Mr. D. had to go to Little Rock for the third time this year on a business trip, and he would be gone the whole week. Well, that's just not cool, so we hatched a plan to drive up to meet him in the middle of the week. No biggie because Little Rock is only about a six hour drive. We drive further to camp in Texas.
The kids and I drove him to the airport on Sunday evening then filled the next two days with fluff and tomfoolery (and an awesome visit with my sister. Hi Kari!) Anyway, we loaded up the van on Wednesday morning, had lunch with said sister then headed out onto the open road with a thoughtful bag o' treats provided for us by our home teacher ('s wife) because that's just how (s)he rolls.
You'll note it is called a "road trip survival bag." That's called foreshadowing. Also, how did she know?
Everything was moving along smoothly when Eenie noticed the air wasn't feeling quite so cool, and that's when we realized the air conditioner had died. Just as we were leaving Dallas, less than one hour into our six hour drive. So we did the only thing we could do in that situation; we turned the rolled down the windows, and turned the music up. It was lots of fun. We sang at the top of our lungs (we had to if we wanted to be heard), we talked (loudly) and we laughed. Also, I told my offspring that this was how we rolled all the time when I was a kid. Life lessons man.
Anyway, we rolled into a gas station with about an hour left to our destination for gas, and a cold refreshing beverage which this station could not provide because the cooler was acting more as a cooker. It was most unpleasant to open that cooler with anticipations of a cool rush of air only to be met by a hot burst of disappointment. Also the fountain drinks left something to be desired, but we were beggars man! Put that gun away!
We crawled back into our toasty ride clutching our non-descript foam cups and I started the van. However, four hours of wind assaulting my eardrums had left me rather deaf. I panicked when I turned the key and couldn't hear the engine come to life. It's an eight year old car thus it no longer purrs, but more groans and I couldn't hear the groan. I started it again, but it was still as quiet. Thinking on it now, there were other hints that told me it was running, but my brain was rather cooked by then. Don't judge.
We made it to Little Rock without further incident, and because of the wonder of cell phones, Mr. D. had found a mechanic to check out the van. They kept the shop open for us. It was awesome.
We left the van at Christian Bros. and went to dinner. Mr. D. likes to go to places that are unique to Little Rock. That's how we ended up a Damgoode Pies. They make Damgoode pizza, and have...
Moe refused to speak the name.
Afterwards we found ourselves here:
Hence the "big dam" everything. To be fair, it is a big dam bridge.
The next day we were on foot as the van was in the shop (see above). I didn't want to be stuck in the hotel all day, and I figured if we left early enough we could see some sights before it got too hot. The kids and I asked for directions to the nearest Kohl's (Moe's sneakers had been left in the van) and we waltzed outside. The shuttle driver rushed outside as our trajectory became clear to him and insisted he let us drive him to the Kohl's "then you can walk back if you want," he said. "And here's my number when you change your mind." Well hah! to him. We didn't change our minds. Which might have been a mistake (foreshadowing again).
Our driver, Mack, who moonlights as a D.J. by the name of "King Mack" dropped us off at Kohl's where we picked out a pair of red shoes that happened to be two rights. After looking through all the boxes it was discovered that someone out there has a pair of red lefts. We found another pair we liked, which had both sides then grabbed some socks, and the best purchase I made this entire trip, nay, ever.
This little gem saved my life. I carried it every day until we got home. Best. Forty. Dollars. EVER.
We walked all over Little Rock. Up hills, down hills, stopped at a couple of stores, and made it back in one piece. We even danced across the street like they did in West Side Story, our very own musical. Then once the van was repaired, Mack took us back to the shop where we picked up the van. We had wheels again!
Reader Digest entry - Meal progression for Thursday:
We were eating our way through the livestock of Little Rock.
The next day, being Friday, the kids and I toured down town Little Rock. We went to the Discovery Museum where I rotated a wheel in futility hoping to knock down a glass after 1,000,000 million rotations only to realize I wasn't as close as I thought I was. That's forty five minutes I'll never get back.
We also smashed pennies, made die-cut boxes, molded plastic spoons, performed newscasts and changed a tire or two on a golf cart. The Museum of Discovery in Little Rock is AWESOME!
And for whatever reason, stupid Youtube or stupid Blogspot won't download any of the awesome videos I made.