thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket

Our first family trip overseas was when Henry was 7 months old (nearly 5 months corrected age) and we decided to stay at three different locations on Phuket. The first was Naithon Beach, the second was Patong and our final stop was Karon Beach.

What we loved about Karon Beach was that it was much quieter than Patong and you could also walk to Kata Beach and enjoy what was on offer down there.

thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket

What to see in Karon Beach

The beach: Of course you need to visit the beach! In saying that, we visited during the morning before it got too hot (if that’s even a thing!) and sat close to the rocks where there are beautiful little rock pools and we watched the locals working on getting some food. We took an umbrella from our Hotel to protect Henry from the sun.

thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket
thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket

We didn’t spend the day at the beach, simply because it was too hot for Henry. We chose to spend our days by the pool at the hotel where we were close to the room with the air conditioning. Henry certainly doesn’t agree with the heat!

Karon Temple Market: This place is cool! Open on a Tuesday and a Friday from 4pm – 10pm, you will find everything here. There are plenty of market stalls and as you are heading in you will find so many food options as well.

You will also see Wat Suwan Khiri Khet (the official name of Karon Temple), – a Buddhist temple. It’s beautiful but is surrounded by the market stalls.

thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket

Luckily for us, Henry loves his Baby Bjorn carrier and enjoyed a sleep while we explored the markets.

We also visited Karon Plaza located opposite the beach. We highly recommend visiting in the evening as it is far too hot during the day and not all vendors are open during the day!

Where to eat in Karon Beach

On the Rock: This place is an absolute must! Book a seaside table in advance so you have the best view at the restaurant.

The service is fantastic, the food was delicious and the views are great.

There is something nice about sitting down, relaxing, enjoying the sunset while listening to the waves crash against the rocks next to you.

thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket

We also ate at a local restaurant and the food was really good. Steven’s lunch came in a coconut which was pretty cool! They tried to down sell the menu and said you’re paying extra for the coconut, and you can get it cheaper without the coconut… but of course he wanted the coconut!

thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket
thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket

Day trip to Kata Beach

We decided to walk to Kata Beach for a few hours and see what was going on down there! We had stayed there on a previous trip to Thailand and enjoyed our time there.

It is not too long of a walk, but it’s hot so make sure you are wearing a hat and for small humans, make sure they are protected from the sun as well.

We had fond memories of visiting Ska Bar at Kata Beach from our previous visit. And this trip did not disappoint either! The food is SO cheap, the service is great – they especially LOVED Henry and he loved them too!

The views over the beach are perfect and super relaxing and the trees meant that we were sitting in the shade.

Late afternoons the Reggae music starts – there is something relaxing about Reggae!

Where to stay at Karon Beach

We stayed at the Avista Grande Phuket Karon – MGallery. I can’t recommend this hotel enough. For our full review of the hotel, click here.

thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

Getting around the streets of Karon with a baby

We had a Bugaboo Bee and used it a few times walking around Karon, simply because it was too hot to wear Henry with the baby carrier. We also had a small pram fan which was keeping Henry cool(er).

The footpaths are bumpy and at times narrow, but not impossible to take a pram. We managed quite well with the pram.

thewelltravelledfamily Karon beach Phuket

There is also a tuk tuk service and the prices are fixed. We took a tuk tuk a few times! We found it safe with Henry and was never concerned for his safety.

Visiting Phuket? – Ideas on what else to see and do

Are you planning on spending a bit of time in Thailand? Click here for more information.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

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thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

Hotel: Avista Grande Phuket Karon – MGallery

Location: Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Room: Jacuzzi Suite, Sea View

Perfect for: Couples & Small Family

Category: 5 Star


We quite enjoyed our stay at the Avista Grande Phuket Karon Hotel.

Located at Karon Beach between the beach and the mountains, you won’t be disappointed by staying here. We love MGallery properties, they tend to be smaller and have a really lovely personal touch and this was no exception.

thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

We are Platinum Accor Plus members and when looking at properties to stay on our recent trip to Thailand, this hotel was an absolute must for us.

Click here to find out more about claiming your FREE night with Accor Plus! Click here to read more about the Le Accor Hotel loyalty program.

Our welcome experience…

We were met at the car with concierge taking our bags and showing us to the check in counter. Check in was quick and easy! We were given our complimentary welcome drink vouchers (as part of our platinum membership) and given the keys to our room.

