So that’s it for our summer hols. 8 days of super sized summer days. 6 members of one family enjoying sea views, glorious sunsets and memories that will last a lifetime.
Having had 4 children in quick succession, holidays in recent years have seen us navigating the English coast and country side. The hubby travels with the business but as for me it seemed as if I was either pregnant, just given birth, breastfeeding on demand or ‘holiday money’ had been ploughed elsewhere – more kids have meant bigger and more of every thing else so financially we had to be wise too. We are also not a credit family either so each year Staycations just worked for us and are always extremely enjoyed if I’m honest, there was never any pressure on us or rush to jump on a plane. Just been living by our mantra of ‘everything in it’s time’ and It’s been a great place to exist!
Having family abroad in west Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Australia we knew the tribe would have to take to the skies eventually …. the question was never if more of when!
Well August 2017 it was decided that we’d take to the skies and choose a destination that was close enough to home for such a young family but also far enough that we’d really ‘feel’ that we were ABROAD! Cyprus.. Limassol to be exact was chosen as our first trip abroad as a tribe of 6!
So how did it all work out!?!
As is expected the first thing that caused me sleepless nights was the packing, the thought of it AND the fear of it. What if I forgot something really important. What if I under packed and spent the holiday hand washing in the hotel bath room sink! Aghhhh hell no! Kids and husbands spill things, therefore I intended to be one step ahead and pack for ALL eventualities, spillages, explosive nappies, hands being wiped on clothes when I’m not looking ( my son) and with my girls and their make up experimentation sometimes their clothes are wearing more lipgloss and sparkly nail polish than their hands and faces!!! So did of I over packed? HELL YES!! Racking up a total luggage count of 3 large suitcases, 3 small suitcases 4 back packs and a pushchair! To say I had everything but the kitchen sink was an understatement but I had us COVERED!
Hello Cyprus, Cypriots, Greeks and Russians and C A T S!!!
Now we live in Isleworth, so we are used to being the minority… and when I say minority I mean as in black and ethnic…you know sometimes the only blacks at an event or at kids parties etc but nothing quite prepared us for this! The hotel staff made up mainly of Cypriots were warm, happy to help in every way and didn’t do a double take when they saw us. Possibly due to the nature of their jobs in tourism and being used to the influx of ‘foreigners’ of all types. However the locals at the mall 20 mins away actually nudged each other as we passed by them. Some smiled and commented at the ‘cute kids’ whom with their dark skin, colourful beaded hair and matching bows were somewhat of a rare sight I still found the experience uncomfortable and longed for my usual stroll around Westfield with my tribe blending into the beautiful, diverse myriad of creeds, colours and cultures.
You really don’t know what you’ve got till its gone! Even if only for 8 days.
I ❤️ London.
I cannot make a blanket statement to describe the stance towards black people for all Russians but I can say with those that stayed at the beautiful GrandResort (making up the majority of non local guests) they matched their homeland with their coldness and happiness just to spectate at our blackness as if it offended them in someway. No smiles, no warmth. Just rude, suggestive stares.
I was in vacay mode and once again although it vexed me I willed the sun to darken me further for their visual benefit as I strutted proudly and determined to not let my kids pick up on it.
Now it’s time to talk about the cats. In three words. I HATE CATS. It’s a mixture of distrust towards their sneaky eyes, irrational fear of their ability to move and meander around you un noticed and their joy at bringing ‘kills’ into homes! Like you have to be kidding me. Make some noise will you and stop being so damn crafty. I was raised alongside 5 siblings and 2 dogs so I’m a dog lover all the way. I think you know where you stand with dogs. (Disclaimer – my love for dogs excludes Staffordshire bull terriers, pit bulls, Dobermans and Rottweilers- basically any dog that can eat me!)
Limassol was heaving with cats also known locally as vermin due to the sheer uncontrolled numbers. They are wild, free, young, old, huge, little and HUNGRY! Having 3 cats approach our table one evening was tantamount to a quick trip to hell for me. I made sounds as if the first contractions of labour had started and threatened them in the same way I did my
husband during the really intense ones!
If truth be known I’d have probably steered clear of sunny Cyprus also known as ‘The Land of Cats’ had I have known about the cats, the amount of cats and the boldness of aforementioned cats. Had I however done that based on this irrational fear I have I would have missed out on a wonderful experience. So let’s say ignorance is bliss until it’s beside your legs purring!
So what did I learn travelling with 4 children.
1) Start packing early, like up to a week before. You’ll then have time to reevaluate if you’re over packing and take things out before you finally leave. Less rush and panic.
2) I made sure I travelled with snacks. I purposely filled a small case with only foodstuffs and drink cartons. My husband thought I was over doing it but oh how it saved us money and provided an empty suitcase for the return which was perfect for souvenirs and dirty laundry over spill.
3) Buy baby food stuffs after you’ve checked in and before you board! There’s always a Boots! The security (especially UK) to check through bottles and puréed pouches is a lengthy procedure. Save yourself the hassle!
4) Bring activities like colouring books and pencils. Their favourite book will also work a treat. For my 3 year old I also brought him stickers. This entertained the kids on the plane and in the wind down hour before bed. You need variety outside of their tablets. Right?
So would we return? … yes! Did we enjoy it?…yes! Was it an experience worth waiting for?… yes indeed!
Cyprus thank you for meeting us on the other side of the sky.
Thank you for your warm rays that kissed the concrete jungle goodbye.
Cyprus within all your sunsets I began to sing.
Thank you for the memories new, fresh experiences. Thank you for everything.
As always… V 😘