Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Saturday, July 06, 2013

the worst summer vacation ever (part one)

My cousin Jake and his fiancée Heather were finally getting married and I was not going to miss it. We made plans well in advance to road trip over to Montana with Team Eddy and, as the date approached, booked a cabin on the same lake where the wedding was to take place. We scheduled our vacation time, I meticulously planned our menu with kid-friendly, healthy food, and made packing list after packing list to ensure the trip would go as smooth as possible with 7 kids 7 and under.
Of course, I knew that no vacation would be complete without a few hitches. Henry hates his carseat and cries at ear-shattering decibels whenever he's required to ride for more than 15 minutes. It's enough to make you want to perforate your own ear drums. We were all dreading the 4 1/2 hour drive with the screaming baby, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Amazingly, we left Lewiston only an hour behind schedule and all 3 of our kids settled peacefully in for the 2 hour drive to Spokane. Henry sucked happily on his fingers and nodded off to sleep about halfway there. Maybe this vacation would be easier than I'd thought...
We lunched at Team Eddy's new house and swam before setting off on the 2nd leg of our journey. Amy & I took the younger 3 in their minivan while Joe and Kevin took the older 4 in our minivan with the better DVD player. All was well until two minutes onto the freeway when Amy starts freaking out.
Amy: Uh-oh. Uh-oh.
Me: What?
Amy: Uh...I think I'm out of gas. I have to get over now. No, wait, I can't get over! I'm losing speed! Wave those people by! Call Kevin and have him bring us gas!
We ended up pulling over in the left shoulder of I-90 just beyond a blind curve. Cars and truck sped by and shook our van every few seconds; some honked if that was helpful in any way. Just in case this ever happens to you, you should know the appropriate action is to just go ahead and call 911. (My sister--smart enough to graduate from medical school, not smart enough to fill a gas tank--redeemed herself by making that call). A huge WSDOT pickup came up within a few minutes and literally pushed our van across three lanes of traffic to the right shoulder, gave us a few glugs of gas and then we were off. A bit shaken, but finally on our way.
Henry cried the whole way to Sandpoint and at Sandpoint, Ellie joined in on the wailing. I climbed in the back to try to calm everyone down. Unfortunately, Sandpoint was a critical juncture of our trip and since I, the navigator, was now in the back, we ended up getting lost. Kevin and Joe had lost the directions I'd printed for them long ago, so Joe took it upon himself to google the directions. This would have been fine...IF he'd known our actual destination. Instead, he vaguely remembered we were heading somewhere close to Troy, MT and took us north...
...adding another 2 hours to our trip.
Henry was NOT happy about this new development.
Nonetheless, we were thankful to finally reach our cabin that evening. Tempers were running a little high until we actually got inside and the kids ran around to explore. We roasted hot dogs for dinner and settled in for a good weekend ahead.
(To be continued...)

Making dinner at the cabin

A stray deer in the neighborhood

Learning to skip rocks on the lake

The cabin

Ellie LOVED the cabin.

Play-doh in the morning


Leah said...

Were you on Flathead Lake?! I love that place! My Aunt and Uncle have a cabin there and we've spent many Memorial days there and I spent a lot of summers up there. So beautiful!

Laura said...

I'm a little concerned about this being part one of the trip. I hope things only got better from there. ;). Glad you made it safely, though I'm not glad that this wasn't the first time miss Amy ran out of gas :)

Jen said...

We were on Bull Lake, just across the Idaho border. It was beautiful!

Laura--how many times has Amy run out of gas??? :)

Amy said...

Let the record show that the gas light never came on, nor did the gauge ever actually hit "E".

I have run out of gas 3 times in my life. That could be a blog post in itself

1. In high school, going up the 21st St hill with Kevin. We were caravanning with friends. They didn't stop because they thought we stopped to do some smooching.

2. The day before our wedding when we were driving Beth's dad's Prius and weren't really sure when that super fuel-efficiency would run out. We got stranded on the back roads to Lapwai and Beth hitched a ride with a farmer to get some gas.

3. This last fateful adventure.

At least when I do something, I do it big. Go big or go home. Or don't go home...because you are out of gas.