Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Phoenix… We have a Problem!

January 15, 2017

My parents were blessed to spend New Years in Maui with my sister and her family, relaxing on the beach and enduring the rooster calls on the island. Being the kind and thoughtful daughter, I volunteered for pick-up duty on their arrival home. When they booked the tickets, I remember hearing the return date as January 11th, a date that coincides with a special occasion for one of my nieces, who is from Maui. I thought it coincidental that the dates matched.

Calling my brother, who had taken them for their departure, I wanted to confirm the airline and flight time. All was good. Here’s my sticky note.

pink sticky note2.jpg

I feel the need to point out the extent of my niceness. That 6:49 is A.M. The airport is 30 miles from our house in the same direction all the Phoenix metro traffic heading downtown. Big fat bumper-to-bumper bummer.

Before I volunteered for o’dark-thirty parent retrieval, I checked with all driving family members to see if it was “more convenient” for someone else to go. Nope. Two had to go to work and one to band class. The glitch in this scenario is that our daughter had to be to her reading specialist at 8:00 a.m. From experience, I knew that I couldn’t make it back from the airport in time to take her and I didn’t want to wake her up at 5:15 a.m. either. The princess needs her sleep.

I called a faithful friend who also has a child in the reading class and asked if Nora could sleep over at her house. Sure! That’s what friends are for. I delivered her to her pajama party late on Tuesday night.

My alarm, which incidentally is only set a few times a year, blasted it’s jovial wake-up tune at 5:15 a.m. Please remember at this time that I am a homeschool mom. One of the top reasons we homeschool is so we can get the rest we need… i.e.: we sleep in…. almost every day.

I threw on sweats, brushed my teeth and hair, and went out the front door into the chilly AZ air. Brrrr… in the low 50s. Black skies laughed at me. I am always surprised when it is dark in the morning, for I rarely see this phenomenon.

Traffic wasn’t bad at all and I pulled into the parkade with 15 minutes to spare. After making mental notes of the level and parking area, I checked the screens for arrival times. 412 from Kahului just landed….6:28. Early! Good. This should go quickly. My comfy bed might even still be warm when it welcomes me back!

If you have ever landed at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, you may be aware of the dual runways and the occasional need to taxi for 15 minutes to get to your gate. It adds to the suspense of deplaning. Thankfully I remembered this little tidbit and was not alarmed by a 20 minute delay between the landing time and seeing weary travelers in Hawaiian shirts getting off the red-eye flight. Finally several vacationers trudged by wearing neck pillows and carrying pale green Hawaiian Cookie Company bags. I was a tad alarmed when I didn’t see my very own weary parents. There was no way I could have missed them walking by. There is only one gate for them to come out of. I was there the whole time. But they didn’t show up.

Baggage claim is right down stairs from where I had been sitting for 30 minutes. I decided to take a trip down there to see if Dad and Mom teleported from the plane to the baggage area. Nope. All the Hawaiian shirts were sitting on the floor awaiting their tardy suitcases.

Back upstairs I went… a bit concerned. Could something have happened to one of them on the plane? I called both their cell numbers several times. Both went straight to voicemail. I didn’t want to call my sister to see if she put them on the plane because it was 3:45 in the morning in Maui. I called my husband who was across the tarmac in his office. “I can’t find my parents,” I lamented. He comforted me by telling me they were probably just lost. Great! Where do I report missing persons?

My husband suggested checking my text messages again from Maui. I opened up my brother-in-law’s message and it read, “Mom and Dad arrive Thursday morning at 6:49.” Big fat early morning bummer. It was Wednesday.

Their flight WAS on the 11th of January… but arrived on the 12th of January. I was 24 hours early. I decided not to wait for them at the airport.

A Starbucks caramel apple cider soothed my weary soul before I left the terminal. After handing over my $5.00 for parking and I was on my way home to my snuggly bed.

