A weekend away with Baby

I’m a control freak; an A-type personality who lives by lists and order. However, our first weekend away with baby, who is now just over 6 weeks old, proved quite a logistical feat! We had been invited to a 60th birthday party with great friends in the winelands just outside Stellenbosch. Another young couple, with a one year old, invited us to the West Coast (a 3 hour drive away) on the following night and naturally we accepted – thinking we’d chance the highways and hold our thumbs for a quiet drive.

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I decided to book a room around Stellenbosch/Franschhoek for our little family of 3, but quickly realized that it might be a great idea to surprise my parents with a romantic stay in the picturesque vineyards… and then let them know that their grandson would be joining them in their room and that they were actually baby-sitting for a few hours 😉

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Firstly, note to new parents – not all establishments welcome families with young children with open arms and after a few very cautious, “How old exactly is your child?” from tight-lipped receptionists (I won’t mention which farms) – we were welcomed by Zorgvliet. We booked two rooms next door to each other and because it’s winter, it made a much smaller dent in our baby’s university fund 😉 Getting there was quite a story. Packing for the first time for baby and us had both my husband and I breaking into a mild sweat. Did we have enough nappies? Should we pack the bassinet and the bath? Did we have the necessary medicine in the event of an emergency – and would he be reasonably “behaved” for a 3-hour drive. Some stroke of genius had me getting our boy vaccinated the afternoon of our imminent trip and we also had the unknown factor of whether this would make him irritable.
Anyone who has ever travelled with a brand new baby could probably relate to the fear of the unknown that felt like a never-ending abyss and led me to packing enough for a month long trip. I managed to squeeze what I thought are the “bare essentials” into 6 bags for baby and just threw clean underwear and a toothbrush for myself into my handbag. Amazing how one’s priorities change! My husband was tasked with fitting all the bags plus the pram and bassinet, cooler boxes, 50 nappies (one never knows!) and 15 outfit changes for baby (just in case!) and first aid kit (which would put any medium sized hospital to shame) in our car. Countless double and quadruple–checking later, we made it onto the road, a full 2 hours later than expected and set-off for an incredible weekend.

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The next day, we were able to bond with my parents over a leisurely breakfast and then, after perfectly timing the feeding and changing schedule, our son treated us to a blissful 3 hours of calm as he listened to Alicia Keys and drifted to a deep sleep with the engine gently lulling him. And, a lovely day with a mom who’s been there and done that a year prior to my one’s arrival also calmed me and assured me that having a baby does not have to mean your social life is a distant memory.
It’ll never again be a spontaneous trip where we just jump in the car and for that, we are grateful — Nothing can add more to our happiness that looking in the rear view mirror (which reflects his baby mirror) and seeing my son’s calm face as we drive — oblivious to the logistical packing nightmare that his arrival has brought.

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11 Comments

  1. Mario
    Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    Beautiful.

  2. Michilene
    Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    African Time is nothing compared to Baby Time 🙂

  3. Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    Lovely pics! and Gorgeous post! Feeling ya mama!

    Wrote a post two weeks ago about the same thing- but traveled with a teething baby – phew (we all survived and loved it!)
    x

  4. Tanya Adams
    Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    U looking so good jo… enjoy ur baba

  5. Lindi Bissolati-Corker
    Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    Beautiful pictures Jo-Ann. I know it can be stressful to go away with a a new baby. Just pack toiletries, a tracksuit and underwear for yourself and hubby…the rest of the bags are all for baby 🙂

    Your mom looks stunning by the way!

  6. Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this post, Mrs H, you are my best! 🙂 Zorgvliet Wine Farm is an incredibably beautiful part of the world – had a wine tasting there once and fell in love with the peace and quiet and majestic mountains overlooking everything! Xx

  7. Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    Thanks for all your comments 🙂 You are totally right, Lindi – baby had the lion’s share of packing space and then some 😉 Will check out your blog Cassan!

  8. kathy
    Thu, 08 May 2014
    Reply

    Haha now the feeling yes I am now a proud mum of 2 young ladies in their twenties. That’s the best advice your life does not come to a standstill until baby is a teenager…enjoy the journey.

  9. lamees
    Fri, 09 May 2014
    Reply

    I live 10 mins away from canal walk. We used to decide on the last minute to pop into the shops… but now it takes us an hour to get there. . Lol.. its packing and checking, bags packed,are there enough nappies, food, snack, supper just in case we end up staying longer than we anticipated (which normally happens), pram and bags are in the boot. And just when we ready to leave my daughter decides to take a no 2 and then its nappy change ect… now hubby and i appreciate the small things in life.

  10. Nadine
    Fri, 09 May 2014
    Reply

    I love this post! Travelling with baby is like a memory test.. thought the ‘baby brain’ was finished after pregnancy when I left home with two different pumps on… but it seems to have remained. Now I pack all babies goodies and forget my handbag etc.. what an adventure!!!!

    PS: please share what you put in your first aid kit..?

  11. Glynnis De Villiers (use to be Hendricks)
    Fri, 16 May 2014
    Reply

    Hi Jo

    How are you doing?
    Congrats on your bundle of joy. May he bring you so much joy!
    Enjoy every minute of its because they grow up so fast.
    Lotsa love
    Glynnis
    (Aunty Mary_anne’s daughter,don’t know if you remember me)

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