Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saturday Adventure

J doesn't like road trips.

I love road trips.

J doesn't like taking 3 kids out in public unless it's really necessary

I guess I like to.

J is conservative with money.

I have....eh....budgeting issues.

So, a couple of weeks ago I read about a mobile Titanic display/museum type thingy and thought it looked cool. Then I found out it would be just a couple of hours from our house in a couple of weeks.

I thought about it for some time, and finally decided it was worthwhile and worth bringing up with J.

Surprisingly, he readily agreed and said it sounded great.

I told a friend about it and she said, "but that town is two hours away." And I may or may not have called her a pessimist because it's really only an hour and 42 minutes away.

So Saturday afternoon I woke up Danyo after only sleeping 2 hours (cardinal sin in my book) filled up a couple of water bottles, made everyone use the bathroom before piling in the van, and took several deep breaths to keep from packing 12 72 hour kits for our "under two hours" road trip. I'm always over prepared and it's annoying to everyone, except when they need something and I have it!

Armed with a google map printout and our GPS for backup, and a security that you really can't foul up "nearly two hours straight south on the same road"---we headed out.

Nearly two hours later we were watchful for our exit #. But it didn't exist. In fact, the five exit numbers before it and the 3 after also didn't exist. There was an entire 10 mile stretch with no exits.

It was then and only then that we discovered something was amiss.

I say "we" but that isn't really fair to my husband. He's not directionally challenged in a way that's embarrassing and offensive to all that is sacred and holy to cartographers.

I had essentially cussed out the "useless GPS" about 6 times already. The dumb thing kept saying we were 2 hours away, no matter how far we drove.

Because it was.

Two hours later, we discovered we had not taken the right fork in the highway, and we had driven nearly 2 hours in the wrong direction.

This was disheartening and embarrassing. We are smart people. At least, that's what we tell ourselves---enough that most times, we are convinced. And it shouldn't have gone this far.

I knew the future chances of J being willing to embark on any adventure of any kind was dwindling fast. And this made me sad."

J tried to be cool about it. But he kept saying things like, "70 MORE MILES ON THIS ROAD!?" and whatnot.

We plowed along. Because we didn't just have our kids. We brought my friend's two boys. And we had our pride to salvage. These boys are 6 and 8. We couldn't "spin the truth" for them like we could with our kids, and have them go back and report anything but what actually happened. We spent 4 hours in the van because we are dumb.

So, we went ahead.

We passed through a town called Eureka and J was sure he saw a sign advertising a Reagan Museum. He said, "We're stopping." Much to my surprise. But then he finished, "Because we are never coming back here again."

Turns out, that was just where good ol' Ronnie went to college. No such museum.

But we stopped and had ice cream cones and played with rocks.

I considered making the trip about the ice cream and the rocks---it could have worked with 3 boys and Avee, but by then we were so close.

So we drove another 23 minutes, following our completely accurate GPS.

And as we drove up upon the location of the Titanic display, we saw:

This is about 1/3 of the line.

I was trailing behind trying to keep Avee from ending up under someone's tire, when I hear J laughing really loudly.

This was not the response I expected after driving 4 hours to find an insanely long line into a terribly small trailer.

But when I got closer he pointed and said, "This can all be worth it if it goes on the blog."

So, here it is. Pretty sure J will keep his word on this one.

We were standing there in front of the sign laughing and taking pictures, and laughing even more when a man walked up to us. J explained briefly why we thought a sign turning us away was so funny. The man repeated about 6 times, each time more incredulously than the previous, "You came here from Nobodyville? You came here from Nobodyville!?" We nodded each time, laughing even harder each time he asked. Somehow it's funnier when someone else thinks you are as dumb as you are feeling.

I think, in a moment of complete pity for us, he walked over to the end of the line and moved the board back, making room for the pathetic family of seven that drove all the way from Nobodyville. Twice, basically.

I started acting like one of those enabling women in those Intervention shows and quickly herded the children aside and started buffering, "Oh, thank you so much, that's so kind, but uh..." before I could finish, J turned and saw what the man had done and threw his head back and howled with laughter. "Are you kidding me!? I'm not standing in line for 3 hours with 5 kids, no WAY MAN!"

I started to buffer again, but J realized that the man genuinely was trying to be kind, and not add insult to injury, and he thanked him. But declined.

While I was looking for pictures to add to this post, I found this one. It made me laugh out loud.

They have their arms around each other. Seriously? Even Danyo is like, "uhh, this is awkward Dad."

Just kidding. If that man's your cousin or uncle or something---he was really, really nice.

But arms? Really?

Anyway, this whole thing was in the parking lot of a mall, so we ventured toward the mall to find a play place. One lady told me there was a "wonderful one right in the center". We passed a closed off 12X15 area that had rocks inside it. I prayed that wasn't the wonderful one we were referred to. In hopes that the kids were more impressed than me, I said, "Do you guys want to go in there?" No one moved. Bo looked up at me like he was waiting for the punchline. The most good natured kid of the group said, "Why would we want to go in there? Are you serious? Even my baby sister wouldn't play in there. That's ridiculous."

We moved on.

There was another one, somewhat better, but still pretty lame by my standards. The kids played and I got to witness why it is exactly that my sweet little preshy Bo, isn't breaking all the girls' hearts at school, like his sweet little best friend is.

