What are your thoughts on family road trips?
It certainly brings back memories of my own childhood when my family would travel to our holiday destinations. There was such anticipation! I loved it when we had to get up very early and it was still dark, I never actually fell asleep the night before because I was so excited.
Well, the excitement factor changes slightly in perspective as you would know. For the kids, it is more like, ‘I’m ready, let’s go!’ For the adults, well for me anyway, the whole holiday organisation begins with a list, then another list and if I’m being totally honest…a ‘final’ list. Right after all four family members’ bags are packed then I begin the packing of the pantry items, the medicines ‘just in case’ and the essential household items. I don’t know if any other family takes as much as we do, but all I will say is…the car is jam packed full and we will be ready for anything or any weather change!
The car, which is a medium sized 4WD is strategically packed thanks to my husband’s many years of fitting all of our gear in. It takes us longer this time around to actually get packed and when we are finally in, after saying goodbye to the cat and fish many times and going back in the house because we realise we ‘forgot’ something, finally we are off.
I remember, my older brother would get sick of the copious times I would want to play ‘I Spy’ and so Mum and Dad would gladly play with me. The next game would be ‘How many ‘yellow’ cars can you count’, which would be replaced by whichever colour I felt comfortable at the time, given I had probably already spotted a few of them coming our way in the distance, which would mean that I won the game.
Many other road trip games would surface as the hours passed. I remember my other favourite part about going on road trips were the stops on the side of the road to eat the delicious food my Mum had prepared. Homemade rissoles were my favourite and sometimes Mum would make Scotch Eggs, yum.
Being rather protective of our brand new Chrysler Regal with all the bells, whistles and trimmings, my Dad provided us with trays to eat on so that no stray crumb would find its way into the pristine car. I didn’t mind, as long as I was going on holidays. I loved this car as I could lie right across the back seat. It was like being in my very own lounge room.
Things are slightly different these days as my kids watch DVD’s in the back seat. Sometimes ‘I Spy’ will be played, but it is quickly replaced by something else. The most I could muster up for this holiday was making banana bread on the morning of us leaving! There were four very sad looking bananas that needed to be used up. Somehow, this wasn’t the same as Mum’s homemade rissoles though.
The kids were so excited as we drove in to the grounds of our accommodation. ‘Look there’s a tennis court!’ ‘Oh wow – the pool looks good, can we go for a swim now?’ As we unlock the cottage and let the kids in first, there are shrills of ‘Oh! This is my bed’, ‘No I want that bed!’, ‘Mum can I have that bed?’
Meanwhile, my husband and I still haven’t stepped foot into the cottage as we are unloading the many bags, boxes and beach equipment from the over loaded car.
Finally, we are all in. Dumping a few of the bags inside, we examine the cottage that will be our home for the next few days. Nice. It has ample space. Clean. All is good.
Right now, I’m relaxing in a two bedroom cottage about 3 hours from home. We arrived here quite late in the day and only had time to explore the grounds before nightfall. The beach is close by and we can hear the waves rolling in. Tomorrow will be spent swimming, given the warm temperatures expected.
There starts the ‘holiday’ for the adults. The feeling of ‘Yay, we made it, now it’s time to relax’ sets in. The essence of my childhood holidays is still strong in my mind, which I thank my Mum and Dad for making them so special, so much so, that I still reflect on them to this day.
After a relaxing dinner and glass of wine we soak up the holiday vibes.
How do you rate road trips with your family?
© Gillian Du Caurroy 2015
Find Gillian in a busy cafe or street, scoping the prospect of characters in her latest book.
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