Our epic adventure started innocently enough.
Months ago I received a Facebook event invitation for a family reunion in August for my mom’s side of the family. My cousins try to do a camping trip every year to the town where my mom and her siblings grew up. I click “Maybe” as my response because life happens and really, I’ve clicked maybe pretty much every year but something always comes up and I’m unable to make it. The last time I went MiniMe was 3. It’s been 10 years.
This has been a whirlwind year for us. With Beauty’s health problems then Mom passing away in May. Huge change in my job which meant full-time hours, a promotion and a pay raise. Yay me! A month after mom passed I put Beauty on a bus. Mostly because of mom’s passing and my need to see my girl, I decided that I really needed to go the reunion this year. My cousins were there for my siblings and I in our time of crisis and I wanted to be able to spend time with them for a non-sad reason.
I’ve never driven to the area where the reunion would be held by myself so planned my route out and MiniMe made scores of lists of the things we needed to bring. She wanted to pack her bags 3 weeks prior to our departure! Well, 4 days before our departure date there was a mudslide on the highway I was planning to take. This particular highway would put me about an hour from my destination. Plan B: take the other route that would add a couple hours to my trip. Given that they weren’t able to clear a path the way I wanted to go before our we left I decided to go with Plan B.
We had the van loaded with our stuff for a weekend of camping. It was really full. Tents, bedding, bags, food, coolers, everything we would need for 3 days of camping with family. We left town about 10:00 a.m. expecting to arrive at our destination in about 6ish hours.
Three hours into our trip, after crossing a mountain pass on which they were blasting so traffic was slow going, we made it to the town of Leavenworth, WA. Please don’t get me wrong. This is a very cool town. But this trip my plan was that it would a “top off the gas tank, grab a quick bite to eat and get back on the road” kind of town.
MiniMe took a couple of cool pictures while I was driving
Going up the mountain pass
Unfortunately my vehicle had a different plan. You see, even tho I had checked all the fluids in my van prior to our trip like I’ve always been taught, my van decided to blow through 6 1/2 quarts of transmission fluid going over that mountain pass. It didn’t really want to move from the gas pump.
The gas station of doom!
Our home away from home
After lots of tears (I cried. I cried a lot!) and phone calls…
We will be rescued!
My brother and another family member made a plan. I had called my nephew and he graciously agreed to let me borrow his car so we could make the rest of our trip! Ginormously HUGE thank you to Timber and Georgia! We love you guys so much!!! The only problem was that we needed to wait. We had to wait for my nephew to get home from work with said car so my brother could go load it on the car trailer to bring to me. We also had the 3 hours of driving time it would take them to get to us. I’ve never spent any time in this little town we were in and it was a Friday evening so my brother suggested we go check it out. Luckily we were only a block from all the very cool little shops and the park.
We found cool stuff like this
And this! It’s purple!!!
It was also VERY HOT!!! We weren’t really prepared to be walking around town in 97 degree weather! o.O
We found a very cool hat shop
I liked this one best! We even found flamingo sunglasses!
We found a t-shirt shop that had this in the window
After waiting…and waiting…and waiting…
The cavalry arrived!!!
Do you see how little that car is? I drive a minivan. Remember me telling you that we were going camping for 3 days and had it totally packed? Would you believe that we fit everything in this little car??? Well, my brother didn’t think we would either but we did! So after unloading the car from the trailer, moving all the stuff from my van to the car then loading the van on the trailer, we were ready to go again! I still had another 3 plus hours to drive. MiniMe ended up falling asleep and totally slept through me singing to keep myself awake for the last hour. We got into the little town where my mom grew up and I had to make an executive decision to turn either right or turn left. (My phone was dead, no working cigarette lighters in the borrowed car so I couldn’t use my GPS) My navigator (MiniMe with the map) was mostly asleep. I turned right. Because I didn’t think it looked right (remember, it’s been 10 years since I’ve been there and THAT time it was daylight!) I pulled over. Turns out I pulled over IN FRONT OF THE BAR! Ok, in my defense, the bar was closed! Anyway, I pull over, turn on the dome light and look at the directions.
Let me set the scene for you a little better.
It’s about 2:15 a.m. I’m pretty much lost. There is absolutely nothing moving in this little town. Not even the trees!!! I’m in a borrowed car that is packed to within an inch of it’s life with our stuff. It’s me and my 13-year-old daughter. All caught up now? Good… lets get back to the story.
As I’m looking at the directions trying to figure out what to do next, a car pulls up behind me. Huh, that’s interesting. Next thing I know…
All I could do was laugh. Because seriously???
So the cop walks up to my side and the first thing he says is “Ma’am, I have to tell you that you’re being recorded.” OF COURSE I am! I have to tell you, it took every ounce of self control I have not to ask if it was for Candid Camera! All I could do was laugh. Apparently when I pulled over at 2:00 in the morning in a totally dead town with not another car anywhere in sight I forgot to use my blinker.
So he asks me for my license and registration. Ummm… I hand him my license no problem and begin frantically searching for the registration for a car THAT ISN’T MINE!!! Awesome!
As I’m searching I’m pretty much babbling saying “This is my NEPHEW’S CAR that he’s letting me borrow because mine broke down and we just spent 8 hours waiting for my brother to bring me my NEPHEW’S CAR that he’s letting me borrow and they brought it to me on the trailer and my van is on it’s way home but my NEPHEW let me borrow his car so I can go to my family reunion and this is my NEPHEW’S CAR. I think I must have mentioned that this was my nephew’s car about 17 times. He apparently thought I was a psycho lunatic because he called for back-up! MiniMe looked out her window and there was another cop on her side of the car!!! Really dude???
Anyway, he let me go with a warning and told me how to get to the resort where Beauty and my niece and the rest of my cousins were waiting.
I just love her!
My aunt who lives there came to the reunion on Saturday afternoon. One of my cousins was talking with her and I hear from across the camp “Hey! You’re famous! You made the news!”
I’m thinking, “Awesome! Which part of my crazy adventure made the news?”
Turns out my aunt was up listening to the scanner and when the cop ran my information she heard it. **sigh**
We ended up having a great time and I got to spend time with my cousins and talk with my mom’s 2 sisters and visit with my remaining uncle.
We had water balloons
And a bouncy house!
MiniMe, Beauty and Me
The coolest dog ever!
The whole motley crew
I think she misses her sissy
All in all, it was a great time and I’m so glad we went. I’m hoping to be able to go again next year but with a little less adventure getting there.
As my aunt was preparing to leave we were saying our goodbyes and she says to me “Your birthday is on the 28th, right?” I replied, “No, my birthday is in December.” She looked up at me and said “Oh, that’s right! I heard that on the scanner!” **sigh**
Now they call me “The Fugitive”