Two months ago hubby and I were deliberating whether we should go away for Christmas. Flight ticket prices always spike around this time and with three young kids in tow there is a thin line between a fun and restful holiday and a disaster. If it rains continuously, for instance, we are generally better to stay at home – we are better equipped to entertain our brood without losing our minds. Unfortunately, you can’t predict the weather that far in advance. And we figured that extra adults to help out and being around family over the holidays would make it worth while.
So we booked a flight to Slovenia and jumped on the plane a day after David’s birthday. My mum, wise as she is, suggested that we book a few days at one of Slovenia’s spas (there are plenty), so in case if it’s raining the entire holiday, at least we’ll have something fun to do with the kids. Back in February we spent a week in Dolenjske toplice and loved it there, so we decided to go again. We spent five nights there with my parents, including Christmas day, and had an amazing time. It wasn’t raining, in fact, during our entire holiday we didn’t see a drop of rain. While we stayed in toplice the weather was sunny and warm and we enjoyed walks through beautiful spruce forests, daily swimming, massages, an evening walk with candle sticks, a Christmas concert and hubby and I also took a trip to Ljubljana one afternoon, to soak in the Christmas atmosphere with the older two kids. It was wonderful. It was so warm that it didn’t feel particularly wintery but we didn’t mind as long as it wasn’t raining. We didn’t come with high hopes for a white Christmas anyway.
The day after Christmas we left Dolenjske toplice and drove to my parents’ house. There had been some talk about snow but I didn’t want to get my hopes up as it usually snows in all other parts of Slovenia before it snows in our area. I love snow. It’s the number one thing I miss here in England. I get ridiculously excited if it starts snowing and will go stand by the door to check if it’s still snowing every half an hour, just like I did when I was a child. On the 27th I woke up and it was snowing. Lightly but surely. My dad went to pick up David’s birthday cake as I had planned a small family celebration (a week late) for David’s first birthday. Mateja from Jagode in dinozavri (http://www.jagode-dinozavri.si) made us a gorgeous white chocolate and strawberry cake depicting us as an ice skating snowman family. 😀 As the day went along, it started snowing more and more. I don’t think I’ve been this excited since giving birth to David. Once my sister and brother-in-law arrived, we all bundled up and went outside for a walk. I can’t say that my kids shared my level of enthusiasm but I couldn’t be happier. Snow, my whole family in one place and tea and cake to warm us up after a walk – that day alone made our holiday worth it.
Enough snow fell that day to paint the entire landscape in white. The following days were cold and sunny, so we enjoyed snow-filled adventures like snow fights and sledding. On the last day of the year it snowed a bit more and after lunch we said good bye to nono and nona and drove to Gorenjska to spend the last few hours of the year – and our holiday – with dear friends of ours.
As we drove back to Zagreb on the first morning of the new year and sun was glistening in the icy snow (it was -12,5 degrees C!), all I wanted to do was pull over and go for one last walk. I didn’t get that chance but this for me will always be etched in my memory as one of our loveliest family holidays.