I think I am finally ready to blog about that last crazy day of our vacation...it was a tough one, and I needed a few days to recuperate, you know, to be able to find some humor in the situation?
That fateful day, The Last Day Of Our Vacation, started out pretty well. Mom and the kids slept in after an exhausting day of driving through Arkansas (should it really take all day to do that? I mean, honestly, it took all day to drive through Kansas, and it is way bigger - anyway, I digress). While they all snored away, I perched on the edge of the bathtub, checking out what was going on in FB-land, surfing around a little bit, just generally killing time. If I had known what was coming, I would have spent that time on my knees!
I got everyone dressed (well, Mom dressed herself) and we headed down to breakfast. While I ran around like a short order cook, trying to fill constantly changing breakfast orders for three little road weary kiddos, I was also trying (unsuccessfully) to keep the kids from watching a blaring TV story about a shooting in a health club. So sad!
After I made the kids eat some scrambled eggs, I discovered that they were totally nasty, and pulled the Mommy card and threw mine in the trash. I was trying to get some protein in the kiddos, before all the cereal and waffles hit their bellies, but did not realize that the eggs were unseasoned and tasted like someone had mixed them the night before, put them in the metal pan and left them to die a slow death in a warming oven. UGH!!!
Then, on to potty breaks "I don't have to go poop or pee!!!", loading the car "_______ come back here RIGHT NOW!", and making sure we were truly on the correct road, headed out of Kansas City, to the WEST!!
After we got a few miles down the road, the aforementioned child-who-did-not-have-to-use-the-facilities, finally decided it was time. RIGHT NOW! Because, after all, he had to go "weawy, weawy, BAD!" So we started looking for a good place to stop. Turns out, we picked a bad exit, and had to drive 3 miles off the highway to find a dirty bathroom in the middle of a construction zone, but we only had to make one U-turn, so it was all good. We loaded up with caffeinated tea for Mommy and Cheetos (hey, those were for Mommy too!) and found our way back to the ribbon of highway that was going to lead us home!
A couple of miles and a few handfuls of Cheetos later, I heard a loud pop come from the front of the van...looking back, I did not see that we had run over any tire fragments (or dead armadillos - oh wait, that was Arkansas), so we merrily drove on, singing and munching and dreaming of sleeping in our own beds. Until, that is, I heard the car next to us making some really loud noises. "Wow, (I said to mom), that car really has a serious engine problem." Turns out it was our front tire, which had been punctured by who-knows-what!
I managed to get the van off the highway and amidst cries from the back seat of "Mommy, what's wrong?" & "Why are we STOPPPPPPPING MOMMMMMMMY?" I managed to get Steve on the phone and then called my dear friends at AAA. Turns out it's a good thing I have been paying those nice people for all these years, because in only thirty minutes, they sent a nice young man to change my tire!
Now, this nice young man did pull up in a red Explorer, with no markings on it, and he was accompanied by a young man with lots of tattoos and a scary T-shirt. I rolled the window up most of the way and asked all the right questions. After all, I do read those crazy emails that fly around the Web world, so I knew these guys could be axe murdering, Cheeto stealing, up to no good fellows!
But it is hard to change a tire when the spare is locked under the van, and the only way to get it out is to unscrew it from the inside floor board, so open it I did, and was immediately thankful that all of the wet clothing from the day before (including some of my unmentionables) had dried and been safely tucked away in a suitcase! But I continued to be hyper-cautious, after all, my babies were in that van!
After the tire was changed, the nice boy (his name is Andy, by the way) had us follow him to his shop, where he planned to cut us all into small pieces, and... OH WAIT! That is just where my imagination went! Actually, Andy is a 21 year-old furniture making, car repairing, hard working boy, who helps his mom out in the family business in a little Kansas town of 500 people. No more TV for me!!!
While Andy drove to another small Kansas town to pick up a new-used tire for us, that would get us back to Denver, mom took the kids to the town park and I found out all about life in...well, I can't remember the name of the town, from Andy's mom, Margo.
Finally, we are on the road again!! Tires intact, cheetos sadly gone, but on the road, headed for home!!
Fast forward (because this is getting really long - but not nearly as long as the day actually was) a few hours. Dinner has been consumed, "Denver" is finally on the little green signs, with mileage that looks doable; and what do my wavering, road weary eyes spy, in my rear view mirror? Oh, no - you have got to be kidding me!! Another nice young man, in a uniform this time and in a marked car, with pretty little spinning lights on top. I knew immediately that he was not there to wish us well on our journey...
More wails from the back seat, along with some very bright and chipper "Hi, what are you doing?" (that would be my Jalapeno) and a speeding ticket and a warning later (my tail light was out, which I knew, but could not fix though I tried) and we were once again on our way...
At this point, I am thinking "What else can happen to us on this day?!!" Good grief! But I was also thinking about what could happen on a highway, driving so many miles, and was earnestly praying that we would make it home safely!
Welcome to Colorful Colorado!!! I have never been so happy to see that sign in my life!! If it is possible to do a happy dance, while driving 75 miles an hour down the freeway (that is the Colorado speed limit, btw!) - then I was doing it...until a few miles down the road when my little Jalapeno said, "Mommy, I don't feel so good" and proceeded to loose his dinner all over him, his seat, and his fave blanket "Baby". So, I pulled over again, managed to get Sweet Potato moved over in front of Pineapple (more thoughts of what happens when your car gets hit from the back next to the highway) and crawled into the back to help out the kid.
I managed to get him cleaned up, and then I went to shake out "Baby" but I did not take into account the sheer wind force of a semi blasting down the highway, and was promptly covered in the "residue" shall we say from dear, dear Baby - YUCK!!!
OK, what else?!?!?!
Thankfully, nothing! We finally pulled into our driveway around 10 pm, and I almost kissed the ground, almost!
I can truly say I am happy to be HOME!!