There were quite a few moments during our vacation that definitely deserve the title of Blooper. Here they are in no particular order:
1) The Baja Explorer (as we lovingly called her) is 20 years old and as such has her quirks. I mentioned the various repairs that had to be done en route, but the quirk that still makes us laugh was the 3 or 4 times when we’d get cut off by some crazy driver with a death wish (at least 2 of these were someone pulling out in front of us, into our lane even though there were 2, then taking their slow time to get up to the speed limit of 45 to 55). BF is a multi-tasker, so he attempted to blow the horn while avoiding the accident. In all but one case, the horn wouldn’t blow.
What makes it funny is that on mid-90’s Explorer steering wheels, there’s like 2 buttons to blow the horn–one on the left side of the airbag, one on the right. After the first time it didn’t blow, he pushed it a few different ways to figure out where he needed to hit the horn to make it would work. The first time, it was the right side that worked. Later, he went to blow the horn during another incident and the right side didn’t work, but the left side did. Still later it was the middle/top that was the sweet spot. So, while I was holding on for dear life and not saying Hail Marys because it was still less scary than the moron in the Red Pickup Truck, I was also laughing at him quietly curse out the horn that would not blow.
2) Woody the Red Cooler. For our trip, I borrowed my parents old red cooler. We’ve had it as long as I can remember and it’s the perfect size for long distance travel–big enough on the inside for a decent amount of drinks (at one point we had a 24 pack of canned sodas and 8 or so bottles of water) and enough ice to last at least 24 hours…hehehe (but that’s the next one). We were going to buy sandwich materials as we went to save on expenses, but it ended up being just a package of lunch meat and a squeeze bottle of mayo to go with out drinks since none of our other snacks needed refrigeration. Woody was christened such (after Woody the Woodpecker) because within 3 hours of our trip BF was going bonkers as Woody moved against the seat and seat belt–the rattle wasn’t necessarily like a woodpeckers, but the name worked well enough.
When we stopped for dinner that evening, BF tucked one of my sweatshirts under Woody to shut him up. Luckily it worked! The sweatshirt also later revealed that Woody wasn’t as good at holding his water as we’d thought. It seems that his plug leaked a bit. Happily, my sweatshirt and later a towel (the result of one of our packing/unpacking times more than anything else) kept the seat dry.
3) There is something in Colorado’s water…I think. I’m looking at the journal I kept during the trip and am now only half sure that the hotel where we last got ice was in Colorado…we did stop at a hotel in Kentucky 2 days later. BF’s asleep right now, so I can’t ask him, though…yeah. It was definitely Colorado where we got that ice–the machine wasn’t far from the pool and we overslept in Kentucky. Anyway, now that that’s cleared up–that ice lasted from Sunday, May 31st, to Friday, June 5th. Granted, BF filled Woody up to the brim, but still–kind of ridiculous. And why Woody is still a keeper!
4) Border Patrol. When BF and I started planning this trip, he lamented the fact that he didn’t know where his Passport is and that I didn’t have one, even though we weren’t crossing any international borders. He told me the horror story of crossing Arizona and getting stopped 8 times to have his papers checked (in a big truck). I laughed at him and figured this was a shortly after 9-11 thing that’s long gone. Well…we went through 3 checkpoints. One around El Paso, Texas, one in southern New Mexico, and one as we entered California (though the CA one was for agriculture only). We passed 2 that were on the East/Southbound lanes and a few that had been closed at some point. I took pictures!
I would have taken better pictures but BF was really afraid I’d get arrested, especially in TX where apparently a Virginia Driver’s License isn’t a legal form of identification. In the right parts of TX my last name is extremely common because back in the 1880’s 6 brothers came to the US and founded 7 German settlements. ‘Course, that’s northern TX. Anyway, I put my camera down during the important bits to humor him even though this is a free country and I have every right to take whatever picture’s I wanted of the Border Patrol Station/agents. Now, taking a picture of the poor New Mexico driver who’d gotten stopped in front of us at the New Mexico Station, that’s an invasion of privacy, in my opinion, which is why I didn’t take that picture after the lengthy interview process: “US Citizens?” “Yes Sir.” “Have a nice day.” That’s essentially how all our Border Patrol dealings went. We told Older Brother about this and he was like “Yeah–they stop me every time I went down to pick up [his son] from college”.
5) Getting photobombed. I didn’t even realize just how often I got photobombed during this trip. Not by anyone cool but by bushes. And trees. And telephone poles. And trucks…it started getting ridiculous! Most of the pictures I took were from the passenger seat, out the window as we rolled along, which was find. I actually got some really cool/gorgeous pictures:
And I also got a ton of really awful ones:
My favorite is the bush blocking the sand dune because it best illustrates what I was going through. Miles of sand dunes in southern California…where the heck did the bush come from?!?!
6) The fact that I fell asleep in every state except Tennessee regardless of whether we stopped for the night in that state! We were only in Illinois (I think) for like 30 miles! Zzzzzz
7) That time when I hugged a tree. While in the Southwest, I really started to miss proper trees. I made the comment to BF that I was going to hug the next proper tree I saw and he made me keep my promise, haha.
8) Eating pizza at older brother’s house and learning that older brother and BF have the exact same pattern on their plates and bowls. I think BF said that they were on sale and older brother thought that they’d gotten the set from a friend of his wife. Neither knew that they had the same dishes.