Have baby, will travel.

William in reflective mood.
William in reflective mood.

It starts at the airport.  No standing for ages in an untidy queue waiting to struggle your way onto your place in the ‘plane.   You, your partner and baby are ushered forward, taken onto the aircraft like minor dignitaries and shown to your seats where the emergency procedures are explained.

At your destination, everyone’s prepared to make friends with you, help you in every way they can.

Out at a restaurant, your baby will be the star of the show.  He may be passed round for a series of cuddles while you get on with your meal .

William in a restaurant with his Spanish would-be Granny, who made every attempt to add him to her existing collection of 8 grandchildren.
William in a restaurant with his Spanish would-be Granny, who made every attempt to add him to her existing collection of 8 grandchildren.

If you have the sense to travel with two sets of the baby’s grandparents, you may only get a chance to spend quality time with your infant after bedtime and before breakfast. This may mean you see him mainly round about 3.00 a.m. , but you can’t have everything

So that was how our holiday in la Rioja, Spain, worked out.  We’d gone there with three-month-old William, his mum Sarah and dad Tom (my son), and Sarah’s parents. Daughter Emily and her boyfriend Miquel joined us from Barcelona for the weekend too. We’d chosen an area unknown to us all, which seemed worth exploring.  Our base was a tiny hamlet, El Villar, whose only claim to fame is that there are dinosaur prints, lots of them, all over the place.  You’ll find them by looking out for life-sized models of Tyrannosaurus Rex and similar ranging round the area.  But we spent time wandering round the extraordinarily folded and buckled landscape of hills and mountains and the tiny villages perched on the slopes.  There were vultures, soaring high above us on the thermals as they searched for their next meal.  There were ancient towns and churches.  There were Spanish lunchtimes, lazy affairs that started at 2.00 or so and carried languidly along till 4.00 or later.  There were evenings of fiercely competitive card games in which the best (wo)man didn’t always win

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Most of all though, there was William.  He was the centrepiece of a holiday in which an extended family had the chance simply to spend time together, getting to know each other better, and having fun. Babies make good holiday companions.

William's exhausted.
William’s exhausted.

15 thoughts on “Have baby, will travel.”

  1. Bonjour & bravo aux grands-parents de nous permettre d’ admirer ce beau bébé …car sans eux rien n’aurait été possible … 😴

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  2. Seems we both wrote about a William this weekend – I remember those days well. When my William was a three months, we did our travelling by auto and at he could last a two-three hour stint before we had to stop and nurse (my wife, not me). A baby is always adored – especially by grandparents. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday with your family. Have a wonderful week!

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  3. Wonderful experience with a lovely baby. The great thing about travelling with baby and the parents is that you get the good bits and much less responsibility. We had an amazing child friendly experience with babies in the Far East. Travelling is a delight when babies are seen as a normal part of the community and welcomed.

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  4. I am a big fan of family holidays but have never had one with both sides – so glad it went well. Loved your description of when little William could be seen by his parents – nice break for them too.

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  5. How lovely! Those kind of holidays are so special … such memories! (And I think we were in Spain at the same time. I must look up that village.) Grandchildren bring with them another entirely new dimension to the word “love”, don’t they?

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  6. We have a William, too! He’s older now–2 years–but awfully sweet. Your holiday sounds so perfect–enough to do, but not too much, with the added entertainment of a little one. I hope you’ll do it again, when he’s old enough to appreciate what he has in all of you!

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    1. I hope we will too – and I think it’s very likely. It’s a good chance to get together with daughter-in-law’s family, who don’t live anywhere near us. And two year olds ARE sweet, despite being known as ‘the terrible twos’. Enjoy!

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