Road trips are part of family life, so we get road testing the Milofix baby seat, so you don’t have to…
ROAD TRIP OR TREAT?
They say that Christmas changes when you have children… what they don’t say is that it’s more tiring, less drunken and dominated by seeing family.
Central to my festive season was a road trip up North to visit the relatives. I knew it would be tiring, but would it be worth it?
My friend Aidan and I decided to put it to the test. While we were doing the family rounds, he was having a restful relative-free time in Cornwall with his partner and dog.
It was a road trip of two halves – but what was better….
My Story – Family Style
With a new baby I’d resigned myself to a very busy family Christmas.
The plan was to drive 500 miles ‘Up North’ on Boxing Day and do the rounds. However, with Storm Desmond brewing we were forced to re-route to the Midlands. It was still a two and half-hour drive and with an infant that still takes some planning.
Santa had been kind enough to bring a new car seat – the Maxi-Cosi Milofix. The sturdy seat was top of my list, as I do a fair amount of driving and wanted a reliable brand with a good safety record.
Santa is a big fan of online shopping, and found a bargain at PreciousLittleOne – which rivals any high street deals out there (£225 plus delivery – what a bargain). Hey, don’t judge, he has a lot of people to buy for!
It was easy to install and instantly made a difference from our previous baby seat. At last Boo was able to enjoy the view, and spread his legs out in the comfort of a luxurious seat. If you want to read more, check out my review here.
While up north the storm was sweeping the country, in the Midlands it was a much sunnier affair. We stopped off to visit friends and enjoy our first rounds of several cups of tea. Friends done, we got back on the road and drove to the relatives.
Little Boo met his new cousin and I felt like a pro, offering all kinds of parental advice I have somehow soaked up. It was so nice to spend time with other people going through the same journey as us. But you could see the terror as they looked into the future at our grown up baby, romping around the place, destructive and wild compared to their quiet newborn. Yup, they definitely had the fear!
By day three, the board games had been played, we were straight out of alcohol, and I was for the first time sick of chocolate. To save ourselves from madness we hit the shops, went for a walk and even ate something that didn’t include turkey.
We hot footed it back to the car and headed for the smog.
In all, it had been a lovely trip and wonderful to catch up with those we don’t see enough. But restful – no, my God no!
But I won’t complain, because seeing footage of the storms causing destruction up north was humbling and made me realise that although families can be hard work, we were lucky to be able to time with ours in comfort, unlike the many who didn’t this year. If there’s one thing the festive season, and a road trip teaches you – it’s to be grateful for your blessings.
After doing the family Christmas thing last year we decided to run in the opposite direction and head to Cornwall. We all have our limits and ours was definitely stretched by last years affair.
So my partner, dog and I decided the best way to spend the festive season was with each other in our beloved Cornwall. It’s a chilled out place, lots of fun and ahhh that fresh air. It was a no brainer – the coast it would be.
It’s amazing how much stuff a dog needs. My faithful fluffy friend Dudley is a bit of a diva, with even more luggage than me! Our humble small car would not be enough, so we hired the Honda HR-V, a nice opportunity to try out some other wheels. Packed with a sat-nav, lane swerving prevention, automatic lights and the all important space inside, we were ready to hit the open road. Open road? Silly me, meant the Christmas traffic on the M25.
I’ve always felt that the journey is part of the holiday. I love driving and hiring cars is part of the pleasure of trying something new. And the HR-V was just that.
Lets get going
Car packed, we took to the road stopping off at Sophia en-route. We wanted to give little Boo a spin in our wheels, and show them how much space this not so little car had to offer. All in all, it was the perfect excuse to drive to the countryside for the afternoon and stuff ourselves with cream teas. We all agreed that it’s a great family car, especially with all the luggage children come with – it could hold several Trunki’s, especially with those back seats securely folded away to create even more room.
And so onwards for our five hour journey down south….
Cornwall is a very different place in the winter. Although the air is fresh and it still has that holiday vibe, it does lack some of the summertime spark. And with the treacherous weather we’d had, we were grateful for our hired wheels, which tolerated the rain and wind very well.
An indulgent week in our own company was just the tonic for the busy year we’ve had. Sure, we did miss our families, but not the hecticness. Returning to London felt like we had been in some sort of rehab! Just two-minutes in the Oxford Street sales and my blood pressure was up again! But alas, that week in Cornwall was blissful, and we’re already looking at when we can return next.
Sum it up…
So which was better? Well, it depends what you’re after…families are in no way relaxing, but they do bring comedy, a sense of belonging and some pretty lovely presents. And if ‘for better or worse’ that’s for you, then my friend, it’s family holidays all the way.
But if like Aidan, the getting away from it, the calm and the chill is what does it for you… well, you better get booking your next trip to Cornwall pretty soon.
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Milk Drunk Diary is an editorial blogzine based in the UK. We buy, borrow and receive products to test and review. Our opinions are always honest and our own.
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