Last week the husband came back from Dubai, on a big plane as the Big One would say, and we took a little break from it all. You may have seen from Instagram that my feed became very, very, green as we headed for a few nights in the Peak District. Packed a car up and took ourselves off for a few nights together in the countryside, and in doing so catapulting myself straight back to childhood holidays as we crammed the car full and set off without worrying about the weight restrictions that plague us whenever we fly.
The back of our car stuffed full of everything (except the raincoats that I left on the dining room floor at my mums) we could possibly need including a weeks shopping, brought my childhood holidays in France rushing back. Holidays that gave me a love of French food and a habit of long, leisurely meals enjoyed al fresco. Crusty french loaves scattering crumbs across the table. Carafes of white wine, chilled, dripping condensation on to pristine white tablecloths. Steak done the right way – bleu! Holidays where we filled the car full on the way there, and fuller on the way back, feet propped on boxes filled with wine bottles from the local vineyard, items from the local markets stuffed between the seats and once even bringing back stinky camembert.
Holidays that were my normal, that didn’t involve a plane, or an airport. Sometimes a big fancy train but more often than not a big boat. The ferry to France. On choppy seas. Spiriting us away from the rain of England and depositing us in the rain in France. Which was better rain. Less rain-y rain. Holiday rain so it was all OK.
It’s funny what seeing one overfilled boot of a car can do to you. Muttering to the Husband that it was a good job we weren’t flying off anywhere because what we do with ALL THAT STUFF?! A short drive and unload to our holiday home 30 minutes later, with further mutterings from the husband on whether we actual needed ALL THAT STUFF, an afternoon of exploring we got the kids to bed, popped the Prosecco, lit the log fire and settled down to play scrabble and chat.
And as always happens when we settle down to chat the talk turned to holidays. With everything that has been going on we have found ourselves with no holidays in the pipeline for the first time in what feels like forever. Talk turned to childhood holidays and France in particular. Our boys have been to Thailand, the Caribbean cruising no less, Singapore, Oman, Portugal. Between them they have been on approximately 50 flights, and despite being on a cruise ship have never been on a ferry. Following our conversation, the reminiscing, and the lure of crusty french bread, right now at the top of our bucket list right now has to be a France based holiday.
The question is would we drive or would we fly? And if we drove would we get the ferry to France?! Being the son of a pilot the husband is very much a plane geek, something he is passing onto our boys. I thought his choice would always be plane. I mean, a plane gets you there in what seems like a shorter amount of time (when you discount the airport wait!) but as he rightly points out there are all the extra waiting times you need to add in. The wait at the airport. The wait to hire a car. The need to hire (often scummy) car seats. No if we actually bite the bullet and go to France we are going old school. We would be taking the ferry to France, going the way of my childhood, and rather than my rambling on as to why this infographic from Brittany Ferries sums it up rather well.
Image source: Brittany Ferries – Ferry VS Plane to France
Not only that, but the best part of holidays for us is the exploration, the finding of new places, the really, really, seeing a country from their perspective. Winding through local lanes before finding those smaller villages off the beaten track to eat bread and cheese, admire the architecture and maybe, just maybe discover random local festivals. You’d never get that flying overhead.
So yes, even though I’m married to the biggest plane geek going, sometimes it’s a better option to skip the plane and head on the ferry. Now my next challenge is to get that holiday in France booked…..so I can indeed say we’ve booked it, packed it and got the ferry to France.