The Longest Drive Ever!
Two weeks ago, Bella and I took a little break and drove down to our flat in Umhlanga. While I have done this same journey with her a few times, I think that this was the first year that a road-trip actually made sense to her. And it was definitely interesting…We left at about 9:30am, and at about 9:45am I got my first “are we there yet?”. I knew then that it was going to be a looooooong drive. But what followed was down-right hilarious! She only managed to sleep for about an hour, so that left us with 6 uninterrupted hours of her wondering what the actual f*%# I had gotten us into. These are just a few of the comments I got while road-tripping with a 4-year-old:
“When are we there?”
“My whole body hurts”
“Did this take 40 hours?”
“Are we there?…. Aaaaaaand now?!”
“Have we left South Africa???”
“We are never doing this again!! Next time we fly and order Uber!”
Needless to say, she was not wholly impressed with the concept of a girls’ road-trip. But despite her shock, she was an absolute rock-star. And I think that I managed to change her mind just a little bit, because simply put, I adore road-trips!
The nostalgia of road-tripping as a child, all the memories of doing this same drive with my family, came flooding back. My little brother annoying me in the car (but being my best friend once we got there, playing in our Jacuzzi and searching for crabs in the rock pools). Pretending to be radio-hosts, passing around ALL the snacks and the smell of hot coffee from the flask. Driving for an hour at a time and then stopping at familiar farm-stalls for my Mom’s packed lunches (the same every year).
And now as a Mama, I think that I may love road-trips even more! I love waking up early and packing the car. I love packing snacks, and getting creative with fun activities to keep my little one entertained. I love that first stop in Harrismith, when you get to stretch your legs, grab a cup of much-needed coffee, and that moment when the first buzz of ‘we are going on holiday’ finally sets in. I love counting down the minutes until we get there. I love having the ‘who will see the sea first’ competition. I love opening the door when we finally pull up into our destination, and getting hit by that first smell of sea air. I love the excitement of getting into the flat, dropping everything on the floor, grabbing your costumes and heading straight for the beach. And I love that we get to do this holiday, this family tradition, every year. Because childhood, and all the long-drives-and-sea-smelling-excitement that goes with it!
Our week in Umhlanga was filled with nothing but love! We saw family and met the latest addition to the cuzzie clan. We spent time with old friends and made some new ones. We built sand-castles and made her a mermaid tail. We had daily walks on the beach and went for late-night Jacuzzis. We went out for long, lazy breakfasts, and late lunches overlooking the ocean. We did the tourist thing and spent a day at uShaka. We searched for crabs and ate ice-creams after a dip in the sea. We went on a nature hike and found a secluded beach. We played board games while watching the sunset, and woke up early one morning to cuddle up on deck-chairs, watch the sunrise and sing ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow’ (I know right?! Cue ALL the warm tingly feels).
So by the time we had to make the long trip home, Bella knew what she was in for, and I think my over-zealous attitude may have rubbed off, because she totally got into it. She asked for the name of every town and river that we passed, she got excited for every herd of cows we saw, she made friends with a Dalmatian puppy at our bathroom-break stop, she played with each activity I had packed for, she sang ridiculous 90s pop songs with me (who knew 4-year-olds would love Shania Twain so much?!) and she chatted to me about all the things she had loved about our holiday, including *gasp* the road-trip with her Mama.
It was such a special week, and there is no-one I loved sharing it with more than my girl!
Some snaps from our week….