Last Thursday our beloved Frankie Blue caravan came back from a few months at the caravan fixer-up-er-er and on Saturday we hitched her up and took off for a couple of days away.
Originally we had had big plans for faraway adventures, but when it came down to it, we decided a nearer destination felt more doable and just as much fun.
A mini road trip: A trip that took us somewhere less than hour away from home and for a couple of days only.
Here's my top 10 reasons for taking a mini road trip;
1) Spend time together as a family without the distractions of home.
It was great for us to be together again without the distractions of home and the farm. To really be together. To hang out with Jo-Jo. To not have to collect the eggs, bring in the fire wood and feed the animals. And it was great to remember who we are when we aren't rushing around ticking things off our to do lists all the time.
I don't know about you, but at home I drive in and out of town a few times a day. Between school drop offs and pick ups, activities, shopping and social arrangements I am forever zooming about in the car. For me one of the best things about time away is the fact that there is no rush. And because there is no rush we spend more time walking. And because we are walking we hold hands and piggy back and see so many things that we would otherwise miss when we are zooming from here to there.
3) To be inspired.
To see new things, to see different things and to think about how you can take a bit of it home with you.
I loved how as soon as we saw the pom pom tree in Castlemaine, my kids were making plans for a pom pom tree on our farm, that Miss Indi was taking photos of it and the little girls were babbling excitedly about who saw it first and who made the pom-poms and who put them there and when and why.
I feel like when I am in a new place my eyes are open wider than usual to take more in. That I notice things. That my senses are sharper.
Everything we saw from the golden autumn leaves falling from the trees, to the musical playground, to the pizza oven in the school, to the knitted square wrapped tree, everything made me notice, made me think and made me happy.
Traveling makes you do stuff you just don't do in your everyday life. Traveling makes you take risks, explore and sometimes leaves you spell bound.
I have a friend who is so good at this. She is always off on little trips exploring nearby towns. I am not so good at this. I find myself so caught up in everyday life that there's no time.
On our mini road trip we discovered and explored our neighbouring towns. We walked their streets, watched the people and discover the best places to have coffee (the organic place in Maldon has organic milk and coffee!!), the place to find huge, homemade wagon wheels (at the bakery in Newstead), and the best breakfast ( Saffs in Castlemaine).
Now when people talk about the Maldon lolly shop, the cute little handmade shop in Newstead or the piles of rocks in the paddocks of the central goldfields, we'll know what they are talking about.
Last weekend I found a gorgeous ball of natural merino wool, some vintage fabric, a baby blue Pyrex baking dish, some yellow Johnson brothers bowls and a Mason jar. I love finding the treasures but I also love how at home they become reminders of the fun times we had.
The incredible train station and tech buildings in Maryborough, the streets of Maldon, the oldest town in Victoria virtually untouched, the desolate, windswept paddocks outside Newstead...wow!
Oh how I want to live in an old farmhouse. To clomp down the wooden floored hallways and drink tea while gazing out of the big, wide windows at the endless paddocks....ahhhh....
It was so much fun being part of the caravan crew again. To strap on the caravan mirrors and do the caravan wave. To ask the locals where we should go and to do the touristy things. We loved having our cozy little home with us wherever we went and we can't wait to get out on the road again soon.
Last weekend I sat on the caravan couch and learnt how to do a provisional cast on and how to wrap and turn and then I knitted a whole beanie. At home things like this take days with all the distractions and interruptions but when you are away from home you have time, you make time.
Farmer Bren read magazines and the newspaper, I did the Samurai sudoku and knitted, the girls watched movies, played games and drew.
Now that we've done it once, we are all counting down the days until we can hitch up and drive off again soon. We all had a ball remembering the travelling us, reminiscing about last years' road trip and planning the next.
A mini road trip is easy, not much of a commitment and so much fun.
So how about you, do you like a mini road trip?
Will we see you somewhere down the road?
Do you take time to explore the nearby towns?
Do you know that bakery that sells the best pie, have you been to that museum, have you met that old, old lady, have you visited that antique map shop?
Travel safe my friends.