Written by Angela Stewart
Our Green & Gorgeous Domestic Goddess
During the recent school holidays I planned to take my three children on a trip to catch up with our friends who had recently relocated to a warmer climate. How was I going to stay sane, keep my three boisterous and very excited children entertained and happy, and arrive at our destination in one piece?
Some creative planning was called for, and after several alternatives were considered, we had a game plan in place. We would take approximately two days to reach our destination, but decided to make the most of the trip and catch up with my sister, some extended family and friends along the way. Each driving leg of the trip was planned to be around two hours each, with plenty of visiting and playtime in between each one.
After a few relaxing days at home, the car was fueled up, oil, water and tyre pressure checked, and packed to capacity – uh oh! some more creative and efficient packing would be called for on our return journey, to allow room for all that planned holiday shopping. Spirits were high as we headed for our first stop – my sister’s new home. This was a huge treat, as until recently they had lived interstate and a visit, let alone a sleep over had not possible.
The next morning spirits were again high, and a quick run in the park was called for to burn up some excess energy. Back in the car and off we headed to meet my aunty and cousins, and their children. We shared a lovely lunch, and the children had a great play together while we caught up on family news. It was wonderful to have the time and opportunity for my children to be replicating the relationship with the next generation, as we had done growing up. Time to load up again, but not without some negotiation, as my eldest daughter and my cousin’s eldest daughter had decided that they ‘loved each other sooo much’ that we needed to stay longer. Away we headed on the final leg of our journey.
This part of our trip passed quickly and calmly, as the children slept most of the way. They were worn out after all the anticipation, excitement and playing. On our arrival we were greeted with much excitement and enthusiasm from our friends.
We had a lovely few days catching up. Our adventures with our friends included running along the beach, swimming, attending a Teddy Bears’ Picnic – thank you to the jumping castle operator who allowed the children an extra long play so we could sit in the shade and rest for a while, exploring some fabulous local shops and markets, sliding down sand dunes, and enjoying being together.
After a fabulous few days together it was far too quickly time to turn around and start our return trip. This game plan was adjusted to allow for the anticipated heavy traffic of the long weekend. Very early and a little bleary eyed away we headed, and after some easy traveling we made a breakfast stop. We continued on our way for another hour or so, and then had a lovely catch up with the Gorgeous Lesley-Ann. The children again played hard and burned up enough energy to allow them to sleep and rest quietly for rest of the days traveling.
We had another stop we with my sister, and then returned home relaxed and a little worn out. The rest of our holidays we spent happily at home.
So although a drive that could easily be done (without children) in about six hours ended up extending over a day and a half each way, we had a relatively hiccup-free trip.
On a personal level I learnt a lot about what it is possible achieve with a little creative planning and forethought. Taking the time to enjoy the experience and approach the journey with an attitude of mindfulness really enabled me to gain the most possible out of the experience on all levels – physically, emotionally and spiritually. This attitude also helped me to stay open to the lessons that were there to be learnt. Anyway, enough from me, I away to plan our next adventure. Stay posted for the next report on that journey.