/birth/child. Thankfully, I have made it 25 weeks in and everything is healthy so far.

But it still hasn’t been easy. Whilst I am beyond in love with the ever-growing bump attached to the front of me, I am not thrilled with how I currently look overall. I stopped running in order to conceive – and anxiety meant I didn’t try again until we were 13 weeks, by which point, all fitness was lost and I was not in a position to push myself for fear of hurting our much-longed-for, unborn baby. Whilst I don’t doubt from other people’s comments that I perhaps still see myself as larger than I actually am (although believe me, I am heavy now!) my thighs, therefore {to me} are enormous. I have craved, and thus eaten non-stop carbs for the past 25 weeks; foods which I would normally reserve for never due to their ability to make me gain weight just thinking about them. I still live with mental health issues that I fight against daily, that no one can ever fully understand, and thus no one can ever fully have an input – especially if it is unasked for – thank you very much!

Recently, I’ve found people telling me what I should and shouldn’t be eating. People that will never be pregnant are included in this (aka men, or those older who have never wanted children) and I spent a drive home from an anxious hospital appointment a few weeks ago in tears, fuming and thinking about it, and the things I’ve done to my body over the years:

When I was 16, upon waking and realising no-one else was home, I leapt out of bed and ran through to my parents ensuite to weigh myself and see if the scales were acceptable to me yet.

I knocked myself out on a door frame/TV cabinet on the way through because I was so dizzy and fainting. In the 5 days prior to that morning, I had eaten just one apple. Nothing suppressed my appetite, I tried everything to be constantly thinner, and as a result of hunger, passed out.

In 2015, over ten years later, aged 26/27 I spent a month barely eating, and sneaking off to throw up everything I did consume. I taunted and teased myself by joining in with others and accepting free hot chocolate the work canteen was offering at the time – throwing it all up as soon as it was finished. Months later at 27/28 I struggled to push myself – desperately – through a 5 mile run because all I’d allowed myself for three days prior was “juice diet”. “Healthy” green liquid or water only. Less than a mile in I could feel my kidneys in pain, my muscles physically unable to run through a full 5 miles from lack of fuel. And yet mentally, I was livid with myself still. Angry at my body at having to run-walk-run as someone who knew they could usually run for miles on end and love it. You cannot function on nothing. Food, is fuel.

I remember lying to my friends that I’d already had dinner/was eating dinner at home later. Lying to my parents that I’d eaten out with my friends. I remember trying to throw up the smallest bit of cheese I’d sucumbed (BECAUSE SUPPRESSING YOUR APPETITE DOESN’T EXIST!!) to eating off my friends pizza, in the Pizza Hut toilets aged 15. I remember flushing food down the toilet or chucking it in the bin whilst exercising for a minimum of an hour every single day. I remember asking my parents for school dinner money rather than food so that at least I wouldn’t waste the food; because, whilst adamant I didn’t deserve food, I still felt a resounding guilt that I was simply throwing food away when there were – are – thousands of starving people in the world. I remember that I wasn’t kidding anyone. I remember it all too well, for someone who’s memory is largely shot to pieces. How can you forget such hideous self punishment?

Having been diagnosed “Anxiety with depression” aged 26, in 2015, I also honestly believe anorexia/eating disorders are a side effect, a symptom, a coping mechanism for wider issues. When I had my first mental health breakdown in March 2015 I had spent the previous 6+ weeks over exercising, marginally under eating and regularly throwing up everything I did eat. It was something I could control. It was a coping mechanism to deal with my heightened anxiety, my low self confidence and self esteem, it was an outlet, but it kills.

So what I don’t understand now, is how anyone thinks they have the right to tell someone – anyone – let alone someone who has been through what I have – what they should and shouldn’t be eating, when they’ve not asked, but particularly through pregnancy. I believe after all these years I am more than aware of what I should/should not eat in order to achieve weight gain/loss. I also instinctively believe I (we: baby and I!) will crave what we need. This pregnancy, that has NOT been salad. And I do love me a good salad. Maybe, if I’m lucky enough for a future pregnancy(/pregnancies?!) perhaps salad will be craved.

Yes – I am eating a lot of (ok ONLY!) carbs. Just because that isn’t considered an “odd” craving to many doesn’t mean it isn’t a craving, and is just an “excuse” to eat them. I have never eaten carbs like this before – I used to avoid them like the plague. I have never wanted or apparently needed carbs like this before. I can’t remember the last time I allowed myself a jacket potato (rather than sweet potato), or white pasta (rather than spelt). Crisps used to make me feel uncomfortably bloated and thus I would still avoid them even at parties when they were laid out as nibbles. The last time I actually ATE a regular breakfast, rather than drinking a protein shake, or smoothie only, (and after running 3/5/7 miles), I was about 10 years old.

So yes, it’s a lot of carbs. Yes, I’ve gained a lot of weight, no, I am not thrilled about it: in fact if I could take scissors to my thighs to cut off the extra chub, I would. But I don’t think I am massively complaining about it – yes I’m calling myself “fat”, a “beached whale”; that’s how I feel right now, but I say it in jest! I am not going to do anything about it whilst I am carrying our miracle baby. I am not entirely stupid – enough so to think for a second all of this weight will just “fall off” the second the baby pops out. I will have to work at it, hard – but does anyone honestly think this is something I’m not prepared to do? Someone who, when working full time would get up at 5/5.30/6am to run, and spent most days ensuring she exercised twice? Someone who is known to have got up during worst bouts of insomnia and run for 5+ miles at 1am?? I am not prepared to risk something we have wanted, and tried for, for so long. I tried to run to keep off some weight, but it’s not for me – not this time, this pregnancy anyway; it’s too late, too hard and therefore too much of a worry to me to keep trying until the baby has arrived. I have never craved, or eaten, carbs like I am doing now, and so, I believe there must be a reason for this, and for once in my life, I am not going to deny what my body – our baby – is asking for.

