Friday, 20 July 2012

Road trips with kids. Part 2

I have been in a state of shock since we ventured off on our road trip with the kids. We have been back over a week now, and yet, no blog posts have been written. A case of extended holiday mood? or simply not knowing where to start? I know not.

The notion of  a road trip with our crew did petrify me a bit. There is nowhere to go; once you have taken the plunge, you are in until the end. There were moments in the lead up that had me thinking that the best option was just not to go at all. That peaked at the packing stage, when I surrounded myself with piles of clothes for six people venturing into -3 degrees (overnight), and was overwhelmed by the thought of the washing when we got back. It is often the washing that freaks me.

But go we did. 

A couple of nights in Orange with some friends (I am still in shock that people who are not related to us would actually invite us to stay at their home!) enjoying the vineyards and local parks.

A few nights in Dubbo where we spent most of our time cycling around the zoo. At the risk of offending someone (or all of you), Dubbo is an absolute dive. There is lots to do (like family bowling - Dew Drop beat me!) but it lacks life. Even the sniff of life. It may have been where we stayed (on the wrong side of the tracks) or the amount of fast food outlets that put me off, but man, I couldn't get out of there fast enough!

Finally a couple of nights in a gorgeous mud brick cottage just outside the Warumbungles, near Coonabarabran, where we reconnected with nature and were inspired by the amazing scenery. I have long wanted to go to the Warumbungles. It was torture to be in the National Park with children who did not want to commit to walking more than one kilometre when there was so much wonderful hiking to be done, but we were still able to have a fantastic time. We will absolutely be going back there. When the kids are older. Or have flown the coop.

The driving stints were punctuated with games and stories and kids fighting with each other about one thing or another. The obligatory portable DVD player got a workout sometimes too, depending on how well the Geege and I coped with the racket in the back of the van! Overall, I rated the road trip with our kids. It felt like a real family holiday. A family out and about, making memories together.

Oh and the washing? Still catching up. As I plonked the last load of sheets from our trip in the washing machine this morning, they still had the hint of the log fire smell from the mud brick cottage and that made me smile as I thought of the four kids tucked up in their bunks.

How have you been?


Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

Oh wow, you've been out in our part of the world! Probably drove through Gil on the way to Coona.
Yes, having lived in Dubbo it lacks vibrancy and heart at times, it takes a while to find those hidden gems the locals know about that make it a nice place to live. Trust me when I say it's better now than it was when I lived there!
I agree though, washing is the absolute worst part of a holiday!

Posie Patchwork said...

Oh we went to Dubbo Zoo too (didn't even hit the town, we slept at the Zoofari lodge in the zoo overnight) & while we're very experienced in car trips (seeing my husband lives in Brisbane, i just toss the children, 4 bikes, dog in the car & go!!) I tell you, 3500km round trips solo with 4 children & no DVD players, brings you closer. I did it when they were 4 under 6, now they are aged 8-13 it's just easier & more interesting with the music choices & conversations. This trip my husband was with us, in our new car, it was such a treat to a) not drive & b) enjoy a navigation system. The heated seats early in the morning were a blessing too. We take one bag, dress light & pile overcoats on top, keeps the washing to a minimum & i get their coats dry cleaned midway through Winter & at the end, done!! Loved the zoo, we biked the first day, then after the 3 private tours which were part of the Zoofari package, we were exhausted the next day, so we drove & stopped at the 5 main attractions only. Love Posie

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful...sans post hol washing :)

Seana Smith said...

Hello, I'd love to go to Dubbo Zoo, why have we never been there? I have a wee dream of a campervan thinggy and just two of the kids.

I snorted with laughter at your surprise at friends having you all to stay... yes... know that feeling!

But your trip sounded good. I don't think our family would do so well. Wish our kids would walk/hike longer distances too... so frustrating to dilly dally... well, maybe there's a lesson there.

Anonymous said...

Nice! Sounds like our road trip with the 3 boys. Making memories is noisy work, but necessary. Imagine how boring life would be if you never went anywhere? Glad you're back on the computer. x

Photographer Mum said...

Good to have you back. I was wondering where you'd got to ;)

Elisa {with grace and eve} said...

Sounds like a pretty awesome road trip! Craving a little holiday for our family of four! Oh and the washing scares me too...! x

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

I wondered where you had gone! We lived in Orange for a year pre-kids - loved it! Gorgeous town! Dubbo on the other hand, I completely agree with you! Sounds like a great memory making trip that you had!

Mum on the Run said...

Sounds like a fabulous, old-school family holiday.
Memory making indeed.
Hopefully you'll soon forget the washing though.
:-) xx

Mama of 2 boys said...

Ah, great to see you back here MM!
I love a good old fashioned road trip, you kind of resign yourself to arguments and bickering and stopping dozens of times for dunny breaks and snacks.
Sounds like you crammed a lot of fun into yours. Always wanted to get to the warumbungles... cool name for a National Park.
Isn't the washing always the biggest punish of a holiday though!? xo

sascedar said...

the log cabin sounds beyond awesome. we did a campervan roadie in easter, it was great. and exhausting. but, by golly, the memories! and the washing. I am dreaming of staying in a lighthouse keepers cottage, lighting a wood fire and playing board games, snuggled against the sea wind :)sarah

Quill and Ink Handmade said...

Sounds just wonderful, MM!


Diminishing Lucy said...

I have missed you. How lovely to read this. I am so glad you had a top time. I read your request for tips too late. But I kind of knew you'd go OK.

(We do Adel to Syd every year. No portable DVD. But we do have books on CD and the kids have their own MP3 players loaded with music and audio books.)

My other road trip advice would have been let them eat in the car - it kills time. Rest stops are for the loo and for running around. One parent would doo toilets and play whilst the other would do petrol and replenish snack bags...I kept an esky in the boot full of healthy-ish snacks...and just kept topping up lunch sacks...)


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