Friday, April 5, 2013

Two Kids. One Road Trip: Breaking Down in Texas.

Before we get to Day 3 of our travels- and trust me, I know you read the blog title and you're dying to get to it... I've decided to take a moment to update you on a few of the things that didn't get packed. You can read here how this could possibly have happened to me. And I am not proud to admit any of this, by the way, but feel I need to get it out in the open in order to learn from my packing mistakes.

So here we go...

The Things That Didn't Get Packed... 

Socks for myself. Yes my feet froze tonight while we walked around and yes people looked at me like, "She must be from California." I wouldn't even be this dumb in California thankyouverymuch.

PJ's for Birdie. Minus the pair she wore when we woke her up at 3:30 a.m., she has one pair of jammies, which is totally gross.

Shampoo for me as well as shampoo for the the kids. Don't worry though, I brought conditioner for myself.

Jackets for the kids. I did think this one through, I figured, "Hey- it's Texas! How cold can it get?!" Well, it gets cold. So Cormac is set now with his newly purchased poncho once we realized "Man, New Mexico is windy!" And Birdie, well she's got 2 cardigans and a blanket like Linus does, so I'm hoping she's fine but if I HAVE to find a reason to buy her an Austin Rocks! sweatshirt, then so be it.

The Costco lap blanket I bought specifically for the trip, for my lap. While unloading the car after a Costco trip the other day Shawn yelled, "Another blanket Kenna?!" I replied by thoroughly explaining its necessity for the road trip, "This blanket is too big and my other blankie is way too small." So yesterday when I started complaining about it being cold in the car, he asked where my "road-trip-perfect-sized-lap-blanket-that-I-needed-so-badly" was. Way to rub it in Shawn, as if I wasn't already bummed that I forgot my daughter's PJ's.

The right toiletry luggage. And while this last one isn't something I forgot- except for maybe forgetting to think at all when I went to pack toiletries for me and the kids... I wanted to give all of you future road trippers a tip on how not to pack toiletries. I usually carry a super cute vintage red piece of luggage and chuck everything inside of it. But in an effort to conserve space I went with this Ziploc method. Also known as "The Stupid Way to Pack Toiletries" method. I want to scream every time I'm looking for something in one of these FOUR bags. And them being clear and all? Ya, it doesn't help me like I'd imagined it might.

After saying all of that, I want you all to remember one thing: I throw a damn good party.

But let's move on to the stuff you've really been wanting to read...

Day 3 of our Cali-Texas Road Trip to the Lone Star Round Up Car Show.

We woke up in Van Horn, TX and took full advantage of the free breakfast in our hotel, including the amazing Texas shaped waffles (which I now see are in every hotel), before we hit the road for Austin.

And then it happened. I knew it was coming. I didn't know the time or the day of the trip, but I knew the breakdown was coming. I realize you could read this as either an emotional or vehicle breakdown... THIS time it was the latter.

Now if this is THE breakdown of the trip- man we got off easy and I am a happy woman. But even if  this turned out to be a relatively small one, in the moments it was happening- let's just say I may have said a curse word...

So I'm sound asleep and we're something like 100 miles from our final destination of Austin. The wagon has been running beautifully and we have no reason for concern. Until out of nowhere Shawn wakes me to tell me, "something just went wrong with the motor." Similar to waking a woman at 3 a.m. to start on an 8-day journey across the lower half of the US, waking a woman during the REM stages of her 3rd nap of the day only to say "motor" and "wrong" in the same sentence is going to elicit a nasty response.

For some reason, and I'll blame it on being half asleep I screamed, "SH*&%T!!" quite loudly and without hesitation. The kids were asleep, my saving grace, or Birdie'd have been repeating that one the rest of her life, guaranteed.

The crazy part about the motor deciding to not run at full throttle when it did, is that we had just come through hours of nothingness, and I mean NO THING NESS. And then almost immediately after the motor issue we stumble upon not only a gas station, but a full blown mechanic. So we went from middle-of-nowhere to Mechanic-Joe-is-under-our hood within 5 minutes of hearing "the noise." Truly amazing and too good to be a coincidence? Oh I think so!

Side note: when we pulled up to Joe... he was digging a rather large hole. I wish I had the pics to prove it. Shawn wanted me to take some, but I couldn't bring myself to. I mean here we have this stranger, his shovel and a good sized hole, and we didn't have enough people around for me to sneak a picture to poke fun of this man with his shovel and his hole. Of course he was friendly as all Texans are and asked about our travels. When we told him we were driving from California to Texas in this '59 Chevy he just stayed quiet... so I said, "Joe- give it to me straight! Are we idiots?!" And all Joe said was, "Waaaaaillllll....." and I knew we were. But we're idiots with a dream, and when you're this far from home, there's no turning back now is there?

The entire fix cost us $36, took 25 minutes and the kids didn't even know it had happened because they slept the entire time. While I could have gone without the scare, it's given my husband a great story, and for those of you who don't know him- this man thrives on his stories, especially when they come to cars or lonely Texans digging holes.

So we got back in the car and made it to Austin less than 2 hours later. Our hotel is jam packed with every old hot rod and custom imaginable and because my husband's wagon was featured on the cover of an old cars book a couple of years ago, he was donning minor celebrity status when we rolled in.

We hit South Congress Street tonight and ate some crazy overpriced bratwursts from a food trailer just to say we did, duh. I almost got a gourmet grilled cheese but I couldn't bring myself to spend $12 on it. I don't care how long your cheese has aged.

Tomorrow and Saturday are the actual car show. I've made serious arrangements with The Family Thrift Store so let's hope I make it to said car show at some point, I mean- Austin kindasorta has Kenna written

Car Show? Eh.

                                                               xo Road Trip or Die xo




  1. LOVE your stories and this one is hilarious! OMG you should have taken picts of the mechanic digging what could have been a grave lol! Hope you guys have a great rest of the trip Kenna!!! xo

  2. You two are really somethin' ! I laughed alot, so much that Bill kept saying "what, what?". I hope you all make it home! ;)

  3. I'm loving "watching" your epic road trip…it's getting me pretty stoked for ours coming up (except for that part where it's one way). I'm pretty sure I won't have nearly as many stories as you, though…


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