Today’s travel article is by Kensington Mum of one, Helena. Helena was born in Brooklyn into a family of Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican descent. After studying at FIT New York, she picked up the travel bug and came to study at Manchester University. Extensive travel in Europe, Asia and Australia was followed by a return to NYC to work for a student exchange program. Transferring to the Madrid office, she then met her husband, Lee, and relocated to London. Here, she worked at the Barbican Art Gallery as an international exhibition project manager until her daughter Sui was born and they moved to Milan. Helena and her family are now settled in Bayswater. At least for the time being.
Having an only child makes me feel guilty for a lot of reasons and one of them is her not having siblings. I wonder if this makes her feel entitled or if we indulge her too much. However, our recent trip to Rye makes me feel better. One day, Sui tells me that we need to go on a holiday together because my husband, Lee, and I have gone on our own and it is now her turn. When I asked her where she would like to go, she said “Paris….” Why? I have no idea but I thought for our first trip that was a bit ambitious. After researching, Rye seemed perfect – historical, beautiful, not too big and full of antiques, toy shops and cafes with lots of cakes. J
Our first walk into town was partially along the river and Sui led the way, saying hello to the ducks and from then onwards would greet them every time we passed them. Everything is a wonder to little ones. The modest model village light show was perfect for her! It was only 15 minutes long. She enjoyed watching the lights focus on different areas and then we were able to walk around the model to look at where we were and what we had seen. She created stories about the castle and church. The high street had several toyshops. During the last year, we have told her she is able to choose one thing while away so she perused all of the shops with intent. I am not sure we will continue this but it seems to work for now. I loved Glass.etc, owned by a TV presenter of the Antique Road show. Sui enjoyed it too. She gave everything a use – for example, items for her tea party or for my flowers.
I am trying to diversify her palate and overdid it on this trip. At the Standard Inn, I ordered scallops, duck salad and asparagus with poached egg. Ok, so she only had the asparagus and we needed to order fish and chips in the end but at least we tried! She did however try salt and pepper whitebait and my plaice the next day at the Globe Inn Marsh, which she liked. A work in progress I say.
We stayed at a house we found on Airbnb, which we both loved. The owner was accommodating and placed a single mattress in the master bedroom, since I didn’t want her on a lower lever closer to the front door nor did I want to sleep with her as she squirms about everywhere! The only mishap was we were given the wrong keys when we first arrived and, if Sui hadn’t asked me to try the key when we left, we might have been locked out for a long time when we got back. Thankfully the owner met us with the correct ones at dinner.
I think because she is an only child, and we have been able to take her to so many places, she shares our interest in travel and getting to know different areas. I am grateful for that. I have four sisters and I am lucky to have them, but we never had that one-on-one time with my parents. There are pros and cons to all situations and I am trying to focus on our family’s pros. This trip was a success and I would definitely consider Paris next time.