The Room…

The room itself was lovely! We booked the Deluxe Room Sea View Room but because we have platinum membership, we were upgraded to the Jacuzzi Suite! It was a gorgeous corner suite with jacuzzi on the balcony, overlooking the pool area and you can see the ocean.

We had enough room for the portacot for Henry and still get around the bed.

We had two doors to the two balconies which was great! The side balcony with the jacuzzi also had two pool chairs so you could enjoy the afternoon sun from the comfort of your own room!

The bathroom was lovely as well. His and Hers sinks which made getting ready in the morning easy!

Meals…

Being a platinum member, we enjoyed the buffet breakfast for the both of us complimentary! If you’re not a Platinum member but are an Accor Plus member, you will enjoy 50% off the cost of breakfast! Platinum members also received a complimentary breakfast tiered tray! Each morning they gave us something different to try.

I would recommend ensuring breakfast is included prior to arrival. Often you can pick up packages including breakfast and it works out cheaper than to purchase breakfast upon arrival. There is really nowhere around the hotel to get breakfast so it is your only option. But trust me, it is worth it!

thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

The croissants at this hotel were delicious! I just kept going back for more and more!

Portosino Restaurant: We dined at the restaurant a few times and couldn’t fault the food. It came out quickly and the quality was great – very fresh!

thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand
thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

The Dim Sun: As platinum members, we were able to enjoy FREE cocktails up at the rooftop sunset bar each night for a couple of hours. Another great benefit of this program! We enjoyed watching the sunset from this bar most evenings.

What’s even better is that because we have an Accor Plus membership, the food was 50% off, making it super affordable!

To read more about Accor Plus and how to get 50% off your dining, click here.

Hotel Grounds

I loved the pool area! It is family friendly with lots of shallow sections for small children to have a paddle. There are plenty of pool chairs available and we never had any problem getting some each morning.

There is also a swim up bar at the pool which is convenient when you don’t fancy getting out of the pool for a cool beverage!

thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

Henry loved spending time by the pool. We made a makeshift tent for when the umbrella’s didn’t quite give us enough shade!

thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

Health and Fitness…

For those who like to stay active on holidays, there is a fully equipped gym located on the grounds.

Good to know…

There is a massage shop along the driveway leading into the hotel. They book up quickly so I would recommend booking in advance!

Checking out…

No issues to report here!

Above and beyond…

The batteries in Henry’s pram fan died on us! The staff kindly took the fan for us, spoke to the engineering / maintenance team and put some new batteries in there for us!

We also received these gorgeous platters each night! Henry loved them ­čÖé

thewelltravelledfamily Karon Phuket Thailand

The not so good…

Nothing to report here!

The verdict…

Absolutely recommend. We would stay at this hotel again!

Visiting Phuket? – Ideas on what else to see and do

Are you planning on spending a bit of time in Thailand? Click here for more information.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Hotel: Sofitel Brisbane Central

Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Room: Junior Suite

Perfect for: Couples & Small Family

Category: 5 Star


Conveniently located in the heart of Brisbane City, Sofitel Brisbane Central certainly gives you a touch of luxury. From the moment you walk into the foyer and smell the Sofitel signature scent to arriving in your spacious, well appointed room, nothing leaves you disappointed.

We are Platinum Accor Plus members and our membership also gave us access to Club Mill├ęsime Lounge which was great. Keep reading for why this access is so great!

Did you know with your Accor Plus membership, you’re entitled to a complimentary night accommodation? Click here to find out more about claiming your FREE night with Accor Plus! Click here to read more about the Le Accor Hotel loyalty program.

Our welcome experience…

Checkin was a breeze! The staff at reception were friendly and helpful and nothing was too much of a hassle. Our room was available for an early check-in which is always a bonus. We were able to head up and get Henry sorted before making our way to the Club Mill├ęsime for a few complimentary drinks.

The Room…

From the moment we walked into the room, you feel relaxed and calm. The suite is oversized and there was more than enough room for the three of us.

The quality of the furniture and fittings stood out to us, we often spend time in the room with Henry, so we appreciate having somewhere comfortable to relax!

We had beautiful city views and views over Anzac Square. Henry loved adding a few fingerprints to the glass panels as he pointed out all the things he could see!

