So my maternity leave is almost over, I know I’ve been going on about this for ages but it actually is almost over now (one more week to go) and I’ve been so lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with my dad whilst I’ve been home.
He recently retired and it’s been so nice to go and visit with Amelia so that he gets some one on one time with her (whilst Nana is at work, sorry Mum) it’s become almost a weekly thing to get together, we take Amelia to the park when it’s nice or just for a walk so she can have a nap in the fresh air. Or we just lay toys out on the floor and let her play and explore their house.
Knowing that my maternity leave would be ending in July, as part of Father’s Day my Mum bought my Dad a restaurant voucher and suggested we use it to have a lunch together before I go back to work. Just me, Amelia and Dad. Well today was the day and we chose to go to Ask Italian in Winchester.
I love Winchester, it’s such a beautiful city with so much history and even the restaurant for Ask is located in one of the oldest buildings in the city. I used to work in Winchester and I do miss it there, there’s something very quaint about it even though it’s a city.
We couldn’t have picked a more beautiful day (although the sun burn on my shoulders and neck would disagree right now), the sun was shining, the skies were blue and the bus was on time (hallelujah). This was also the first time of taking Amelia on public transport and I was a little nervous; what if the bus is really busy, what if there’s no where to park the pram on the bus, what if I get travel sick like I do every time I go on a bus, what if Amelia hates it and screams the whole time. Bloody hell, what a fuss. The bus was almost empty, plenty of space for the pram, Amelia giggled and said baba all the way there and I did indeed feel very travel sick because I am sure bus drivers think they are on a rally track most of the time.
It was too early for lunch when we first got there so we went to sit in a park, Amelia and I in the shade of a tree and Dad in the sun (gotta top up that tan). Amelia didn’t want to sit with me, she was much more interested in pulling grass and finding every single piece of plastic or cigarette butt she could and she even tried to crawl off and sit with another family, bye then.
She had a great time, she played in the grass, played with Dad and I even managed to get a photo of her before she tried to eat the flowers and stones. I was just so content to sit there and watch them play together, her climbing on my Dad to stand up and wanting to climb higher and higher, trying to steal his trainers and crawl away with them and watching her practicing her waving and saying “bye bye”.
Lunch was so lovely, we shared a pizza and pasta dish and Amelia sat at the table with us in a high chair eating her lunch too. She was so well behaved and only managed to grab the cutlery once despite her endless efforts to reach for everything on the table.
Even the lady looking after our table told me how nice it was to have a beautifully well behaved baby in the restaurant; compared to the baby earlier in the day who threw spaghetti all over the place. Proud Mum moment right there.
After lunch we went for a river walk and Amelia fell asleep in her pram, something about the fresh air, warm sun and that rickety rocking of the wheels and she just can’t keep her eyes open. We walked along the river Itchen, past some of the oldest buildings in the city, we saw where the Bishop of Winchester lives and the remains of an old castle.
We saw ducks, a singular swan and the most fairy-tale looking garden gate ever. It looked so magical, as if there was a special secret garden behind the gate, if only you could cross the river to get there. So beautiful.
I might have also treated myself to a proper 99 flake from an actual ice cream van, you don’t see many proper ice cream men (or women) around anymore so it made it extra special. Although when did a 99 cost £2, wasn’t the point of it being a 99 that it cost 99p? How times have changed, sigh!
It was such a lovely day, I’m so thankful that my parents live only 30 mins away from us and I can see them whenever I want and that Amelia gets to spend time with them almost every week. I think if my Mum had her way they would see her everyday but it’s so great for her to have that special relationship and bond with her Grandparents.
A massive thank you to my Mum for giving us the gift voucher for a special lunch and thank you to Dad for making it such a lovely memorable day out.