I have said time and time again that unless you have physically experienced a mental health issue, you will never fully understand – no matter how much training you have had. I had two incredible (NHS) therapists providing me CBT and CAT over the last few years but for both of them I always felt (particularly the first) that you just don’t really get it until you’ve had it – and I wouldn’t wish anyone to have mental health illness. We all have mental health – some of us are just lucky enough not to have mental health illness.

HOW is it, that 23 years ago – yes, you read that right, TWENTY THREE – the incredible Princess Diana opened up and spoke about her mental health – her eating disorder, and yet here we still are in 2018 with still so much stigma, a distinct lack of understanding, and with idiotic products on the market promising suppressed appetites and “miracle” weight loss to those vulnerable and desperate enough to believe them?

Bigger arms, bigger thighs, bigger bum and bigger boobs. But a beautiful, beautiful, healthy baby bump. Oh, and my “appetite suppressant” lollipop.. which as it happens I’ve just finished… time for crisps!

ALSO:

  • Rufus
  • My husband
  • My health
  • My friends and family

xxx

EDIT – to add the below screen grabs that I’ve had saved on my phone since forever, because they make such valid points! Thanks to AliceLiveing for the words!

Iceland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Yes, that’s right.

The “beast of the east” hit the U.K. bringing with it snow like we haven’t seen for years (I’ve never seen snow like it in the almost 5 years we’ve lived in Somerset!) and of course, we head off to Iceland.. where there was only snow on the mountains or the empty, vast expanses of undisturbed countryside. We also had the most incredible, beautiful blue skied weather the entire time we were away. We were lucky!

We were extra lucky as well in that the day after our arrival was sunny, warm and there was NO icey wind! We had this day free (Northern Lights Tour being in the evening) and so walked for miles and miles exploring Reykjavik which we couldn’t have done if the wind had picked up and frozen us through (like it did many other days on tours!)

I also feel the need to mention that – my worries over communication barriers (due to being pregnant in case anything happened!) were completely stupid and unfounded. Icelanders speak better English than most English people.

Tap water is readily available pretty much everywhere as the water – obviously – is so pure and clean there. That was quite ideal for keeping costs down (that and the tip of taking out your own snacks (crisps, biscuits etc!) and the good old British way of sneaking a sandwich away at breakfast.. although when you hear the price of breakfast, at our hotel you won’t feel guilty!)

I booked the entire holiday through IcelandAir (selecting the “Northern Lights & Golden Circle Tour) for frankly not a bad price – with the exception of the Blue Lagoon experience as I could clearly see that as working out cheaper by booking directly with Blue Lagoon. Iceland is known for being expensive – and once you get there, it really is, but to be honest I thought the price of everything included for 5.5 days was quite reasonable.. it’s just when you get there you need to watch out! Tips below ๐Ÿ™ƒ

I’d also like to just quickly add that the most popular form of travel for holiday-makers is coach. All absolutely fine (if a little random at times; small mini bus to pick you up from hotels, then get onto a coach at the bus station, but coach drops you back at hotels…๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜‚) however we all know some people are just assholes ๐Ÿคฃ

So, as per, I’ll review by day/restaurant/trip/hotel. FYI we stayed in Reykjavik.

Iceland Air Hotel Marina

Our hotel was the only option we had when it came to booking our package. I was a bit annoyed as when I’d looked previously I’d had a choice of four + to book, but it turned out, this was a lucky only choice! The hotel is ideally situated for pretty much everything! Lots of great restaurants to be found opposite on the harbourside, and only a short walk from the main shopping street; Laugavegur, which you’ll find more great restaurants off of as well…

It was also pretty cool and quirky inside, and the bar and restaurant inside (which I’ll review below), although expensive, seemed to be quite the place to be on a Friday night!

Something we also thought was really cool and clever at this hotel, was the option to hang a “no room clean” card on your door handle. You’d then be credited back a 750ISK (roughly ยฃ5, so not a lot when you see the prices, but better than nothing and a good idea!) voucher to use within the hotel restaurant/bar. Presumably you can put these towards breakfast too but we stupidly didn’t collect our vouchers until the second to last day.. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ

Mumma and bump by open fire in the hotel reception

Iceland Air Hotel Marina Bar/Restaurant

We ate here on the evening we arrived – purely because thanks to the UK’s snowmageddon we’d had a super long day travelling (needlessly as Heathrow saw ZERO snow ๐Ÿ˜‚), I’d slept badly the night before, plus I’m pregnant so just ALWAYS tired apparently ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ˜‚. Wow. We spent ยฃ95 in a flash on two beers, one non alcoholic cocktail, a shared starter (calamari: average), a burger (James was happy but I thought it average) and a lamb dinner (again, average!!). Yep – Iceland prices had hit, hard! So although lively and popular with Icelanders – I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than using up your vouchers!

We also, stupidly, ate breakfast here most days. Stupidly because on days we didn’t have an early pick up – we could have gone elsewhere for half the price (literally) and a much better choice!! (See below when we visited Cafe Paris). Breakfast in the hotel was charged at 6,600ISK ๐Ÿ˜ณ yep, that’s almost ยฃ50 for two people for a cold buffet option!!! If you mentioned you wanted to make/take a sandwich out, they’d charge you another few thousand ISK.. so just slyly wrap in a napkin and whisk away discreetly!!

