In Bruges (28 weeks)

We had a babymoon! Which is a sentence I never thought I’d say. Basically, it was our annual holiday, but for one reason or another we hadn’t had our usual holidays this year (changing jobs, moving house, IVF…). We thought we should use this chance to get away before it became difficult for me to travel.

We live in London and I’d just had to fly long haul for work (USA) so we thought we would take advantage of the Eurostar links to mainland Europe, and head to Bruges. Neither of us had been, but it’s the kind of place where people always say, “Oh Bruges! I love Bruges!” – and it’s the capital of chocolate, so that was good enough for me.

First things first, we figured this would be the last blowout as non-parents (all things going okay, OMG, I still worry about this) so we thought we would stay the night in the St Pancras hotel (posh hotel right by the Eurostar station). It was fun! We arrived in the afternoon and went for an Italian meal and went to the spa. My doc had okayed the spa (he seems to think people get overly worried about things) so I stayed in the main pool and lay in the bubbles a bit, but stayed out of the sauna and steam room. We enjoyed the indulgence and it meant we could get up leisurely the next day, have a big breakfast and wander a few minutes to Eurostar…

St Pancras Hotel

If that staircase looks familiar to people of a certain age, it’s because the Spice Girls’ song Wannabe was recorded here! We resisted the urge to re-enact it…

 

Bruges

Well, everyone was right. It really is a very picturesque place!

The view from our balcony…

Chocolate strawberries! Followed by hot chocolate!

These robots were made out of chocolate. At a place called The Chocolate Line. There were lots more chocolate shapes for sale around Bruges, but I don’t think I can post them on the blog as they were a bit rude!

I seriously loved having breakfast every day. Our hotel was so nice!

Out and about in Bruges. Everything looked like a postcard.


This place is called The Lake of Love. It’s said if you walk across the bridge with your lover, you will have eternal love. We weren’t taking any chances so we did it! Poor T, now he’s stuck with me!

The tower from the film In Bruges, which we enjoyed watching in our hotel room… Fortunately we decided not to re-enact the film! If you’ve ever seen it, you’ll know what I mean!

The horses who take tourists round the city have regular breaks for food and water. It was quite comforting to see this. We thought we might go for a horse ride tour but decided to do it in another city (New York, central park?) which is less easy to walk around! Bruges is pretty compact so we enjoyed walking around it. Even at 6 months pregnant!

There is a place called The Beguinage where unmarried women had to live historically. You had to pick between the Beguinage or the convent. These women were allowed to work and got to live in a pretty nice place. In fact all the buildings in Bruges were very picturesque!

The Half Moon brewery. Lots of beer!

The lovely breakfast buffet in our hotel. Unlimited champagne and mounds of soft rinded cheese, both of which I couldn’t partake in whilst pregnant! Oh well. I enjoyed it nonetheless!

After we visited the Friets Museum (chips/fries museum!) and the Chocolate Museum, we headed to the Diamond Museum… We saw a demo of diamond polishing (57 surfaces!) and the vat of “diamonds” below is the number that get processed in a year!

We went for a lovely lunch at Le Pain Quotidienne. We kept finding we weren’t that hungry… We called it the Bruges effect! Maybe we have to do big breakfasts every day and forget about dinner?!

On our last full day we went for a long walk around the city. It was lovely. A beautiful autumn day…


And on our final day we found out that my favourite shop from Lille (France) had a shop in Bruges! Aux Merveilleux de Fred. “Merveilleux” I have posted about before – they are meringues sandwiched with cream and decorated with chocolate. I love them!

On our final night, we decided we were too full to have a proper dinner, so popped out to have authentic Belgian waffles instead!

On our final day we decided to take advantage of the jacuzzi bath. It was my second, and T’s first! So peaceful… It had little bubbles from the bottom of the bath, rather than jets, so I think that it was okay. I enjoyed it!

We did do a bit of shopping in Bruges and bought our first outfits together for B. (I got a couple when I was in the US, but none that we had both picked together.) Poor kid is going to be dressed for his entire childhood in a naval or animal theme! (Much like his mother on her days off.) We got a few little babygros and this nice stripey number. I actually found it quite alarming how large 3 months is! We also got a cute little outfit in Brussels on the way back. It’s a red sweater and trousers with a raccoon motif. I think T is finally realising I’ve found a whole new outlet for shopping!


And finally…

Slightly wrong order to let you have the holiday photos first, but before we left for babymoon we went to the Baby Show in London. (Dog went to his dogparents for a little holiday. We missed him so much we even bought a cushion in Bruges with a picture of a dog like him on, and slept with it on our bed, haha!) It was a bit hectic but we found it pretty useful. Mainly because we realised we had a good grasp of the things we supposedly need. And you do realise that people buy a lot of stuff for a baby! My baby shower is in a few weeks so we might get a few of the smaller things, so need to take stock after that. 

