Finding New Pitstops and Remembering Weekend Roadtrips Past

“Do you want to go tonight?” We spent a busy Christmas Day with relatives while eating endless mountains of festive food. As we pulled into our driveway, with bellies still bursting, my husband and I contemplated our next move. Our weekend roadtrip destination was calling us from afar and we decided to make a dash down the freeway. We were grateful that we could stay at a relative’s holiday house whenever we wanted so our decision was a resounding “yes!”

Over the years, we had surrendered ourselves to many weekends tucked away in Rosebud on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Weather and seasons never bothered us, nor stopped us. Whether it was raining and cold, or hot and sweltering, we made the most of our time during this roadtrip ritual. Long, sunny days were spent lazing and swimming at Gunnamatta Beach while balmy nights were whiled away as we picked over takeaway under a pink sunset across Rosebud’s front beach.

There was never any internet connection, no alarms and no agenda. We sporadically planned daytrips into Portsea or bushwalks to Bushranger’s Bay from Cape Schanck when the weather was gorgeous. Wandering the local strip shops, ten-pin bowling and long brunches were in order when the weather headed south. In between, gelato was purchased and devoured while we were suspended in that carefree feeling sans the stress of our daily routines. Our weekend roadtrips coaxed us into a state of being present and a momentum of going slow, too. Our reluctant Sunday night drives home were lengthened by stopping into a pitstop on the way home for a quick dinner. Under the cover of night, we would arrive home to fumbling with the front-door lock and dropping into bed with beach sand still nestled in our hair.

Recently, we discovered through word of mouth that Ablaze on Dorset were serving a vegan woodfired pizza special each Friday. After a particularly busy day I sometimes arrive home to a lack of motivation for cooking dinner. It’s on these nights when I hear my husband ask one of his familiar, impromptu questions: “Would you like to go out for dinner tonight?” We sometimes choose a sit-down affair, though Ablaze on Dorset allows us to re-live those fun weekend roadtrips. We clumsily chew on slices of pizza from a steamy box balanced on our laps, lightly smoked by the woodfired oven, as traffic zooms by along the busy Dorset.

While a Friday night dinner pitstop isn’t the same as one to end to a spontaneous weekend roadtrip, it does remind me of those times when we just might need to get away to refuel and slow ourselves. I’m glad that our Friday night dinner pitstop to Ablaze on Dorset will involve a cheeky detour; Carousel Icecream for a cup of vegan-friendly gelato just around the corner. Any fun delay on the way home is always a welcomed one, especially if it involves gelato!          

How do you find your pitstops during your weekend roadtrips? Do you stick to the same stops or do you thrive on finding new ones? I’d love to hear about your pitstop tips.

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