I’m writing this blog in the dark with three kids snoring in the background having pushed me out of the bed they insisted we all shared – despite my road trip skills today!
Every year, Chiang Mai becomes dangerously polluted with smog from forest fires; most of which are man-made. Therefore we escape with the kids to the beach. This year however was slightly different as Chas can’t make it so I needed somewhere that was a fairly easy drive and that would keep the kids entertained. That’s how we find ourselves here at the insane but family-friendly Grande Caribbean Resort in Jomtien (a beach resort outside Bangkok).
We set off at 8 am this morning with the birds singing their morning chorus and the excitement of a long break on the beach ahead of us. The mammoth drive would take us a little over 12 hours and we would arrived bedraggled, stressed, exhausted and filthy. Seriously we looked like we’d not washed for a week and all we’d all done was sit in a car and eat a few crisps!
If you’re reading this and you’re not from the UK you’re no doubt wondering what all the fuss is about. A 12-hour drive is the norm if you want to get anywhere! For us Brits though, road trips are not fun. Twelve hours in the car with three kids is HELL ON EARTH. After just one hour, Ariya asked ‘Are we nearly there’ before they all started guessing how long it would be before we got lost! This set the tone for the next 11 hours! I literally turned up the music to drown them out.
Anyway, we made it and in a bizarre twist, none of my children were car sick! This is an absolute first for any Begley road trip. Hooray! Tomorrow we’re heading to the beach…
Today we headed to the beach. We left at 10am for a military beach about 45 minutes away. We finally arrived at a beach (a different one) at 2.30. It took FOUR HOURS to finally feel the sand between our toes! Seriously!?! The first one was apparently closed. Second one wasn’t a beach. Third one was a private beach and the fourth I needed my driving license for. My driving license was (of course) back at the condo! So we drove back to the condo. Couldn’t find driving license. Panic, shout at kids, panic some more before Ella found it – in the car! Drove back to beach number 4 looking slightly more manic this time. Got lost, lost the will to live before we finally found ourselves on the most beautiful and almost deserted military-owned beach. Woohoo! By the time we finally get everything out the car and onto the beach it was 3pm. We had a whole hour and a half before we had to pack up and head back as the beach closed 5pm.