Hey folks! I’m back!! My blog has been in comatose status for quite a while, I know. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, most unfortunately 😦
By the way, this is a scheduled post 😉
Friday, 4th August
Hubby, my boys and I were counting down the days to our annual Summer hols! We were to leave on Saturday. I wish I could say TGIF, but it’s still a workday for me. I told my colleagues that I had to urgently WFH that day due to too many last minute activities. Besides my office workload, I had made an appointment with my bank to pick up my new Silver Credit Card. The old one was expiring soon.
Good thing I had pre-packed my clothes the evening before. I was hoping for less stress, unlike last year! You can read it all here 🙂
I had to take care of the foods, drinks, snacks and our lunch boxes for our impending lengthy journey of ca 1k km. Travelling super light was not possible as there’re 4 of us, all grown ups. My hubby’s car boot was packed to the gills!
Like last year, I asked hubby what our ETD was going to be. He replied, “when everyone feels like waking up“
That made me even more nervous as I hate being late or being caught in a traffic jam!
Okay, our ETD strategy changed completely, which, surprisingly, worked a charm! You’ll find out why …
No waking up time was mentioned. No ETD was broached. No alarm was set. All we needed to do was to sleep through the night and woke up according to the inherent timing of our biological clock!
By the way, I was awakened by my biological clock at 5.20 am. The guys were still in deep sleep. So yes, I was the first one to get up, as usual 🙂
Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain …
How could this happen? We’re in the midst of the Summer season and it’s raining cats and dogs! We have never left for our Summer hols on a rainy day. Anyway, the sounds of the raindrops were hypnotic and relaxing at the same time. But what a damper to having to drive on an extremely wet day. Now I understood why hubby said to wake up when we felt like waking up. We have all gone through our deep, light and REM sleep cycles, and we were all completely awake. Cool!
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, here we come … AGAIN!!!!!
With a total distance of almost 1k km, our ETA was 3.55 pm. We left at 6.47 am.
Rain, rain go away, come again another day! The combination of the soothing heavy rain on the highway with the monotonous sound of the windscreen wiper were amazingly mesmeric. Everyone was as quiet as a church mouse in the car which was a perfect mode for hubby to traverse the wet and dreary roads of the Belgian highway with full focus.
When we finally reached Luxembourg for gasoline, the skies were a lot bluer but cloudy.
We know we have reached France when the inescapable sign “péage” (toll) is posted on the French “autoroutes“. Good thing we have the BIP&GO pass which is an electronic toll payment badge that allows us to travel on the entire French motorway network. It is the most convenient way to travel on the European Motorway, meaning as our car approached the tolls, the barrier will automatically lift, without us having to stop and pay at the toll booth. Shorter queues and a time saver!! We need only to pay at the end of our trip(s) where direct debit payments are made at the end of the month.
The cloudy skies made way for clear blue skies and suddenly we felt a ray of sunshine.
And then the voice from the GPS chanted, “There are traffic disruptions on the route. An alternative route cannot be recommended.”
Oh-oh! Time to have a break before being trapped in the gridlocks from Valence to Montelimar to Orange. Yup, we know the Black Saturday drill by heart 😉
We stopped just a bit after Lyon at 10 am for brunch and left the highway rest area at 11 am with the soaring temperature at 35C. With such heat, every single car leaving the rest area was given cold and refreshing Volvic fruit juice water. Precisely what we needed!
And so we were caught in the traffic jam for more than 2 hours under the scorching sun of 39C!
Finally the last leg of the traffic jam ended at 6 pm. Our ETA shifted too. We finally arrived at Saint-Rémy-de Provence. The familiar avenue of trees so typical of that region was a welcoming sight.
We reached La Maison Blanche at 7.11 pm and sweated buckets with the mercury level of 36C!! I quickly checked the temperature at home and it was only 17C! Wow! What a difference, eh? We didn’t feel like going out with the heat that evening, so the guys ended up dipping themselves in the swimming pool while I had a cold shower. I remembered La Maison Blanche, as it was not the first time we were there. It was my second stay there and the third for hubby and our older son.
The house has not changed since my last stay there in 2012 (you can read the post here). Just that we have become 5 years older 😦
What’s in store for us the next days were memories that would remain pristine in our psyche. And I wonder what’s coming up next? Stay with me in my new adventure to the unknown …
See ya …