Sunday, November 27, 2011

Traveling detour at Thanksgiving time

Oh I have waited days to write about this and I hope that intensity of my experience hasn't faded too much in that time... because truly, the detour that we had to take on our way to visit family for Thanksgiving was a crazy experience for me.

But let me start at the beginning.

We traveled to visit family for Thanksgiving. Like usual, we left after a long day of work for me, after many long days of work in fact. Needless to say, it was dark and we were tired. I was a little bummed that my older to kids opted to stay at home with their dad to celebrate Thanksgiving with him (only bummed because they missed a chance to see family), but once we were on the road for a bit, I was certainly glad that we didn't have two more bodies in the car. Don't you want to know why?? Well, let me tell you.

If you have ever traveled on the Taconic State Parkway, then you know that there is nowhere to pull off except for a random road every now and then. Well, we were cruising through one of those no pull off areas when our dog got sick... not the throw up kind of sick either. It was so awful and we had to wait for a road to appear before we could pull over. Meanwhile, the dog was trying to get away from the mess, spreading it further in the process. It truly was a moment that I never want to repeat... but wait, there is more.

We had very little in the car for clean up except an old box of baby wipes from back when we had a kid in diapers. The wipes were just for emergencies and totally dried up, but I always thought that someday they might come in handy. I was right - it was all we had to clean with. Really gross. We let the dog out (there happened to be a stream and he got in it - serious luck!) and did our best to clean and then went on our way to quickly find a store to buy something (anything!) to finish the cleaning job. Oh the smell!

We drove and drove until we finally found a pull off with somewhere to go and wash our hands and buy cleaner. I really didn't want to buy some chemical cleaner from a gas station so we decided to look for baking soda - cheap and excellent at killing odors... which was our biggest concern at that point. We thought about going into a restaurant and asking for some baking soda, but we didn't think anyone would give us any from the string of chain restaurants around us.

And then we saw it, our only option - a w@lmart. I do not think I have ever gone in one before (if I have, I've blocked it from my memory), but I swallowed my pride and walked through the doors. Oh what an experience! That place is insane, I walked around dodging shopping carts like I was crossing a busy street. I felt invisible as I hunted for a few cloth towels and a box of baking soda. I wondered why they people shopping there weren't all super fit (to be fair, I'm sure some where very fit) since I felt like I was getting a serious work out with the amount of walking I had to do in that gigantic place. It was daunting! I also noticed that they have super sized shopping carts so that people can buy even MORE stuff - those carts are big enough to fit two kids side by side, kids that looked too big to sitting in shopping carts in the first place.

Anyway, I found what I needed in record time (if there had been a race for people to find things in a gigantic store that they had never been in, I would have totally won) and headed to the registers. The 20 items or less was considered "express" - yet another plot to buy more in my opinion. The cashier at the register that I was waiting in line for didn't look well. She was telling the women in front of me about how sick she was and the women were outraged! They started ranting about how awful they thought that the way the workers in that store were treated - meanwhile, they were unloading their shopping cart to buy things to support the business they were badmouthing! I so badly wanted to suggest to them that they take their business elsewhere if they felt that strongly, but I kept my mouth shut and waited patiently. Then the cashier said "oh no, they treat us very well here... they feed us." And she succeeded in convincing the ladies that she was actually treated well (even if she had to work with pneumonia).

Finally it was my turn to check out and the cashier was so busy talking to someone else that when she tried to grab my towels and scan them, I had to put my hand on the stuff and waited for her to actually give me attention. It startled her so much, but I smiled and looked her in the eye and said "I don't need a bag, thank you". She seemed a bit shaken that I would be so direct, but she said ok and then gave me her attention for the one minute that our transaction lasted. I gave $4 and some change of my hard earned cash to that place, grabbed my goods and split. I passed a mcd0nalds on the way out, that was weird for me too - I had no idea they put them in stores!

Ok, enough of that, here are the lessons that I learned from this long story:
- Always keep a spare cloth in your car (I have two now).
- Baking soda kicks butts in killing odors, and I might just have to keep some of that in the car too.
- I never want to go into that store again.

Luckily the rest of our trip went well, here are a few pictures that I took along the way:
 Thankful for food and family to eat it with.
Vintage toys for grandkids to play with - in this one, the playmobile man seems to have conquered a cart full of superheroes...
 Lots of recycled art at the grandparent's house, very cool.
My youngest has wanted a nutcracker SO BAD since his older sister performed in the performance with the Moscow ballet a few weeks ago... luckily he has a grandmother who had a collection in her attic!
 We took a trip to the zoo.
 The tigers got really close.
 Attic fun.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!


  1. Well told Michelle. Stinky but with a great ending. I love your photos too. Happy home day. Love, S

  2. Use THE FORCE Luke. :D I know probably not his nickname but it seemed to fit...