Thursday, January 3, 2008

On The Road Again

We are back from our annual ski road trip. It was quite the adventure.

Before I start, I want to thank you each for your boundless comments of joy with our genetics and gender results. I cried so hard when I read what you lovely ladies sent to me. I could totally feel the love flowing. And I love each one of you back.

Maybe you've felt this kind of joy. Maybe you haven't yet. Here's what I know truer than anything: One day you will. And I can't wait to be there to pay it back.

I haven’t posted in a long while and I have all of these stories and thoughts that have been popping around my brain. Here’s a short synopsis of the major ones, the funny ones, the not-so-funny ones and the ones that seem to matter the most to me right now:

DEC. 23

Junior #2’s due date. I miscarried – or chemical pregnancied or whatever – at 5 weeks with this one. As such, we never had time to bond. As we drove through the high desert plains of Eastern Oregon, I wondered how I would have felt had I not been pregnant on this auspicious day. Bitter? Probably. Sad? Probably. This was the pregnancy that sent me to the RE. That got me help on this third pregnancy. And it makes me feel like Junior #2 was a little bit of a sacrificial pregnancy. While I was introspective on this day, I could not help but feel as if I were looking at the situation with a much more objective lens than on Junior #1’s due date.


Sunday, 4 PM, Dec. 23. Hoss (our Ford F250 diesel pickup truck that carries the camper) loses his transmission three-quarters of the way up the hill to Schweitzer Mountain in Northern Idaho. The truck is dead. It is dark. And snowing. We are on a one lane each way, winding mountain road and the snow banks are deep and wide so there is no where to pull off. No less than 10 cars stop to ask us if we need help. Idahoans are SO nice. A grandfatherly tow truck driver tows us up to the RV parking lot at the mountain. It is the night before Christmas Eve and no garages are open for the next 2 days. Luckily we have 3 days provisions: food, water, gas for the generator.

And besides it dumps fresh snow the next 2 days so what do we care!

Missy (our new, feminized name for Junior #3) skis her first double black diamond. But it was by total accident. I swear.


We are towed down the hill – camper and all – on Dec. 26 by another nice tow truck driver and his 14-year-old daughter in pajama bottoms and an oversized sweatshirt who is home from school on holiday break. Dec. 26-28 we spend 3 glorious nights at a cheap motel in Sandpoint, Idaho – a very cute little Western town where cars legally have to stop to let pedestrians cross (this is very rare in the West outside of West Coast towns; usually the bigger the vehicle, the more right-of-way applies). Our motel has 2 important amenities: hot showers and cable. We don’t have cable at home. So when we stay in hotel rooms we are prone to watch TV for hours – like zombies. One night we watched five hours of “Orange County Choppers” on TLC. That was the same night I threw up in the public restroom of a local diner. I don’t recommend throwing up in a public toilet. Ever. It makes you puke more. I wish I had run out and puked in the parking lot instead. Lesson learned.


One evening, I walked around shopping in said cute little Sandpoint town with Gus. Dogs are welcome in almost every store, so Gus had a blast being Mr. Social. I broke down and bought my first baby item for Missy. These things are indispensable for keeping warm in the camper. I bought the sandy color for her and have a pair just like them so we’ll match. Please don’t gag. I felt really weird buying them. Almost guilty. But they are so. damn. cute.


The day before we left Idaho, Cowboy dropped me off at the town Laundromat to do our wash while he retrieved the camper top. There I was, pregnant and being dropped off at the Laundromat by my husband in our pick up truck. Our dirty clothes were in Safeway plastic bags because I only had one tote bag and too much laundry. Totally country music cliché.


Sat., Jan. 29, 4 PM. Three-quarters of the way up the mountain road to Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana, the transmission line to the new $3,000 transmission blows. Hoss is dead again. It is 15 F degrees and snowing. Only 1 car stops to ask us if we need help. People in Northwestern Montana are not as nice. We find a Ford garage that is open so tow truck driver #3, replete with a mullet and a big wad of chewing tobacco, hauls us to the garage. We find another not-so-cheap motel with the most uncomfortable bed in the world. Seriously. Our camper bed is way more comfortable.