Icelandic Fish and Chips ๐Ÿฅ” (can’t get the website to work!)

A recommendation by several friends who’ve previously visited Iceland! And a good one! Not entirely traditional – you get an option of fresh fish (battered) caught that day, and, as is the norm for Iceland, the “chips”* were crunchy new potatoes – which I’m normally not a fan of, but these (I chose the rosemary ones) were DELICIOUS! *much like the rest of the world, “fries” are what the U.K. (correctly ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ) calls chips… All served on a bed of salad of your choice (I chose mango, I’ve never seen mango like it, but it tasted amazing!). We really enjoyed this meal which was much better than the hotel, and almost a full ยฃ50 cheaper for the same amount of food and drinks ๐Ÿ˜ณ!! Highly recommend!

Northern Lights Tour

I think I am only now mentioning the time of year we travelled – early March – and purely because I *think* this is a really great time to see the Northern Lights. We were lucky to be fascinated by them for several hours in a couple of different locations, and from what we can tell from following our tour guide on Facebook, March (this year at least!) generally seems to be a good time to see them. Husband took some particularly fantastic pictures (my fav is below) on his Samsung phone – but I will advise that iPhones just WILL NOT capture the Aurora Borealis. Don’t rely on an iPhone if you want your own pictures!

What we also thought was brilliant, was that (for our tour guide at least!) any pictures he took (including ones with us in them, see below!) he put on Facebook the next day for free. FREE! And makes a point in telling his guests that they have “absolute bragging rights” to those photos!! I KNOW! You’d normally be ripped off a good ยฃ20 or so for images taken whilst on a trip etc!!

Your package for Northern Lights/Golden Circle Tour when booked through IcelandAir also includes free entry into the Aurora Borealis tourist centre which is really good, informative and with a GREAT room displaying many pictures from past Northern Lights experiences, so make sure you stop by! (We also particularly loved the pin-map of where visitors were from!!)

Adding our pin to the U.K.!

Golden Circle Tour

Really good tour, and includes a lot (although some of it a little random!). Biggest downside for me was that, booking through IcelandAir it was automatically set for us the day after our Northern Lights Tour. It’s quite a long day (remember I am pregnant!), with an early start after a late night return from the Northern Lights! Had I thought about it/twigged/noticed when booking I’d have switched some days around so that I wasn’t utterly exhausted by the end of it!

Onto the tour.. now, the slightly random part of it is the first stop – which they go on and on about, mostly talking about horses and this horse farm.. (I was dipping in and out of consciousness because 1) tired and 2) never fail to nod off briefly from the movement of a “car” ๐Ÿ˜‚) only to get there and find.. 5 horses, but a HUGE tomato ๐Ÿ… farm… yeah, we were confused to.. presumably it’s a moneymaker as they sell produce from the farm (not just tomatoes ๐Ÿ˜‚, but chutney, passata, pickles/oils etc. They also had a fresh food part where you could buy tomato soup, which I’ll admit did smell amazing but was super crazy expensive (1,100ISK (almost ยฃ8) for a 500g jar of passata…!)

Onto the next stop – and my favourite of the day, the live Geysir, named Strokkur which erupted every few minutes and was fascinating to watch.. (sorry about my annoying voice.. we had stood in the same spot earlier and watched without filming.. or getting drenched!)

Next stop was Gulfoss Waterfall, which was stunning to look at. Sadly due to the weather we couldn’t walk quite as far up to it as you can on other occasions, but we got some good pictures. One thing I will say here is that the wind was insane and pure ice sheets. Get all of your windproof warm layers on for here – I couldn’t feel my thighs at one point with three pairs of tights on (none windproof as none fit over the bump!). My picture is from the top, you can normally walk further up to the waterfall from the bottom.

Final stop was to the Pingvellir National Park where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart from each other (source). Here you also take a short walk (if you want!) up Keriรฐ, a volcanic crater lake, with some further stunning views.

Hรถfnin Restaurant (Harbourside)

This one had us laughing. We liked the look of the menu so nipped here for dinner… James ordered the fish stew, and I ordered the vegetable lasagna (what did I say about carbs!!). We had to laugh because the waitress explained in detail the fish stew because apparently it is often not what people expect and so they’ve begun explaining it… what she didn’t explain was that the lasagne, although very yummy, was not lasagne, but ratatouille. We did laugh. On the flip side they had delicious bread and amazing butter (we think, having learnt from another restaurant, Skyr butter – I’m addicted!) and they even topped us up. I don’t think we’d return, but still far cheaper than the hotel!

Blue Lagoon

๐Ÿ˜ Information on their website states that the Blue Lagoon is perfectly safe for pregnant women.. from an additional Instagram stalk of the Blue Lagoon hashtag, I also saw another IVF-pregnant lady enjoying the Blue Lagoon a few weeks before we went out, at a few weeks less pregnant than I was. So I felt comfortable, even though the temperature is advertised as 37-40 degrees, like a hot tub which is not recommended for pregnant ladies.. as soon as I stepped in the water I knew it was fine. It was lovely and warm, and much like the sea there were some warmer spots – but I never felt uncomfortable or too hot. Probably because the air temperature your head is at is COLD โ˜ƒ๏ธ๐Ÿคฃ.

You HAVE to pre-book the Blue Lagoon online. Which is really simple to do. Only reason I didn’t book through Iceland Air is because as far as I could see I could get a better package (Premium Package) for less by booking direct with them. This also meant we had zero queues when we arrived with a bus load of other people – unexpected but very ideal!

