Kidspot Ford Territory Top 50: Childhood

This is the third challenge in the Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers challenge. We have been asked to share a story about a childhood family road trip we took as a kid.

Did you know that I was a blogger even before blogs even existed? I was! Well, I was a serial journal writer and holidays were the perfect excuse for me to put together a really good journal. Filled with words, memento’s, pictures and drawings I have kept them all. This particular journal is my all time favourite and I am thrilled it will finally get the audience that it deserved to have. Let’s go back, way back, to 1989. A young Beth, aged 11, with all her puppy fat, went on a Family truckster road trip from Sydney down to Melbourne, then across to Adelaide and up the Birdsville Track to visit a family friend who had a 1 million acre(!) property in the middle of South Australia. We packed up our four wheel drive with the 4 kids in the back (my 2 sisters, brother and I), Mum and dad in the front, heck, it may even be a happy family memory. Who knew?!

Buckle up and come along for the ride…

Don’t you miss the days of covering exercise books in pretty wrapping paper? It was the highlight of the School year for me. Noddy was appropriate you see, he was in a car. And every journal needs a solid title page. Something to entice the readers. No detail was spared here – look at that colour! That underlining! The visual story!

Grandma’s crocheted rug kept the kids warm in the back. Check out that butter ball head!

We started the trip off by driving down to Melbourne. Standard stops in Yass for meat pies, then Albury for another pie. We rolled a lot of pies on family holidays. We visited family in Melbourne and clearly on this day went to an AFL match and perhaps bought some red pants and ballet flats? You will note my fancy glue work here – angles! Mixed media!

Then it was down the Great Ocean Road and across to Adelaide to stay with some more friends before heading right up the Centre of Australia. Collecting postcards and badges were a highlight for me – remember badges that you ironed onto things? Do holiday memento’s still exist? A snow cone here, a spoon there…and don’t get me started on postcards. Especially the politically incorrect ones with chicks in bikini’s on them with drunk Koala’s. Ah the good life!

OK. This is my attempt at my own postcard. I get it doll, I would look troubled and worried too if I looked like that. What’s the name for a full legged cankle?

Some things never go out of style do they? A Sportsgirl top! Something from Cherry Lane. I always kept the labels. The details in the journal entries contained interesting pieces of information like “Kirby woke up and chundered everywhere. But she was sort of OK.” Ah, sweet memories!

I never slept much in the car. I always stayed awake while the others slept. Mostly because Dad had a habit of falling asleep at the wheel aka Chevy Chase style in Vacation. Chubba Hawk eye had things under control. Oh, and thank GOD we have a carton of ciggies just behind my head. Priorities!

From Adelaide we stocked up on supplies and ventured up the Birdsville Track hundreds and hundreds of kilometres away to one of my Mum’s old School mates 1 million acre property. For 4 city kids this was another world – School of the Air, driving 2 and a half hours to the neighbour’s place, mail being delivered by plane, Lake Eyre, cattle droving and red dirt as far as the eye could see. I still remember all the smells, colours and times we had – such great memories for kids to have.

We then headed west through the Wilpena Pound & Flinders Ranges over to Broken Hill. The highlight for me each night was which hotel we were going to stay at. Mum would check the NRMA guide as we got into each town trying to find the Best Flag Inn or Best Western. I was beside myself with joy if they had those holes in the wall in which your breakfast could be slid through. Below was one of my favourites – I mean look at those bed spreads! Those red fancy carpets in the dining rooms! This was living!

“It has been a great holiday. Which I will never ever forget. I think it’s going to be the best holiday we will ever have.” And you know what? I think she was right. It was. We were all the right age, we were able to spend about 3 weeks as a family, in a car, talking, laughing, sharing. And when I think back to my childhood and the good memories that I have, this is right up there.

I think I might start finishing off all blog posts now with a “Well got to go now. Bye! Bye! Bye! Bye!” Oh! And while you are here, pop on over to Kidspot and vote for me why don’t you? I’d love to win this and am unashamedly desperate for votes! Thanks!


  1. Oh, I love it! What a great trip back down memory lane. I always kept journals and wrote, wrote, wrote when I was younger. All bloggers may have started that way…
    Looks like it was a great holiday – bet you’re glad you recorded every bit of it! Would be so hard to remember all the finer details if you hadn’t…

  2. Love it. Absolute quintessential childhood memory.

    I adored covering your books at the beginning of the year – mine were always covered in brown paper then with a picture cut out of a National Geographic magazine. And then, the piece de resistance, covered in PROPER heavy-duty plastic, NOT contact. I guess you could say I’m a classic, traditional kinda girl.

    And the cover page was KEY. Full marks for your one here – a great use of colour and images to give the reader a hint of what was to come.

    Well done Makybe, well done. NEIGH!

