It’s a busy year for us, and this year we can’t follow our usual agenda and take a holiday break in September because holidaying with a newborn would be a terrible terrible idea. We really should have planned something earlier in the year, but it fell by the wayside with everything else we were doing. And then suddenly we were running out of time to get around to booking something, anything before it would be too late. I can’t fly by now, and the Rascal’s passport is close to expiry so we already knew we would be staying in Ireland. Conveniently we’ve always put off holidaying much at home because we figured at some point it would be our only option. That time is definitely now. High on the bucket list was a visit to the Giant’s Causeway. And now that we’re back living at the very North of Dublin, it’s an ideal time to check it off the list. Without putting too much though into it we booked a night in Belfast and a few days in self-catering accommodation in Portrush. Both accommodations based on availability at almost no notice, and ability to cancel the booking if Brodie’s holiday request was refused.
It was all booked. Prices were higher than we would have liked, but we would avail of June weather. Brodie would finish work on Friday evening and we’d have the whole weekend to clean, pack, buy groceries, and plan the trip in a less stressful manner than usual. It was going to work out great. Except for Brodie was still working late into the evenings all weekend. I was feeling crippled with pelvic pain. The heavens opened on Saturday morning spewing rain that was forecast to continue on for most of the week. And the Rascal spent all of Sunday morning vomiting anything he attempted to eat or drink. Nothing got done. Brodie worked. I sat on the couch watching Ice Age movies in reverse order and passing the ‘puke bucket’ as required. Awesome start.
Monday morning rolled around. Brodie was finally switching off the work email notifications. Little sleep had been had by all. The Rascal had stopped vomiting, but was whinging and clinging with no indication he was going to improve. What to do? It was go now, or cancel the trip altogether. We decided to risk it, but head back home that evening if things were totally dire. So we ran around as stressed as you can possibly be with a sick child bursting into tears at nothing constantly while we tried to clean and pack. I threatened cancelling several times during each meltdown that delayed us even more. We made it onto the road very late, but we did make it. With the most vague printout of google maps directions to Belfast that you could possibly have. Yet we somehow managed to drive the whole way to our B&B with only one very minor missed turn at the very end. Still wondering if this was the height of stupidity. It was.
The highly rated B&B was dingy and depressing. We ended up with one double bed for 3 of us instead of 3 single beds due to poor communication from the host. The Rascal still had a temperature and was in awful form. We definitely weren’t going to actually be doing anything fun in Belfast after coming all this way. The Rascal was bored, and careening unsteadily about the room. Staying there for long wasn’t an option. So we dodged the rain and wandered as far as the Botanic Gardens nearby before heading to The Barking Dog as soon as they opened. It wasn’t particularly cheap, but our main dishes were delicious and the Rascal was happy with his posh chicken, chips and peas. We were sure he was going to crash as soon as we got back to our room. Two hours later and he finally nodded off, sprawled across the entire bed. I caught a nap while Brodie sat glued to E3 footage on his phone.
Around midnight we all attempted to sleep. From 2.30am to 5.30am I sat up fruitlessly begging the Rascal to please go back to sleep. We got up in the morning for a measly breakfast and then hit the road again. The short version of our visit to Belfast is some nice pasta, lots of dreary rain, no sleep, and cranky everybody. There was no hope in hell that we would be doing a visit to any of the child-friendly attractions. Maybe later in the year. With a hotel room. I was massively regretting not cancelling the first day of our holiday. At least we were on our way now to self-catering accommodation in Antrim where there would be more space and beds. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to leave the off-form child behind in Belfast, but the skies were brightening as we passed through lush green hills. Time for a holiday do-over.