Travelling with two small kiddies was never going to be easy… but with a rainy summer just gone, not having travelled too far with a newborn – and stretching nights encroaching – we were willing to deal with the stress of the journey, in exchange for two weeks in the sun!
Living “the far side of Castlebar”, a journey to Dublin airport, followed by a flight, with a three year old and a three month old, would be tear-inducing. Luckily for us, Ireland West Airport fly to Malaga in October! A perfect spot for some late-autumn sun. Paternity leave booked for Daddy, bags packed, car seats boxed up, neighbours put on the lookout.. and departure day arrived!
Life never being straightforward… we realised - 15 minutes into our journey to Knock, that we hadn’t remembered Daddy’s driving licence – an essential when we had a car booked, and Mammy doesn’t drive in Europe! A quick turnaround, a frantic search of the house, and back on the road. We arrived to the airport 40 minutes later than we had planned – but checking-in, and getting through security was relatively stress-free. Even with Mr 3 and little-Miss-3 months in tow.
The flight being somewhat delayed, we had longer than expected to enjoy the shops at Ireland West Airport… and a cheeky glass of wine or two! We arrived late in Malaga, picked up the car, installed two car seats, and set off at 2300 to find our Airbnb apartment. Stress levels hit record levels when we realised that our mobile internet, and therefore our GPS, was acting up. Some deep breathing exercises later, and we were navigating Malaga’s spaghetti junctions. Luckily – this being Spain – our Airbnb hosts were still eating dinner at midnight, making check-in a breeze. Two sleeping kiddies dropped into their beds, and Mammy and Daddy shared another (well deserved) couple glasses of wine.
A week in sunny Malaga was just what the doctor ordered. Sniffley noses and barking coughs cleared up within days. We dug channels on the beach with Mr3 (a disappointing beach when we are used to the pristine sands on Achill Island, to be honest!) We swam in the pool at the apartment, and we explored the docks in Malaga. Mr3 is a BIG fan of ships, so everybody learned a lot!
With our second week, we travelled some more. Three nights in Cordoba, where we parked our hire car in a space the size of a matchbox. We spent early mornings in the Mezquita Cathedral, and Mr3 fought off the locals for use of the digger in the local playground. Little-Miss-3months enjoyed watching life go by from her buggy and occasionally the sling. We had some lovely lunches, some more cheeky glasses of wine, and became a little too familiar with “Patrulla Canina” (Paw Patrol in Espagnol)
For our last four nights, we travelled up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and stayed in a small village called Alhama De Granada. We stayed in another Airbnb house, and enjoyed wine and tapas, and the local playground of course!
The drive back down to Malaga airport was somewhat nail-biting – being on the wrong side of the car, and there being no verge to the road – we were very glad to reach the motorway at sea-level. Having given ourselves plenty of time, we dropped back the car, packed away the car seats, and checked-in easily. A last lunch in the airport before heading to the boarding gate. Mr3 enjoyed watching all the airport vehicles out the window, and the three hour flight passed quickly. Hoping to avoid sore ears we may have pushed too many jellies on Mr3 – he turned to us and said “that’s enough now, Daddy”. Little-Miss-3months charmed everyone on the plane, and napped on our knees.
Arriving home to Mayo on a dark, wet, Saturday evening – Daddy headed for the car and was back at the door of the airport within ten minutes. Forty-five minutes later, we arrived home to our little house, and lit an autumnal fire. After our little sun break, we now feel a lot more prepared for whatever the winter may have in store.