»Oh, the Canaries, here we go!« I shouted with excitement when we drove onto the highway towards our resort on the south side of the Gran Canaria island.
The Canaries, which are visited by several million tourists per year, are also known as the »Islands of eternal spring«. With around 300 sunny days per year they are a great destination throughout the entire year. The temperatures in January range between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius (up to 30 in summer) so it made perfect sense to exchange our jackets, woolen hats and gloves for shorts and flip-flops.
Around half past one in local time we arrived to the hotel Lopesan Villa Del Conde in Meloneras which is one of the main tourist areas with numerous (golden sand) beaches and with a breathtaking landscape. The entire island is actually known for its hiking trails which will take you past caves, lakes and mountains. The island also offers many activities for sport enthusiasts, such as numerous cycling routes, golf courts, and water sports.
However, as I wrote in the previous blog post, not everything went according to plan … When we came to the hotel – shock! No, nothing was wrong with the hotel, but I had a fever – around 39 degrees, I was trembling – although it was around 23 degrees outside. And I was tired … No, it was not Brina who suffered from temperature shock, it was me, I was the ‘(wo)man down’. When we came to the hotel and the travel jitters were gone, I was trembling with fever. My amateur self-diagnosis was pretty accurate … As Darko and I had a restless night behind us and I didn’t get more than a half-hour sleep on the plane, I was exhausted. Also, I didn’t drink enough so I was also dehydrated.
I was bedridden. Tucked in up to my ears I just slept, slept, and slept … until 9 in the evening when we went for a dinner. Even though I did not have the appetite I forced myself to have at least a couple of bites of grilled vegetables along with some fish and hot tea. Then I was back in bed sleeping again. Luckily Brina was also tired, so Darko didn’t have any problems lulling her to sleep. And then he was off exploring the surroundings. I know he was thinking … if it’s not the little Miss Jurglič who messes up our vacation, it’s the Mrs. Jurglič who will.
In the morning, when I opened my eyes, it was day already. “Is anything wrong, am I still feverish, am I trembling?” I asked myself with fear … But the fear was unnecessary, I was a new person that morning. I looked at Darko and Brina, they were both still sound asleep. I jumped out of bed and headed for the bathroom. When I saw a messy hair image in the mirror I smiled back as I knew our vacation has now finally begun.
As everything went well at the airport and in the hotel we were now finally reassured that it’s great traveling with a baby. Well, it’s true that we did not choose a low-budget hotel. When we came, our room was already equipped with a (transportable) cot and the location of the room was just a couple of steps to the kiddies’ pool.
Before heading off to the Canaries I decided that I will not give Brina the hotel food (at home, since the fourth month I feed her solid food at least once a day), so we would not have to go through trouble if she gets constipated or (maybe even worse) has diarrhoea. But the first evening already, when Darko and I started eating and she was watching us from the pram, she made it loud and clear (while loudly protesting) that she will not enjoy the vacation with my milk only. So I had to feed her solid food as well – three times a day – which I selected carefully. My main concern was that all the food I gave her was heat-treated.
And what did she eat?
- Breakfast: Two Baby cookies which I soaked with some boiling water and mixed with yoghurt or cottage cheese;
- Lunch: Ready-made vegetable pap.
- Dinner: Potatoes or rice, grilled vegetables (zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower) and white fish – I mashed it all together with a fork.
We did not want to complicate things. As she cannot sit by herself yet, we fed her while she was still in the pram. We just lifted the backrest upwards. Or while she was in her bouncer. It was a pleasure watching her enjoy food and the fear of her getting diarrhoea or being constipated was unnecessary.
At home I was also worried Brina would not be able to sleep in a cot that’s not hers. As I mentioned before the hotel staff provided a cot immediately when they saw we arrived with a baby. Brina did not have any trouble adjusting to the new environment and she slept peacefully just like at home. Well, every now and then she did wake up, gave a little moan, but I placed the dummy back into her month and voila, she was back to sleep. During the day we put the cot out on the terrace where Brina could play without a care in the world while we could do other things – I, for one, was lying comfortably in a deckchair, writing this blog. [laughter]
We also enjoyed the hotel pool. Although Brina already had experience with a pool, as we went swimming when she was 4 months old, we now put her in water with a Freds Swim Academy swimtrainer for the first time, which a friend of mine recommended. This is a special swim (inflatable) ring for children of three months to three years. The swimtrainer is red, but you can also get it in orange or yellow (for older children). The child is fastened to the swimtrainer with a safety belt so he is in the right position for swimming. I bought the Freds swimtrainer a couple of days before our vacation in one of the baby stores in Ljubljana. Brina did not paddle around on her own yet, but she enjoyed lying in the swimtrainer and catching her ducky. However, we had quite some problems shopping for a new swimsuit and a hat for Brina, as the shops (mostly) still offered winter collections so we had to look in quite a few shopping centres until we finally managed to find a swimsuit for a six-month old baby. Well, the swimsuit was actually just a protection against the sun, underneath Brina also wore her swim nappies.
We spent a lot of time strolling along the sea with a pram. The paths were nice and suitable for walking with a pram. We almost didn’t even need the car, even though we rented it for the entire vacation. You can rent a car for around 15-20 € per day and it’s definitely the best choice for exploring the island. We only took a couple of short trips to Mogan, Playa del Ingles and the Meloneras surroundings.
Our first vacation together was unforgettable (luckily I took photos all the time so everything is well documented). But it all ended too soon. And no, we did not need another vacation after our vacation to get some rest! [laughter] But we still made one wrong decision … one week was definitely not enough. Next time we’re leaving for a longer period.
So, this is how we started a new chapter in our lives – traveling as a trio. Everything is possible, you just have to do it right and with the right extent of responsibility!