After abandoning the buggy
Why don't my shoes have pom poms?
This time, we swore we'd get it right. Holidaying with a baby. Not for us the madness of a two week roadtrip; instead, we'd seek island serenity. Not the deserted, hut on a beach, almost-camping-in-a-vastly-different-timezone kind, but the child-friendly, mod-con equipped, Mediterranean kind of island. Greece would do, we figured. Or more specifically, Crete. After all: you can fly straight there from Gatwick. What could be easier?
Except that in our vocab easy seems to be a dirty word. So, rather than book a direct flight to Heraklion, which would have been but a short hop in a car to the boutique hotel DJ promised would represent positively our last, last blast before a future of actual camping holidays beckons, we thought it might be more fun instead to fly to Athens and take a ferry. To the furthest Greek island that you can get to, thereby turning what could have (and should have) been a relaxing two week beach holiday into more of a hybrid city and beach affair. And just to make packing even more fun, we decided to throw some mountains in for good measure. Because there's nothing like trying to squeeze three types of clothing into two smallish bags to put mummies in a good pre-holiday mood!
At least we weren't doing our usual getting-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night thing. No, this time we thought we'd play it safe and get the afternoon flight. We did all the calculations: landing at 9pm Greek time would be only 7pm back home making it barely a late night for Louis once we finally managed to check in to our hotel. But somehow I forgot to take account of the fact that by the end of the flight he'd be so wired by the excitement of traveling that in future I think even that 3am alarm call would be more painless.
And for the record, Athens, for all its Olympics makeover, is still Athens. That is to say, chaotic, dirty, crowded, pavement-less, traffic-ridden, and utterly buggy unfriendly. (Not that Louis minded that we had to leave the buggy behind on day two: these days you can't even bribe him with snacks to stay in it. I wonder if Bugaboo does refunds?) We hardly helped ourselves when it came to trying to take it easy on the sightseeing front. We ended up walking round the whole of the city, including taking a funicular to its highest point, on our first day. If this sounds like toddler hell, then consider the mummy torture of zooming straight past shop after shop, not to mention cool looking bar after cool looking bar.
Next time, I guess we're getting that direct flight straight to the beach. And staying put once we get there.