27 August 2011

The Isle of Man...barely

So 24 hours after we returned from Glasgow with the Henbot in tow, we found ourselves at the Liverpool Pier Head waiting for our ferry to take us across to the Isle of Man.   Going to the Isle of Man was a last minute decision on our part which all started with me innocently asking whether or not the Isle of Man was part of the UK or its own country.  (For those who might still be wondering, it’s both – a bit like Puerto Rico is in relation to the US.  It’s its own country, but it is “looked after” by the UK.)    We booked the Isle of Man with the same furious passion that we booked our Glasgow trip – which is to say that we happily clicked our hotel and ferry tickets without once thinking logistics.  And when I say logistics, I mean, of course, the Henbot.  I think both Andy and I were thinking of our two day trip to London which besides the Underground wasn’t all that bad.   Henry slept through most of it and even when he wasn’t, he was quite content sitting in his stroller looking around.

Henry is a bit older now.

Waiting for the ferry.

Good-bye Liverpool!

It all started on the ferry trip out.  The ferry only takes 3 hours from Liverpool to Douglas on the Isle of Man.  The ferry left at 7 PM so we figured we’d feed the little guy then put him down at 8 PM like normal and he’d sleep peacefully while we merrily sipped our pints of Carling while doing the Radio Times crossword. 

Oh.  Ha.  Ha ha.

Our first mistake was sitting in the more noisy “social” section of the ferry.  Our second mistake was continuing a conversation with a brother and sister duo on their way out to the IoM to attend their father’s funeral.   They were nice enough but due to the situation, they were getting quite hammered in an effort to forget the funeral.   I don’t blame them really.  I did mind them bumping the stroller to talk to us or talk to us in a shouty voice (the ferry was quite loud) right by Henry’s ear.   Obviously Henry couldn’t sleep.  What should have been a lovely 3 hours of sipping Carling and crossword doing ended up as almost two hours pushing Henry around the ferry begging him to “please sleep…please sleep….sleeeeeeeeeeep….you want to sleeeeeeeeep.”

By the time we got to the hotel it was almost 11 PM.  Andy and I were starving but the hotel restaurant was closed.   They had another 24 hour restaurant in the casino next door but no kids of any kind were allowed in and they didn’t do take away.  Room service also ended at 11 PM.  

So now Henry is still awake and very grumpy.  I’m exhausted, hungry and desperately wanting a drink.  Andy is exhausted, hungry, desperately wanting a drink and is trying to appease both a grumpy child and a very grumpy wife.    We made it up to the room, Andy ordered a pizza (but no booze sadly) and I got Henry properly ready for bed where he slept (thank fuck) soundly until the next morning.  

It was a rough start to the Isle of Man.

The next day was better, but only slightly.  We headed to the half mile stretch which is downtown Douglas and…walked the half mile stretch of Douglas over and over again.  We made stops to eat but otherwise, that’s about it.  The Henbot (logistics!) just didn’t want to stay in his stroller for very long so every hour or so we had to stop for an hour and play with him.   Not that it’s a bad thing mind.  I love my son, I love playing with him.  I would have liked to see more of the Isle of Man but we just couldn’t manage it on this trip.   Andy rides motorcycles and the TT races are held out there so one day we’ll be back to see them…and hopefully more of the place.  Unless he’s way older, the Henbot will stay at his nan’s next time.

Just as a side note, I’m enjoying Henry’s baby time but I’m also really looking forward to the time when he’s old enough for zoos and aquariums.  I love me a good zoo and\or aquarium.

Despite the storm clouds, it was actually a really nice sunny day.

"The Isle of Man?  Yeah, I'm cool with it."

"Gimme that beer!"

Walking along the boardwalk

Playing in the sand for the very first time.  I realize I don't like cleaning sand from in between little toes.

Anyhow, by 6 PM – 8 hours of walking Douglas – Henry throws a fit.  A bona fide toddler fit – at 4 months.  He’s not hungry.  He’s not tired.  He doesn’t want to play.  He. Is. Having. None. Of. It.  We head back to the hotel room, stopping at the SPAR for some water, snacks and a bottle of wine and he is just SCREAMING.   Have you ever tried to think logically about what you all need at a store with a baby causing you early onset deafness in your left ear?    We finally get back to the room and make him a bottle.   But he’s still not hungry.  He’s not tired either.   You know what he was?  Over-stimulated.  We get him down to his diapers and placed him on the bed….and he’s happier then a pig in shit.   “Yay!” Henry says, “’Quantum Leap’ is on!”   We ordered room service and cracked open the wine.

The tiny castle in the middle of the sea.

The next day was more of the same but cut short as our ferry left at 4 PM.  Henry thankfully slept on the way back but this time the Irish Sea reared its ugly head and caused a person who normally doesn’t get sea sick to be quite a bit queasy (that’s me by the way).  

"What?  Are we leaving so soon?"

To sum up, from what I can tell, the Isle of Man is beautiful.  If you go, leave all infants with a reliable caretaker.  Bring your own Dramamine as the ferry only sells holistic type medicine (read: crap).   If you take the late ferry, bring some sandwiches with you….and booze….lots of booze.


  1. Do you guys have a carrier? My friend swears by the Ergo and they would carry their daughter in it when they'd go for walks in the countryside. It certainly opens up a lot more places for you to go when you're not relying on a stroller!

  2. Kim: We do have a carrier actually...a Baby Bjorn. It might be how terribly unfit we are but neither of us can wear it for more than a half hour before our backs are killing us. I honestly love the stroller for it's ability to hold stuff I don't want to carry (shopping, etc.).

    I think this time around we could have brought the car over so we could have driven out to more things. Oh vell.

  3. I'll be honest. I worried that once you had a baby you'd be dull. I needn't have been concerned. Fucking hilarious as always. I salute you.

  4. You are now truly inducted into the parent world. Get ready to never have a well run outing again. Sorry, it is just the way it is. :)

    Henbot really looks like he wanted that beer. Cute as always!