(In a couple weeks I am scheduled to pick up my niece ON THIS SAME FLIGHT! Hopefully I will get it right next time.)

 

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March 2016 is upon Us! (what?)

March 1, 2016

circle the wagons

To say I have been busy lately is an understatement of gargantuan proportions. In January and February I have been away from home 19 nights… not all for total relaxation, but close. Thankfulness is alive and well in my heart, but still, home life goes on and needs attention. Plants die without mama.

There is a relief in the force (as opposed to a disturbance) as Nora’s online school is over. We “affectionately” called it Stupid School. And it is OHHH-VER! What I learned from this experience: RUN as fast as you can from public online school. They do not care about your kid even 1/100 of what you do. Parents have the final say… period. It’s MY kid. Not yours. We endured the 100 days required to qualify for her to have double the time with her reading specialist, whom we love. Now we are in a blissful state of Little House on the Prairie…. quilting, cooking, planting, playing, discovering, reading and of course we are on season four, episode five of the Prairie-thon. Perfection! Homeschooling rocks my socks.

Today is March. How in the world did that happen? This month marks THREE YEARS since my car accident where the uninsured 19-year-old gal pulled in front of me and I hit her good. The steering wheel air bag malfunctioned and only came out one side, impacting my right shoulder. March 2016 marks THREE YEARS of my shoulder hurting every day. I am not one to whine or complain (unless we share a bed) so most people are surprised to hear this news. Low-grade constant pain is exhausting. Seriously.

Name a type of shoulder pain therapy, I guarantee I have tried it unsuccessfully. I do have a few fond memories of quirky attempts, such as the acupuncturist who put a ring of 12 needles in my shoulder and explained the it was called “Circle the Dragon” and would relieve my pain. I rebuked the dragon and called it “Circle the Wagons” but still, it did nothing. Then there was the medieval torture tools that were dragged and scraped on my shoulder creating colorful bruises… all for naught.

Today, March 1, 2016, I endured a shoulder MRI with contrast injection. Tears running down into my ears, it was all I could do to lie still and breathe. The doctor informed me that this was the epiphany of tests and he WILL be able to tell me what’s wrong. Good. I hope he’s right and no more needles are necessary… wagons or dragons.

My 17-year-old son, Keeve, drove me to my appointment for moral, emotional and physical support. I just returned home to collapse and do nothing for the rest of the day. Eight hours til bedtime. Kids, you’re on your own for dinner. It is Taco Tuesday and there is a Rubio’s gift card in my wallet. If you read my blog, you score.

Go with God.

Tours, Tiaras and Two T-shirts

August 8, 2013

Our summer travels for 2013 have come to an end.  For three weeks I have been away from home (2 of those weeks without my family!) and I have learned several valuable tidbits that I feel compelled to share with you, faithful reader.

Trip #1 Nashville, Tennessee.  I learned that I really am a jewelry diva…. you may be surprised I didn’t admit this until now, but I seriously outfitted my roommates with GREAT accessories several times!  On this trip to the South, I realized that I love the South.  I haven’t been there for several years and the greenness is intoxicating.  The rolling hills of swaying grass call to me.  The magnolia trees waved in the moist breeze enticing me with their ivory blooms and the brick homes with their neat and tidy yards make me wanna spit at the desert and move tomorrow.  The grand finale of the trip was touring Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s plantation.  Oh, did he spend good money paying an English gardener that is still making women swoon at the aromas of the flowers he chose!

