When Jon and I told people we were taking a trip to the UK over Easter, most people gave us funny looks. Already then, I was quite large around the tummy and almost everyone asked me if I had asked my doctor’s permission. While I was quite large, and starting to feel tired, I wouldn’t trade our decision for the world.
I suggest that everyone takes a holiday somewhere at some point in their pregnancy, firstly because holidays are great and secondly a little time to do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do makes one really appreciate life when you do reach the size of a house (or igloo).
The week we flew out I was 27 weeks pregnant and we were away for 9 days visiting with Jon’s sister and her amazing family.
As usual, Jon did his research on flights, and found one that was cheap enough to buy, but still only had a short stop over so that I wouldn’t be too tired during the trip. He also paid a bunch extra so that we could have the extra roomy economy seats – the man is a machine.
So doctor’s note in hand and passports ready to show, we left JHB late in March. Despite all our planning, I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the flight. It was packed, but no one questioned my round belly and no notes needed to be shown to anyone.
10 hours later, we landed in Amsterdam with no hassles, except that my feet were the size of clubs to be yielded by ogres.
I started to relax when I realized providence was probably on our side. We ran into my oldest friend Mireille at Amsterdam airport. I knew she was also flying out on the same day, but we had worked out that we would probably miss each other. But we didn’t and it was so wonderful to see her there (I don’t see her often, because she lives in the mother city).
Our connecting flight to the UK was an adventure to say the least. The flight schedule was an hour from take off to landing, but about 45 minutes into our flight the captain said we had a “technical problem” and had to turn back to Amsterdam. With only fifteen minutes left before we were supposed to land, that made many people a little antsy.
Turns out there was a problem with the engine that meant it was safe to land in the UK, but not to take off, which meant they would have had a stranded plane in the UK. I have never been so stressed in all my life – and I felt like a very irresponsible parent on the flight back.
Nonetheless, we caught the next flight back to the UK and all was well – again except for my poor feet.
Despite the drama (which is now just a tale I can tell) we made it in one piece, and the holiday in North Yorkshire was amazing. And Jon’s family went out of their way to make my stay comfortable.
The weather for the most part was fabulously sunny and the daffodils and tulips were out in force.
We visited the chocolate museum in York, which had opened recently, which needless to say was a dream come true for a pregnant woman. We went on an Easter egg hunt in Harlow Carr, a naturally watered and maintained botanical garden.
We walked (well I walked most of the way – Raymond, Jon’s brother in-law ran all the way back to the house to fetch the car to take me the last stretch home) to an ancient castle in Knaresborough and back along the river through the countryside. We ate dinner at a fantastic Indian restaurant and had tea at Betty’s (everyone has to have tea at Betty’s).
It was like living in an old school English movie, where the sun is always shining and the country is green and lush. It was simply magical. Yes by the end of the day, I was tired and ready for bed, but it was worth every second of it.
The most special part of it for me, was getting to know my new family a little better. They came down for the wedding, but I only really met them a few times before we went off on honeymoon. It’s nice to know that my new family is so unbelievably kind and giving.
The flight back was far less adventurous – thank goodness – and the long-haul flight was practically empty, which meant I got three seats to myself in the super awesome legroom area. Jon also bought me flight socks to help with the swelling – and they seriously worked well.
The flight attendants also noticed I was pregnant. They didn’t ask for my note, but they did give us 2 bibs with little airplanes on it – to commemorate our babies’ first flights.
Brief Bump catch up: