I really didn’t think it through.
Earlier this year, my university girls started making their annual plans to get together with all the families for a weekend in the summer. I never make it because I just live so far away. Add in the fact that it’s a lot of money and a huge amount of traveling for just 2 short days and I’ve always sadly declined. And then felt so left out the weekend that they were all together.
Not this year. I said a big fat yes because the FOMO was just too much. Then it actually came to making the journey from the Luxembourg/Belgian/German border to the Peak District. That’s just a touch over 500 miles. With 2 small people. ON MY OWN. Because James had to work as per usual.
We hadn’t even been on the autobahn for 5 minutes when Emmie screamed out and started hysterically crying. I wanted to stab myself in the eye with the Sat Nav. A captive wasp had bitten her so I had to pull into the first Raststätte and swiftly administer the bite stick from my first aid kit. I gritted my teeth in anticipation of the journey from hell ensuing. But in all honestly, that was kind of as bad as it got.
Well, apart from Emmie crying out that she had to do a poo. Now. Doesn’t sound too bad does it? How about if I told you that the cars had just started to board the ferry and she was sobbing? We’d just been to the dirty Dunkirk terminal toilets and they were a trek away. So I did what any quick thinking mother would do; offered her one of the nappies in my bag. I knew it was serious when she said yes and I had to make a quick dash into the back of the car, wrap her up and jump back into the driver’s seat just as the car in front of me started moving.
Stressful doesn’t even cover it. At least the car started. Unlike the last time we were home and I broke down in the queue to get on the boat in Dover. I loved that day the best.
We stopped for a Bluewater break before embarking on the M1 on a Friday afternoon. That was a big mistake. HUGE. It took us 6 hours instead of 3. It was the journey that never ended and I was practically crying by the time I arrived. But, back to Bluewater. In order to facilitate my shopping adventures (where I spent most of my money on the kids) we went and built a bear. I loved it but we ended up with a pink monstrosity that sings Olaf, has a yellow Belle dress and is called Elsa. The offending stuffed animal raised a few eyebrows amongst the shop staff but Emmie thought it was the best thing ever.
If you’re ever looking for a fabulous house in the Peak District that fits about 100 people, you should hire this one. It was amazing and just perfect for our menagerie of small children. It was in a small, chocolate box village called Wirksworth and we loved every second of the stay there.
And then on Monday, after a weekend of drinking a lot (for me), minimal sleep, lots of entertaining small children and 2 days of belly aching laughter, I turned around and did the journey all over again.
It was utterly worth it and I loved every second. We’re packing up and getting back on the road this Saturday to meet up with Amy and our parents in France. This time, we’re the ones with the shortest drive. I can’t wait!