Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spin Cycle: Car trips

Car trips is our mission this week for the weekly spin cycle and Gretchen has told us it will be one heckuva ride (you see what I did there?!).  (Boo by the way!)  Anyways...I HATE car trips.  I would rather fly anywhere.  I have no fear of flying, only of flying birds.  So even if we are just going to Dodge City to see the in-laws or visit Kansas City, each only 3 hours away, I would prefer to fly.  Of course that doesn't happen and I am stuck in the car for the drive.  So with saying that I don't really have enjoyable car trips stories I can regale you with.  But, because I like you guys, I will give you the one that I probably remember the most. 

It was the summer before my freshman year of college and I was a frequent babysitter for a family at our church.  And they had 3 children all under the age of 4 or 5.  So when it came time for them to plan a family vacation they invited me along and said that if they paid for my trip and also paid me, I think $75 or $100 then would that be ok?  I didn't have anything better to do and my parents agreed so off we went.  We live in small town Kansas and our destination was Galveston, Texas.  A whopping 12 hour drive.  With 3 children under 5.  Let me just say it was a loooong drive.  It started off on whatever day we left and they stopped at the church to get holy water to bless their van.  I kid you not.  From there we hit the highway and traveled at a snails pace from Kansas to Texas.  It probably wasn't that slow but this was pre-DVDs in the car.  I'm pretty sure we had some sort of video player because I remember watching an obscene amount of Veggie Tales but how I'm not sure. 

The vacation part was pretty fun.  We stopped on the way to Galveston at Dallas/Ft. Worth and went to Six Flags and toured the Grass Knoll and saw the book depository Kennedy was (supposedly) shot from. And I'm assuming we stayed the night there and then continued our trek the next day.  (Sue me for not remembering the details...this was 14 years ago!)  When we made it to Galveston we hit up the beach, rode a ferry somewhere and then in the evenings they left me with the kids and they went around and did their own thing.  It was pretty nice.  We had a suite and I actually slept on a bunk-bed like bed that was attached to the wall, kind of like on a cruise ship.  What I remember about being in the hotel for hours at a time at night was that I read Gone With the Wind.  I was such a cool 14 year old!

And then coming home came the adventure.  By the end of the week I was more than ready to come home.  This was the longest I had been away from my parents and not been with other relatives so it was a whole other experience.  So I was tired, crabby and ready to go home.  Pretty much every day at work! :)  But on the way home, driving probably 70 miles an hour on the highway the van started having problems.  So we weren't driving very quickly.  Then all of a sudden one of the tires blew out.  So, thankfully, because we weren't going as fast we were able to make it to the side of the rode without having an accident.  So I guess that holy water came in handy!!  From there I just remember feeling like i was in a nightmare.  We had to stop at some random town and stay another night in a hotel with these people that I was ready to get away from.  And I just lost it.  I was bawling like the little 14 year old that I was.  And looking back I feel kind of bad but also I'm sure they understood.  We finally made it home and they asked me to babysit again so it was a success!

Thinking about vacations now that I have kids and talking about this trip recently with my brother and his wife we talked about how awesome this idea was.  Taking some high school kid with us on a trip to watch our kids at night so we could have some fun.  So now I just need to find the time to take a trip! 

Now go see what other spins you can take on the other car trip memories. (see I did it again!)


gretchen said...

The hiring a teenager thing really is kind of brilliant.

Many years ago, I drove by myself from LA to TX, and the only way I could keep my mother-in-law Mommy from totally freaking out was to go and get the car blessed by a priest! It was hysterical, he opened the hood and all the doors and doused the entire thing with holy water! I had to stand with him in the parking lot - a little embarrassing. But...the trip was safe, and I didn't get a parking ticket on that car for a whole year!

You are linked!!

VandyJ said...

My most epic car trip was returning from New York City from a visit with my aunt. I was 12 and flew out there, but they drove me back to Wyoming so they could visit and then my uncle could continue the trip for work. It took us four days to drive and we stopped and saw Niagara Falls and Wall Drug Store.
I have put thousands of miles in to car trips. My kids are very familiar with the back seat.

Nadine Hightower said...

That is horrible! I can't imagine being broke down on a road trip so far from home. UGH!

CaJoh said...

Reminds me of when we went out to visit my parents and I heard a strange scraping sound on the drive back home. We stopped at my Step-son's place before we went home and when we got back in the car the front tire was flat. Upon looking at the tire the tread was worn down to the steel belt (thank goodness it didn't blow on the highway home).