I can only assume the pre-booking, alongside individual feelings of having had enough, is how they keep the Blue Lagoon from becoming overcrowded, because it didn’t feel overcrowded at any point – despite you not having a “get out” time, meaning really you could stay all day if you wanted! In all we spent about 1.5-2hours in the water. If you have the time, and can get a space, I found the lounger style deck chairs in the “relaxation area” super comfy and could easily have fallen asleep (a particularly loud snoring guy a few people down DID fall asleep which had a few of us in giggles ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Bumpy and Mumma keeping warm!

Lava Restaurant @ Blue Lagoon

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ I added this reservation to our booking based purely on the menu once again – and wasn’t disappointed! The food was INCREDIBLE (pictured, my mussels starter with more yummy crispy new potatoes; basically a main!), the restaurant beautiful and the service really lovely and friendly (our waitress offered to go out of her way when she realised I was pregnant but wanted the mussels as they were cooked in beer). Once again they had delicious bread with yummy “healthy!” Skyr butter which I can’t get enough of and we are planning to try and make this weekend! I even had a cheeky glass of sparkling wine which came free with the booking because it was SO delicious!

Lava Tunnel Tour

Added this onto our trip as a bit of a random added extra. I didn’t think a glacier typed walk would be sensible when pregnant, so this kind of felt like the next best thing, and it was kind of cool! I can’t really say too much without giving away, but if you’ve got some spare time you want to fill, I wouldn’t change having done it. More info here (we did the standard tour!). However I will mention that there was a lot of phallus looking icicles ๐Ÿคฃ which also reminds me that Iceland seemed to have a bit of a thing about phallus’ as there was a whole Phallus museum on the main shopping street in Reykjavik (we didn’t visit!!)

Sรฆgreifinn

I just wanted to mention this restaurant which had been recommended but we didn’t make it to.. for a couple of reasons.. we left it until our last night.. faffed around despite being hungry and then headed over for 7.30pm.. only to find a note on the door saying they were shutting at 8pm that night.. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ there was only one couple in the queue in front of us, so we waited in the queue anyway but after ten or so mins hadn’t moved.. I was hungry (๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿฝ) and frankly, didn’t feel like the fish that was on offer (baby LOVES carbs ๐Ÿ˜‚) so we headed to below mentioned burger joint!

However – like I said, his had been heavily recommended to us as – although looking like a little tin shack – having fresh fish, caught that day, on offer. I have to say – it certainly all looked super fresh and very yummy and had I not by this point been ravenous for carbs, we’d have definitely stayed and eaten!

Hamborgarabรบlla Tรณmasar (beside hotel)

Website not helpful at all.. but basically this is the decent kind of “fast food”. Freshly prepared burgers served with chips (fries) or even sweet potato chips! Lots of different options and sauces, and basically for someone who was just craving some “dirty” food – this happily appeased my ever-growing belly! I’m actually hungry again just thinking about it!! ๐Ÿ˜‹

Cafe Paris

Well, my biggest Iceland regret is not looking this up sooner thus enjoying better breakfasts for a better price here! We only visited on our last day but I’d highly recommend it for a cute venue, yummy menu (I needed to go back more days as there was several things I neeeeeded ๐Ÿคค!)

We’d both certainly recommend looking around for breakfasts rather than getting ripped off at your hotel if you don’t already have it included!

Lastly – although I am not a beer drinker at the best of times (ever), and obviously wasn’t drinking at all due to #IVFBabyOnBoard (!) apparently the Icelandic beer is GOOD.

As always, feel free to ask any questions!

x

No. More. Presents!!

This is something I have been thinking about for a while. At least the last year. And a blog I have been meaning to write for the same amount of time. But it is only now, in my apparent new 3.30am-????!am wake up time, whilst flicking through an old Good Housekeeping magazine my mum left me at Christmas, looking at page upon page (20 pages worth in fact!! And then over the page there is then talk of online shopping “just after midnight to be first in the queue” on “Cyber Monday” also stating “you snooze, you lose!”!!!! ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ) of their “GH gift guide” that I feel beyond anxious and sick at the sheer amount of rubbish there is in this world that is often forced upon us until we feel like we “need” it and thus succumb to buying.

Really?! What are the chances of not already having salt and pepper shakers?!


Except that really, we probably don’t need much of it at all.

Christmas morning this year, as every year, I felt a little overwhelmed. I do find Christmas and (my own) birthdays overwhelming; part of the great joy of my own anxiety of the stark reminder of time passing all too fast. But I felt more so overwhelmed when I saw the huge pile of Christmas presents under the tree. Yes there was 6 of us at ours for Christmas this year – but fully grown adults, not a single child in sight – as you might have expected given the amount of presents under the tree!

Call me Scrooge if you like. I don’t care. I think it is utterly ridiculous.

For me, Christmas is about/for the children and the magic of it all (no, I’m not religious). Of course I will still continue to buy my godchildren (etc) Christmas and birthday presents – as children unable to buy what they want or need when they want, like adults, that is different! But what I will say is, ever since they were born I’ve often also wondered if buying them something they will soon grow out of is utterly pointless – I’d much rather put money in their savings accounts for when they will inevitably need it as adults starting out in this crazy world… that said, I know it makes them (as with all children!) happy now to receive presents, and that too is important.

So this year, I’m not doing it anymore. I’m not going to fall into the trap of buying presents for everyone and anyone I’ve ever met (ok slight exaggeration!). And in return I don’t want anything. In this 21st century world we are somewhat spoilt in that when we decide we need or want something, we buy it. There’s no such thing as having to wait until Christmas or birthdays, and if we don’t buy it for ourselves… do we really want or need it?!

