It’s nearly road trip time with the family. This is when we get up early, head for the already packed car and get on the road to our holiday.
It’s become a tradition in our house to do this now and we’ve become rather good at it. We have all our things packed in small amount to fit in the estate car and enough snacks / drinks to keep us going for the journey, stopping at our favoured places for a stretch of the legs as the journey is long.
We also make sure we have something interesting to listen to on the way and it’s been a selection of audiobooks. We’ve exhausted the Harry Potter series, so we’re now trying Alex Ryder by Anthony Horowicz, which both kids have read and now we can listen on the way.
I love these times as we are sitting in a small space and forced to converse, taking time to chill out and relax on the journey. I want my kids to look back on these holidays with a smile and fondly remember our drives to the highlands, even looking forward to the journey rather than something which they have to endure.
Now they are a bit older, we are not leaving before dawn but just after. We used to pack them up in their jammies with a quilt for the journey in the fond notion that they’d sleep for the first part of it. Never once did that happen.
I remember a few years ago carrying Abigail out from her bed, trying not wake her and taking care on the steps. Just as we reached the car, she opened her clear eyes and said ‘Hi, Dad!’ in a bright cheery voice. On asking if she was awake the whole time, she said yes but she didn’t want to walk to the car. Little chancer!
Rory has always woken like a coiled spring, regardless of age, as it’s an adventure and he can’t wait to get going. He goes off to bed willingly the night before, sleeps and with a quiet word in the morning, he’s up and off before we know what’s happened. That boy loves a road trip.
When we get there, it will be beaches, lunches, dolphins and history, usually me boring the kids with some local facts, most of which are nonsense. Like the factory across the firth that has a chimney going and of course, that was Scotland’s cloud factory. Look at the sky around it, do you see clouds? Right, that’s what it’s there for.
And the stone skimming with both of them. Rory has been fascinated by this since he was tiny and looks for flat stones every time he goes on a beach. If he can’t find flat ones, then any will do and in they go with as much force he can muster.
We’re looking forward to this one and will discover new places to explore, as well as the old favourite haunts, of which there are many.
Bring it on!