What I Did Over Summer Vacation: Chapter One, Day 1: We're hitting the road

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It took several days to prepare for this serendipitous trip husband decided we would take together since he is now between jobs. He didn't quite understand, or perhaps forgot about just what's involved in preparing for a two-week camping and fishing trip. Somehow he thought we could just throw everything in the back of the Explorer and leave. :confused:

    But then he remembered that he wanted to take bicycles. Well, we don't have a rack for the car. So that took an entire day researching and looking for a rack that would fit our hitch. Not to mention the expense.

    Then he agreed that the Explorer should have some repairs done if we wanted this to be a safe trip. Yet another day of waiting (and expense, although it was long overdue and needed to be done).

    Meanwhile I'm washing and packing clothes, refilling rx's for our backpack full of medications (never needed to worry about that before when the kids were little), assembling cooking supplies, food staples, toiletries, buying fishing licenses, paying bills, canceling the paper, placing the mail on hold, arranging for the pets and plants to be cared for, watering, cleaning the nastiest parts of the house so I wouldn't come home and plunge into a depression.... :depressed:

    husband got the sleeping bags, tent, and fishing gear together. Then he decides that our one kayak is not enough. We need TWO. And he thinks his soon-to-be-former employer will foot the bill out of their employee health program. That means more research, more time, more money. And of course I have to file the claim with the company before we can leave.

    Finally, by 1pm on Thursday the 18th, we were all five in the Explorer, two kayaks and our clothes on the roof, five bikes on a rack on the back hitch, and the rest of our belongings to get us through two weeks of camping and fishing crammed in every inch of available space in the back.

    We had no reservations or specific plans to be anywhere -- and admittedly, it was a little nerve wracking for me at first. We just settled on an initial destination and decided we'd take things day by day.

    Our first target was Sequoia National Park -- home of the giant redwoods and 278 miles away. It had been 35 years since I'd been there, and husband and the kids had never been at all. We knew little about what might be available as a campsite, but we figured with the economy in the dumps, and arriving on a Thursday night, our chances would be decent.

    We breezed through L.A. despite husband's fears it would take forever and that we'd hit rush hour traffic (which can start as early as 2pm and turn a 20 minute commute into 2 hours of torture).

    Driving towards Bakersfield and into the San Joaquin Valley, it was eye-opening for the kids to see where much of our produce comes from. Miles and miles of citrus groves, nectarines, nuts, and grapes. The neighborhoods were obviously depressed. Dilapitated homes, farmland for sale everywhere. The economy has hit these areas hard. I took the opportunity to tell the kids why I think it was so important to buy our produce from local growers when we shop.

    We didn't make it to the park entrance that night. By 4pm, we were still about 45 miles away, and I was NOT about to try finding a campsite in the dark. We lucked into finding a very reasonably priced Best Western motel in Exeter with a pool and free continental breakfast. It usually does the kids a lot of good to be able to swim after a long day in the car.

    We stopped for dinner, and checked into the motel. And it was at this point in the trip that I learned how husband packed the car. The clothes and medications were BURIED in the back of the truck. :mad: By this time, I was tired. It was still 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity outside. And the kids were clamoring for their bathing suits. Despite the glass of wine I had at dinner, I did my best to stifle the frustration I felt and enlisted husband's help in getting the things we needed out of the car. Afterall, it was only the first day and a meltdown on my part now would surely jinx the whole trip...
  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Sounds like you have had quite the adventure, it makes me a little happier that we are staying home with day trips again this year.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You and husband are very brave.

    My husband and I were brave........and our camping trips only lasted a weekend. LOL
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Not many husband's (or kids) can think ahead and pack a vehicle. I goofed in packing on the way home. difficult child's suitcase was the smallest so I put it in first, way up as far as it could go into the loose jackets, sports equip, ect. Then mine, then Diva's between the cooler and chairs. husband's on top of all of ours (his is more of a garment bag). It would have been o.k. if difficult child didn't have his throwing up episode when we stopped at my parents (yep, it was bad enough that he needed to change clothes). Fortunately, It wasn't too difficult to move husband's bag and pull difficult child's suitcase out.

    I do cringe though when someone in the family forgets to ask me if it is o.k. to put something in the van yet. They all have a tendency to just throw everything in the back and get upset later when the mess prevents more items or they have to shovel through everything to get theirs.