My husband can’t pass up the opportunity for a LOTR reference, “Yes,” he says, “We’re driving to Ireland, There and Back Again.” You might be thinking of cheap flights this time of year and all the time saved. I was. I tried to run the numbers for flying and renting a minivan. When you’ve got four kids, though, the numbers don’t add well.
Then Ryan had to say, “And I’ve always wanted to go to Wales.” He knows how to hook me by throwing in some exotic destination I’ve never seen. Oh, he had me good.
You might think we’re a wee bit crazy. Several of our friends did as well. For a family like ours, though, the road trip is a classic. Simply must be done every so often. This one had a lot of flair.
Four boats. That’s right, the ferry lines actually make these deals for what they call the “Land Bridge” across Europe. Their opening salvo “From 118 euro” catches you before you add in the mandatory cabins for our night crossing (had to get 3 x 2 berths), the 2 euro beverages you swear you won’t buy but end up with (at least few) anyway, and the fact that that was a one-way price not including the car and 5 of the passengers. The price was significant less than flying and renting, plus we saw so much more.
We slept on the Hoek Van Holland to Harwich boat, the sea a motion of lullaby all night long. For the next week you might have thought our family motto was “Drive on the Left” as often as we said it. We even set the GPS to remind us every time we put in a new destination. The Irish Sea crossing from Fishguard to Rosslare was not so amiable as 3 out of 6 ended up with sea sicknesses. I mostly slept and read, though. That’s the beauty of having four boys–Dad takes them to the bathroom.
Before our return, however, I’d researched seasickness prevention, and we implemented a number of solutions. I have to give a shout-out to the gcaptain for the best list on the web of ways to prevent seasickness .
On the return trip we ate a low fat starchy breakfast, took meds an hour before, chewed peppermint gum both for different cadence and aromatherapy, chanted in the car “I will not get sea sick,” and claimed the limited seats at the end of the boat where we could gaze at the unmoving horizon in the distance. The two of us with sinus issues also took meds for that. Did I mention we prayed? We prayed quite a bit. The Irish Sea and English Channel on return were both fun days of catching the free movie (Rosslare to Fishguard), reading, and playing soccer with new friends (Harwich to Hoek Van Holland).
The Landbridge Roadtrip was a huge success. We had the comfort of our own vehicle, masses of snacks and food packed that saved us quite a bit, and we got off the beaten path where we never might have gone otherwise. Four countries, I said, but those will have to wait for upcoming blog posts.