Last week, our attempt at a family mini-vacation went terribly, terribly wrong. This week, our son was scheduled to play football in the state Capital, almost as far away as last week’s game. After much consideration and discussion, we decided to try the whole Travel Lodge Adventure again.

I’m thrilled to report that this trip went much more smoothly than the last … for the most part.

There was a significant chance of rain on Thursday night leading into Friday morning, so in the interest of ‘better safe than sorry’ my husband towed the Travel Lodge to town on Thursday evening and parked it at a friend’s so we wouldn’t have to drag it over several miles of muddy, slippery roads.  But it didn’t rain at all.

We left on time and made it to the RV park in good time, despite some pretty windy conditions which made my husband pretty tense.  Dragging that 40+ foot long trailer along the interstate in gusts of 15 mph or more wasn’t so much fun.

Speaking of fun … the Sissies and I were in the Summer Car, following the boys in the pickup-towing-the-camper.  They decided we were in the Fun Car because I let them listen to “their music” most of the way.   I am now an expert in Harry Stiles, One Direction, and Taylor Swift trivia, fun facts and song lyrics.  Unfortunately, all that information is jumbled up in my head and it’s created quite a hot mess up there.  But it made the miles pass quickly and put everyone in a good mood.

The football game was a lot of fun.  It’s great getting to know the other parents and watching the team come together.  Of course, I am a football lover, so the action is always enjoyable for me – especially when my Boy gets to go in during the 4th quarter!  I was so excited jumping around and yelling that I almost fell off the bleachers …  I decided it would be safer and potentially less embarrassing to join my husband on the sidelines.

My champion played so well at Nose Guard!  He made a great tackle and the Defense held long enough to regain possession of the ball.  Woot!  Everyone was ecstatic over the 46-14 win, as our organization had never before in its 5-year history beat this particular team.  Good times!

We got up the next morning and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and ‘getting around’ period.  Then we drove to a neighboring college town to have a long, long, long lunch with one of my husband’s childhood friends.  (And, I was told, that my darling was her very first kiss – in the bushes outside the school yard when they were 4 years old.  I assured her that his romantic technique has improved slightly since then.  hee hee)

Upon our return to the Travel Lodge, we decided to check out a hot air balloon event my cousin had suggested.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day and none of us had ever seen hot air balloons in person before.

I’m so glad we attended the Huff n Puff Balloon Rally!  Here are some of our favorite balloons:

This fall colored balloon really caught my eye.  Autumn is my very favorite season of the year and I just loved the warm colors!

These two balloons just appealed to my sense of patriotism and faith … obviously.

I feel I should mention, however beautiful and awe-inspiring each of these hot air spectacles was … it did not inspire me to take a ride in one.  I’m a ‘feet firmly planted on the ground’ kind of girl.   Baskets are for kittens … not Farm Mamas.

I think this was definitely the highlight of our mini-vacation.

The trip home was definitely the low point of our weekend … in true Farm Family Fashion, adversity and woe were our travel companions.  This time, when the pickup pulling the camper broke down 2 1/2 hours from home, it wasn’t because the camper was too heavy for it – it was some other mechanical problem with the truck itself.

After realizing that continuing to drive the truck would likely cause some sort of serious and irreparable damage, we parked it in a vacant lot in the little town (& I do mean little – even smaller than ours) where we found ourselves.  Since I was driving the Summer Car, I loaded what we absolutely needed in the trunk and the baby, the girls and some granola bars in the back seat and headed for home.

I dropped the kids and the Summer Car off with my parents and drove Big Blue back to retrieve my oldest son, husband and the Travel Lodge.  Because the weather was significantly cooler this time around (and because the wind was blowing so hard we could only average a speed of around 45 mph) Blue pulled the Lodge home without any trouble.  Bless. Her. Big. Blue. Heart.

A few days later, The Hubs took our other pickup and a trailer back to fetch his diesel truck and haul it to the mechanic’s shop, where it is currently waiting for diagnosis.  Our mechanic is a little backed up this week since the whole town (including him) is preparing for our community’s upcoming historical re-enactment production.

Thus ended our second attempt at a peaceful football-fueled holiday.

As an interesting side note … we traveled the following week to a “home” game (still about 2 hours from home) and back home again without incident.  I called my parents to report our team’s victory and you wouldn’t believe the trepidation with which my mother answered the phone!  Apparently, every time I call now, they think some disaster has befallen us … I simply cannot imagine where she would get that notion.

We are traveling again this Friday – another “home” game – although not all together.  Because the girls have roles in that historical reenactment I mentioned, we’ll be heading to the game after that’s over. Meanwhile, Farm Daddy will take the Big Boy, the Little Boy and the potluck dish I’m sending to help feed the opposing team and their coaches to the field for team pictures and ensuing football excitement.

We’re about halfway through our season and the team is doing great.  We’re slowly getting a better handle on the travelling, the weird schedule, and thankfully, the recovery from each trip.  By the time season is over, I’m confident we’ll be pros at this.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to retain some of the skills we learn this year and be ready for next.

In the meantime, our trips should provide quite a bit of entertainment  for people who aren’t us.  😉

Love & Blessings,

That Farm Mama


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