Nashville 102

Trip #2 Southern to Northern California.  This was a high school girl’s roadtrip that reunited five friends after 30 years of separation.  It was non-stop laughs and stories of yesteryear.  One of the roadies brought us all Superwoman t-shirts with hot pink capes and tiaras with pink bling bling.  You couldn’t really miss us…. AT ALL.  It was great fun but tiring for this mama.  By day #4, I was a bit of a party pooper.  I’m still not back to my old self and the car accident was almost five months ago.

road trip nation

Trip #3 Family Vacation at Lake Tahoe, California.  Please see the last blog as to my dire straights due to my husband’s negligence.  So, here is the REST of the story.  In addition to my light blue ONLY shirt, I ended up purchasing one t-shirt, a pink v-neck that had tasteful Lake Tahoe lettering on the front.  I tried it on in the hardware store dressing room, yanked off the tags and wore it to the register.  The attendant commented, “Oh, wearing it out!  Showing your Tahoe pride!”  I shook my head and blurted, “You don’t know half the story!”  So, I wore each shirt on alternating days while the other was in the wash.  I wore my jeans every single day in Tahoe, save one when it was warm enough for shorts. And my two pair of socks took turns hugging my feet or wiping the insides of the washing machine.

tahoe pink shirt

Thanks to my hubby and parents who had pity on me, I flew home so as to avoid my already painful arm from sitting in the truck for 15 hours straight.  Yes, on the plane rides I wore my jeans and my blue t-shirt.  This was like a flashback to our trip to Colombia where we only had three shirts each for a month!  On the first flight, a neat-as-a-pin 20-something gal sat next to me with her head aimed at her book the entire flight.  She didn’t say a peep to me (and I kept my nose in my current historical novel as well) until she popped open her hand sanitizer and with pressurization it squirt all over my jeans that I have been wearing for nine days.  I thought it comical that they probably did need sanitizing at this point, but I didn’t feel like telling a stranger that I haven’t changed my pants in over a week.

Not nearly as entertaining as my flight from from Nashville sitting next to the narcoleptic man, I was in LAX on a layover and knew my seat number was 5D.  It is a smaller plane with only two seats on each side of the aisle.  Fine.  However, there was a family with two little blonde haired bundles of screams and energy also in the waiting area.  I hoped and prayed they wouldn’t be seated near me.  I mean goodness sakes, I was only 45 pages into an enrapturing tale from Reformation times set in the Netherlands.  Screaming + Reformation = NOT ON MY WATCH!  Right before boarding commenced, I visited the little girl’s room.  When I wandered back to the gate I heard the quite loud mother of the two girlies tell her husband matter-of-factly, “Whoever is holding the baby is supposed to sit in seat 5C.”  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  This was an emergency situation of gargantuan proportions in my mind.  I went straight to the desk to ask to be moved.  The kind lady at the counter asked, “What is your name, please?”  Not sure why she needed the information, I simply retorted, “Crosby.”  She looked down and then handed me a new boarding pass, adding, “I’m sorry, but we had to move your seat to 8D.”  If we weren’t in an airport surrounded by 87 travelers with cellphones that take photos, I would have jumped over the counter and hugged her little neck and kissed her over-rouged cheeks!

family ta da

Our story ends with me blogging at our home computer, contented to be in my own house with my two dogs licking my feet, sitting here in my jeans and my blue t-shirt.  :o)  Safe travels!

Vera Wang, Where are You?

August 1, 2013

rick and linda tahoe 13

Hello from Lake Tahoe, one of our favorite relaxing places on planet earth.  It rocks! Do I look cold in this picture?  I am! Does my sweatshirt look too big?  Does it look like it is a Minnesota sweatshirt that I would never wear?  IT IS!  See my husband?  Doesn’t he look kind and thoughtful and fun.  It’s all a FRONT!  If we post more pictures from our adventures in Tahoe, be sure to notice my jeans…. because I will have them on in EVERY single photo.  WHY? you ask.

Our story begins last Wednesday when I emptied my suitcase from my trip to Nashville, only long enough to wash the clothes and re-pack into a carry-on for my high school girl’s road trip.  My family would be joining me in Tahoe after I flew to Los Angeles for the four day excursion with four of my high school friends.  Us girls had to pack light as there were five of us in a suburban and we needed room for our vintage/shabby/thrift store gems yet to be purchased.  And we used all that space too!

