By now all my readers know that we are a wanderlust family and 2017 is shaping up nicely in terms of holidays. 2016 was a good year for time away as a family and with friends and this year is going to be no different.
This year I would like to take BattleKid home to Ireland for his first ever Saint Patrick’s Day and I need to get my skates on and book my flight home for that. St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year and that doesn’t happen very often so with this in mind it makes sense to pop home on the Wednesday or Thursday for the weekend. So watch this space!
Soon after that it will be Easter and we have a trip to Portugal to visit my Mum and Dad’s new home near Tavira, where BattleKid and I went to last Easter and which I blogged about in the Portugal Diaries. I’m so happy my folks have finally found a place for their retirement and we are more than happy to have it as a place for some holidays. Even better that BattleKid gets to see his grandparents in the process too!
In June we are off to our first ever festival, the Wychwood Festival. I read about this when Kerry of All About A Mini Norris was lucky enough to attend last year. Her post set me thinking and very soon after reading her review I booked our tickets. BattleDad and I have never been to a festival, can you believe that, and so we are really looking forward to it. Even better I went all out and booked a pre-pitched tent so we don’t even have to bring our own. I can’t wait!
After a long wait during the summer our trip of a lifetime will soon be looming. We are doing a two week road trip in America next September, starting and ending in Portland, Oregon. We will be spending five days exploring Yellowstone National Park during that time as well as visiting Lolo National Forest. As soon as I found out there was a forest with the same name as my Dad, albeit a nickname of his, I knew I had to visit it. And to find it so close to Yellowstone and en-route to and from Portland was a bonus. I’ve blogged about wanting to visit Yellowstone before and we had considered waiting until BattleKid was old enough to remember it but we just bit the bullet last October and booked it. Sometimes you just need to be spontaneous!
BattleDad wants to take a drive down part of the Pacific Coast Highway from Portland so that will be a day trip for us. There is also an amazing waterfall 30 minutes drive from Portland, the Multnomah Falls, that I definitely want to photograph. So it’s easy to see why this is going to be the trip of a lifetime for us. It’ll be a busy two weeks but I’m hoping we come away with great memories alongside some awesome pictures. I’m just not looking forward to the 11 hour plane journey to and from Portland with a three and a half year old.
Then sometime before Christmas we are intending to visit Euro Disney with W and S (of the Bluestone Diaries) with their 2 children who will be just turning one and just turned three. BattleKid won’t be far off his fourth birthday so we felt that next year in November or December it would be the right time to bring him to Euro Disney for the first time. We invited W and S and they jumped at the chance. Both families are looking forward to it and we will also take a day or two to go into Paris as it’s been a few years since BattleDad and I last visited Paris and I need my fix, haha.
So 2017 isn’t looking too shabby when it comes to holidays for the Battle Family. It’s always nice to start the new year with something to look forward to and I think we can safely say we’ve got things to look forward to. What are your holiday plans for 2017?
There are some places I’ve been that I want to revisit with BattleKid when he is older and other places we’ve yet to travel to that we would like to share with him. Having been born and raised in Africa until I was 9 years old, and having visited Saudi Arabia when I was 10 for 2 months, travelling has been in my blood since a young age. Thanks Lolo!
While I’ve done plenty of package holidays and weekends away with BattleDad, friends and family, there is still alot more of the world I want to see, with BattleKid along for the ride from now on. So here are the five places I most want to visit with BattleKid. One trip I’ve done with BattleDad before and one is coming up this year, hopefully to be repeated in years to come. The other three are definitely bucket list destinations I want to visit with BattleKid when he’s older. In no particular order:
- New York. I’ve never visited New York, ever. I’ve been to Chicago and really liked it but NYC has been on BattleDad’s and my to-do list for a while now. BattleDad was there when he was only a baby but hasn’t been back since. So this year we are heading stateside with BattleKid. Our longest flight to date with BattleKid has been 4 hours so it’s going to be a challenge with a 2 year old for 7 hours but we aren’t going to let it stop us! My sister-in-law ItsCherrySue went with her boys (young men now) last October and she Snapchatted her way through their trip and it was just the incentive BattleDad and I needed to just do it. We booked our flights and just have to sort our accommodation out now. We’re going via Dublin to break up the outbound journey but we’re really looking forward to it. We’re hoping we enjoy it enough to want to return when BattleKid is older so he can gain memories of his own.
- Oregon and Yellowstone. BattleDad and I watched the 3-part documentary “Yellowstone” a number of years ago and have wanted to visit it ever since. I’ve also wanted to visit America in autumn to see the autumn colours and, while people often visit places like Maine, Vermont and New York state, Oregon can be just as spectacular for fall colours as the Eastern states. When I found out that you could do both Yellowstone AND Oregon in one driving trip I knew it was going on my bucket list with BattleKid. We considered it for this year but decided we want to wait until BattleKid is old enough to remember it as it is probably not a trip we’d repeat like New York. Our plan, should we ever do it, is to fly into Yellowstone and drive from there to Portland over about 10 days, taking in a few of the national parks (particularly Lolo National Park, for obvious reasons) before flying back to either Chicago or New York for a day or two to break up the return journey. It’ll be an epic trip if we manage to do it.
- Tromso, Norway. BattleDad and I visited Tromso in Norway in 2012 with the sole purpose of seeing the Northern Lights. We had seen a 5 second glance of them in Iceland in 2009 on a long weekend in Reykjavik with friends but I longed for more. So in 2012 we went further north, 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle to be precise to give ourselves the best chance. It was a cold but not unbearable November and on our second night of Northern Lights hunting we saw them for hours and got some amazing photos. This is one place I’m definitely taking BattleKid as soon as he’s old enough to both enjoy and remember it. We’ll do it during a half term and include things like visit reindeer, see the Sami’s, go snowmobiling and maybe even visit an ice hotel. There will be late nights too for hunting the Northern Lights. And while I know it’s going to be an expensive trip (Norway isn’t cheap) I am saving now and know it’ll be so worth it.
- Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan. This is most definitely a bucket list trip, one that’s been on mine for a while, and one I’d love to do but am unsure if it will be achievable. The Tiger’s Nest, or Para Taktsang, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery situated on the side of a cliff in Bhutan. You have to trek a steep climb to visit the monastery some 3000 feet above the Paro Valley. Also involved are 1000 steps and it can take between 4 and 8 hours to do the complete trip. To do this I think we as a family will need to be used to climbing the likes of Pen-y-Fan! I’d love to visit it though and as a family. Again it is a trip we’ll need to save for but also train for!
- Last but not least is the country I was born in. I left Botswana before I was 2 years old and it’s my life long dream to return as I have no memories of it. I want to see Orapa, the town where I was born and would love to combine that with a trip to the Okavango Delta to see if we can spot Africa’s Big Five. A safari in Botswana would be amazing to do as a family. One day!
Although they didn’t make it into my top five I’d also like to visit parts of China and return to Iceland (particularly the Blue Lagoon) with BattleKid. There’s a great big world out there and I really hope to discover more of it with BattleKid and share the experience of new places, people and cultures with him.
Where would you like to visit with your children?
Thanks for reading.