Road Trip


Squidge tunnel

I love a road trip. I love hitting the road and heading out on an adventure, there’s no better feeling. I’ve gone on some crazy adventures in the US mostly fuelled by the fact that I was usually broke and couldn’t fly to my final destination.

One of the things I found when I first moved here was that people don’t drive too far- an hour is a long way. Or maybe it’s just the people I’ve met? Who knows! I always found that a bit odd but then again I lived in South Carolina for 8 years and EVERYTHING was a long way off. Driving an hour to go to a mall was something Wal and I did often. We used to hit the road early in the morning, hit the fresh market, walk around the downtown area, chill out and then hit the ONLY Indian restaurant with in 300 miles. Let me tell you the joy on Wal’s face when he first found this place- I can still remember it.

Fast-forward to having Squidge. I still hit the road but now it’s usually to a kid friendly destination-Jodrell Bank, Chester Zoo or the seaside. We just hit the road. Now as Squidge has gotten older things have become easier-no nappies, not pushchairs, just a lot less kit. Ya know what I mean??

Last week were given the opportunity to test drive a new kids pool at Center Parcs Elveden Forest so of course I jumped at the chance.


We set off early as we needed to be there for 11 and it’s a 4 hour drive. I had Squidge in the back w/ her pillow (in case she needed to nap) a load of books and some snacks. Easy peasy!

Traffic was a bit heavy but I expected that and took the toll road around Birmingham- love that toll road! Soon after I started to see signs saying that the motorway was closed at Junction 1 and 2 on the M6. No big deal I thought as I didn’t think I would be going that far down the M6.  Ya, so I might not really know where I’m going but I have a satnav so I will travel! As I’m sure you already know but I didn’t at the time, I hit the traffic at junction 3 but managed after some seriously dodgy driving to get off the motorway at J3.

So began my wild and wonderful travel through go knows where! The satnav sent me along some residential areas, farm country and again residential areas. I had no idea where I was going  but I put all my faith in it and just keep pushing on.

By this point I needed to wee but we’d just gotten on a dual carriageway and I thought there would be services somewhere along the route. After leaving one dual carriageway and coming onto another one I thought I was going to die so I pulled over, grabbed some baby wipes, opened both the passenger side and back door and ahem did what I needed to do.  It wasn’t fun or pretty but fingers crossed no one else but Squidge saw what I did.

Back in the car I see the sign for a motorway services w/in 5 minutes of setting off. Of course that would happen! I asked Squidge if she needed to go- nope she said. Nooooow I’ve been at this parenting gig long enough to know better. I should have immediately pulled into the services but I didn’t. Not 500 yards after passing she tell me that actually she has to go.

We were in a dual carriageway w/out a hard shoulder and had been for miles and miles  prior to finding one for me! So I asked her to hold on we’d get to one soon- of course I said that after shouting at her a-la John McEnroe. Are you serious?? Are you freaking kidding me??? Seriously??? I mean seriously??  I looked back and she’s smiling a little bit and she tells me it’s ok she doesn’t need to go anymore so I ask her why- she wet her pants she tells me. I might have lost my mind and I wondered where my fun road trip had gone- somewhere on the M6 around junction 3 I think!

We pulled over finally and I sorted her out, thankfully I had a sundress with me but no extra pants. I mean I haven’t carried change of clothes for her in years!


We finally pulled into Center Parcs almost 2 hours late but we still managed to not miss anything!

First thing we did was have a bit of a chinwag w/ the other bloggers and a fantastic lunch. I had some fajitas and they were delish! Tex-Mex is a favourite of mine but I don’t have it often because 1. hard to find in the UK and 2. It’s usually crap. I highly recommend Hucks at Center Parks!!

Then it was off to test drive the pool. To say Squidge was excited would be an understatement. We had gone to Center Parcs in Whinfell Forest last month and she loved the water park bit and would have spent all day there if we let her. The General Manager of CP Elveden had a few words w/ all of us about Venture Cove and the thought behind it all. Squidge pointed out that she’d been before and basically was saying move it buddy you’re standing in the way of me and FUN FUN FUN!  Finally they were all let it and much fun was had by all the kids!

What a seriously great idea and I can’t believe it’s taken them this long to do something like this- a pool area for under 7s. One section was a really fab pool for toddlers w/ jets, a tiny slide and levers and things. Great to just putter around w/ you have littles. The other side was sides and buckets that fill will water than dump on you when full and did  mention water-slides?? Squidge was in heaven and soon made friends w/ Merry’s daughter J and the two of them were off!

If you’re looking for a great family holiday you should totally think about Center Parcs Elveden- fab holiday for the kids, water park is great and best of all?? Wifi!!!

Squidge keeps asking when we’ll be going back so it’s two thumbs up from her!

Center Parcs paid for our travel expenses down to the park but all opinions are my own.