Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vacation from Hell

First, let me say that the mini-vacation went great. Some relaxation, lots of shopping, and gawking at beautiful beach houses along the shores of Lake Michigan. No pictures and no quilt shops though. Gives me hope for future vacations...

Some of you have asked about the vacation from hell, so here's the (very long) story:

10 years ago, in search of more work during the cold Michigan winter, my DH went to Florida with a friend to help build home additions. The plan was that I would fly down for a vacation in early December, and we would drive back to Michigan for Christmas and he would return to Florida after Christmas. We had been married over 20 years by then and had never been apart for that long. I flew to Florida and we had a nice vacation visiting Mickey Mouse and relatives and just hanging out and relaxing. Except, if you want to stay married, NEVER EVER, attempt to live a week with your spouse in a 19 ft trailer. It's just not normal. After a week, I had to get back to work on Monday, so we started the long drive back to Michigan.

Since my DH was staying in Florida while I had to take care of EVERYTHING at home while he was gone during the LONG, COLD WINTER, he agreed to my request to see the Biltmore Estate all decked out for Christmas. Can you say "guilty conscience" anyone? Anyway, on the map, it looked like only a short detour from I-75 to Asheville, NC. I didn't factor in that the detour was over the mountains and took a little longer than expected.

Our first clue was when we stopped for gas, and had a hard time starting the van again. Ahh, we thought, it is just not built for travel through the mountains, and we were also towing a small utility trailer. The van was chugging, slowly, through the mountains, misfiring and making lots of engine noises. And our cell phones don't work very well in the mountains. We finally got to the Biltmore Estate around mid-day on Friday. If you've ever been to the Biltmore, you know that from the entrance to the house is a long, winding road through beautiful grounds. It is a 3 mile long stretch of road and the van started sputtering. We finally pulled into the parking lot and the van died. Nothing we could do, so we went and enjoyed the house tour.

When we came out, it was starting to get dark, and thank heavens, the van started again! So, we started on the 2 mile trek to the next stop, a store and winery. Part way there, the van died. In the middle of NOWHERE. We have no idea how long it is to the next stop. We have NO cell phones. The road is deserted. It is getting dark. Every 5 or 10 minutes, a car passes by, but nobody stops. Finally, after a LONG 20-30 minutes or so while frantically trying to get a cell signal, someone stops and offers us a ride to the winery. GULP, we take a leap of faith and get in the strangers' car.

At times like this, I wish I was a drinker...

Whew, this is a long story. To be continued...click here


  1. I know what it is like to guard the castle. I had to do that a lot when hubby was on deployment and the kids were little. Everything under the sun went wrong. Your story is sort of scary at this point. Do tell more......

  2. Nothing we could do, so we went and enjoyed the house tour.

    Please explain this concept to my husband... He would have made us sit around the van complaining - because he knows how to do one thing with a car - put gas in it...

    In other words, we could have made that part of your horrible vacation 100 times worse!


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