I don’t mean to complain. Really. I don’t. Normally I love powder days. I am not kidding when I say that I have had feelings akin to good-sex-satisfaction-feelings on powder days. However, skiing in deep powder + pregnant = not so fun. I’ll leave it at that.


Hoss gets a fixed tranny line to go with his new tranny. We consider heading south to hit one more resort.

Cowboy tries to get on a cat skiing trip because Big Mountain is so freaking crowded with Alberta, Canada license plates. The asshats at Big Mountain reservations, however, don’t bother to pick up the phone when they say they are going to open. When we finally get through to them, they inform us that while the cats aren’t full, the time has closed to accept reservations for cat trips that day. In my opinion, the staff at Big Mountain suck! Don’t go there. Go to Schweitzer instead.

With this news on top of everything else, the wind finally goes out of our sails. Instead, we pack up and head home. We spend New Year’s Eve in a parking lot in Idaho. And go to sleep at 9 PM.


We always start these trips with such great expectations. During last year’s trip, I was still recovering from miscarriage #1. While I was happy to escape into the mountains, I was unexpectedly sad and exhausted on some of the days.

This time, we just had so many mechanical and logistical challenges that - despite trying to be positive at the beginning - it ended up kind of breaking our spirits. I got stressed because I couldn’t get traction to find WiFi to check in with work – I had planned to work the week after Christmas – and we just got exhausted with how much money we were bleeding with unexpected lodging, food and rental car costs.

With gas, food and lift tickets, we usually spend $1,000 on this vacation. This year, we spent an additional $4,500 with the transmission, tow trucks, hotels, etc. Yikes.

I can only imagine what next year’s adventure will be like with a six month old in tow.

Good Lord, did I just say that out loud?


Lori said...

Glad to have you back! Sounds like an eventful vacation.

Yes, next year will definitely be different.

amy said...

sounds like an adventure. The Ugg boots are too cute...just wait until she's in will be adorable!!


The Oneliner (Christina) said...

i cannot wait to hear stories about cowboy and his two girls. cannot wait.

Caro said...

Definitely eventful - possibly to much. Can't wait to hear about next years trip.

niobe said...

Sounds like an, um, exciting trip. Six months old is probably too young to ski, but the next winter you might have adorable pictures of Missy on skis.

Ms. Planner said...

She probably won't have her first ski lesson until Nov/Dec 2010 (at 2-1/2). But snow monsters day care is always a plus!

Alice said...

A house full of girls! Sounds wonderful! And you know she'll be the apple of Cowboy's eye.

Waiting Amy said...

Wow, it started out sounding like such a lovely time! But the third tow would have done me in too.

Hope you get all settled back home and Hoss is all fixed for a long time!

Can't wait to see Missy in those boots!

JJ said...

Whew! What a vacation! Glad you are all back safe and sound--I love the white trash moment=) Hehe!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you did have quite an adventure!!! You sound like you were a good sport about most of it though.

Cowboy will surely have his hands full very soon!!

Ms. Infertile said...

Wow, some vacation you had! You had me laughing about the public bathroom puking and the country music cliche.
Glad you're back

Carrie said...

Quite an adventure.

It'll be very different waith a six month daughter, different and so lovely.

(My niece had a T shirt, when she was 6 months as it goes, the slogan read, 'Cant Ski.....Yet' So appropriate!)

Sticky Bun said...

Wow! That's quite a trip! Sorry about the car troubles. And I can't believe you skied a double diamond! I pulled a ligament Christmas shopping this year. (No joke.) Which one of these gals is in better shape? You decide...

Such cute boots! So fun that you got them. :-) (And I love that Gus got to go with you. Doggie would LOVE that.)

Malloryn said...

Sounds like an "interesting" trip :) Welcome back! Those boots are so adorable, she will look so cute in them.

nancy said...

Wow at skiing while pregnant. I had to sit out two full seasons due to my pregnancies. My OB said "no freaking way". You are lucky! Glad you had fun.