Little Girl: Hi, I'm Evie, what's your name?
Bo: How old are you!?
Little Girl: Uhhhhh four?
Bo: Dude. I was four like TWO YEARS ago.

She said something just as bratty back because clearly he set the standard for a noncommunicative but bratty, relationship.

This venture through the outdoor mall was much like herding cattle. The herd was cuter, but not much different otherwise.

The whole thing was a total hit for Danyo, on account of discovering pockets on this trip.

Avee found something to hang from, and someone to hang on, and that pretty much sums up a perfect day for her.

Avee has known this little guy for nearly 2 years. He has played over here a lot and she has played at his house a lot. 4 days ago, if you'd asked me, I'd say they didn't really get along. She wants to be a big kid like him, he wants to treat her like a baby. Neither of them are right, and both of them are used to being right, so it has been a problem in the past.

On this trip, Avee decided he was the cat's meow.

At 9:15 when we were finally making our way home---the normal one hour and 42 minute route...Avee wriggled in her car seat to turn and bat her eyes at K-K.
"K-K! K-K! You know why I like you so much!?"
"Why Avee?" K-K responds as though she were a sweet little 18 month old asking.
"It's because of your clothes. I love your clothes."
He turned to the other boys and expressed happily, "Avee likes my clothes!"

This is funny all by itself, but it's especially funny because K-K could match Avee seam for seam when it comes to looking like a hobo.

When all was said and done, I had a lovely afternoon with my family. J still is my favorite choice for company, so I don't mind getting lost with him. The kids were really good sports about being in a car for 6 hours, for an ice cream cone, a balloon, and an Olive Garden kids meal.

With one exception:


MommyJ said...

I really, really want to laugh at you right now.

I am so totally surprised at how good natured you were through the whole thing.

So, so very funny!

Yvonne said...

This was so funny. How many times did your GPS say RE-CALCULATING in that annoying voice???

Mrs Lemon said...

You are really good sports - but it totally sounds like something I would do as far as the normally being over prepared EXCEPT for the one time that you get lost.

Sarah Tilley said...

i think i busted a gut. that was funny. j really is a good sport- ben would've had an aneurysm.

Plain Jame said...

That totally sounds like something that would happen to us. WELL ok, no I lied. It wouldn't.
First of all - I never offer to take other peoples' kids anywhere so that would be out. I have anxiety about getting lost so I rarely ever go anywhere neither of us have been before. I don't do museums usually, and I am agoraphobic. I fear crowds. Aren't I a piece of work?

But the luck of getting a 3 hour wait, getting lost, and husband trying to be a good sport about it? Sounds like us.

Theresa said...

Getting lost is something my dear hubby has gotten used to with me. My dad always made getting lost an adventure, so I have NO FEAR of unknown routes, hubby had to learn the hard way!

dancin' momma said...

Only you could get lost and turn it into a hilarious story. When we get lost it usually ends in someone crying...

Howertons in Iowa said...

This one takes the cake!!

Bo is officially Napoleon with his pick up lines and you clearly have no idea how your GPS is supposed to work. That's okay, we can't all be that smart:)

I so loved this whole post and I am glad that J made you share- hehe

This was AWESOME!

Adolescent Family said...

Can you write a book? I would like to purchase it. I think all of your stories are super funny! Think it over, okay? :)

ucmama said...

I'm sorry, but I would have dropped you on the side of the road. Good for J for not doing that!

Emily said...

Those Iowans sure love their Titanic! Three hours??

Hilarious story (and pictures). It made me want to take a road trip to Nobodyville.

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

completely and totally hilarious and absolutely like so many things that have happened to our family! (and that's why I can spin the truth to the kids any time I have to!)

swampbaby said...

LOL! That's all I can say. And I'm glad that you and yours have a good sense of humor because we all would have probably killed each other.

Sarah said...

I'm back yo... I just got done reading all the posts I missed.. this one is great!!! did you ever find out what was in the titanic trailer?

Code Yellow said...

I still hate GPS (never had one be accurate or helpful. ever.) but I'm glad yours got you to the three hour wait after all.

The picture with the helpful guy makes me laugh. Ah, J.

I'd drive a long way for an olive garden kids meal right now.

Sketchy said...

OK what I want to ask is "Who complains about a measley 2 hour drive for a cool day trip?"

But instead I'll just say good job having a fun day without things having to work out perfectly.

And seriously love the shot with the pockets. Oh good gravy!

Charlotte said...

The moral of this story is to never use the GPS as the BACKUP to a printed map, never take friends on a road trip, and never leave the house until the kids are 30.

Oh and never be drinking liquid when reading a NOBODY post unless you enjoy snorting it out your nose.

Tori :) said...

My poor Nobo. You MUST learn to follow a GPS. I could have taught you when you were here...

Jeuce said...

I am so sorry! I would have cried if I found out I spent an extra 2 hrs in the car with 5 kids!!!

mycurlyhairdays said...

W-O-W!!! I am almost speechless! When things like that happen, I am just waiting for the Circus music to start playing in the background! What a joke!!!
Glad you survived!

Aspirin! said...

I am so sorry I skipped over to the end picture. Dang! That was hilarious.

I am glad J made a BFF on this here road trip, totally worth it :)