I find it stressful. In the most grateful of senses. It is stressful receiving presents upon presents of things you don’t really want or need. Trying to find homes for things or feeling the need to have a mass clear out (which I desperately need to do but am far too exhausted to do it!). I find it stressful trying to think of what I could possibly buy for so-and-so, but often even the likes of my own Dad, or brother, etc. I find it stressful when then asked “what can we get James (etc)?” because, I don’t know! And very often he is there saying “nothing! I don’t want anything! I don’t need anything! I want nothing!” Sometimes, even when I do provide an idea it is then ignores – so what was even the point?! Don’t even get me started on the stress involved if something is faulty.

Last year, as every year, James had no idea what to buy his brother (or dad) for Christmas. Being male he typically left it until the last minute, but even so, in a world of practical 24hour delivery, that didn’t really matter. To this day I am fairly sure he hasn’t bought him anything, because he can’t think of anything. He doesn’t know what he might want or need (likely nothing!) and so (as far as I’m aware) he just hasn’t!! His mum only got something because I happened to spot something I thought she would like! Why are we buying presents for people when we don’t even know what to buy them? Or what they already have?! My dad at one point went and ordered an amazon Alexa for James which was returned because we already have one. One that we don’t use because we don’t have a smart home or much to connect it to or have even really had the time to figure out how best to use it, and in fact it is currently turned off because she kept responding whenever the tv advert came on!!

I totally appreciate there are occasions when you see something you know a loved one will love – and that’s fine, and something I too will continue to do, (although anxious that they may already have, however I guess one must assume you would already know if they had it because if it’s something they really love they are likely to have spoken about it…?!) but I am done with gifting for the sake of gifting. Buying for the sake of buying, and all the stress and waste that comes with it.

I also find it stressful that there are often hundreds and hundreds of options of the same thing. Trying to figure out which one is actually the best/cheapest/value for money or actually does what you need is something I often find confusing and stressful – even in trying to buy a blender for example. There often seems to be so many “new” (& old) businesses doing the same thing that we are flooded with multiple products making what should be simple decisions near impossible. Sometimes I feel like a new brand appears on a daily basis doing something that already exists tenfold..

For me, I much prefer to spend time with loved ones, doing, rather than having. If I see something I need or want (because yes I still fall into that consumer trap of desire for things I probably don’t need!), I’ll likely buy it! One of my best memories of 2017 is the Bombay Sapphire gin experience with my husband, parents, brother and his girlfriend. We “did” and spent time together and actually had genuine fun without being, or feeling forced. It was something different.

and looks like “doing” is better for our future mental health too!

I know โ€œdoing” often means spending money on this or that, but I would much rather spend time experiencing than not being able to see my friends, have fun and create memories because they are skint from spending money on gifts no one really wants or needs! I think we all know I would much rather travel and holiday – see the world – than have another thing.

(I had an “in sum” friendly end to this but a WordPress bug in the app has just deleted it ๐Ÿ˜ก)Xxx

 

Update!! Have moved onto the next month (December) issue of Good Housekeeping mag where they have yet another 10+ page โ€œultimate gift guideโ€ – plus separate pages for childrenโ€™s toys! I used to love this magazine as it focused less on fake โ€œcelebritiesโ€ and garbage and more on real, interesting and factual, proper journalism!!

The Seychelles

The final of our 3rd wedding anniversary holiday blogs – finally!!

I’ve held off this blog, because I wasn’t sure there was that much to say. We had a short but sweet time in the Seychelles, and it is exactly as you would imagine it to be – much like the Maldives and Bora Bora… Fiji & Hawaii (though we’ve not been to the last 2!) – warm, white sands, beautifully perfect aquamarine blue seas sparkling under the glistening sunshine. In essence – a typical idealistic “honeymoon” destination.

We’ve been to both The Maldives and Bora Bora and loved both (my heart is still in Bora Bora), but it’s funny how easily the mind can forget. When we saw those gorgeous white sands and blue seas in the Seychelles, we both said to each other it’s the whitest sand and bluest sea we’d ever seen – but, we both know that’s not true. The Maldives and Bora Bora are exactly like that.. in fact, some beautiful areas of Scotland are exactly like that too (though largely minus the 30 degree sunshine I so adore!!)

Happy place!Happy Place!

So, the Seychelles. We had just a short but sweet 4 days there, tagged on as the “hot, sunny, naked sunbathing (me!), relaxation” part of our holiday.. whilst we were so close (4 hour flight from SA).

Hotel

The Valmer Resort

My criteria – as always – is for a hotel where we can have a private pool villa, because, well, I don’t do tan lines….!! We selected The Valmer Resort purely because it was the cheapest… poor choice for me because I failed to do any research (there was only one pool villa in this resort so I was panic desperate to just book it!) into it until about two weeks before we flew out.. queue huge anxiety! Trip Advisor reviews were shocking, while booking.com reviews were ok… I’d say we met somewhere in the middle…

Pool Villa โ˜บ๏ธ

Service in general just wasn’t really a “thing” in this resort. We arrived really late in the evening due to flight times (& delays) and as it is seemingly a small, family owned/run resort, the place looked like it was shut up for the day – no chance of some room service food then! Throughout our stay we were never asked if things were ok or if we needed anything, but when it came to taking payment for our room bill, they were keen to get it sorted ASAP… still not asked if we had had a nice stay though!! And given we had roughly โ‚ฌ160 stolen from our room (presumably by the cleaner, accidentally left in husbands shorts pocket ๐Ÿ™„), it wasn’t all ideal!! We only ate dinner one night in the hotel (after a long day out on a trip) and it was overpriced, poor buffet food – if I’d have known how disappointing it would have been, we’d have gone out literally anywhere, or starved!!