Knowing that I would need WARM clothes in Tahoe, I packed half of the big suitcase to share with my husband, as we have done for 27 years now.  Being the Phoenix girl that I am, I added wool socks, flannel jammies, three more pair of socks, a big Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, sweats, a wind-proof jacket, five pair of undies, my warm fur Vera Wang bling bling slippers, long sleeve shirts, a heating pad, the next book in the series that I am reading, Christmas-in-July gifts for two of our friends, etc. etc. etc.

When our family was re-united (and it feels so good) at the lake, I immediately went to the suitcase to layer up on my clothes and find my slippers.  I dug on one side.  I dug on the other side.  Then realization hit…. like a mosquito impacting the windshield at 75 mph…. MY STUFF WAS MISSING!  WHAT?  I almost couldn’t breathe for a few seconds.  I threw out a few games and a pillow that my sweet husband had packed in the suitcase and then with a slightly elevated voice I “kindly” asked, “WHERE ARE MY CLOTHES?”  His blank look of confusion on his handsome face confirmed that it was not a premeditated action taken to cause me mental anguish.  He replied after a few seconds, “I took out all the stuff that you left in the suitcase from Nashville.”  “IT WAS NOT FROM NASHVILLE!  IT WAS WOOL SOCKS AND A HEATING PAD SO I DON’T FREEZE TO DEATH HERE IN TAHOE!”

He told me that I could just wear the clothes over and over from the road trip…. yeah… NO!  It was a beach dress, shorts and a tank top and capris with a sleeveless shirt.  NOT TAHOE FRIENDLY at all.  I was wearing my jeans, thank God all mighty!  And a blue t-shirt.  And one of my three pair of underwear.  And one of my two pair of socks.  At that moment, I took Rick’s Minnesota sweatshirt from the suitcase and put it on.  He commented, “Well, I brought that so I could wear it.”  Too bad, Bucko.

slippers

My Vera Wang slippers have been temporarily replaced by these handmade Halloween slippers that are four sizes too large that I found in the cabin….  they ARE warm.  I’m almost speechless at this turn of events.  Almost.  OK, not really.  Several comments have been made ALL DAY LONG as to my clothes being the same as yesterday…. the stain on my blue t-shirt that appears to be growing… the outfit that I will have on for ALL the pictures this week…. a Bible verse about how we shouldn’t worry about what we wear…. and how I should really be choosing ONE outfit for my husband to also wear all week long next to me.  :o)  He is lucky that this is not a trip where I needed nice, dress-up clothes with matching jewelry and purses and shoes.  Oh, let me tell you how lucky he is!

Good grief!  Calm down.

Grand Canyon Travel Advisory!

June 7, 2013

grand canyon

Yes, I’m here as your valued travel adviser having returned from the grandest of canyons a mere three hours past.  Here are my Top Eleven-and-a-half Suggestions for visiting the Grand Canyon National Park in Northern Arizona (brought to you by Hershey’s smooth milk chocolate bars):

11.  Hold onto small children around the rim.  There are not railings everywhere…. I mean, come on… it’s 277 miles long on EACH side.  Safety first, people.  The guide told us that 12 people die each year from falling in.  WHAT?  Yep.

10.  Take your camera.  This may seem like a DUH!, but I didn’t have one with me as ours landed on the ground too many times.  My friend brought hers and hopefully she will share her pictures!

9.  Engage those around you.  We met delightful people from Utah, South Africa, Maine, Germany, Pennsylvania, South Korea, South Carolina, India, China and even California!  There were plenty of elderly folks who love to chat.  They asked to see our paintings, asked to take a picture of my drawings, asked if all these kids were mine and visited about lovely information of their experiences from their homelands.