The room is fully equipped with a stocked mini bar, as well as complimentary tea and Nespresso coffee.

The oversized bathroom was bright, neat and tidy with a separate toilet and shower.

Meals…

The hotel has a number of restaurants to choose from throughout your stay.

Priv├ę249: Highly recommended, we dined at the restaurant previously and couldn’t fault the food or service. We weren’t able to dine on this occurrence as it was booked for a wedding reception.

Thyme┬▓: Famous for the seafood buffet, this restaurant is very popular. On this occasion we opted for the a la carte menu as we really felt like a steak and the staff were happy to to accommodate. As mentioned, this restaurant is very popular so I would recommend making a reservation.

Breakfast is also served at the restaurant.

Club Mill├ęsime: Due to our platinum membership, we were able to access the club. Complimentary tea, coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks are available throughout the day and in the evening, you also receive complimentary beer, wine and canapes as well.

We also ate breakfast at Club Mill├ęsime which is a la carte and we find easier with Henry.

To read more about Accor Plus and how to get 50% off your dining, click here.

Hotel Grounds

The hotel has a swimming pool and whirlpool located on level 3. It would be a great place to soak up some of that Queensland sun during your stay!

Stephanies Spa is located at the Sofitel. The overall experience is amazing. I would highly recommend making an appointment as they do tend to get booked up pretty quickly. Click here for more information on the spa.

Health and Fitness…

For those who like to stay active on holidays, there is a fully equipped gym located on the grounds.

Good to know…

The hotel does have paid parking should you have a car throughout your stay.

There is also a sleep menu available. It’s worth taking a read and ordering a pillow from the pillow menu to ensure you have a great night’s sleep.

Checking out…

Checking out was super easy and quick!

The not so good…

Nothing to report here.

The verdict…

We would definitely recommend the Sofitel Brisbane Central if you’re planning a trip to Brisbane. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here!

Visiting Brisbane? – Ideas on what else to see and do

Are you planning on spending a bit of time in Brisbane? Click here for more information.

If you’re wanting to explore more of Queensland, click here for a heap of reviews and guides of what to see from the Gold Coast up to Port Douglas!

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

One of the prettiest beaches on Phuket, Freedom Beach, is located just south of the very popular Patong Beach. Freedom Beach is a rare find on the island with a 300m long white sandy beach surrounded by jungle, hills and granite rocks.

Freedom Beach Phuket Thailand

How to get to Freedom Beach

There are two options on getting to Freedom beach. The first is by long tail boat from Patong Beach and the second option is to walk down from the top of the hill, which is what we did (twice!).

Long Tail Boat: They are typically parked at the jetty at the southern end of Patong Beach and we’ve been told the price is between 1,100 – 1,500 baht for the round trip. It is only a 10 minute boat ride so this is a complete rip off, but most people don’t have any other option (because they don’t have a scooter or aren’t fit enough to walk) so have to pay the fee.

Hint: skip the long tail boat and take a tuk tuk to the entrance!!

Freedom Beach Phuket

Walking down to the beach: We walked as we were staying at Avista Hideaway Resort which is close to the entrance where you start the walk down. The parking lot (if you can call it that!) is around 200m above the bay and the locals who ‘run’ the parking lot may charge around 100 baht to park your scooter there.

Freedom Beach Phuket

So, if this is your preferred option, at the southern end of Patong Bay, take the road that climbs up the hill, turn left at Amart Coral Beach, go past Baan Yin Dee Resort and at the bottom of the hill, turn left towards Avista Hideaway Resort. This is the hotel we stayed at and it’s around 700m away from the parking lot. You will notice the road becomes a rocky path filled with rubbish and old construction goods.

The other entrance to the same road is just before the top of Patong Hill, on the road from Patong to Karon Beach. Coming from Patong, the path to Freedom Beach parking lot is on the right, around 80m after Rasta Baby Bar (which is on the left-hand side of the road).

You will get to a fence where the walk begins and you need to crouch down to go through the opened section to get to the path to lead you to the beach (the gate may be open but it wasn’t both times we visited)! It is not obvious so keep an eye out for it, or follow others who may be going the same direction.

What to expect from the walk to the beach

The walk takes around 25 – 30 minutes depending on your fitness. Obviously going down is much easier than coming up. It is quite a strenuous walk so I would recommend wearing your sneakers and not wearing flip flops.