Bedroom

We felt like we just seemed to be the wrong side of the island at this resort. We were up in the hills and it was often really windy and therefore not all that sunny – I didn’t come back very tanned, disappointingly! Frustratingly we could see in the distance gorgeous sunny beaches, and everywhere else seemed to be fine so it just literally seemed to be like a grey cloud following us around. All in all it was ok. Our room was nice, with a huge bath and lovely outdoor shower (although there were cockroaches spotted here as well as throughout the resort!!), and the private pool is always lovely to have, and the views went on for wonderful miles.. but would have been nice to have room service as an option! I’m not sure I’d hurry back..

Restaurants

Le Grande Maison

This restaurant was so lovely. I’d definitely recommend going here. When we went there was only us and three other tables booked so it was very quiet, which was a bit of a shame for the wonderful band that played there twice a week every week, but the location was a beautiful colonial style house.

La Reduit

We visited this restaurant solely based on tripadvisor reviews and recommendations – but I have to say we were several disappointed! It was supposed to be a traditional, Creole-cuisine restaurant… I’d say the best thing about it was watching all the geckos (I LOVE them!! ๐ŸฆŽ) and what they get up to! The food wasn’t all that great and was served with plain rice (I hate plain rice!) or “homemade” chips… the chips were homemade in the oven out of a McCain’s packet I’d say!

On the other hand – we were the only customers seemingly for the entire night, so it was really sweet of them to even bother opening for us!

TripsRobinson Crusoe Island Adventure As we only had a few days in the Seychelles, we didn’t have much time to explore or go on trips, so we had to pick whichever looked like it covered the most – and although quite a long day, this trip most certainly did!

We covered a few islands and lots of snorkelling, as well as getting to Curieuse Island which is the home of giant land tortoise’s which is one of my most favourite things EVER! They are amazing – you get to feed them and pet them as they room freely around the island – they LOVE to have their necks tickled which cracked me up! I would really recommend this trip for anyone in the Seychelles. We had lunch on board our catamaran too which was also lovely (much nicer traditional Creole food than La Reduit!!)

Best selfie ever! Finally – we [for the first time!] flew economy with Emirates, om our journey home – which, from the Seychelles to Dubai in particular (just 4.5 hour flight) I would recommend.. the flight was empty and if we had wanted to, we could have all had an entire 3/4 seats ourselves! We walked through our “usual” (โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚) business class on the way to our seats and there was literally 2 people in there! Thankfully, we have high enough air mile accreditation with Emirates we could still relax and freshen up with a shower in the lush lounges on our stopover in Dubai!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ so save yourself some ๐Ÿ’ธ and fly economy from there ๐Ÿ™ƒ

xx

Cape Town – Travel Blogging.. ๏ปฟ

Emirates Business Class lounge ๐Ÿ˜

I know people think I am completely insane forking out for business class… but for long haul/long haul night flights; it is entirely worth it. Also for the [far too short] complimentary 15 minute massage I just had at the lounge in Cape Town ๐Ÿ˜. I will happily eat the most basic of supermarket spaghetti hoops (not a beans fan!!) for a year in order to pay for this. Ever since our honeymoon, I’ve swelled up massively when flying long haul in economy, and for a flat bed and some much needed sleep (prior to this trip in particular I hadn’t slept properly for 6 weeks.. I was beyond exhausted and strongly suspect my fainting and heart palpitations where a result of this..) – anything over 7/8 hours: put me in business + please and thank you..!!

Furthermore – when we finally landed in Capetown, and got to our hotel by 7.20pm, we were mostly so refreshed that we were able to have a quick hop-in-hop-out shower and head straight out for 8pm dinner. Winner.

One thing we did notice in South Africa, without prejudice, was the insane amounts of Irish people also on holiday out there..! I am pretty well travelled, but I have never in my life come into contact with SO many Irish people!! Can anyone enlighten us as to why?! I know this sounds an odd thing to say but James and I were both just so surprised! I do love the Irish accent though – so was pretty pleased ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜‚.

As always with my travel blogs, I’m splitting up for (hopeful) easy reading:

Hotel – Southern Sun: The Cullinan

The Cullinan pool ๐Ÿ˜

Couldn’t recommend this hotel more! Fairly sure it was some kind of crazy bargain at ยฃ80p/n or whatnot, decent (albeit standard) buffet style breakfast included. There’s also a super cute pool area, and a coffee bar come cafe and restaurant, that, while we didn’t eat in either (no time!), looked really nice. The Cullinan is 4* rated, fairly central and easy to find from the V&A/waterfront. You can happily and safely walk about to and from here during the day. We chose to walk to and from dinner a couple of times – and while we were safe, we were approached by the odd nutter begging for money who wouldn’t leave us alone… it’s a case of standing your ground, and like I said, fortunately the hotel wasn’t too far away!! Taxi’s, however, are super cheap.. I just often felt so tubby (standard, also true!!) I needed to walk as much as possible!

Southern Sun The Cullinan ๐Ÿ’–

Dinner and Drinks

Nobu – One and Only Hotel

๐Ÿ“ท๐Ÿ’ฃ Photobombed by the big guy at Nobu

Nobu seems to be not very well known in Capetown – in all my searchings of places to eat, this didn’t crop up once. It was only because a friend went out to Cape Town a week before us that I heard about it. He recommended it as being a fraction of the price of London (/any other) but just as stunning – and it was! 

Nobu Cape Town

Nobu Cape Town is located within the One and Only Hotel. It was about 1.5 miles from our hotel – but easy to find once we had our bearings!