8.  Stay until sunset at least once.  The colors are unbelievable, incomprehensible, and awesome!

7.  Plan an extra hour for every event you want to attend if you are taking the free shuttles.  Yes, they are free.  No gimmicks.  The only place in the USA where FREE isn’t a catch word for “sucker”. Thank you, U.S. Government, for providing free shuttles in the park.  At the beginning of the week, I thought the bus drivers were grouchy and mean.  After four days of witnessing what they go through with wild American kids that can’t sit in a seat for the love of God, and ALL the lovely foreigners who just needed more help with the maps, the schedules, the standing-in-the-white-space-by-the-door law, the back door and front door loading and unloading rules, the no eating and no drinking rules and the back-away-from-the-curb-when-bus-is-approaching guideline….. I realized I would probably be grouchy too, or supremely sarcastic, which is usually over foreigners’ heads and would cause MORE confusion.

6.  Go inside Kolb’s Studio.  Downstairs they still play the original moving pictures that the Kolb Brothers showed to visitors in the 1930s.  The artwork in the studio is outstanding!  Well worth the time, it’s air conditioned and the historic photos are the BEST of these two renegades, even at the age of 93!

kolb

5 1/2.  Drive all the way to Desert View Point and climb the smelly tower all the way to the top.  The views of the Colorado are supreme.

desert view tower

5.  Bring your own food from home.  And solid blocks of ice, if you are camping.  Prices inside the park are astronomical….. seriously from outer space. A 2 litre pop was almost $4.  If you are coming from Northern Alberta, that is a reasonable price, I understand.  But you can go to Walmart in Flagstaff and fill up on 2l pop for $.99 each on your way.  One trip I purchased 1 bag of charcoal, 2 bags of ice, a lemonade, a greeting card and 2 packs of gum….. guess how much….. go ahead….. guess…… higher…… higher….. yes, $30.26.

4.  Camp!  Ok, I know you hotel-cushies just rolled your eyes and I lost ya, but seriously, to stay at least four days and not spend your children’s college funds, camping is the way to go.  You will never forget the stars in the night sky!!!  Amazing!  No bugs.  Hot showers.  Or rent an RV and use the microwave.  Be somewhat cushy.  The camp sites are only $18 per night.  The CHEAPEST room in a lodge on the rim is $169 per night/low season/2 people.  Or stay at a motel outside the park and use the free shuttle every day.

3.  Carry your own lunch.  This is from experience, people.  Take responsibility and pack in your own food.  Mine “accidentally” got set down at a shuttle stop somewhere… and I had to beg for 1/2 sandwiches from my sons.  Some lucky soul is now carrying a bright yellow lunch sack with Linda Crosby written across the bottom.  If you see him/her, please tell them you read my blog.  It looks exactly like this:

yellow lunch sack

2.  Plan at least 4 – 5 days to see everything.  There is SO MUCH to see!  We stayed five days and I still didn’t get to tour the insides of the historical buildings or hike down a bit of Bright Angel trail (you know, just to say “Yeah, I’ve hiked Bright Angel.”)

and the NUMBER ONE Suggestion for visiting the Grand Canyon is….. (drum roll, please)…. WEAR SUNSCREEN!  Learn from my mistakes, people.  And take it from me, if you think your facial make-up has sunscreen, you may be fooling yourself.  Mine used to… and stopped including it without my knowledge…. and my face got toasty roasty… but not as bad as my red v-neck burn.  Say no to skin cancer and wear sunscreen…. waterproof sunscreen, because you will sweat.

ROAD TRIP to Canada Day #1

December 26, 2012

Every five years, our family makes the trek north to our homeland Canada where we met and fell in love with starry eyes and warm hearts.  Crosby Family Christmas was occurring in Abbotsford, B.C. at my brother and sister-in-law’s house.  Three out of the four siblings arrived with kids in tow along with Rick’s folks…. 15 of us in all.

