Caption "Post-Lockdown Roadtrip: The Reality" with a backdrop of a stony beach on a very wet day
Children, Family, Travel

Post-Lockdown Road Trip: The Reality

We’ve been back a few weeks now and I’m already feeling like we need another holiday. Instead, I’ve been thinking back to all the lovely things we did this summer and how lucky we were to get to go.

Back in May 2020, the Lovely Bill over at A Silly Place imagined the end of lock down and passed the baton to me, having received it himself from Renata at Buffalo Sauce Everywhere. I knew that our planned holiday habitual trip to France were nigh on impossible.

Instead, I thought about how else we would spend two weeks, largely unrestricted.

I wonder what it says about my imagination that the reality of our post-lockdown trip matched pretty closely the one that I’d dreamed of and longed for.

I don’t know whether I limited myself to think only of what was achievable or whether having imagined our trip I set about making it happen for real, driving the plans according to the ideals I’d dreamt up.

Cautiousness

Himself and I had discussed UK plans to lighten the lockdown and we felt that they were making changes prematurely. So we decided to do “lockdown plus two”. We stayed home for two extra weeks after lockdown was lifted.

The first weekend after lockdown, for us, was just like all the weekends before – at home. A couple of weekends after that though, we ventured out and about. First just we visited local nature reserves we hadn’t discovered before. Then we decided a visit to our families was a realistic possibility.

The Roadtrip

In the end it was about 6 weeks after lockdown lifted when we began our road trip. As I said, we used my dream in response to Bill and Renata’s challenge as a template.

Stage 1 – northward bound

The imagined first stage didn’t quite play out as imagined. We didn’t stay over with himself’s sister or eat junk food in service stations. We were still cautious enough to be avoiding services as far as possible – just a quick in and out for the toilets. Instead, we popped into Glasgow for lunch with my sister in law and her husband, with their kids away with their other granny for a few days. It was a much more pleasant experience than some service station with loads of people milling around, forgetting social distancing and wearing their masks on their heads or at least barely covering noses. We’d left early on a Friday morning, instead of after school (since schools weren’t back and by this point it was summer holidays anyway). This meant that even after a relaxed lunchtime pit stop we got to himself’s parent’s house just before dinner time, to be treated to a Pimms in the garden no less:

We didn’t get the country park cousin mayhem during a stop over with himself’s sister, instead we all met up together halfway between Aberdeen and Glasgow and enjoyed a happy day in an outside playground and picking strawberries.

What I definitely didn’t imagine was the fairly awful weather, I had not dreamt of being soaked to the skin in Stonehaven or blown around on Lossiemouth beach. Nor had I really thought about running, but I was blessed with some beautiful views of the Dee.

Our expectations of cafe lunches and garden centre coffee breaks weren’t fulfilled. I’m sure they were possible but we didn’t pursue them – one lunch at Baxter’s factory was awkward enough. Instead, lots of sausage rolls and cheese sarnies, mother in law’s traybakes, and a couple of cheeky takeaways felt like a real treat.

Stage 2 – into the fens

Visiting my parents was such a huge deal for me, I had missed my mum so much. They still live in the house I grew up in, so driving the roads towards their village the anticipate rose and I was quite emotional by the time we arrived, I cried on my mum’s shoulder and of course that set her off too. It was my birthday as well, so my parents provided a treat birthday tea and cake, and I opened my presents.

The change of location was accompanied by a big change in weather, it was lovely in Lincolnshire. We enjoyed bike rides down the lanes of my childhood, trips into the local woods…

….to Belton house, played footy golf, climbed on the ruins of Bolingbroke Castle and went to the sea side.

My parents looked after the kids one afternoon and himself treated me to afternoon tea and a rummage in a second hand book shop. We visited my grandma and I went to see my gran too. I managed my first 5km run, in an OK time too.

Stage 3 – the return home

Finally, on my mum’s birthday it was time to say goodbye. My dad cooked a delicious Sunday lunch, complete with Yorkshire pudding and mum made chestnut stuffing and a tian even though it was her birthday. I may have had third of both. The kids even ate nicely and when the time came to load the car and head home, we all had full tummies. Himself drove the three hours home and I managed to nap in the passenger seat while the boys watched a movie.

Back home, the washng went on, there was a panic over the TV having image retention and the lovely supermarket delivery lady brought supplies an hour earlier than planned.

And so back to “normal”

We were back into the normality we would never have considered a year previously – both working from home with kids on holiday from school also in the house. We had to start thinking about getting back to school a few weeks later.

Our post-lockdown road trip definitely lived up to the journey I’d imagined a few months before. We enjoyed some really happy times with our families and recharged our batteries. It might not have played out as I had dreamt, but all the really important features were there – family, family and more family.

Soon enough of course, it was time for the boys to go back to school – bringing even more normality.

41 thoughts on “Post-Lockdown Road Trip: The Reality”

  1. Happy Birthday! It’s so hard to be separated from loved ones during this global pandemic. I’m still nervous about going out and mingling in public, but it’s nice to take a drive for a change of scenery!

    Like

  2. So happy you were able to have a lovely trip despite what’s been going on. I’ve been having the need for a vacation (not the beach) but something where we haven’t been. A road trip seems likes a fun idea. Maybe in the winter.
    ~ B (@mind.beauty.simplicityblog)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds like it was such a nice trip! It’s great that you were able to spend your birthday and your mom’s birthdays there, I’m sure that made it special

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a lovely trip and I’m glad it wasn’t far from what you wanted xxx unfortunately our first trip away ended in disaster so we will be trying again next week!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds a lovely trip smell. I enjoyed reading your posts while you were away.

    I can understand your thoughts on the likes of service stations, full of numptys that just don’t care about the safety measures. Sadly there is a lot of them.

    Sounds very emotional when you finally got to see your mum and what a birthday treat for you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s great that you felt you had a ‘normal’ trip. It’s still quite a scary time – we might be in regional lockdown soon – but it’s still just about possible to have a good time, as long as family are around.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow what a nice, refreshing trip. I’m jealous! Glad you had the opportunity to have some outdoor adventures and to break out of the pandemic mode a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your trip sounded lovely. Sometimes the unexpected ones are the best! And you brought back memories of cold, rainy northern weather from my childhood. I don’t miss that. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh you guys are lucky!! You are going on vacation now, we are still locked, can’t dream of too. Loved your vacation blog. At least I got the vibe of vacation through your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We were very grateful to be able to go on this trip, if not our holiday to France that we’d had to cancel. I hope things improve and you can get away soon.

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  10. I enjoyed reading about your post lockdown trip. I remember that post when you shared what you imagine would be the end of lockdown and now you’re finally sharing how the real experience went! I’m glad you were able to spend it with family. They are really what matters.

    Liked by 1 person

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