After a 6 day hiatus from work and a total of 8 days vacationing, we are finally back home – and I must say, I have never been so glad to be home. We decided to drive to Michigan for a family renuion and camping vacation. I don’t know whose bright idea it was to drive all the way to Michigan with 2 med-large size dogs while pulling a 21ft camper for the first time, but they should be shot (which means I should probably shoot myself). Here are a few things that I learned while on vacation:
1) If map quest says the trip is 660mi and takes approx. 10hrs – it is really 710mi and takes 16hrs (at least 3 of these hours I would like to personally thank Gov. Ed Rendell for, seeing as how he has decided that now would be the perfect time to do as much construction on the PA turnpike as possible).
2) Agreeing to drive long distances with somone who drives slow already, without having to pull a trailer, will only make you pull your hair out while running beside the vehicle screaming that you can get there faster by running than you can at the speed he’s driving. (one of the reason’s it took 16 hrs)
3) Michigan has very poorly marked roads, and all the landscaping looks the same. (the other reason it took 16 hrs)
4) My mom’s side of the family is comprised of large people that like to gamble on horses.
5) Never buy 48 hot dog buns ahead of time when you don’t know for sure that you are going to make the event in time to each lunch. They will go and get the buns that you couldn’t provide in a timely manner, thus leaving you stuck with 48 buns and no dogs.
6) Never trust an atlas to get you to a place you’ve never been before in the time that you’ve allotted to get there. An atlas will leave out a minor road that could save you, oh… AN HOUR AND A HALF.
7) “Rustic” camping really does mean and outhouse and a hand pump that is nowhere near your campsite. A “hand pump” really does mean that you have to pump it up and down to get water.
8 ) Flies can survive in the toilet of an outhouse and they will all fly out (staggering mind you) when you open the lid – also some stragglers will come out while you are actually on the toilet (not a cool scenario).
9) Doing your business in the woods can be considered a luxury in some situations.
10) Generators are really loud when you are alone in the woods.
11) Just because you are part Native American, doesn’t mean that you will skip the burn and go right to tan on body parts that haven’t seen the sun in years – after spending 4hrs on a boat….. in the sun……
12) SPF 45 sun block does nothing to protect an already burnt bodypart 2 days after the initial burn, when you spend 4 more hrs on a boat…. in the sun……
13) While piloting a pontoon, you can run into a sand dune at full speed and not damage the propeller – this is lucky.
15) I have no clue how to prepare and cook on a charcoal grill (aren’t those things obsolete anyway???)
16) One state’s “Soup Bowl” is another state’s….. well….. valley.
17) Learn the proper etiquitte of pooping in a bag when you have no other options – this may save you from having to clean up a pooey mess later (so my sister tells me). 😛
18) Six year olds NEVER shut up.
19) Most people in Michigan do not seem to be friendly. You wave at them and get no response. I guess the license plate motto of PA, “You’ve got a friend in PA” only applies to the friends that you brought with you from PA.
20) Eating a dinner consisting of seafood alfredo the night before you have to leave for the long drive home, when you are lactose intolerant – or even think that you are – is not a good idea no matter how good it looks on the menu.
21) Six year olds NEVER shut up.
22) My mother is a baby boomer. Being a baby boomer, my mother does not want to grow old. Because my mother is a baby boomer, she knows everything. Point: A little bit o’ sauce and you’ll find out just what my mother’s opinon on baby boomers is.
23) Your mother will continue to embarass you as long as you live no matter what situation you are in.
24) Your feet will always be dirty when you are camping and you wear sandals, no matter how much you wash them.
25) Michigan mosquitoes are immune to PA bug spray.
26) It is entirely possible for a turtle to be on the freeway even though there is no area around the freeway where the turtle could have come from. It is also possible to hit a turtle on the freeway that comes out of no where. 🙁
27) Six year olds NEVER shut up.
28) And finally, it is possible for a storm cloud to cover 5 states at one time. Driving in the rain for 16hrs when you are trying to get home, sucks big time.
I hope these tips help someone else. I know that if I ever get the inkling to do that again, I will re-read this and then I’ll probably have to shoot myself cuz we’ll do it anyway. Maybe if I shoot my foot, then I won’t be able to travel…. and …… ah nevermind.