Incredible salmon at Nobu

The food was out of his world. I have never had [uncooked] salmon like it. Everything we ordered was delicious and we were even presented with an extra free pudding for our anniversary – in which the sorbet was mouth wateringly refreshing! I could do with some now as I write this from the warmth of the Seychelles!!

Melting molten chocolate dessert at Nobu ๐Ÿคค
Free anniversary desert at Nobu! Give me that sorbet please!
 

Ginja – Waterfront Alfred Mall side

We stopped at Ginja [which I believe is also part of a hotel above] for a quick lunch before our Robben Island tour. We judged it by its cover as per usual, but weren’t disappointed! I had a delicious pear, beetroot, raspberry and lemon juice alongside an absolutely scrumptious musu pork wrap, whilst James had an equally nice open ceaser salad sandwich.

Ginja

The Codfather – Camps Bay

I’ve hyperlinked the name to this restaurant so you can click and book… now! It was so delicious it is an absolute must visit! 

James is dubbing this the world’s most under-rated restaurant… I think he *could* be right – but don’t tell him!

Oh my gosh I just don’t know where to start! I had spent an age on google finding the best recommended restaurants for South Africa based on trip advisor, lonely planet and the guardian suggestions. There were two in Camps Bay I was interested in – and thankfully, the second kept getting emails bounced back; so I couldn’t make the booking. Their loss; and our gain was huge – The Codfather was incredible! My expectations – despite placings and high ratings on aforementioned review sites – weren’t huge… likely due to the fact there is a fish and chippy somewhere back home with the same name… but this couldn’t be further removed from the greasy backdrop of your average chip shop.

We started our dinner with shared fresh grilled calamari to start. This was accompanied by 4 dipping sauces; garlic butter, lemon butter, sweet chilli and “hot” chilli… we loved them all! And the calamari was some of the best we have both ever tasted (and I LOVE fresh squid!)

Calamari and sauces of dreams at The Codfather ๐Ÿคค

Next up – you head over to the “fish market”. Your waiter talks you through what’s on offer of the day. You pick what you want and what sized cuts you’d like, you are then given prices (which are beyond crazy cheap) – if you’re not happy, {you can} put things back and pick up, and if you are happy, your choices go to the grill. The waiters are honest and suggest the right amounts for you – your fish then also comes with Chips, rice and Asian style veg. And you get given fresh dipping sauces. We tried a couple of fish we hadn’t tried before – butterfish and king fish included – and weren’t disappointed. 

The fish market at The Codfather ๐Ÿ ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿฆ‘๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ‚
Main is served at The Codfather! ๐Ÿคค
 

As necessary, old sweet tooth chunky chubber here (๐Ÿท) finished up with a brownie and ice cream – James wasn’t hungry so wouldn’t share so it’s no wonder I’m looking so tubby already. 

Codfather pudding ๐Ÿซ๐Ÿฆ

Not only was the food incredible – but the service was too. Our waiter and the other waiting staff were friendly and helpful – our waiter even went above and beyond to ensure we got into a safe taxi home. We cannot encourage you to visit this restaurant enough. Go, now, go!!

Happy chubby belly after The Codfather

Paranga – Camps Bay

Paranga ๐Ÿ˜

We popped here prior to The Codfather for some seafront sunset “sundowner” drinks. It looked pretty and was right across the road from the beach so was ideal for a gorgeous sunset before wandering up to The Codfather for dinner.

Sunset from Paranga
Sundowners at Paranga

Pigalle – Somerset Square

I booked Pigalle as it had come up on my searches of “best South African restaurants”… it was nice, and I had Springbok which tasted incredible, but it wouldn’t be my first place to head back to. I was expecting more of an African feel to the place with its live music, but it didn’t feel it.. if anything the place felt a bit confused. I didn’t go to either but I think Gold/Marco’s African Place was more what I was looking for in terms of an African vibe. Pigalle was good food though, and a nice evening nonetheless, and the staff/service was wonderful.

Entrance to Pigalle
Definitely chubbier! Pigalle, Somerset Square
   
Activities/Tours

I would urge you all to book both Table Mountain and the Robben Island trips for as soon as possible after you have arrived – both of these are susceptible to cancellations due to weather – if it is too windy ferries will not depart to the island (just days before we arrived there was an incident where one started sinking!) and wind as well as cloud affects Table Mountain cable cars (plus, not much point hiking if the cloud is covering the view!)

Stunning Table Mountain views (of Camps Bay)

Robben Island and the Walk to Freedom – [booked via Ilios Travel]

Now… I had no expectations of this tour.. and yet still I feel disappointed.. I think James was a bit too. I’m not really sure what it is we felt we were disappointed about, but we just were.

“Freedom cannot be manacled” – arrival at Robben Island

Our tour was pre-booked with our travel agent in the U.K., so done through Ilios Travel in Cape Town. We were picked up early from our hotel for a full day trip with several other couples (including ALL the Irish ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚) – the morning including visiting  Bo-Kaap, the Langa Township and finding out more about District 6 and the apartheid. This was interesting and included a stop at a little arts/crafting centre which takes on apprentices every year to help aid professions. I bought a couple of things here and wanted a little more, but time (As usual ๐Ÿ™„!) Meant the bus nearly left without me! 

Fun, bright Bo-Kaap!

We then had a little time to have some lunch before our boat to Robben Island… annoyingly we found out just after lunch that our trip to Robben Island had been cancelled due to choppy seas… 1 in 3 apparently get cancelled due to the weather, etc, hence why it’s best to get booked in asap! Ours was rearranged for the next day where thankfully the weather was beautiful! You wouldn’t perhaps expect Africa to be on top of health and safety like that, but the week before we arrived there was a fairly serious incident with a boat going out and nearly sinking due to the weather… so understandable that they do!! 

