Actually getting there!
So, it’s time for a holiday and a chance to bask in the glory of sun, sand and plenty of ice cream and fish and chips…well, kind of…Allow me to explain.
Going to the sea side for most people is a chance to get too much beer, sand in your socks and sun, as well as eye-strain as people hit the beaches wearing less clothing than your average porn star, whilst attempting to look good holding in their stomach in and pumping their chest up (well, I do anyway).
Getting there, even for the able bodied can be a hassle, but for us it’s a half-and-half thing…half good, half bad.
Loading the car with enough spare clothes to make sure that the kids can wear something WITHOUT a curious and, as yet, unidentifiable stain (it could be food, juice OR just pen/pencil/crayon, you never know) as well as spare clothes, plus clothes for us (my carer/wife and me, that is), as well as stuff for the journey AND making sure all our meds are packed on top of my wheelchair AND scooter seemed an impossible feet…however, we have a BIG car!
In goes the scooter, then the wheelchair, then the 1st LARGE suitcase (yep…the FIRST SUITCASE), as well as the battery charger for the scooter AND a puncture repair kit (sadly, my current wheelchair wheels are air-filled so I have to RE-INFLATE them every month, but luckily my new one will have SOLID TYRES) and then the 2nd suitcase on the back seat between my 2 girls, checking nothing can move whilst making sure it’s all accessible (more than can be said for most services parking spaces OR toilets on the A14 [our road of choice at the time] sadly, despite what they claim).
Part way up the road, I EXPECT to have to turn round, ‘cos I forgot to unplug the TV or the PC before the open road beckons!
Ahh…the A14…the road everyone has a LOVE/HATE relationship with…home to some of Britain’s FINEST car parking opportunities during rush hour, and usually in between rush hours as well, and a fair few rest stops…some even have toilets with advanced functions like flushing and actual toilet paper (not newsprint OR squares of second hand kitchen towel!
Now, I love driving, and driving in my motabilty car makes my life so much easier and less of a strain on my back and knees, but even I can reach the limit of patients when the driver in front decides it’s time to drive at 55 in the outside lane, barely reaching 60 whilst passing a tractor, holding up everyone else, including me and making the 3 hour drive seem like trying to make the fabled star wars Kessler Run in under 50 years on a skateboard with no wheels!
Our destination, Clacton On Sea, where we are lucky enough to have relatives who we can stay with, who also own a bungalow, which means I didn’t have to pack my stair lift! The A14 lives up to it’s reputation, you either love it or hate it, I hate it sometimes, as it’s full of bottle necks and usually road works, but love it as it gets us nearer to our destination whilst offering us the chance to stop and use the “facilities” when we need them!
We manage to travel the 100+ miles to our destination with some fuel left in the tank, AND some sanity rolling about upstairs (although it’s questionable as to the quality of it, to be honest). Arrival at our destination is a dramatic occasion, as both kids leap out of the car with all the grace of two rhinos with serious anger management issues, just in time to nearly knock both grandparents over with overenthusiastic greetings, while blindly ignoring the pleas for help from us!
We have finally managed to unload the car, sort out everything that needs to go indoors or stay in the boot, and after about an hour of sorting out, we can actually get ready for the one thing that we’re been praying for since we first got on the A14…A CUPPA!
So, luggage taken indoors and unpacked, medication taken (if those bloody kids don’t stop acting up, THEY’LL need some meds soon as well) and scooter battery on charge, we can safely say we have arrived to start our holiday…hoping to have some fun, sun, sea (well, if I can get a caterpillar system for my wheelchair, I’ll join them on the beach) and the general over-indulgence of a sea side holiday, as enjoyed for countless years past that we enjoyed with our parents many moons ago!