We never leave on time for road trips.  Various circumstances contribute to this, mostly, however, is my dear husband’s tendency toward tardiness.  Day #1 had 12 hours of driving on the agenda, but there was not an impending arrival time that we were aiming at.  This was a godsend because my great aunt and uncle are staying in our house for us and watching the doggies…. which translates to the house needing to be spotless… way beyond the normal “leaving on vacation” level of cleanliness…. causing three of my four children to roll their eye balls at their mother.

Soooooooo, departure time was chosen for 7:00 a.m.  At 9:15 a.m. dusting and mirror cleaning were still in progress.  We pulled out of the driveway at 9:38 a.m. BUT there were three scheduled stops before we could leave town.  Rick had some checks to drop off, his work truck to take to the mechanic and we still needed gas for the trip.  At 10:27 we pulled into Circle K in downtown Phoenix and Rick announced to his wife and four children, “Everyone go to the bathroom because we’re not stopping for a long time!”   Into the gas station we obediently traipsed.

11:01 a.m. we officially left Phoenix and began our trek westbound.  At 11:18 a.m. Rick mousily squeaked from the middle row of the van that he needed to go to the bathroom….. so we turned into another Circle K in Buckeye, AZ!  And thus began our 3,400 mile ROAD TRIP to the Great White North….  only 3+ hours behind our scheduled departure.  Not bad.

Beachcombers R Us

April 26, 2012

We spent last week at Monterey, California and God blessed us with unbelievable weather for April on the coast!  Sunny and gorgeous!  My friend, Connie, got our whole family hooked on searching for sea glass…. I’m not quite sure why it is so addicting.  Possibly because it is FREE and the colors of glass are so amazing.  We found this little cove, after much climbing and crawling over large rocks, where the waves were bringing new pieces of glass with each crash and roll.  After my entire tennis shoe went under the water, in pursuit of a huge green treasure, even I joined the freezing barefoot ranks and took the plunge.  Usually I prefer to view the water, not feel the water.

The majority of our discoveries were green and brown….. 7-Up and beer bottles in past lives.  But we did find some rare gems in PINK!, red, yellow, white and royal blue.  My 15-year-old son saw a shining royal blue bottle in a thrift store and asked if we could buy it and throw it in the ocean…. for our next visit in three months!  GREAT idea!

What do we do with the sea litter, you ask?  There are mini jars at the beach house that have sorted-by-color sea glass…. so I added my finds to that happy color display.  For homeschooling we count this as math…. sorting.  :o)  It could also be categorized as history, science and social studies.  Whatever we call it, it was the BEST kind of schooling, in my humble opinion.  The rest of the family brought home their glass pieces …. I’m not sure why.  Possibly because they were FREE and the colors of glass are so amazing!

And no, we didn’t color coordinate our clothes with the ocean… it simply worked out that way.  It was a matchy-matchy sort of day all the way around.

The Countdown has Begun!

January 12, 2012

As I sat writing all the family birthdays in my new Greece calendar, filled with cerulean seas, cobalt domes and whitewashed walls, I realized that the countdown to nights away from home has begun!  It’s 15!  I know some people have to travel for work, and they don’t love it, but I work/live/breathe/sleep/teach in the same four walls day in and day out.  No mistaking it, I love it… but time away from home brings joy to my globetrotting soul.  I have imagined that the perfect job for me would be to travel the world and write reviews of far off lands for future vacationers.

There is a night coming this month… only one night.. but still, I look forward to it with my hubby.  The first of March there are four glorious days marked on the calendar for Scrapping in the Pines with my girlfriends.  It is supposedly a scrapbooking retreat… but less and less scrapbooking is accomplished as the years go by.  It should probably be renamed Being Lazy in the Pines….   THAT is a true holiday….. no kids, no cooking, no bedtime, no cleaning, no agenda (other than posted mealtimes)… no wonder it calls my name every six months!  Last September we watched 8 or 9 movies!  Couch Potatoes unite!  It was sublime.

