We are four and a half months into our move from Cape Town to Athens. Disclaimer: We are now a year in – and this blog post has been sitting in Drafts. Sigh. Life has truly been a whirlwind.
I am often asked all sorts of questions about our move and I try to share as much as I possibly can. I am no expert, but I can share our personal experiences. I’m working on some posts that will hopefully help, but one piece of advice I’ll share with you, right now, especially if you are travelling with small kids, is to double up (have backups) of their favourite snuggle toys/ sleep aids.
This is their soother, their comfort, their connection to home and both my boys have 2 snuggle toys each. George has a large grey and large white bunny from Granny Goose, which he calls his “babies”; while Alexi has a grey Lily n Jack bunny (also called his “Baby”; copied from his big brother) and a Douglas Jones Elephant (Elly.) The boys love both and sleep with both still to this day. Funny thing is I never meant for them to have 2, but if I try to only give the one, they ask for the other too… and so 2 snuggle toys each, is our thing.
The Elly has been in every one of Alexi’s monthly milestone pics, so it’s definitely sentimental.
If you have followed the last few blog posts, then you’ll know that we firstly lost Alexi’s Sleep Bunny. I have a photo of him with it on our Qatar flight from Doha to Athens. However, when we arrived at our first Air Bnb we couldn’t find the bunny anywhere. We checked the car, we checked all the luggage. Nothing.
That night, as we tried to settle into our brand new surroundings, George very kindly and without being asked, gave one of his bunnies to Alexi, even though he had his Elly. It was the sweetest moment and I was so so proud of him.
Cut a long story short, I called Qatar Airways and even Athens Airport’s Lost and Found, but both turned up empty. Alexi’s bunny was gone.
I looked online to see if there was anything similar, but Lily & Jack is proudly South African. I reached out to them to find out if they were able to deliver to Greece and they told me the good news that The Pink Panda in the UK is stocking them.
I got in touch with them and they were INCREDIBLE. They helped me find the best, most cost effective way to send the bunny to Greece and we placed the order. The effort that went into this was really appreciated. It’s lovely to encounter a company who understands how important these snuggle toys are to our babies/toddlers and went above and beyond.
Ironically it arrived when we were in Zakynthos, so Royal Mail delivered it to our local Glyfada post office, so we could collect it when we returned.
Well, in the week we returned, we got Covid and our car got stolen – as you would have read here: http://vanillablonde.co.za/life-lately-carless-and-covid/ Inside the stolen car, was Alexi’s snuggle Elly. Well, I sobbed. Now both his sentimental toys were gone.
That night, a good friend Bonney, helped me track an Elly down. She found it on Takealot and ordered it straight away. We’d find a way to get it to Greece.
Of course, I knew that the bunny was waiting at the post office. In hindsight, we should have gone to the post office first and then go for our Covid tests for the ferry, but we didn’t. Sox got a positive result and we went into Quarantine instantly for 10 days.
In the meantime, we had some friends, the Lourandos’, who were flying to Athens later that week and the new Elly caught a ride in their suitcase.
The reunion of both the bunny and elephant were just too sweet! Alexi was so happy and just hugged them so hard.
This is the tale of the travelling snuggle toys… a bunny that’s travelled from South Africa – London – Greece and an Elly that’s flown from South Africa – Doha – Athens
If you are moving country and your kids are small enough and have their beloved, favourite snuggle toy – DOUBLE UP, and if you’re lucky enough to keep the one, you’ll always have a brand new one as a keepsake that you can give them, one day when they’re older and possibly give your grandkids. Spot the sentimental one over here!