Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Chevy Chase Style Vacation Part One

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Chevy Chase. He is an actor who has made several movies about his fictional families various crazy vacations.  Each vacation was a comedy of disasters and mishaps in these movies. Quite funny… unless your own vacation goes in a similar fashion!

Last week my brother Eric, brother Robbie, and two of his children, Ben and Sydnee, daughter Michelle and her children Evan and Lily, her partner Chris and his children Brodie and Breven, myself and husband Gerald, all camped together in lovely Kimberling, Missouri, at the Water’s Edge Cabin and RV Resort, on beautiful Table Rock Lake.

It takes about 8 hours to drive to Kimberling, from our home. Hubby and I decided to leave Saturday evening, spend the night at some point past St. Louis, and get to the camp on Sunday. The rest of our party, were starting out early Sunday and planning to drive straight through.  Nothing had been easy even in the preparation for this trip. Gerald and I had been plagued by vehicle breakdowns, plumbing issues, etc. for weeks and we actually got on the rode about 6 hours later than we wanted to, due to last minute mechanical issues. We finally got on the road at 6 at night, so anticipated about 3 more hours of sunlight. We got about 20 miles out of town and Gerald suggested an issue with the key we had left with our darling neighbor girls who were caring for the kitties in our absence. So, back to town we go to double check they had a key that worked. We had had issues getting those keys made! Anyway, when that was settled, granddaughter Lily, who was riding with us, felt hungry, so off we go to find food and don’t actually start our until 7. By this time I am trying to convince Gerald just to spend the night at home, and head out Sunday, with the rest of the party. I bet he wished he would have followed my advice… we got no further than 2 1/2 hours down the road and I had to wake Lily, (who had finally fell asleep), with the words…THE TRUCK IS ON FIRE! WAKE UP! Yes, smoke is rolling out of the truck hood and behind us also! I felt so sorry for Lily and Gerald I couldn’t even be shocked or surprised. Poor little 6 year old girl was terrified! Smoke from the truck, standing in a ditch alongside a major highway, in the dark, were all quite overwhelming for her and I was grateful when Gerald assured us the truck wasn’t actually on fire. We had some sort of leak and all the fluid on the hot underside of truck and engine was causing the smoke. We got Lily in the truck and I used coats to cover the windows so Lily would not have to see the smoke, darkness and zooming semi trucks, driving within feet of the window. Gerald stood outside with a flashlight, because even with our emergency flashers going, traffic would not be able to see the boat we were towing, and he was being certain that traffic saw the truck also, to keep us safe. Both Lily and I were nervous for him out there! I called Chris and asked him to go online and call us a tow. Problem 1 was, Chris and Michelle’s computer had gone out due to storms, and so Chris had to go dashing up to his store to use that computer. Problem 2…. I had said we were broke down near Staunton, which is in Illinois, Chris thought I said Stanton, which is in Missouri! We should have been in Missouri, but due to key and food delay, we weren’t! Poor Chris is frantically calling tow companies in Stanton, and they were telling him there were no such named towns near them, nor roads nor exits! Chris calls back and discovers we are in Illinois and he then calls the state police who in turn call me and then arranges a tow company to call me! Whew! Two hours later, at about 1:30 a tow finally comes. Lily and I got to sit in the tow truck while they loaded our truck, with camper on it, and the boat. This is the view we enjoyed while the truck was being loaded


Having Lily with me was a good thing, as it forced me to stay positive and light hearted. We had a grand time marveling at the high tech interior of the tow truck and were amazed of its power in loading up our truck and camper on to its flat bed!


The friendly tow truck driver took us to the repair place to drop our vehicle off , but he had no success finding us a hotel room in the same town, so we ended up at a hotel in a town 12 miles away. While in the tow truck, Gerald started gagging and acting sick. By the time we got checked in at the hotel, he was very sick and started running a fever and being sick to his tummy;( 

The next morning, we realized we had not left the key to the truck at the repair shop, which would open the next day, so we had to find a way to the next town, and hope their hotel had rooms opened up. I call around and there is not a rental car shop open nor a taxi within 30 miles of us who are willing to come get us and bring us to Staunton, where our truck was!

Meanwhile, the rest of our group had started driving our way, so Lily was rescued and got to travel with the rest to the campground. Gerald finally called the lovely tow truck owner from the night before, to ask him if he knew of anyone who would be willing to take us to our truck. Luckily, he did have a man picking up parts in the town we were in and we got a ride to the hotel at Staunton. We drop off the key in the drop box and travel to the hotel. Gerald is still sick and goes to bed, while I spent 4 hours reading in the lobby. I had forgotten to leave the key for the repair, but had remembered to grab two books out of the camper! lol! One of them I am going to make a separate post about, I admired it so much;-) The next day our truck was repaired and luckily, Gerald got feeling better at the same time so we headed out late in the evening again, but this time reached the campground around midnight without mishap.

It sure was good to wake up and be in camp the next day! Nice clean area, no other campers besides our party, clean bathroom and shower room, on a lovely land finger jutting into the lake. Everyone else was well settled in and we were greeted by a morning campfire, with Chris making blueberry pancakes for all!  Gerald was feeling kind of tired and weak,(rightfully so), and so we choose to stay at camp while the others went on to visit Silver Dollar City.

The rest of our time was fun and uneventful until the last night when grandson Brodie slipped and gashed his knee and ended up at the hospital for 9 stitches! While Chris, Michelle and Eric handled that trip, I had Lily and Sydnee in the shower when suddenly Breven pops in his head and tells me Evan has hurt his ankle and can’t walk! Telling the girls I will be right back, (I could see Evan in the twilight sitting on a boulder not far), I rushed out. Luckily, just a bad twist and after getting Robbie from camp, Evan got a piggy back ride up the hill, and was able to walk on it by the next morning.

We had not realized that the lake was in flood and so the beach near our site was flooded out, so the swimmers had to go to the other side of the park where there was a bit of beach left. Gerald, Evan, Breven and I were going out fishing when I took these pictures of some of the group at that area

The other issue with a flooded lake, is it took us awhile to realize the fish were still working the area that would normally be the shore, not the shoreline the flood had made. Soon, fish were being caught though!


Lots of bonding between Uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, siblings, Papa, Grandma, granddaughters, grandsons, brothers, sisters, partners, and all!

I will post part two of this holiday soon. Good to be back home and hope to get caught up with all of you dear visitors to Comfrey Cottages soon, at your blogs!

Big hugs and love to all who stop in and visit Comfrey Cottages xx


Anke said...

Oh my goodness Leslie, I might have to start calling you Mrs. Griswold. ;-) I'm just glad your hubby started feeling better and you were able to get the truck fixed. Except for the poor kiddos that got hurt, it sounds like you had a great time with family.

Comfrey Cottages said...

It was a great trip and experience, aside from the glitches, Anke! lol I was really glad hubby felt better within two days also. He has had the flu two other times this spring, and both of those lasted much longer!! xx

Rita M said...

How in the world have I missed this post....
what an incredibly bad start to your holiday, and what an adventure.
Fortunately there were no problems the second day Leslie,and you all had a beautiful vacation.

Big hugs my dear friend,
Rita :o)

Rita M said...

I've enjoyed all your beautiful pictures Leslie.
So much fun with the whole family :)


cheap fly tickets said...

HI Leslie....
I reached here by searching about travel and vacations. I like the experience you shared about the vacations. Captures are also adorable and hope you had great time during your vacations....!!!


villa in ibiza said...

Vacations are always excited and full of adventure.. when it comes to family vacations I enjoyed so much.. Your experience about the trip is full of adventure and I enjoyed reading about it..