There are lots of steps and some dirt paths. If you need a pit stop on the way back up there are a few areas where you can pull over to enjoy the view.

Freedom Beach Phuket

Best time of day to visit Freedom Beach

We recommend visiting first thing in the morning. Not only do you avoid the hottest part of the day, but you will likely get the beach all to yourselves and also the walk up/down is much more peaceful when it’s just you!

Visiting Phuket?

Click here to take a look at our other posts on Phuket.

Here are some pictures of what to expect!

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

Hotel: Pullman Phuket Arcadia

Location: Naithon Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Room: Ocean Grand Room

Perfect for: Couples & Small Family

Category: 5 Star


This cliffside luxury hotel overlooking the Andaman Sea is the epitome of relaxation. Located at Naithon Beach, just a short 15 minute drive south of Phuket Airport, you will find the location perfect after jumping off a long flight.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

We are Platinum Accor Plus members and when looking at properties to stay on our recent trip to Thailand, this hotel was an absolute must for us.

Click here to find out more about claiming your FREE night with Accor Plus! Click here to read more about the Le Accor Hotel loyalty program.

Our welcome experience…

We arranged with the hotel prior to arrival for a transfer to the hotel. For us, it was convenience of not having to worry about bartering with a taxi driver (and to be honest the price isn’t too different between a private transfer with the hotel and a local taxi!).

We arrived around 6.30pm at night and the staff knew we were travelling with Henry who at the time was around 7 months old. They met us in the driveway and took us immediately to our hotel room. Because we are platinum members, we are assigned a Loyalty Activist Manager, her name was Lookmoo and she checked us in, in the comfort of our room so we didn’t have to disrupt Henry too much more given it was his past his bedtime!

The Room…

After doing a lot of research into room options for our stay, we decided on the Ocean Grand Room. We figured there would be a good chance we would be spending some time in the room with Henry so wanted to make sure we had enough space and were also close enough to all of the amenities.

The room was fully equipped with a king size bed, large bathroom, storage area, plenty of storage, long side bench with coffee machine and mini bar etc. The balcony had beautiful views of the Andaman Sea, perfect views to wake up to.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

We had requested a portacot for Henry. Not only was there a portacot set up, but there was bedding, a swaddle, baby bath, baby wash, lotion, bottle steriliser and plenty of bottled water to make up Henry’s bottles.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

We are always spoiled being Platinum members. The hotel provided us with a bottle of wine on arrival, chocolate scrabble loyalty tray and an edible chocolate garden! I’ve never seen anything like that before.

Walking tour of our Grand Ocean Room

If you have some spare $$ then I’d recommend looking into the One Bedroom Ocean Pool Villa. It’s gorgeous! We were able to get a quick tour through one of the rooms – here’s a quick video so you can see what you’re getting for your money.

Meals…

Being a platinum member, we enjoyed the buffet breakfast for the both of us complimentary! If you’re not a Platinum member but are an Accor Plus member, you will enjoy 50% off the cost of breakfast! Platinum members also received a complimentary breakfast tiered tray! Each morning they gave us something different to try.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

I would recommend ensuring breakfast is included prior to arrival. Often you can pick up packages including breakfast and it works out cheaper than to purchase breakfast upon arrival. There is really nowhere around the hotel to get breakfast so it is your only option. But trust me, it is worth it!

We also enjoyed lunch by the pool and several meals at both Elements and Vero restaurants.

Elements: Elements is where you will find the buffet breakfast and also the restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The service is great and the food is tasty.

Vero: What can I say about Vero… We ate here twice and on both occasions, I said that the Tagliatelle Ala Bolognese was the best I’ve had since visiting Italy. In addition to delicious food, the sunset view is magical. If you’re up for an early dinner, you won’t be disappointed!

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

What’s even better is that because we have an Accor Plus membership, the food was 50% off, making it super affordable!

To read more about Accor Plus and how to get 50% off your dining, click here.

Hotel Grounds

The hotel lobby is one of the nicest we’ve come across. It is open plan, light and welcoming. They have these gorgeous sunken lounges surrounded by water so you can watch the sunset and have a refreshing beverage,

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

Getting around the grounds of the Pullman Arcadia can be your daily exercise if you want it to be! Or, you can use the hotel’s doorless car service with a simple phone call.