We were pretty restrained although we did get a breast pump and a storage solution (these disposable freezer bags) as I’m going to have to go back to work after a few months. I took a book on holiday The Informed Parent (A Science Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years) which I kept reading excerpts to T from, and we decided based on the science we definitely need to try and breastfeed B for at least 6-9 months, so at least a few months would need to be pumping and storing. They did a good offer at the show. It might not work, of course, but we’re trying to think about it in a positive way and hope it does. (Slightly alarming – maybe I’m turning into one of those Earth Mothers. Believe me you will never see me with my boobs out in public! But I’m becoming more and more into the idea of breastfeeding if I can, and attachment parenting if B will tolerate it… ha. Come back in 6 months when I’m a hippy.)

Anyway, we finally decided on the stroller! (Pushchair, pram, buggy!) The Stokke Scoot. (Ignore the horrible colours in the link… The new colours are coming out shortly. We are going for the grey in the picture below.) Funnily enough we never had even considered this manufacturer because I was familiar with their other insanely expensive Xplory model, which retails for over Β£1000! No really, not a typo! Also it is not that compact. I had been arguing against the super-lightweight prams that T favoured – too rickety on uneven surfaces and not comforting enough for longer rides – and T spotted this one. It’s their “compact” model. Not actually that compact but it fits in the boot (trunk!) of a car. More importantly it’s a nice cocoon for baby and suitable from birth. Hurrah for finally agreeing! Stokke is super “lifestyle” brand and they even have a magazine, so here’s the pictures from that. (I’m not Scandinavian and I can guarantee you my legs will never be that long and skinny!)

We are also excited as we have ordered our car! We didn’t have one, living in London (it’s all public transport round here) but we decided to get one so it would be easier to go and visit the grandparents and ferry B around, and also we’d be able to go and visit some further away parks with Dog. We decided to get a Nissan Qashquai. (Slightly different model than in the link but you get the picture. A good family car!) We have had a few on rentals and enjoyed them and of course more importantly Dog likes sitting in the footwell! Plus it should be easy enough to store the buggy in the car rather than hoiking it up 8 flights of stairs!

I got a notification this week that I was entering the third trimester. It is just crazy and still feels surreal. I want to believe it, and there is a great big belly hanging out on my front side, but it still feels a bit like it can’t possibly be happening to me. On the plus side, B seems to make his presence known plenty. Although he does sometimes take a while to wake up in the morning. (Like his mama.) I have more stretchies despite practically dousing myself in Bio Oil. I definitely noticed I can’t sleep as easily as I wake up with back pain and my nose is all blocked up. Apparently regular pregnancy symptoms. I guess I don’t mind that much as I figure all the discomfort and stuff is what I’ve wanted for so long. It does feel really surreal to think that everything is going to change in a few months. I like the way it is! I’m hoping the next stage is better!

Bumpie of the week… in the jacuzzi!

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38 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown

    Your babymoon looked so amazing!! I think anywhere that has that much great looking food is a place I would quickly fall in love with! 😊
    Also, I love the stroller you chose! It looks nice and functional too! And the car also looks great!
    And of course I’m thrilled that you are entering the third trimester! I am just so excited for you!

    Like

    • Nara

      Ha! That’s what I’m worried about! Last grown up holiday… I’m campaigning to take him to Disney next year so we shall see! πŸ˜‚

      Like

  2. Arwen

    Love this post!!! It’s all getting real and exciting now and thrilled to see you’re shopping now for bub, it’s unbelievable how addictive it is πŸ˜‚
    Also I totally never thought I’d get my boobs out in public but when that baby’s screaming and only a boob will calm it you seriously don’t give a shit!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thanks love! Yes I think it’s insane how many weird little things you can buy for a baby. We have been quite restrained I think!

      I’ll reserve judgement on the boobs thing… T is convinced I’m turning into some sort of hippy! πŸ˜‚

      Like

  3. Maternally Optimistic

    Bruge looks amazing!
    So exciting that everything is coming together. Glad you eventually found a pram that will suit all your needs. Xxx

    Like

    • Nara

      It was great fun! Definitely worth a visit. So easy from London, of course! And yes, the pram thing was an ongoing saga so it’s great we finally agreed on something! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. mum100blog

    Great to read this Nara – look how far you’ve come!! I love that you’ve had some time away, chilling and enjoying each other’s company. And it’s so great to see your beautiful bump x

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you so much. It was really nice to spend some time relaxing together. (To be fair, we do that a lot but usually it involves sitting on the sofa!) I can’t believe I haven’t had a holiday all year until now! I suppose my notice period was sort of relaxing but not the same as going away. Hope you are well. I need to catch up on everyone’s blogs. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. tidleone

    Wow, it looks amazing – especially the food. Glad to see you’re embracing all things baby.
    I’m also glad it’s not just me with a night time stuffy nose and a bad back. My right hip flexor is absolutely killing me – I think I quite fancy a warm bubble bath after jealously admiring your baby bump jacuzzi shot!

