I have several posts written (in my head) and am excited to share with you the fun things we experience as an expat family.
Over the weekend some of us took a ROAD trip! I love road trips. After all, I am an American girl and piling in the car with blankets, pillows, junk food, and lots of things to talk about IS a adventure.
My husband, youngest son, "adopted" Scottish daughter, and I hopped in the car Friday after lunch to head to Preston England. The two older boys had weekend plans of their own in Glasgow and stayed behind to catch a ride with generous friends.
Every part of the United States has different kinds of "rest stops", "rest areas", or toilet break places along the major highways. Where I grew up, in the Northwest, Oregon was known for it's clean rest-stops, Washington for it's rest-stops with lovely places to walk your dog (or let your children run), Idaho for it's rest-stops that give out free fried potatoes to promote their state identity, and other states (who shall remain nameless) for the lack of cleanliness or food at their rest-stops. My kids, who have all had the chance to travel in the mid-west or east-coast tell me rest-stops there sometimes have gas stations. Weird. Ours just had bathrooms and vending machines.
In southern Scotland and England (at least the areas I have travelled) is an amazing creation called a service station, "services", and other various names.
These magical places can be as simple as one petrol station to refuel, one petrol station and one food offering, or a petrol station and an ENTIRE complex with a few food choices, shop for souvenirs, toilets, showers, and more! Delicacies such as McDonalds, Costa Coffee and Food (good sandwiches), Burger King, little cafes, toilets, and SHOWERS! (Not that we needed one). Similar to bigger rest stops in the US, but somehow different. Charmingly so.
We stopped here:
Availed ourselves of the toilets, skipping the shower and this beauty:
Got some toothbrushes, mints, and headache meds at the shop. Then ordered McDonalds. Please, do not scorn. We eat fast food about 1/10th or less than we did in the US.
Got Crispy Creme (again, not a regular habit):
And enjoyed the beauty of the area:
Then we loaded back up, full of deliciousness, and continued our road trip:
We arrived in the dark and settled in. The trip was about 6 hours, so not a big deal for pros like us. The next morning we went here:
Our youngest son is now old enough to go to the temple with us. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we enjoy the blessing of attending the temple. Here's a little history of why we have temples:
The trip back I slept part of the way in my son's little nest he had built himself in the back seat of the car whilst he rode up front with his dad. Lovely weekend! Thank you Scotland and England for your delightful service stations!