A Birthday In Barbados

As The Wife planned a surprise trip to Bali for my fortieth birthday, it felt only right that I return the favour for her big four-oh this year.

Planning it was a bit tough because we would be taking Little E with us, so the holiday couldn’t be the typical sit-on-a-beach-for-two-weeks vacation that we usually have. Any plans we made had to ensure that she would enjoy it and it wouldn’t be too stressful for the two of us. I also had to keep it a secret from The Wife.

We rocked up at the airport with The Wife still not knowing where we were going and I got her to choose a location from the departures board as to where she thought we might be going. She did pick the destination city as Bridgetown but had no idea that it was actually in Barbados!

This was the first time that Little E would experience flying and despite our trepidation, she was absolutely brilliant on the flight. She didn’t cry, didn’t throw tantrums and really enjoyed crawling up and down the aisles, garnering smiles from fellow travellers and flight attendants.

We spent the first few days trying to acclimatise to the island, getting used to the heat and trying to work everything around Little E’s now jet-lagged-affected sleeping routine! The Waves Hotel and Spa where we were staying was quite small with just seventy rooms, all with sea views. There was a private beach with some watersports available and a small pool which was shady, ideal for Little E. There was a spa which usually we would have spent a bit of time in, but this time we only had a couple of treatments.

While we tried to make it as relaxing as possible, we didn’t want Little E to get bored and so one day we hired a car and went out for a drive around the island. We visited Hunte’s gardens, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, and the northernmost point of the island. We also took a look at the beaches on the eastern coast which were totally different to those on the western side where we were staying, a lot more choppy, good for surfers!

We also took an organised trip to Harrison’s Caves, an underground network of caves in the middle of the island which had a tram that takes you through the cave system.

One morning The Wife got talking to a couple with a little boy just a bit younger than Little E. His name was Swindon (yes, after the town in Wiltshire) and for the next few days they became friends playing with each other on the beach and in the pool. It was nice for her to have someone to play with around the same age and it was good for The Wife and I to have someone to talk to as well!

The hotel ran a shuttle boat up and down the coast to their sister hotels so this was a good chance to get out on the water and Little E really enjoyed it, not having been on a boat before. And so we booked a day out on a boat trip towards the end of the holiday, on a catamaran that would take us around the south of the island. We got the chance to swim with turtles and snorkel over a shipwreck. Little E charmed all of the boat boys and even got the chance to steer the boat!

While it wasn’t as luxurious and relaxing as the holidays we have been used to over the years this trip was still very special both for The Wife and for Little E’s first trip away. Not quite sure if we’ll get to do something similar again for a while though!

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