A family vacation has the potential to become a disaster for anyone alternatively it can turn out to be a load of fun with hilarious moments and memories that last forever. For us its always tricky, I love the mountains and the boys love the beach. So we need to comprise some how.

Wimpy Road Trip Moments

Then being the free spirited mom who really isn’t into planning all I need is a small bag of clothes, with an extra pair of jeans , something for cold days and a hair brush. The cell phone charger and power bank is of utmost importance for all the “ photo moments “

The boys throw in a few basics also and we are set to go. However this Easter holiday had an unexpected turn and at the last minute my sister joined us. At 3am in the morning I marched through the house telling everyone to wake up, groggy and barely focused I managed to shuffle 4 boys and their aunt into the car.

We turned onto the N3 headed for Durban only to discover that just about everyone else had the same idea and was leaving at this ridiculous hour. There are some perks to travelling at this time, the pace is faster, and the kids sleep. We arrived in Harrismith surrounded by heavy mist, the festive feeling of Good Friday in Wimpy was great. One thing about South African’s, we know how to enjoy our holiday’s and make the most of any situation.

Misty Harrismith

Back on the road we decided on the scenic route via Rosetta, Nottingham Road, Lions River and finally back onto the free way. Now this was not fast as one would expect. This section of the journey is photo heaven for me, so as the driver I have the power to stop the car whenever I want to take the pics. The moans and groans from the front and back seats are priceless, they go something like “ Oh no not again “ and “ didn’t we see this on our last holiday “ and “ really mom is it necessary “ . Of course chasing the cargo train to Lions River so that I could video it going through the station got them all excited as this meant I couldn’t stop the car.

Scarecrow Antiques in Rosetta

We finally reached the destination after travelling for 9 hours. It should have been a 5 hour trip, but then I am a firm believer in the Journey is just as important as the destination. Strange how my children are hesitant to get into the car with me when I want to go sight seeing.

The following day was spent lounging next to pool on the 5 Star Boutique Hotel, the Oyster Box in Umhlanga. Now this is where compromise came in. The boys were sent to swim in the sea on condition I could be left to lap up the sun’s rays sipping my drink and every so often lifting my eyes to look at the majestic light house in front of me with gigantic waves rolling onto the pristine rocks and beach.They happily agreed, dashing off to wade in the waters, not wanting to behave and to do the socially acceptable behaviour that parents expect of their little darlings and deep down we know full well that they cant do it. The reality is that they are actually just bursting to terrorise some unsuspecting bo-toxed lady prancing around the pool in her stilettos, champagne glass in hand.

Lounging at the pool of the Oyster Box Hotel

So they returned late afternoon, itchy and sticky from the beach sand but smiling from ear to ear and I was a relaxed as a cucumber ready for round two of “ mom can we….. “

Just as well we did that as Easter Sunday was the start of the soft soaking rain. So as a special treat for my sister I left her to care for her beloved nephews who were bouncing with sugar after an Easter Egg hunt that left them well stocked for the day, and I set of with my dad to explore the rolling hills of the Natal Midlands. Driving into the little town of Bryne that really is a glamourous retirement home filled with English style homes and rambling gardens and people who peer out from behind their curtains as you drive past one is immediately drawn to the beauty of the place. The manicured pavements and benches at the end of the roads give testament to the hard work of the locals in the up keep. We stopped at the beautiful old Anglican Church and spent time reading the tomb stones and wondering about the settlers who came to be here after their ship capsized in Durban and they lost all of their belongings around 1850.

Anglican Church of Bryne

Leaving the town we entered the beautiful Sappi property with its avenue of trees to admire the autumn colours. The rustle of the leaves in the wind and the silence around us gave a true country feeling to the lane as we rambled along.

Sappi’s Avenue of trees

Time had come for family good byes, my sister decided that she couldn’t endure another 9 hour photo session trip so stayed behind. My lucky children got to travel through the rolling green hills of the Drakensburg for the return journey where one must navigate the potholes in the road. At the same time being on the look out for the cows and goats that randomly appear and cross the road at a leisurely pace. The selling point for this choice was that we got to be above the clouds at one point and they could get out of the car and freeze for a family photo at Sterkfontein Dam. I do suspect they are seeing through my selling points, as there is zero excitement in them when I tell them these wonderful pieces of information

Sterkfontein Dam

Arriving home in the dark we can say that once again we had a fabulous, unplanned , spur of the moment family holiday and even if there were moans and groans the boys still loved it. Easter 2019 definitely had an extra hop in it.