The day dawned and nerves about the journey were there but they were under control and I felt excited as well.We couldn't check into to the caravan til four and had decided to have a leisurely start to the day and set off around eleven. We knew that Milly would be anxious and that we would be stopping off at many service stations on the way down ( we had the route planned and knew where the stops were - she could work out how far in between them - which helped her enormously ) Our first stop at Rheged had been planned. We had done the journey before and she was confidant of getting there without feeling too anxious.
We initially talked about stopping for the loo and moving onto the first services on the M6 before eating. Whilst in the loo Milly saw an advert for a display of film costumes that was on at the moment. We decided to have a look...
This is not a good picture but Rheged is a really interesting place to visit. Lots of shops and cafes, interesting architecture and a giant screen cinema.
Milly loves an escalator;-)
The gallery was right at the top. A lovely surprise when we went to pay for a ticket in the form of a very good friend who had just started working there :-)
The exhibition was in a lovely open space and was well set out with good lighting. We enjoyed seeing the amazing detail of the clothing and recognising the costumes of the films we had seen.
After a whizz round we bought a postcard with a picture of the red dress from Tess that was Milly's favourite, said goodbye to E and headed back down - intending to go to the car. Passing the restaurant reminded Milly she was peckish and would love the mini fish and chips :-)
I wasn't hungry and decided against eating but had a coffee whilst she ate. The restaurant is set near a pond with a small waterfall, a nice setting to watch the gale force gusts of wind pelt rain at the large windows ;-)
Back in the car and onto the part of the journey I was dreading - getting onto the M6. Luckily it wasn't too busy and we navigated the roundabout and got onto it without too much problem - my heart was thumping and took quite some time to settle down though :-)
We stopped at every service station on the way down. I would have preferred not to as it doubled the journey time - making it over 4 hours - and meant coming off the motorway three times. The weather was atrocious - gale force gusts of wind rain and surface water causing spray that was impossible to see through at times. However - on the plus side - it meant the journey was less stressful for Milly and enabled me to stretch and probably helped to ease the pain I felt at the end of the journey. I was well rested after having had a quiet weekend in preparation and full of patience. I also got plenty of practice getting back on the motorway :-)
We arrived at the site to find a large que of traffic waiting to check in. By this time I was flagging. I was stressed and patience was not high, then a guard sent me off the main route to find somewhere to park up, I forgot his directions and got lost - could have cried at this point. I eventually found somewhere to park up and made my way to check in.
Milly was only concerned - quite rightly - with texting El so she did that whilst I stood in line and they all met up outside :-)
Can't remember much of the first night, I know Liz and the children visited us in our van, I unpacked and I think there was an outing to the amusements on site.
I had challenged myself and done something that made me very scared and after all the emotions and physical exertion I thought I would sleep like a log. It seems I was too wired after the journey though
and it took me a while to get off . Earplugs meant I didn't hear the gale outside - although the caravan bopped about most of the night ;-)) - eventually I dozed off and slept til four'ish - loo and headache pill then back into dreamland til about 8 - tired and achey but ready to start day 2 :-)