So we have survived our first major holiday as a family of five, traveling to the South Island for five days to visit friends and relatives.
We’ve been away overnight before, but this was the first trip that involved aeroplanes, hire cars, extensive lists and camping grounds. It was excellent practice for future tent-camping holidays, as we stayed in cabins, where you have a proper bed, walls and a roof; table, chairs and proper plates and cutlery. We had to walk about 10 yards to the toilet, kitchen and showers, but that was all under cover, so it was no hardship and gave us a good indication of how the kids would cope with a small area to live, eat, play and sleep in, without the extra hassle of leaking canvas and lumpy groundsheets.
The girls had a great adventure, as the park we stayed in had a massive playground, a trampoline and lots of interesting-looking people coming and going. The baby crawled determinedly towards the door at every opportunity as if to say “you can’t keep me here, I’m Steve McQueen”. They all played very well, and as we were out and about most days, they didn’t have to be stuck in one place all the time.
We visited a few friends, but time was limited, so we had to restrict ourselves to the main people we went to see (the childrens godparents) and people on the way to other places. We still didn’t see everyone though, so we are planning to do another trip for longer in order to properly catch up with all the new marriages, births, builds and break-ups.
Weather down South was cold but sunny, we had a little bit of rain on the last day, but it came and went over lunchtime when we were warm and dry and stuffed full of chips and aioli (well it said aioli on the menu, but it was a spoonful of Hellmanns finest as far as I could tell). We returned to major rainstorms and fields so wet the crickets have come inside to get out of the weather, so I think we got a good deal there.
Tareka is trying very hard to get as much time off in January next year as possible, so we’re hoping we can do a big road trip south before the end of the school holidays. We have a huge tent already, so this year I am going to be slowly gathering camping supplies. I already have 2 nice storage boxes labeled “camp bathroom” and “camp kitchen” and I am filling them with appropriate items such as soap, shampoo, tin openers, corkscrews and earplugs. I think I may also need a “camp laundry” and a “camp bedroom” box.
The idea of the boxes is very simple. Once they are filled with all the trappings needed for camping under canvas, we should (theoretically) be able to just pack clothes, tent and boxes into the trailer and set off on an adventure. No lists, or major planning, just pack and go.
I’ll keep you posted…