The hotel is nestled on a cliff face so it’s only natural that the hotel rooms scale up the mountain. The ocean view, pool villa’s and ocean grand rooms are within an easy walking distance to the main hotel lobby, restaurants and pool area. Other rooms are located further up the mountain, but accessible to a second pool, pool bar and hotel gym.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

So if you’re not wanting to make the trek up by foot, just call from your room or head to the driveway to jump in a hotel doorless car.

The pool area is certainly one you can spend the day relaxing at. It is super family friendly with nice shallow sections and some water features as well.

What I thought was a really great idea was the service buttons on the umbrellas. There is nothing worse than waiting for staff to walk by to take your order or you having to get up yourself to get a drink… Simply press the button and someone will be right over to take your order! It’s genius!

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

What also impressed me were the sun shades available to attach to your umbrella. This was perfect to escape the direct sunlight, in our case protect Henry from the sun. You could put them up and take them down as you please.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

From the pool area you can access the stairway directly down to the beach. It’s a beautiful walk and a nice way to get to the main street in Naithon as well.

If you walk the level just below the pool and follow the track, you won’t miss this beautiful view! How perfect is this water!

Health and Fitness…

For those who like to stay active on holidays, there is a fully equipped gym located on the grounds.

There are also daily activities which you can opt in for if you’re feeling energetic! They are detailed on a board outside the gym.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

Kids Club

There is a kids club located near the gym and upper pool area. Although we didn’t use it as Henry was too little, it seemed to have everything there for the kiddies!

Good to know…

If you would be happier with a slightly smaller room, I would probably recommend the Ocean Rooms. These rooms are at the bottom of the resort, making it closer to everything and your view would be more direct over the ocean, perhaps hearing the water!

Our room was perfect for our needs but being closer to the water is always nice.

In our room was a large beach bag. This came in super handy throughout our stay especially having to take toys and bottles down to the pool for Henry. We loved the bag so much we purchased one before we left!

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

Checking out…

This was quick and easy. Our Loyalty Activist Manager arranged a transfer to our next hotel on Phuket.

Above and beyond…

Look-Moo, our Loyalty Activist Manager consistently went out of her way to ensure our stay was everything we wanted it to be!

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

The not so good…

The only things to mention here, and it’s very minor, is at times, when you’re waiting at the street level for a car to take you up to reception, your wait time can be a little while if you don’t want to walk up the hill. There were a few occasions where we waited 20 minutes. Reason for not wanting to walk is we just finished getting a massave and walking up a steep driveway seemed counter intuitive!

The verdict…

Absolutely recommend. We would stay at this hotel again!

Visiting Phuket? – Ideas on what else to see and do

Are you planning on spending a bit of time in Thailand? Click here for more information.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

If you’re spending some time at Naithon Beach in Phuket, you’re probably wondering what there is to do there and how far away it is from the hustle and bustle of the very tourist friendly island.

Where is Naithon Beach?

Naithon Beach is located just 15 minutes from Phuket Airport, making it the perfect stop before or after a long haul flight.

Naithon Beach Phuket

For some reason, Naithon Beach hasn’t caught the eye of resort developers which makes it a perfect spot if you’re after some piece and quiet.

Getting to Naithon Beach

The drive to Naithon Beach is actually quite beautiful. From the south, the roads become quite narrow and you drive a windy road through jungle – it’s really quite beautiful. From the north you drive through a little village before reaching a green valley before arriving at the beach.

What to do at Naithon Beach

The Beach: Relax at the beach and enjoy a swim in the beautiful water. The great thing about the beach is that there is plenty of shade provided by the tree lined street, meaning you don’t need to hire or take an umbrella.

Rocky Coves: Accessible only by long tail boat, this would be something worth exploring if you have the time. This can be arranged at the dive shop on the main road.

Scuba Diving: Also available to book through the dive shop.

Massage: I found the best massages on the island to be at Naithon Beach! They do get super busy at peak times (normally around 7pm) so either book a time with them prior to arriving, or go a little earlier or later to get a spot.

