7 May

I had some trepidations about this trip.  Mostly to do with the children.  Where would Josselyn sleep, when all she wanted was to crawl around?  Would the kids be miserable about being strapped in their carseats all day?  Would my dad’s snoring keep us awake all night?!

As it turned out, I needn’t have worried.  None of those things were a problem at all (two doors between us and my parents kept us all snore-free).  I think that is a good approach to life actually.  Worrying gets you absolutely nowhere.  Or, somewhere… like awake at 2:30 am.  Lesson re-learned.  The hardest part of the whole trip was the getting there.  And that, ironically, was the only part I wasn’t worried about!

I woke up at 6:30 am on Friday.  I couldn’t sleep any longer.  I was worrying (yes, I know!) about the trip, about my voice (I was singing at Grandma’s funeral that morning), about Julia looking after 6 kids in a house with no furniture, let alone toys!  Besides, Josselyn was crying.  The next time I slept (beyond a 10 minute shut-eye propped upright in a plastic airport seat, listening to Bronwyn get bossed around by a 9 year old from New York state) was 10:30 Saturday night.

Everyone else got a bit of sleep!  Even though Holly and Bronwyn were awake from about 11pm to the time we took off from Buffalo, they were so easy!  They slept when they could, and despite a little (ok, a LOT) of whining about how much walking I was making them do (!!!) they were so thrilled with the whole adventure that they kept smiles on their faces.

Josselyn?  Not so much.

She needed to be held (by me) every moment she was awake.  Which was, well, every moment past the time we arrived in Buffalo to when we landed in El Paso.  That kid can fight sleep like no one I have ever met.  No one will be bullying, or peer pressuring this one, I am convinced.

Oh wait, here she is sleeping in her stroller at the airport!

Anyway, fast-forward to El Paso.  It felt like 100 degrees outside (it was actually pretty cold we were told) and we were waiting (with all our luggage) for our ride.

Dad sitting with the luggage. Notice all the carseats!? Also notice the lovely marble facade?

We waited for over 3 hours.

Holly, me, and Bronwyn

Ethan got hungry.

Eating his fries. He and Holly couldn't keep their fingers out of the cigarette dirt, so Elaine put him on a shelf!

And Elaine and I got fed up.  We went inside to get iced coffee and milkshakes for the kids, and when we returned…

Our motor home was not there.

But a different one was waiting.  They sent this adorable little 30 footer to come and pick us up, and we cruised through El Paso in style, checking out the cement yards, flowering cacti, and the border to Mexico.

Many hours later, we were ready to call the “Boombox” home (so named after a drawing of mine, depicting all of us in an airplane heading to the motorhome- with Elaine hanging off the tail of the plane (!), was called out by Elaine, who decided my picture resembled a CD player more than an RV).

Yes, we are wearing the same thing. That is what happens when you are sisters. I think. Do anyone else's sisters wait until you are dressed to see what you are wearing so that she can wear the same thing? No. I didn't think so.

Smooth sailing from here?  You’d think so.  Everyone is exhausted.  I have taken the luxury of using my parent’s credit card to book various campsites along the way.  We are expected in Alamogordo NM at the Oliver Lee State Park (a mere hour and a half away).  No problem.  Right?  WRONG!

I have fallen asleep on the floor of the motorhome.  Literally, where I have fallen.  I can feel that it is getting bumpier.  Then I hear, “you’d better wake her up, this doesn’t look right”.

I am shaken awake and made to look out the window.  My dad, following the GPS, has turned down a dirt road a few miles from our campsite.  I try to see what he is seeing.  But all I see is a hole.  That’s right, a HUGE HOLE.  You know, where the ROAD should be!  It just wasn’t there.  Gone.  We back up.  “Try another road”, I suggest.  After about 30 minutes of this, we see headlights behind us.  It is past 11 and extremely dark.  No lights anywhere.  My dad slows down and a pick-up truck passes us.  That’s when we notice all the trailers.  “I’m going to talk to the guy”, states my dad.  “WHAT THE…”?!?!?  Have you EVER seen a scene like this end well??!?!  Elaine and I are forced to watch through the window as we grip the armrests, and send up silent prayers of protection, while my dad engages the (it turned out to be a) woman in chatty conversation.  She points him in the right direction, and we kick ourselves for being here in the dark, with no lights, and unable to see what is so obvious when she points it out: the campground is literally a mile from us, down a beautifully straight, paved road, while we are wandering around the desert in some pseudo-low-budget horror flick, yelling at each other, and cursing the GPS.

When we finally got hooked up, and all the kids out of their seats and into their sleeping bags, and fall into our beds, totally exhausted, we were not prepared for awaited us the next morning…

The view from our campsite. See all the little trailers down there- that's where we were the night before!

So happy to be here. The neighbours? Not so much, it was about 5:30 local time!

I was very happy with how well this picture of a cactus turned out.

We took about a hundred pictures of the kids, just on the road, in front of the mountains, and they all turned out terribly! I like this one though, oddly enough!

Day 1- off to a good start!


6 Responses to “USAirplane”

  1. amanda May 8, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Rob was wondering what I was laughing so hard about so I had to read aloud the dirt road/hole part. It was just as funny aloud. I love it when the GPS just doesn’t do it’s job. We’ve had that happen a few times.

  2. joan May 8, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    what in the world?!?! i know NOTHING about you anymore! you went on a plane and then got lost in new mexico! i didn’t even know that you could sing!
    can NOT wait until our visit this summer!

  3. Natalie May 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    wow…no wonder we had to wait for the next chapter…it’s worth waiting for!

  4. Erin May 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Worth the wait for sure…I’m exciting for the rest;) I would be worried to about the sleeping and melt downs and all that, but you are right worry doesn’t help and often it’s the things we aren’t worried about that cause the problems.

    And the GPS story..haha. I can just picture it…lol!

    Looking forward to part 3:)
    Love Erin

  5. Elaine May 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    LOL! I read the desert part to dad and laughed the whole way through it. I’m amazed that you can capture it so perfectly in words. That is EXACTLY what happened!

    I am continually unimpressed that you are spreading LIES about me regarding our coordinating outfits. Clearly it was my evil twin HELEN who was spying on your evil twin Jillian. Only an evil sister would do something so low down and conniving! Muhahaha!

  6. Elaine May 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    oh, and dad said that from now on he is traveling with two gps’. Oh wait, he already does that! LOL!

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