Holiday time = Quality time

17th Apr 17 | Family

Taking time out for a holiday can create memories that last a lifetime

We had a lovely trip to Sheen Falls in Kenmare, Co.Kerry over St Patrick’s weekend. We packed for all seasons, as you do when you are holidaying in Ireland! The just in case things (thermometer, calpol, paralink, an extra this and a spare that) were all packed too. That’s the beauty (or the danger!) of travelling in the car- no baggage restrictions!

The last time we were in Sheen Falls was when Ayla was just 2 months old. This time around we were looking forward to swimming in the pool, going for nice walks, having some good food, (a few Guinness for Steve) and mainly spending some quality time all together.

We were up nice and early (thank you Ayla!) on the day we were driving down. We figured we’d need to stop for lunch to give Ayla a break but all we needed was a quick toilet & snack stop, which had us arriving in Kenmare in less than 4 hours.

Ayla nearly made it to 3 hours without asking for Igggle Piggle or Peppa Pig. It’s only recently she’s had an interest in either & we are pretty mindful of not giving her too much screen time.  However after a long drive we were happy to give in, to protect everyone’s sanity!

BC (before children!) I remember seeing families in restaurants and the kid’s heads would be stuck in phones or Ipads watching something or playing a game. Part of me thought ‘whatever works’ but the other part didn’t really like seeing it.  But A) what did I know then and b) Each to their own.

Since having Ayla and especially at the age she is now, we want to be able to bring her everywhere we go and enjoy what we do. If that means at certain times to keep her happy and chilled we need to put on a Peppa Pig episode, so be it… There are a lot worse things she/ we could be doing! As long as we’ve done other things like play little games or read some books with her, it’s all balanced!

Arriving at Sheen Falls is a little bit like arriving at your favourite relations home. (if they are lucky enough to have a rather, large , impressive home!)
There was a huge fire burning, gorgeous smells coming from from the dining room and smiling faces to welcome us. The hotel is beautiful and cosy in equal measures.

We were quickly shown to our room & were delighted to find it was the same beautiful one we stayed in before, overlooking the bridge and the falls itself. It’s wonderful to be able to listen to the rush of the water last thing at night and first thing in the morning. I don’t think I’d ever tire of that sound!

As we suspected the weather was wet, windy and cold. Even so, we got out and about each day- we had no choice with an active 20 month old ! We took some lovely drives & visited a few local towns. On St Patrick’s Day we headed to Sneem, which was a 30 minute drive away. A small parade was planned so we figured that would be fun for Ayla. Despite the rain, the locals had their market stalls set up selling everything from chickens and hens to bike wheels, tractor parts and carpets! We escaped out of the ‘soft’ day (ie- lashings of rain) to have a coffee and scone, and then waited a little while with all the other locals to see if the parade was going to start. There must have been a glitch or two, as a half hour after the scheduled start time there was still no sign of anyone marching towards us! We made an executive decision to retreat to warmer conditions and made a dash back to the car. The afternoon was spent in the hotels pool- soaking wet again, but in a slightly more pleasant way!

The hotel recommended Kennedys Pet Farm as another possible outing. Ayla, like me, is mad about animals, so it seemed like a good plan.
We had lots of fun there feeding and exploring the farm. There were reindeer, sheep, goats, cows, rabbits, puppies and lots more. The animals are so used to people; any time I turned around a goat or a deer was trying to stick their head into Ayla’s snack bag!! They were cheeky little things! 

Kenmare town itself is lovely for a wander around. There are lots of pubs and restaurants and cute little shops. We ate in a few spots there but mainly in the hotel, as it was easy with Ayla. She especially loved the breakfast in the hotel, asking for eggs and pancakes each morning no less!!

More than anything else, the trip away allowed us time to just ‘be’ with Ayla. We had no major distractions to contend with, no rushing from A to B & no pressures.
Nothing makes me happier than seeing Ayla having fun and to see how she’s growing into an amazing, independent little girl – it fills my heart right up. When you have ‘breathing space’ on a trip away it gives you time to take stock of lots of things, put things into perspective & feel real gratitude.

Easter and all the bank holidays are just around the corner and soon after that I’ll be winding down my work in the hospital and my pregnancy/ baby classes soon after.
It’s a little crazy to think that in less than 2 months another little person will be joining our family. I’d better start working my way through my to-do list as I’m pretty sure I was all organized by this stage when I was pregnant with Ayla but I’m guessing (& hoping) this is pretty normal on a 2nd baby!!

Thanks for reading & if you’d like to keep up to date with all the Bump Baby and Me happenings just like my Facebook page & feel free to get in touch,

Kathy x

Kathy is passionate about all things surrounding birth, babies and parenthood. She also has a big interest in wellness, health & fitness.

She runs ‘Bump, Baby and Me’ – providing Pre & Postnatal classes & workshops & Doula services in Malahide, Co. Dublin and LOVES working with mums, dads & babies. She is the proud mummy to a beautiful little girl, Ayla, and is expecting Baby No.2 this summer.