Where to stay at Naithon Beach

We stayed at the Pullman Arcadia Naithon Beach. Click here to read our full review of the hotel.

thewelltravelledfamily pullman phuket arcadia

Visiting Phuket? – Ideas on what else to see and do

Are you planning on spending a bit of time in Thailand? Click here for more information.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Archie's Great Adventure

When you spend every single day for just over 5 months at the hospital, with every single day being virtually the same, you begin to believe this is how life will be forever. I would ask myself every day, will Archie get any better? Can we do anything differently for him? Will we ever get him out of here? The story of Archie is one we will never forget.

When we found out that Archie wouldn’t be coming home, that this disease was beginning to win the fight, we thought Archie’s last days would be spent as every other day for the prior 5 an a bit months. I can’t describe how sad that made me feel… To be surrounded by medical staff, in a room that was so sterile, monitors, alarms and equipment beeping. Other families just outside. How is that a way to spend Archie’s final days. How is that fair?

Archie had fought so hard, every single day of his life. I didn’t want for him to never experience the things that most people take for granted.

The question that changed our lives

Then, Karen from the Palliative Care Team asked us one question…

If there is one thing you want to do for Archie, what would it be?

When we responded with something we thought was impossible like wanting to bring Archie home, even for a few hours, Karen looked at us and said they will do their best to make it happen. She then asked, is there anywhere else you’d like to take Archie? Of course, our initial thought was the Botanical Gardens. We walked the gardens every day for nearly 100 days going to and from NICU at the Mater Mothers prior to moving to Queensland Children’s Hospital.

We were asked this question on Sunday and by Monday night, the plan was just about in motion with final logistics being sorted for what was dubbed Archie’s Great Adventure which would take place on Wednesday, 16 January 2019.

We couldn’t believe it. The thought of being able to take our baby home, even for a few hours, was a dream we never thought possible. Finally, that daily ritual of being inside the hospital walls every single day was about to come to an end.

Archie would lay in his cot for the first time. Archie would see his toys for the first time. Archie would see where he was supposed to grow up, for the first time. The first and only time.

This is a short highlights video of our day. Full videos are linked below.

The logistics

Logistically, it was very difficult to arrange. Firstly, they had to arrange the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and retrieval team to agree to help with the transfer to and from the hospital. Then a portable high flow and oxygen had to be sourced not only for the transfer to and from but also for our apartment. A team had to gain access to our apartment to ensure the medical equipment was set up correctly, that the power boards were plugged in the right spot in the apartment… apparently, they have to be a certain number of meters away from the kitchen.

Nothing about this was simple. We weren’t even sure how Archie would cope with the transfer. If Archie was showing signs of not coping with the move, the whole thing would need to be cancelled as his health was our number 1 priority.

In addition to the multiple teams getting us ready to get on the move, the nursing staff had to put together bags of medication for us to administer for Archie throughout the day, including morphine. We were shown how to give this to him and we were to use our judgement on whether he needed some or not.

This video is about us getting out of the hospital! Part 1…

The morning of Archie’s Great Adventure

The morning had arrived… this was it. It was Wednesday, 16 January 2019, I arrived at the hospital, only to find that our wonderful nurse, Vanessa, had made onesies that said Archie’s Great Adventure and also ones that had the boys names on them. It was amazing.

thewelltravelledfamily Archie's great adventure

Steven and Henry waited at home and I came via Ambulance with Archie.

From the moment we got to the ambulance from the hospital room, Archie was distressed. I thought right away that they would call the whole thing off and we wouldn’t get our day at home. The staff gave Archie some additional medication (morphine) to help calm him down and I gave him some sucrose with his dummy. Thankfully, after a few minutes, it did the trick and he slept the whole way home.

Our time at home

Archie’s journey started with an ambulance ride from Queensland Children’s Hospital (QCH) to home. We were able to take Archie to his room, he had a play in his cot and the moment he was put in the cot, the smiles were there. He was so happy to be at home.

I can’t describe what it felt like to have Archie laying in his own cot, how he must have felt being outside of the hospital. I would have loved to have known what he was thinking. He looked so happy.

From the boys room, we moved into the lounge room. Archie had a lovely time playing chimes with his brother, laying under his activity centre and reading a very special book to Henry.

We were given three books to help talk about grief with Henry when he grows up and one of the books, titled “In My Heart” is a book that Archie was to read to Henry. We took our time and read the book as a family.

The other two books, which I would highly recommend for young children is “The Invisible String” and “Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between”. They talk about death and feelings in a very appropriate way for young children.