I remember my first ever rollercoaster experience like it was yesterday. It was 1996 and I was 13 years old. My mum had convinced me to join her and my sister on one of their favourite rides, Kumba at Busch Gardens, Orlando. I wasn’t what you’d call a thrill seeker and my nerves were steadily building as we waited in line.
Flying fills me with dread and anxiety. I white-knuckle grip the armrest, or the unfortunate person sitting next to me, for at least half the flight, my palms growing clammier as we gain altitude. I look around at everyone else on the plane who seem to be taking it all in their stride, calmly browsing the in-flight entertainment or taking the opportunity to grab a quick forty winks, and I feel alone, and a little bit silly.
I had always hoped I would be in a position to give Max the same experiences I had when it came to travelling and having already been to Orlando and Dubai before he’s 9 months old he’s quickly racking up the stamps in his passport.
Opening it’s doors for the first time in 2011 the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is a five-star luxury hotel on the iconic Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. Every inch of this hotel inspires awe and delight and sets the bar for luxury within Dubai. From the moment you step into the lobby you’ll note that the hotel is lavishly decorated and showcases magnificent hand painted ceilings, crafted marble, stunning chandeliers and breathtaking works of art.
Fast forward a few weeks, Max went to his Nan’s for a sleepover and we were on our way to Life House Spa & Hotel in Thorpe-le-Soken. The design of Lifehouse Spa & Hotel is modern and simple and is surrounded by 12 acres of English Heritage gardens.
I’m used to lazy holidays, sipping cocktails, head in a book and sunbathing until the sun goes down. Going away with a newborn is a completely different experience, not much ‘me’ time to be had in between feeds and nappy changes. But our first family holiday was amazing and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
We booked to come to Orlando around the same time I found out I was pregnant. I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive going away with a new baby but we’ve always maintained we want Max to fit into our existing lifestyle – holidays included.