About three weeks ago, we embarked on the biggest road trip we've done since having kids. Before leaving, there was a suitable amount of angst about how we would entertain a 2 year old and a 6 month old on several days where we'd be driving for up to seven hours, as well as how on earth we'd fit everything we needed in the car! But we did it, and not only did we survive, but we had a really enjoyable holiday.
Here are some of the highlights:
1. I discovered the joys of car knitting!
I've often read about others knitting in the car on long car trips but had decided that it wouldn't work for me because I get car sick if I read, but I can do it! I can knit in the car! Much knitting was done on this trip as a result.
2. Kids can cope quite well travelling long distances in the car. Surprising! Some tips for increased pleasantness:
- Leave as early as you can and plan extended breaks (at least 30 minutes) along the way.
- Pack a picnic lunch so you can stop when you need to.
- Make sure you have a variety of kid's music on hand. Listening to the same 3 albums over and over for thousands of kilometres will drive anyone completely mad, even if you thought they weren't too bad to start with!
- Collect up a pile of small age appropriate goodies and make them up into surprise packages to be handed out throughout the trip. We used stickers and paper, a tub of playdough with a plate or tray, Mr Men and Grug books (slightly less successful for a 2 year old who can't read yet), and crayon rocks.
- Humbly accept the offer of a car DVD player and DVDs from a friend even though you'd sworn black and blue you'd never ever have one. We only used it twice, and watched episodes of Play School, but it was greatly appreciated late in the afternoon of the second day of the Melbourne to Armidale leg, and again late one afternoon as we hit the crazy Sydney traffic.
3. I think Dad liked his mittens. The main reason for the trip was Dad's 80th birthday party, so I made him some fingerless mitts as a present. I still need to ravel them but will do so soon!
4. Our holiday at the beach was brilliant. The water was 26ºC and the weather was magnificent.
The cottage that we stayed in was great, and had a lovely view up the river from the balcony...
...as well as some interesting wildlife!
We'd like to stay at the same place this time next year, but for longer. Five nights was not quite long enough!
It's nice to be back, though, and I'm looking forward to rediscovering the rhythm of life around these parts. And doing more knitting. Of course!