Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Choppers, Fire Trucks and Cops... Oh My!

When we last left off, my family and I were about to make the big cross-country move: west coast to east coast. Happy to report that despite many obstacles (many, many, many, many, many obstacles) we made it! 

The plan was to drive straight through for two days. No hotel rooms, just gas, food and potty breaks. We had four drivers: me, hubby, his brother and my brother's best friend (he was in it just for the adventure and oh did he ever get one!). 

I won't bore you with every little detail, but here are the highlights: 

How much longer? 
The kids were warned that if the words "Are we there yet?" were ever uttered during our trip, those words were surely be their last. 

So they got creative. 

About 30 minutes into our trip, the words "How much longer?" left the lips of the youngest teen. <insert smirk on face and the smiling faces of her two smiling here> 

Had I not been driving, my shoe would've flown from the front seat, hit the smart-ass kid in the back of the head and boomeranged back into my hand in 1.2 seconds.  

The "Mommy death stare" in the rear view mirror would have to do. Problem solved.

Excuse me, Mr. Officer... 
I was stopped by a police officer near Houston. The reason? I allegedly failed to reduce my speed by 20 mph and failed to move into the left lane, which would've been impossible with all the traffic. Why is that important? Because two police cars had stopped a couple on the side of the road for what seemed to be the beginnings of a domestic violence situation. (Honestly, I feared for the man's life.) Apparently (allegedly?), it's the law in Texas to reduce your speed and pull the left. 

Officer Garcia: That's the law around here, but I'm gonna let you off with a warning. And the warning will only cost you a $1,000. 

Me: {tears swelling, can't talk} 

Officer Garcia: Haaaaaaaaaa! Just kidding... 

Me: {more tears, still can't talk}   

News choppers, fire trucks and more cops...
Just two hours outside of our new home city, the lug nuts break off on one of the tires on the U-Haul trailer. The tire blows and sparks from the rim (about 20 feet long) set pieces of the tire on fire. Tire remnants end up in the grassy area on the side of the freeway. THIS SPARKS A SMALL WILDFIRE IN THE GRASS AND TREES! 

Within minutes, there are news helicopters hovering over the scene, several fire trucks and yay, more cops... The works! 

Thankfully, no one is hurt. A number of good Samaritans stopped by to help with fire extinguishers and asking if we needed any assistance. This was bizarre and, at the same time, amazing to me. This is something we had never experienced in our old home state. 

As my husband is on the phone with a U-Haul representative via the 1-800 number, an employee from the local U-Haul office just happened to be passing by. Turns out he's the guy that U-Haul sends out to fix broken down U-Haul trucks, trailers and to replace tires that have been shredded to pieces only to start a small forest fire. 

Other random adventures... 
There were plenty of other adventures such as: 
- Food poisoning after breakfast at a Denny's in Louisiana or Florida. Just can't remember anymore... 

- Running over a skunk somewhere in the middle of Texas... 

- PMS hitting the youngest of the three teens with a vengeance! To spare the lives of her two sisters, we had to pull into the emergency lane (in the middle of Texas) to search for a tiny box of Midol in the trunk. I say tiny because compared to the many, many, many bags of luggage, backpacks and cosmetic bags, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Her sisters are alive and well today. 
- Watching a deer nearly hit the U-Haul truck that my husband was driving in front of me... Then almost being hit by that same deer in my car... Again, somewhere in the middle of Texas. 

- After a brief stop in Louisiana (pizza!) and discovering that you should NEVER EVER leave your car doors open for any length of time, anywhere in Louisiana, we got back on the freeway only be terrorized by the biggest mosquitoes we've ever seen in our lives! Picture two adults and three teen girls squealing and squatting only to be out-maneuvered for miles by these critters. We looked absolutely ridiculous! We finally remembered they were attracted to the light so we each pulled out our cell phones, pointed them upward and killed each one. That reminds me... There are still mosquito parts splattered on my car's upholstery that need to be removed. Awesome... 

Closing thoughts...
When my husband first approached me with the idea of driving across the country, he said, "It'll be an adventure!" That turned out to be the understatement of the year, my friends.  

But we made it safely (barely) and these adventures will become lasting memories, things we'll be able to laugh about in the future... Right??? 

Please tell me it's true, because I'm not laughing right now. Sure, I have a little bit of a psychotic giggle and a nervous twitch, especially when I hear the word "Texas," but I'm hoping this is all temporary.

What's next? Stay tuned... It won't take long, folks. It never does. 


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