Rick and I endured one of those time-share sales pitches to “win” a free cruise… with some strings attached, of course.  But the strings are cheap cheap cheap for the eight-day trip.  I like bunk beds!  We are awaiting to see if it will be the Western Caribbean in March or Alaska in June.  I’m REALLY hoping for white beaches and not white whales…. but alas, it is also my husband’s 25th wedding anniversary… so I was the nice wife (not the crabby wife) and let him choose one destination.  He’s a true Canadian with ice in his veins.

Our annual trip to Lake Tahoe has moved to August this year…. which is fantastic for us living in Phoenix, right next door to hell in the summer.  And our son, who is cycling again after the broken arm the week before Christmas, has a couple of races that may require over-night stays… can you see how high my hand is raised to volunteer to escort him???  I feel some mother-son bonding around the corner.  I’ll wear whatever t-shirt they want me to!

So, school drudgery is laid to rest each time I peer at the highlighted days in my purse daytimer.  By the end of February the kids will be wondering why I keep taking the daytimer into the bathroom so often.  It’s my own version of Calgon.

Christmas Creativity

January 3, 2012

My sister asked me to make an apron for her in April or May.  She sent me a picture of what she wanted…. black with tiny polka-dots and a few faint ruffles on the bottom edge.  Black didn’t seem practical for baking…. flour, butter and sugar will show up like a fly in the milk.  But black and pink are so cute together! I’ve been wanting an apron myself for quite some time, so the idea appealed to me.  My sister-in-law, Jennie, came for a visit in March and brought me beautiful Beatrix Potter Benjamin Bunny fabric…. perfect for an apron for a Miss Potter super-fan!

June rolled around and we were off to a cabin for vacation.  Before we left I gathered fabric, ric-rac, ribbon, thread and I found a pattern that looked fairly straight forward.  The creative juices were flowing…. but sewing time didn’t present itself at the cabin.  Bummer. 

December rolled around and my sister was coming for Christmas!  I had great expectations, but I didn’t actually get the apron sewn before gift giving commenced.  It was more of a last day of December gift.  She loved it and so did I.  I just had to share how cute it turned out.  Now hopefully I’ll get mine done before next Christmas baking season!

In My Absence

November 8, 2011

The lack of blogging is due to a disturbance in the force.  We went camping and didn’t take the computer…. go figure!  Four families made some plans, reserved some camp spots, packed everything including the kitchen sink (but all forgot ketchup!) and headed out to the lake for four days of wilderness survival.  It was hardly wildernessy or survivally, except for the hurricane that hit with 65 mile-an-hour winds on Friday night.  The boy’s tent blew down flat… broken poles and all.  Two of them moved into the boat (with a canvas cover) and two moved into the van.  Let me just add that the wise man builds his house in the van.  By 12:30 a.m. the boat boys were soaked and texted a plea to the RV, “Please help. Wet.”

Our tent was not handling the gales well either.  A nylon strap snapped and rain was coming in on my head….. I was more worried about getting electrocuted from my electric blanket than worried about being wet.  Don’t judge me.  We also were graciously invited into the 5th wheel in the blowing blazes of the storm.

If the storm wasn’t enough, Keeve’s retainer went missing AGAIN.  This is the second camping trip where the retainer was MIA.  Thankfully it was also the second camping trip where the retainer materialized before his father could wring his neck.

AND…. our friend’s golden retriever was profusely sprayed by our neighborhood skunk.  I’ve smelled city kitties before, but not so strong where it burns your throat.  Wow…. brought tears to my eyes as well.

If all those events didn’t add enough excitement…. our car battery died…. deader than a doornail.  So we used the van as a storage unit until my knight in shining work truck went a bought a new battery.  Wow!

Yes, the water level is extremely low in Lake Pleasant at the moment, but it is filling as we speak.  Many a nap transpired by the lake and we ALL enjoyed the lazy time of not being in the hustle and bustle of home life.

Despite the disturbances in the force, a relaxing time was had by all…. most of the time.