Mandela’s cell

Anyway, I guess all in all we don’t know what we were disappointed with, and I still felt it was quite a big “must do” typed thing. I’d still do it again; for that reason. I think perhaps because there is A LOT of things to read and just not enough time.. could perhaps do with one of those audio guides. On the flip side, the guide we had around the prison was actually an ex-prisoner! Not sure (other than the fact he was black?!) why he was imprisoned though.. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜‚ but – like hearing stories about 9/11 first hand – it isn’t going to be forever you get first hand accounts..

You can just make out Table Mountain from inside the prison at Robben Island

Table Mountain

I’m not sure what’s true or what’s right and what’s not, but we had been advised it isn’t safe to walk up Table Mountain due to some violent muggings.. but we saw plenty of people hiking up and making it to the top just fine, so, your choice I guess!! 

Like I said, you need to try and get this booked in for as soon as possible otherwise the weather could mean you don’t get a chance! There is wifi all over the place so you can actually buy tickets for the cable car online whilst in the queue saying you already have tickets.. this is what we did – it apparantly saves at least 45 minutes wait!

At the top of Table Mountain with incredible views! โ›ฐ

Once you make it to the top – cable car or hiking, you are free to do whatever you want, within reason! You can sit on the edge all the way round, you can walk all over, there is wifi again at the top, as well as a cafe, and of course a little gift shop! People seem to be amazed – but we didn’t see any of the wildlife that you are supposedly highly likely to see; in sad we didn’t get to see the monkeys!! The views are incredible, and it is incredibly peaceful and serene at the top.

โ€‹โ€‹
Lions Head

Lions Head is right next to Table Mountain and smaller, easier [roughly a 3 hour round trip] and supposedly safer to walk up.. we were going to.. but long story short, I stupidly trusted (showing my true self doubt which still exists ๐Ÿ˜”) my directionally challenged husband and we ended up on a 3 hour + walk.. nowhere near Lions Head… as he always says, got to leave something to come back for… ๐Ÿ™„!! I would really like to do it one day, for the 360 degree views and the walk if nothing else! 

Lions Head from Table Mountain – as you can see much easier to walk up!

I will just finish up here by saying that we did not have anywhere near enough time in Cape Town. Our holiday was cut short by having two weddings either side in the UK, so we will definitely be back to enjoy more of this incredible city! I think if you are planning a one time only trip, a week or so should be enough time – providing the weather isn’t so awful you don’t manage to do Table Mountain or Robben Island!
Safari blog up and coming… x

Dirty Thirty

โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹As the final weekend of my month long birthday celebrations have drawn to an end, I felt the need to write a little blog..

My husband is a funny fcuker… ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

It’s now been 21 yesterday’s ago since I was 29. And really, I guess I feel no different. I have so many friends spanning across so many different ages – some younger, plenty older than me. I know we are all the same in dreading another year passing and another year older. It doesn’t make it any easier, I really do simply just dread it. I look at others my age and constantly think they seem to have their lives much more “together”, are seemingly more mature and generally doing pretty well for themselves…  ok, in reality I know this isn’t really true, and actually I am basing this thought on a random couple I saw on “first dates” several months ago, who basically seemed worlds apart in maturity and having their “shit together” than me. I know many of my friends are just like me – muddling through life, having fun as much as possible, and probably think they don’t feel mature/30/they have their shit together, or should be adulting in general….

โ€‹  Dirty Thirty – well, you suck. You kind of were always going to, I guess, because I’m *almost* the real life version of Peter Pan; I don’t want to grow up. Only problem is, I am.

I think it could have been easier though. If you’d brought me at least one (or even 2, 3 or 4) happy healthy babies by now, I’d probably be coping better. Have my purpose. Be happier and marginally calmer (ok maybe not calmer or less anxious but I am sure happier). If I could run free and have little baby versions of us running around us freely too.

Maybe it’s going to come with my 30’s. I hope so as 40’s is definitely too late (and I can’t bare thinking about – where, how, is life going//so fast?!). In reality, I don’t feel any different to any other day. I’m just very aware that with ageing comes a life over and certain death – I like to think despite the best efforts of many drivers/my mental health/general life, I will make it to old age.

Some things I’m learning:

  1. Age really is, just a number. Fight it by staying young and having fun – life’s too short, it’s always playtime ๐Ÿ˜ˆ 
    “Never lose your sparkle”
  2. If you really do have to keep getting older – drag out the celebrations as long as physically possible. I’ve dragged mine out a month, 7 “official” birthday dinners “out” this year – I think one less than last year. Poor show! See all your friends and family – or as many as possible.
  3. Fit 2. Into your everyday life. See friends and family and have as much fun as possible – we all came into this world with nothing and are all going to be leaving with nothing – take pictures/make memories; objects will be left behind (although to be inherited ๐Ÿ˜‰ [been stealing my mums jewellery since 1987, she’s still happily alive and kicking and I’d like to keep it that way, whilst still “inheriting” {stealing} her jewellery!])
  4. Anxiety won’t lessen, if anything it seems to be getting worse. Maybe it gets worse before it gets better?
  5. You’d do better to not put yourself in situations that make you anxious, but you still have a determined belief that things should be right/fair/just and trying to bring that into the lives of morons often causes you anxiety you could avoid. 
  6. With that, depression won’t change either. Sadly, the world is still full of more a-holes than good people. It gets you down.
  7. It wouldn’t seem possible – given some of your previous responses… but alcohol will affect you even more and hangovers will be easier to come by ๐Ÿ™„

Here’s to the next 30 years! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

How to live life โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ’–