Baby Z just came back from her second proper holiday in Spain recently. As we had taken her previously at 10 months old we saw a massive difference in her behaviour and attitude as well as learning new things. The sun, sea and sand definitely did her good. So a year later at 21 months we decided to do a second trip. It wasn’t a bad move at all. As she is older her understanding increased; before the trip she knew where we were going and why, as well as who was coming with us (the grandparents).

We made the plane trip fun and exciting which ultimately went without a hitch and I think she actually enjoys it as every time there was turbulence she’d giggle and say “ride”! When we reached Spain and got outside she couldn’t believe her luck. She wanted to get down and run everywhere. There was so much energy in her that I hadn’t seen as much back home in London.

Once our trip really got started, she was her own person, we started to teach her Spanish words, like “hola” and “adios” which she would say “adidos”, “si” which she funnily enough would get confused with the word “sea”. Listening to us adapt to the Spanish language helped her to grasp new words she hadn’t learnt or heard before. What was more helpful was that the people we met there would speak with her in a little Spanish so slowly she started to respond. Shy at first of course. She became a fan of the flamenco music making up her own tune that she would say over and over and laugh going “la la la laaaa”.

Not only did she learn Spanish but she also tried new things, from cable car climbing, to crocodile watching and eating tones of different fish. Everyday would be fish day as it was so fresh we would try different things like prawns, sea bass, red mullets and cod. Baby Z would want to have a go at everything. The flavours of the sea and the fresh ingredients all helped to increase her palette. Some things that she wasn’t so keen on at home she was diving for in Spain. It was amazing to see.

In the evenings after dinner we would walk along the promenade over looking the beach and she would run like the wind, winding between people and dogs, screaming “running run” and giggling at the same time. Making us run after her. It was definitely a good way for us to digest our food. What made me think though was that where we were, no one cared, no one batted an eyelid. Even if they did they would smile and wave at her and us. Back home it would be different. Well, then again you wouldn’t let her do that in the first place anyway. But even if you did there wouldn’t be smiled at or waved at.

The atmosphere makes such a difference on a child’s outlook on life even at such a small age. Being exposed to so many different things helped her to grow more and learn newer things maybe even jog some memory from when she went there last year. She acted exactly the same on the beach, crying every time we had to leave.

Her heart has really fallen in love with Andalusia.

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