    • Is it ANY wonder we are friends? I too loved a thick plastic, never the contact, NEVER. I have most of my old School Projects too. I see a series coming up on the blog…

  3. I still call them driving holidays!! We had some good ones too! I always tried to stay awake in the car too, Dad needed someone to talk to to stop the micro sleeps. Thank you for taking me with you on a trip down memory lane!

  4. I’m glad I’m not the only one who signed her journal entries with ‘Got to go now, see you tomorrow!’

    So impressed that you kept this – and what wonderful memories. I’m kind of scared to do a big road trip with three boys in the back, but it’s just something you’ve gotta do as an Aussie family, isn’t it?

  5. Love it! I bet you were good at title pages for assignments. I can see pencil shading, different fonts. Am I right?

    Love a good journal, I have a few tucked away from my childhood. x

  6. love it, so adorable!!! and how cute you kept it! you’ve been a star from way back LOL

  7. How bloody cute!
    I was a massive journel keeper too but mine were full of such things as “surely I’m adopted?” & “I wish mum would send me to boarding school because I love school but hate being at home with all my stupid brothers & sisters” & other jems like “Michael is hot!”. Man I could write……

  8. Just like my old exercise books – such a treat to read and covet years later! Can I tell you to take out your precious photos from underneath those pages that stick over the photos? They will get well and truly stuck and acid will eventually eat the photos away ( the acid is the bown spots on the pages..). I have seen it happen to my parents photos and who could find the negatives to get them printed again.

  9. I remember getting a sportsgirl top and an esprit top, it was like the best christmas ever. I was lucky enough to then have a top the same as everyone else!

  10. Beautiful xx

  11. Thank you Betty for taking me down memory lane. Funny how I can’t remember going to the football, but I soooo remember the Jag outfit, a black faded denim shirt & pant suit. We definately need to broaded our road trip horizons other than up & down the Hume Highway, althought we have had a few stays in Yass!

  12. So enjoyed reading that. I used to do holiday journals too, but have no idea what happened to them. Talking of iron on badges, my best friend has just started a business designing and selling them, a lot cooler then the ones we used to have.

  13. This post made me laugh and smile and think of my own childhood holidays.

    More posts like this please Bev!!

    Sportsgirl was the BEST way back when… And remember Hound Dog? God I was a slave for that shitty label…

    Laughed out loud at your Chevy Chase reference. He is a personal hero of mine…


  14. Love it! I’m an old school journaller too. In my last few years of school I did summaries of the year with photos and tickets and cryptic references to goings on. So cryptic in fact that I can’t work out some of them now. I love looking back through my journals and reminiscing.

  15. Good times. I think you and Cathy might be right. Blogging is a grown up version of journal writing. But the things we said! I kept a journal when we went on a 7 week holiday when I was 12, not as pretty as this though. But funnier still is Rob’s journal from his big family trip when he was only 7. They drove from Tasmania, up through NSW, Qld NT and down through WA and across the Nullarbor, with his sisters and parents, a caravan, a farting Labrador called Bozo and a pet turtle. His insights and drawings are priceless, often very politically incorrect (we’re talking the late 60′s) but sometimes hilarious. I hope we treasure our blogs half as much in 20 years time, our lives documented. I wonder how many of us will still be typing away?

  16. Oh boy Beth … this is GOLD. I still have my scrapbook from my first trip to the UK when I was 12. And umm … I think I could have out-butterballed you x

  17. I love this lady. Hilarious gal you are. I used to do this, keeping a little running record of my days, ticket stubs, clothing labels, photos and other assorted keepsakes. I kind of cringe when I stumble across them these days, but still can’t bear to throw them out.
    You brought back some memories for me with the Flag Inn/Best Western reference… must have been THE thing to do when road trippin’ back then.
    And what was it with postcards and all the bloody koalas!? Chicks in bikinis were big too, but the koalas… so 80′s.
    Another fab entry lady, you’re almost there xo

  18. This is amazing. We are so alike. I loved to cover my books and keep journals with details that would bore others, but excited me. Like when I was 12 we took a road trip to the Gold Coast and I counted the stairs in our apartment and noted them in my diary. Cos it was thrilling and I’d never want to forget that stuff.


    • I would have TOTALLY counted the stairs too. And then I would have drawn them, perhaps making each step a different colour. Because that’s what we journal makers do.

  19. You are the original blogger! I loved this x

  20. I did this too! I was just thinking the other day that I’m going to make my (future as yet non-existant) kids do this too. Such great memories in my own words.

  21. You are so freaking adorable, Beth.

  22. This is such a trip down memory lane! Love it. I have very little from my childhood, but one thing that was not tossed out in one of our many moves was my journals. I read them every now and then for a good belly laugh.

    I remember our family road trips when mum and dad would line us up alongside the car (6 of us) and go along the line feeding us a teaspoon of Advil travel sickness medicine. We’d all vomit immediately after taking it. Every. Single. Time. They still gave it to us though…

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