Or can you even call it a holiday when the weather is miserable and you’re at a loss of what to do with two active toddlers? When you’re up at 6am most days after a few night runs with a teething toddler? When you can barely stay awake past 9pm, praying to God that the next day it’ll be warmer and sunnier?
We’re back home and happy to be reunited with daddy whom we’ve missed terribly. I survived a solo flight with two toddlers and I would say it’s kind of like labour – when it’s happening you’re pulling out your hair, wondering how you got yourself into this situation but once it’s over you see that the benefits outweigh the costs and you feel like you could totally do it again.
The holiday was’t as bad as I made it sound just now. Yes, the weather was miserable 80% of the time and that’s what’s made our holiday more difficult than I hoped. The weather was manic, to say the least. We arrived on a gorgeous sunny day only to find it was snowing the next morning. And back and forth it went, one day of spring, two days of winter. It was messing with my head. I left London ready for a lovely spring break with my family and on a few occasions, I could really smell the spring. I could see it coming. And then more snow covered up all the tracks.
Was the trip worth it? Hell, yeah! It was worth it from the first moment when Samuel saw his nono waiting for us at the airport and got incredibly excited. So we made it less about discovering beautiful places (and trust me, there are SO many around my home town and Slovenia in general) and more about the people. I loved watching my kids bond with their grandparents (or nono and nona as we call them here, using the italian word because my home town is so close to the Italian border that we adopted a few of their words) and aunt. We saw lots of my friends, old and new. We enjoyed local food and still went outside whenever the weather allowed for it.
One thing that I was super excited about was the prospect of going to Ljubljana (our capital, the city I studied in and where lots of my friends live) by myself for two days. Solo. No kids. The only time I’ve been away from my kid (Lara wasn’t born yet) overnight was two years ago when I took hubby for a surprise weekend away to Croatia and my parents looked after Sami. That is two nights in 3,5 years. So obviously I was looking forward to enjoying some time on my own when my parents offered to look after the kids. But it wasn’t meant to be… Unlike her brother, miss Lara is more reserved and takes longer to warm up to people. It took her a few hours at my parents’ house to let go of me, a day before she let my mum close and two more before she let my dad close. On the third day of our visit, she completely lost it when I left her with my mum for a minute and went downstairs to change my clothes. That’s when I gave up hope of going to Ljubljana by myself.
So I took Lara with me and left Samuel with nono and nona. And we all had a great time. Those two days gave us the best weather of our entire holiday, Sami was having such a good time at home that he barely noticed that we were gone and Lara and I got to see lots of friends and enjoy sunny walks through Ljubljana’s gorgeous Old town. And since we stayed with my sister, I had a perfect babysitter and could sneak out in the evenings.
Yes, I was hoping that we’d be able to go out and about more. That I could take lots more pictures, of us as well as my friends and their kids. But things sometimes don’t go as planned. A few visits with friends got cancelled because of sickness or other unexpected things. And even if they happened, I wouldn’t have been able to capture the pictures that I planned – you see, while in Ljubljana, I managed to drop my beloved 50mm lens and it broke. I still can’t explain how it happened, it just did. I was both sad and mad at myself but tried to look on the brighter side – at least it was the cheapest lens on the market and not my fish eye. Phew! But this is the explanation of why the majority of my holiday photos are taken with a wide angle. 🙂
And for the record, I have the best family in the world. I love them all to bits and even if everything else had gone sideways, this trip would still have been worth it. Because we got to hang out with them. Already counting down until June when we get to go back!
I would also like to add a few amazing photos taken by the beautiful Iva Novak (http://ivanovak.com/en/). She is a brilliant photographer and I’ve been admiring her work ever since I came across her blog. I had a privilege of meeting up with her while in Ljubljana and we went for a little stroll through the Ljubljana Old town. It was one of the highlights of my holiday. It was a perfect morning and Iva is even lovelier in person than you can imagine reading her blog. Before we went separate ways she snapped a few photos of myself and Lara and I am so very thankful for these. They’re beautiful like all her photos but for me they’re also a treasured memory to show my kids that I was there too! The one where I’m changing Lara’s nappy in the middle of Ljubljana just shows you the real life of a busy momma. 🙂 Thank you so much Iva, I hope to see you again soon!