There are good ideas and then there are bad ideas. And, then, there are very bad ideas. Our grand idea to rent an RV for the trip to see my family for the holiday break was one that would fall into the "very bad idea" category. It ranked right up there with putting mascara on while driving or letting your 5 year old give your 3 year old a hair cut (with safety scissors, duh), to keep things quiet so you can
The whole RV plan was born out of the best of intentions, I assure you. My sister and her family were flying home from Switzerland and we knew that once everyone arrived, things were going to be super-tight at mom and dad's. So, why not rent an RV, we thought?? It would be the perfect place to hang out - Steve can set up a mini-office if necessary, the kids can play games, mommy can sneak away for a nap (hallelujah), and we could host a "Christmas Vacation" party. For two weeks we talked about the crazy amount of fun our family was going to have. Mom was happy that she was going to get to see her sister, the kids were minding their p's and q's (threats to fore go the RV was all it took), and Dad was a hero for conceiving of the idea in the first place.
Unfortunately, our fancy little RV notion wasn't so fancy after all....
Never before have we planned a trip and actually left on schedule. But,
1. We stopped at the Cathedral so that we could wish one of our favorite priests Merry Christmas, and so that George could make his first confession, which was awesome, so the whole family confessed as well (probably a good thing considering the unforeseen events soon to take place.).
5. Gas up
6. Daddy drove by a gun shop. Not being one to take his 2nd amendment rights lightly, of course Daddy had to stop. Forever. It literally took forever. And, he bought ME a gun. ME!!
Cue the music - minor key - something super melancholic.
Because, things are about to get serious.
Or, "Achy-Breaky Heart." That would do.
We pulled into a strip mall parking lot, right next to Pei Wei (oh, happy day). I decided to run into a couple of shops and grab the gifts before supper while Steve and the boys strung up some lights inside the trailer. Thirty minutes later, I expect to find lights all a glow, but am met with 6 droopy faces instead. None of the electric outlets in Miss Rhonday Vou worked. Okay, I thought, no biggie, we're still in town, someone can come and fix it while we eat supper.
Well, someone came....and two hours later it still wasn't fixed, so we decided to run (through the sleet, snow and freezing cold) into Super Target to get some snacks for the kids. An hour later, the electric was finally working (hooray!), but, the brake lights were not (boo!). At this point, I've pretty much stomped the Happy Happy, Joy, Joy song into the slush with my boots, because Momma is a little bit chapped. Thankfully, Daddy kept his composure, and was able to talk the Adventureland
Finally, we hit the road, in our 2nd party wagon, but by now the weather is too severe to travel. Thankfully, Steve's sister wasn't far, and she generously opened her doors for our family that night. I called my parents to let them know that we would break out first thing in the morning and hopefully be there just before lunch. Then, after a little help from our old friend, Jack, we were ready to sleep off the frustration and begin again the next morning.
At 9:00 a.m. we were on the road again. Did I mention that they were icy, snow-packed roads?? Between the road conditions and the wind gusts nearly blowing us into the ditch, we considered turning around. To add to the misery, there was no heat in the front of Rhonday Vou, just blasts of drafty cold coming in from all sides her. My poor husband had to drive in his coveralls, a coat, hat and gloves. (Why didn't I take a picture?) So, I did what every desperate wife does in these types of situations: I gave my hubby the most inspiring pep talk ever. I knew he could drive through the storm, he just needed a few smooches and a little encouragement! Once we hit the interstate, the roads were much better, and all anxiety was put at ease. For about 22 seconds. As Steve increased speed, the front end of the RV began to shake, I mean seriously shake, like Beyonce shake.
At that point, I shouted out, "If one more thing goes wrong with this crazy thing (just fill in some choice words here), I'm going to call Mr. Adventureland myself." Right then and there, our oldest son, Ben, yells to the front, "Um, Dad, the toilet is leaking and it's running down the hallway!" WHAT???? I knew it was time to pull over and re-think this whole thing. After a bit of discussion, my Baby decided it was too dangerous to drive, but I said, "Baby, you point this thing north and don't stop 'till we get there!" And, that's what my Baby did. 29 hours and 29,000 tears after leaving home, we rolled into my parents driveway, numb, shaken, cold and weary.
Obviously, we weren't going to be able to fix Miss Rhonday Vou's crazy shakin' and thermostat issues by ourselves. So, the head hauncho at Adventureland Rip-offs drove all the way to my hometown just to bring us a third wreck on wheels. He guaranteed it to be one of his finest rentals. Let's just say that after he left, his pants were on fire (Mr. Liar, Liar). It wasn't his finest RV, it wasn't even fine. But, we decided to make the best of it. Despite being slightly rusty and dilapidated, Miss Rhonday Vou III played host to kids cuddled up to watch movies, play games and prep for family pictures, and she even managed to survive the semi-teenage driving skills of my crazy brother, Scott, during our Christmas Vacation party.
Christmas Vacation Party:
If they ever remake the Christmas Vacation movie,
I officially nominate my brother, Scott, to play the role of Eddie. He's perfect!
He knows everyone in town. I mean everyone.
He introduced us to his buddies at the Auto Parts store...
...and the local Country Club.
He took us for a cruise around Rocky Pond to view the splendid display of lights.
This is Scott's ultra patient wife, Stephanie, on the left with Steve's wife, Julie, and her daughter, Lauryn.
My big bro Steve and his lovely wife, Julie.
Welcome to our "Home Sweet Home!"
Phebe Marie's Baptism:
Happy to be Godparents to such a precious baby!
Time With Elena:
She really came up to see the boys (who adore her),
but I got to spend a little time with her too, which was nice.
but I got to spend a little time with her too, which was nice.
We love how she jumps right in to lend a hand in the kitchen...
...to offer her welcoming arms to a mom in need of a break.
Our First White Christmas in Years!
Mom & Dad Help Steve Tame the Turkey:
Christmas Morning Delight:
Because, he'll always be my baby!
Snacks Snuck and Stuffed Under Dresser:
Random funnies are the best!
My Favorite Photo of the Holiday:
Grandma and Grandpa with the grandkids. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!!!