I just spent a month in Wisconsin this past weekend.
The trip started off poorly and then went downhill (skiing reference). We should have gone to the beach, or better yet, just stayed home and I could have worked 18 hour days at school (not really, I am just being dramatic… I hate the beach).
On Friday afternoon, we left on time (3:30 pm for a 5 hour trip). Our punctuality turned out to be one of the highlights of the entire weekend.
My in-laws went with us. Many of you are probably thinking this is where the trip went horribly awry, but you would be sadly mistaken (on occasion the in-laws read this blog and I don’t want to jeopardize my 1/128th of the will, so I will steer clear of insulting them in print).
We drove separately from them and the trip went smoothly for us. Things did not go quite as well for the in-laws.
About an hour into the trip, my unemployed daughter called her grandparents on the cell phone to see how things were going (she is 6, so she prefers texting if you need to get in touch with her). About a minute into the call her grandmother hung up on her.
Everyone loves their grandma, kindergarten teacher, and best friend’s mom, so getting hung up on was a shock to my daughter.
The conversation was so short, we immediately asked what happened.
My daughter said she could barely hear grandma, but she did say something about the tailgate not being latched.
This couldn’t be good.
You see, their luggage was in the back of the truck. And by was, I mean was.
Turns out grandpa didn’t put the tailgate up which resulted in their luggage flying out along the side of the road. This is what we call “bad news”.
On a positive note, they recognized this little fun fact about the luggage not being secure. Unfortunately, they realized it about 50 miles too late. This is what we call “more bad news”.
If you see a suitcase in a ditch, please send me an email (or text my work-avoiding spawn).
If you are married, you know that at this point they had only two choices.
One, a quickie divorce, preferably in Mexico where it is warmer and the matrimony laws are a little looser. Or two, find a Wal-mart ASAP to replace everything in their luggage (if you live in the 1% of the country that doesn’t have Wal-marts, I pity you and please substitute your gigantic retail store here).
As we continued on our drive, we passed a minimum of 27 Wal-marts, 14 K-marts, 11 Wal-greens, and 7 malls.
The in-laws, traveling the very same road, noticed exactly zero stores of any kind.
That’s right; they traveled 300 miles on a major interstate through roughly a bazillion towns and cities and didn’t notice any of these stores which were all located within 200 feet of the highway (I could also mention that these stores had big neon signs on top of them, but I don’t want to rub salt in their wounds… see inheritance comment earlier).
This led me to believe that they may be legally blind, or one of them desperately wants to go to Mexico.
This lack of vision concerns me because we allow them to babysit. If they can’t locate a Wal-mart, would they notice if my daughter sticks her head into the microwave and hits defrost?
Agh…who am I kidding, cheap babysitters are worth the risk (if this kid breaks, we can always go buy another one).
The in-laws did finally arrive at the ski resort after getting lost in the mountains for a couple of hours (a little travel tip… if you own a GPS, make sure you take it with you when you travel… that is what they are for).
There was some good news. After they arrived, it didn’t take long for them to unpack. They certainly didn’t have to bother the baggage handler.
Actually, my wife told me this because by 1:30 in the morning I was fast asleep.
So the trip was off to a rousing start. I haven’t even got to the part where we all got caught in the blizzard.
I really should have just stayed in the safety of the office.