Our week off work has finished and we are wearily and sadly bundled into the car heading to work this morning. Last week was probably the best family holiday we’ve ever had. And to top it all, we were pretty frugal about it. It was once again a staycation since buying a new home last year has zapped all of our finances. In one week, we managed to fit in everything A loves to do. It was a short seven days which when you’re stuck behind a desk at work can seem like a lifetime. For us, this week has flown and boy are we exhausted!
The first day was miserable with the rain bucketing down so we improvised and B fetched a Dominos Pizza. We had a picnic on a blanket in the sitting room. Possibly the highlight of my week since I’ve had a craving for Domino’s for weeks! B also picked up a balloon animal dog in Dominos who was nicknamed Sprex by A. He’s looking a tad deflated now, which is really how we’re all feeling, but he was a great companion for the week. Since Dominos were having some sort of family day promotion, B managed to get our order with 40% off. Happy days! What a great start to our frugal holidays.
I posted last week about 5 Free Things you can do in Dublin. Our weeks holiday saw a lot of these places. We were out from early morning most days and didn’t arrive home until about five or six when we were weary and ready for dinner. We were lucky that the sun shone for most of it and anytime it rained after that first day, we seemed to be heading home anyway. And of course where there is rain, there are muddy puddles.
A snapshot of our week included:
~~~ Sunday ~~~
A visit to Howth harbour for ice cream and chips, followed by a trip to St Anne’s Park in Raheny. It was a windy, cool day and the rain stayed away until we were heading home. Ice cream good (although B got rum and raisin and the rum whooo was very rummy!), chips, yummy and vinegary, puddles … oh dear.
I must issue an apology to the one year old who was mercifully splashed with thick mud as A, donned in welly boots and a raincoat, channelled Peppa and splish, splash, sploshed her way through the thickest mud I’ve seen. I’ll be honest, I almost scarpered and left B to handle the parental fail but I’m sure the little ones Dad would have noticed. I did my best and profusely apologised, nudging A to do the same. I also had a slight giggle afterwards which B thought was in inherent bad taste. He’s right 🙂
Total cost of this long day was a whopping €18 for ice cream and chips. FYI, I’m far too beleaguered with math to add in petrol costs!
~~~ Monday ~~~
Monday was due to be a stay at home, do nothing, catch up and relax day but we ended up heading out after lunch to Newbridge Park, Donabate. It was such a nice day and the park was jammers! It’s a beautiful place to have a picnic or barbecue so I’m not surprised. We could hear through the woods that the playground was overun. Not our cup of tea, trying to lure A away from occupied swings and slides.
We slyly veered A in the direction of a Slush Puppy and made our way along the outskirts of the farm to see the animals instead. On the long walk around Newbridge, B and A went hunting for chestnuts which amusingly, she found gross as B snapped one open. Although she pocketed the cherished chestnut and has kept it safe all week. A round of football was next on the cards which unfortunately taught me that I’m incredibly unfit!
Since the playground was full, we promised A we would come back another day. All she wanted was to go on a slide. We can’t begrudge the child that on her holidays. Parenting tip: she believed us when we said we had to go home as the park was closing (at 4pm no less – she did question why a car was arriving which Papa Bear responded with “oh they forgot their ball” – clever Daddy!)
This afternoon of excercise and exhaustion was a grand total cost of one blue Slush Puppy €1.20
~~~ Tuesday ~~~
We brought A to the cinema for the very first time on Tuesday. I think B and I were more excited about this. It’s one of those big lifetime events. We saw Finding Dory which is a much longer film than I anticipated. A was fantastic and only started getting restless about twenty minutes towards the end. Admittedly, one of the best things about this was the €1 cinema ticket! We couldn’t believe our luck when we saw the cinema were having a week long promotion. What awesome timing for us! We treated ourselves to an early bird in the local Indian where A promptly ordered pizza and chips. Thank god for kids naan pizza bread. Momma and Papa Bear had a lovely chat and delicious meal. We paid a quick visit to my parents who live close by and made our way home.
We stretched our frugality today and with our lunch treat we still spent less than €50.
~~~ Wednesday ~~~
The sun was shining strong all day on Wednesday which was by far one of the most perfect days of our holidays. We got up early and packed up a picnic. The rush and excitement reminded me of being a kid in the 80’s when my Mum and Dad would pile the bikes out of the shed and fill cooler bags with food, snacks and drinks and possibly a camping stove and we’d head out early for a picnic.
We stopped off first in Insomnia for a Dark Mocha and Muffin, a treat for Momma and Papa Bear. A loves being in here for some reason and takes the books off the shelves and reads us a story. It was one of those special family moments.
We paid a quick visit to Great Aunt who badly misses A when she’s not minding her and headed off to Malahide Castle for a picnic. Believe it or not this was one of our first picnics with A, just the three of us. It was so much fun. I really felt like a mother in that moment as I channelled my own Mum and took the plates, cutlery and drinks out of the cooler bag. Malahide is one of our favourite places to go and we walked the length of the park after our picnic. A hot day like that deserves an ice cream. I had my first 99 in years and it was delish! We started a trend with A and had to try and push every tree we saw down… there are a lot of trees.
Minus the cost of the ingredients for our picnic sandwiches, today we spent a grand total of €15 on coffees and ice creams.
~~~ Thursday ~~~
We kept our promise on Thursday and returned to Newbridge Park. We headed out super early and made it to the park before it got busy. A practically had the playground to herself for a while. She’s getting pretty adventurous which really doesn’t help our nerves any. We spent a hour in the playground which is long enough for any parent without delving into zombie mode!
We walked around the park again since we simply can’t resist it and as I said earlier, I need the excercise. B and A played football on dew soaked grass which had just been cut. Yikes grass everywhere. We left the park at lunchtime. This time the call of food enticed A back into the car. We met B’s Mum for lunch in A’s favourite restaurant. Yep, our toddler has a favourite restaurant. Not sure if that says more about us or her.
Today was the cost of another light early bird lunch, €30.
~~~ Friday ~~~
Because the week had been so hectic with constant running around, travelling here and there and always something to do, we decided to take it easy on Friday. We turned the sitting room into a huge tent and played with toys, jigsaws and play dough all day. We needed the day to recoup. No point heading back into a week of work insanely exhausted.
~~~ Saturday ~~~
We ended the holidays on a high note by going to the Fairytale Event at Wooly Ward’s Farm on Saturday. I haven’t seen A so excited about anything before. She loves her princesses and dresses so this event was really made for her and of course it was a great excuse to wear her fairy costume! Although, what two year old needs an excuse. This time B was able to come with us to Wooly Wards and A loved showing him around the farm and even ran to grab him at one stage to introduce him to a princess she became friends with! I will have a review of this event out tomorrow. Check it out! There will be tons of pics of A as a fairy running around the farm.
~~~ Sunday ~~~
Sunday, our last day, was the day before. We were forlorn, lost little peeps, sorting everything out for the week ahead. Organising a weeks outfits for A, getting her day bag ready, lunches organised for the week, washing and ironing sorted, and a weeks dinners planned. Life is back to normal. We were hating this ordinary day when we were still technically on holidays so we made Peppa and George figurines and painted them a wonderful array of colours. Later, B ran to the shop and picked up all of the ingredients for a Knickerbocker Glory. What a perfect way to end our holidays.
A week is nothing. It’s not long enough and I know that B and I will be pining to be home with our daughter every day as we sit behind our desks. Being a working parent is heartbreaking and hard. We have spent the week watching our little girl and soaking every moment up. We need more hours in our day with her.