Firstly, I can’t believe we’re in May. This year is just flying by! I’d better get thinking about Christmas shopping at the rate it’s going.
Anyway, back to our bank holiday Monday adventures! We took a family trip down to Hatfield to visit my sister Lottie and brother-in-law Lee (it’s been almost a year and that still seems odd to say haha.) Now, I like to think I’ve had my fair share of car journeys and trips out, so the 2 hour car journey didn’t phase me. However. This was the first trip we’d been on as a family that meant we’d all be in the car for longer than an hour…So on Sunday night I crammed my handbag with goodies, toys and books that I could keep Lily and William entertained with if they started to get fidgety. I also packed the car with bigger toys that would entertain them once we actually got there (almost pointless really, Uncle Lee was much more fun than Megabloks!) But, as the Scouts say: Always Be Prepared.
Monday morning came around, we all got up and dressed, ate breakfast and loaded into the car. Wahey! No dramas there, the day was looking good already. We stopped off at the petrol station to fill up – which I was quietly grateful for. A tradition I learned from my dad was to get a bag of goodies and a drink for the journey, so of course I couldn’t fail the tradition now, and we all got a drink and a bag of sweeties to share around. Once we were all filled up (on more than just fuel) we quickly checked the tyre pressure and off we set!
Within 20 minutes, William was fast asleep (winner.) and Lily was happily read (reciting) the Gruffalo in the back. I did pre-warn her that not everyone is able to read in the car as it makes them feel sick. Whether or not she actually did start to feel sick, she said she did so we took the books away, and like the clever mum I am, gave her a bag of Haribo to eat instead. We had Spotify on the go, with Disturbed and Killswitch Engage to keep us entertained on the journey. Martins phone doubled up as DJ and SatNav, and every so often Lily would say “There’s a river over there!” and Martin and I would look around outside thinking “wtf, where is she looking??” as outside was fields and woodland, and no obvious signs of a river. It took us a good while to work out that she was watching the SatNav (which highlighted where the rivers were!) *duhh*
With half an hour to go, William woke up, and he had had enough of being in the car. He started to get fidgety and whiney, but luckily I managed to keep him entertained with some toys and, of course, food. And then we made it! Considering it was a bank holiday, there was minimal traffic on the road (and arsehole drivers!), and not a caravan in sight either – much to Martins satisfaction. It was a really lovely run to be honest, and it was the furthest Martin had driven before too, so I’m thankful it was a breeze! Once we were all unloaded from the car, we’d sat down for all of 5 minutes before Lottie had Secret Life of Pets (in 3D) on for Lily, and quite possibly Lee too. Personally I’m not a fan of this film, but all the kids rave about it; maybe I’m getting old… Whilst that was playing, I had a catch up with Lottie and then dinner got started, yum yum. Whilst dinner was cooking, William took the opportunity to have a nap, and Lee took Lily outside to play with some bubbles and a ball.
Yum yum, how good does it look?! I can tell you it tasted even better, and was followed up with cheesecake. mm, same time next week?? Once dinner was finished, the bubbles came out to play again! William wasn’t too sure on them, which made him prime target to blow them at (mean, I know. But it was hilarious. Sorry William.) We then bundled into the bedroom where Lily and William had great fun playing “where am I” under the hoards of pillows and blankets. Lee thought it would be hilarious to let Lily hide and the rest of us run away…but it backfired as she just stayed put until we found her haha!
Sadly, we had to finish our fun there, as we still had to travel back home, and it was boring old school on Tuesday! The journey home was mainly a quiet one, Lily zonked out within 5 minutes of being in the car, and William followed shortly after! They both woke up again with about 20-30 minutes to go, but I wasn’t able to soothe William as well this time, he knew it was getting to bedtime and it had been a long day. Eventually we got home and had the kids in bed and asleep by 8pm.
So, our first long car journey started and finished without a hitch, and I’m happy to say it wasn’t a disaster day! We shan’t leave it so long next time to visit, and maybe we might be able to venture elsewhere now we know the kids temperaments in the car…
Preparation is key.
How do you fare with family car journeys? Do you dread them, or look forward to them?