We have now been on our big adventure for just over a week and I still can’t believe that we are here. The Husband and I talked about taking this big trip before I even got pregnant and now to actually be on it is crazy! But here we are in London, thousands of kilometres away from home and I feel completely at home here already.
We had a really smooth transfer from airport to accomodation which really helped and our airbnb accomodation is great. The Husband insisted on a really central location which is just perfect and the apartment is huge for a one bedroom apartment. We spent a little more to get the best accomodation we could afford and I think it was worth it. After all, this really is the trip of a lifetime for us.
I guess the main issue we’ve had to overcome this week has been baby jet lag. Baby B was ok with falling asleep at a relatively normal time but he seemed to just want to wake up for play at the ungodly hour of 4 or 5am. We pretty much knew that this was going to be tough and so we decided to ride it out. The main thing we’ve done is just attempt to get him going to bed at his usual 7:30pm and try to keep the early mornings as dark and quiet as possible to send the message that it was still rest time. Now at the end of the week, things seem to be normalising.
Our daily schedule has been pretty similar to home but without the added hassle of lots of housework or garden maintenance. We are doing mostly home cooking but that’s a lot easier to manage with 2 of us around all the time.
On our first day we just went for a walk around our area to explore. On the second day, another walk but this time around the park. On the third day we went to visit family in London. It was lovely hanging out with family and for Baby B to meet some of his cousins. The following days have passed very similarly. We went to the V&A museum on Monday and on Tuesday we went to Kensington Palace (picture below) which is just around the corner from our flat. On Friday we took the tube to Westminster Abbey which has been on my bucket list for a while.
We alternated between the stroller and the ergo baby for out and about with B. Although I find that the stroller is a bit of a hassle on the tube, with the two of us it’s fine. We carry it up and down the stairs and I’m pretty good at manoeuvring it on and off the escalators. The ergo is much easier of course and he is much less likely to have a meltdown but when we did take him out in it it took until we were on our way home for me to realise I’d taken my handbag and not the nappy bag so we were lucky there were no accidents. The stroller has spare nappies etc in a pouch on the side so I don’t have to think about it when I take that.
Although we’ve been trying to do most of our eating at home, we have gone out for a couple of meals. We had a light lunch at a cafe near the V&A and had an early dinner at an Indian restaurant up the road. I was a little disappointed as the Indian food wasn’t as tasty as I’m used to and it wasn’t very child friendly. They didn’t have a high chair and I just felt like they weren’t pleased that we were there with a baby. B was fine though and we got out of there quickly once we’d eaten. So far my favourite though was burgers at Byron burger (as seen below). The staff were friendly and playful with B, they had high chairs and the burgers were tasty. Very importantly, everything came quickly which is great when you are taking advantage of a window of quiet-baby-contentedness to eat out.
I took a little time as well to check out the shops on Kensington High Street. Amazingly enough I didn’t buy much. I picked up some new nursing bras from M&S (boring) and that’s it. I guess now that we have Zara and Topshop in Australia now, the high street is just not the novelty that it was. I also tried on this gorgeous dress in LK Bennet that looked fabulous, but at $700 aud and with no occasion I just couldn’t justify the expense. I’ll be hanging out for it to go on sale though.
Last night we wrapped up the week by going to a dinner party at the Husband’s cousin’s house. It was the first time we’ve gone out with B where we haven’t been home for his bed time. I was really stressing out about it but at the same time really looking forward to it. I brought his fluffy little sleep bag with us and when it was his bed time I just changed him and fed him to sleep as I normally would and then popped him into his pram asleep. He slept for most of the meal and it was easy enough to rock him when he did wake. Afterwards we took him home on the tube and did a quick version of his normal bed time routine and he slept quite well. It was such a relief and I had a great time getting to ‘adult’ for the night.
B also started crawling this week after about a month of seeming on the edge. He’s been rocking on all fours but has only just gotten the whole forward motion thing. It’s quite amazing actually because the day after he started suddenly he knows exactly what he’s doing and will crawl across the room to something if he wants it. It’s incredible how quickly babies master these skills. However it adds a whole new set of challenges.
He loves to go straight for the shoes and the TV cabinet so we will have to be really vigilant. It is also making meal times a bit stressful as once he gets a little distracted he keeps trying to escape. I’m really missing the high chair and contemplating hiring one. I think I will definitely get one in Paris.
We are looking at taking a little side trip to Wales to visit some of my relatives so I think that will really test how B goes with the travelling. We have also arranged a few more catch-ups with people that will be really nice.
This coming week we have a few more outings planned and I’m hoping to have a little special outing all to myself that I’ll keep as a surprise for the next post – finger’s crossed I can pull it off.
In any case it’s wonderful to be here and it’s given me a real sense of empowerment that we’ve been able to pull this off so far. I’m feeling really optimistic about the next few months.