    Like

    • Nara

      It was great! Yeah I like holiday food, especially unlimited breakfast buffets! So greedy!

      Think I’m finally getting my head around it all, but also slightly in denial, if that makes sense? I can sympathise with the pains! I keep having to take paracetamol. It is very painful – I don’t quite get it as I am usually awesome at sleeping! And the nose is soooo annoying too. Definitely try the bath! It does provide temporary relief and is just a nice thing in autumn! My doc said it was fine. I don’t have it as hot as I usually would, and it’s nice and soothing!

      Like

  6. EmilyMaine

    Oh wow you aren’t kidding about the picturesque. I must go here! The food is pretty picturesque too πŸ˜‰ I love that red and white stripey onesie and also the new model Stokke. Much prefer it to their original popular model that you see about. Nice work in agreeing on something. We have an SUV – have had one since I was preggers with Monkey – and I have to admit I just love it. They are so handy for families. Well things sound like they are going great. Congrats on hitting the third trimester xx

    Like

    • Nara

      Haha, I realised I really do take a lot of photos of food! πŸ˜‚ Classy!

      I love the onesie too! He has the smaller version in blue and white which we think will probably be his coming home outfit depending on his size.

      Yeah I liked the Xplory original model but I think this is a good compromise! We kept disagreeing on whether to go light and compact or cocoony and substantial, and this seems a good compromise. And will fit in the SUV! It’s not really a US/Aus style SUV though… you’d probably think it’s tiny! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Like

  7. flatwhitetogo85

    So glad you had a lovely babymoon. The photos are fab! I am very jealous of all the chocolate.

    I’m also loving the babygrow. It’s so cute! Unfortunately, no matter how sensible you are as a normal person, now that you’re pregnant you will turn into a hormonal mess at the sight of any cute baby clothes :p

    Good move getting the breast pump as well. Trust me – your boobs will thank you!! x

    Like

    • Nara

      Ahhhhh. I wondered if you had any time for social media any more! How’s your little cat doing? Yeah, we had an amazing holiday – seems so weird to think it’s the last one without a screaming brat (as I call him, haha). I’ve told T that I am sure B will be one of those quiet babies… He’s not so sure!!
      Oh the babygros are growing on me! The little raccoon outfit we got on the way back is super cute! I am sure you end up dressing them in easy stuff once you realise you have to change them all the time?!
      Hope you are having fun and a little bit of sleep! πŸ™‚ xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • flatwhitetogo85

        Ha ha – yes, from now on I’m going to be replying to posts several weeks after they’ve gone up. When people said about how you never have time to sit still once the baby arrives, I thought they were exaggerating. Turns out, they weren’t πŸ™‚

        Baby Cat is doing really well thanks. 3 and a bit weeks on, I still don’t really believe that he is actually here!

        I can’t wait to see the raccoon outfit. It will be hilarious! I hope you still get plenty of outfits for Dog. I’d hate for him to feel he was been upstaged by B x x x

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      • Nara

        Ah! I forgot to post the raccoon as I’ve been doing NaBloPoMo so it hasn’t been all pregnancy related. Due a preggers post today probably! I’m sure B has a long way to go before he’s upstaging Dog! Not happening! πŸ˜‚ Glad all going well with the littley! Xx

        Like

  8. RJ

    Wow what an incredible trip!! I would love to visit that city someday! All of that food looks delicious and the beautiful outdoor photos are so amazing!

    Like

    • Nara

      It was so much fun! It’s one of those places where people always say, “I love Bruges!” And now I know why! It’s not like there is loads going on. It’s just like a little chocolate box of a place. Pretty, and cute, and lots of chocolate! 😊

      Like

  9. circumstance227

    My husband and I have gotten in the habit of giving one another weekends in various European cities as Christmas presents. (Barcelona, Lisbon, etc.) I might just check out Bruges for this year!

    Like

    • Nara

      You should!! Really! Haha. It’s what people always said to me, “You really must try Bruges!” And now I’m one of those annoying people! πŸ˜‚

      Like

    • Nara

      My other favourite euro cities are Venice, Prague, Florence, and obviously Paris (Disneyland!!). Paris and Lille are good at Christmas. And Munich for Christmas markets was fun!

      Like

      • Nara

        Maybe time for Malta. For some reason I know quite a few people who go there! And Croatia. I haven’t been to either! Am wondering whether Greece would be good to go back to as I haven’t been for years and economically they seem to be focusing on attracting tourists. Also I would really like to go to Pompeii / Verulaneum but I’m thinking it wouldn’t be that cheery! Once we have B I’ll insist on Disneyland Paris!

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  10. stealingnectar

    Such a beautiful trip! And, I want to eat all your food!!!! Amazing. That stroller is beautiful too. My friend has that brand and loves it. Enjoy the last days of your bump. It flies by and then you get to hold your cutie!

    Like

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