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Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
5/29/18 7:35 p.m.

Starting a thread here to share our adventure this past Memorial day weekend. Details soon....

MazdaFace
MazdaFace HalfDork
5/29/18 8:13 p.m.

Good lord you're worse than Bethesda lol

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
5/29/18 8:28 p.m.

It all started With this posting in the 2018 classified section.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
5/29/18 8:32 p.m.

In reply to MazdaFace :

LOL

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
5/31/18 6:37 a.m.

I want the whole story, you tease.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
6/3/18 10:54 p.m.

So this is Mrs. Indy.   I kept asking my dear husband (dh) if he has posted our adventure yet, and since he is more interested in updating his build thread, I decided to do it, to document it for the sake of our children. Haha.

Part 1 - "Are we going? Are we going? Are we going?" - 10 boy before we left ....

Did I really want to drive 20 hours across the country over a single weekend with my very young, not-all toilet-trained and undiscoveredly sick children to retrieve a car that I didn’t really care about, adding to the already too numerous vehicles in my driveway?  No, I didn’t. But I did and I would do it again.

To start at the beginning .... I was working on Mt. Laundry, listening to an audiobook, drinking hot tea, and checking Facebook while keeping my children alive and fed, and mostly clothed.  Normal Saturday afternoon.  My dh brought his phone to me and did his normal drill, “Let me show you the pictures from this craigslist ad and and ask you to buy it before I give you any details other than the fact that it has V8, 3L dual cam DOHC and is my German unicorn.” 

I think he actually only said, "You don't want to go to North Carolina this weekend do you?" after handing me the phone.  He knows his cars and prices.  He doesn't ask for a lot, actually, and is impossibly hard to buy presents for.   So I said, "Let's go".  But seriously, if I can say yes, I try to. As we literally have living-proof x6.   We started thinking about how to make the drive.   (Note, we had talked about a "one-car-in=one-car-out" rule.  We broke it.  But maybe the truck will go?  Or the other new one?  Or the Saturn that sounds like it's dying [Long story, part of car exhaust was stolen]?)

“We could take the 2 big kids and have a blast! It would be so spontaneous and fun!”   “Maybe we can leave the little girls with your mom … or my mom …. Or my sister …. Or the neighbor? Not really.”  No, no one was available to take a 6 yo girl, 4 yo girl, and a 2 yo whirlwind (also girl) at the last minute for a 2 night sleepover Memorial Day weekend.  Although, one of our sons (8yo) was still at Grandmas so we just extended his visit another day.

So, after committing our hearts and minds and plans for the weekend on how to get to North Carolina and back to pick up this wagon, we were in it, and going to take all the kids (except aforementioned son).  It was actually a great trip, I am so happy we went.

Actual children: almost 12 (girl), 10 (boy), 8 (boy) [missed the trip], 6 (girl), 4 (girl), 2 (girl again)  Notice no vomit or other body fluids present in this picture.  Not actually from this adventure.  This was pre-trip at the park a few weeks before.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
6/4/18 4:32 a.m.

In reply to Mrs. Indy-Barely Functional-Guy :

You might as well create your own login here, you fit right in & we need to hear more of your side of the story!

MazdaFace
MazdaFace HalfDork
6/4/18 5:01 a.m.

Yea definitely enjoying this so far. 

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
6/4/18 5:19 a.m.

More please 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
6/4/18 8:08 a.m.

Mt. Laundry made me chuckle

ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual)
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) Reader
6/4/18 8:50 a.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to Mrs. Indy-Barely Functional-Guy :

You might as well create your own login here, you fit right in & we need to hear more of your side of the story!

100%

Hal
Hal UltraDork
6/4/18 12:29 p.m.

Love the writing style.  More Please.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
6/4/18 10:02 p.m.
ManhattanM (fka NY535iManual) said:
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to Mrs. Indy-Barely Functional-Guy :

You might as well create your own login here, you fit right in & we need to hear more of your side of the story!

100%

Ok guys, this is the real Indy-Guy typing.   I see the Mrs. got impatient with me and posted some of the adventure. She enjoys you guy's feedback.  And I helped her created her own account to post the rest of the adventure.... the only problem is she can't post for 24 hours, so you'll have to be patient.

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled New Reader
6/5/18 6:23 a.m.

Yes!  Can't wait to hear more about your adventure.

Can't a mod bypass the 24 hr thing?  We can't wait that long!

Dirtydog
Dirtydog HalfDork
6/5/18 7:47 a.m.

It'll be great to hear another perspective on an adventure.  Looking forward to it.

Indy_Wife
Indy_Wife New Reader
6/5/18 4:52 p.m.

As I’ve been writing, Indy-Guy husband was laughing at how much of our family life is going into relating this adventure and how wordy I am about it. (He knows my wordiness well.)  I just pointed out to him that men are ice cube trays and women are spaghetti, and for me everything is connected. And he has his build thread for telling about his unicorn German wagon, this thread is for telling about our expedition to get it.  This trip shows our life in miniature and I am having fun documenting it, really. Even if it never ended up posted here on the forum, I am thankful that:

1. We took the trip, 2.  I wrote about it, 3. He’s in my life to share all the action.  ... :)

Indy_Wife
Indy_Wife New Reader
6/5/18 5:01 p.m.

 

BMW wagon from craigslist ad shown to me by my husband.  Notice the porch and tree in the background? ... Mentioned later on.

Part 2 - Packing for a Barely Functional Trip

So we left.  That sounds simple. 

Most of the time, leaving the house is NOT simple with my crew.  We have SO much fun as a family, but we ARE a traveling circus* to some degree, especially to people who aren’t familiar with this many mini-me’s.  It takes a certain amount of coordination to keep the circus under the tent. I have showed up places with one or more kids shoeless before, which is always awkward.  When we took a road trip to Texas 2 kids ago, I planned and packed and purchased for a month ahead of time. That trip went well!  We even stayed at a motel on Route 66 … We *also* had less kids then.

But it is getting easier. When Z (2) is potty trained later this summer, diapers will be done!  (We think. Babies are so cuddly. And we try to say yes when we can.) I’ll have 12 years of near constant diapering under my belt. Wipes! ALWAYS BRING ENOUGH WIPES. We didn’t this time. And we NEVER go anywhere without enough food.  No food + hungry kids = NO FUN. After deciding to go, it took us about 1.5 hours to get out the door. And included even some pre-trip showers for the stinky. ***Amazing***

The 2 big kids grabbed their bags and packed, while I did the 3 little girlies and toothbrushes and SHOES and diapers.  Me, eldest daughter, and eldest son all brought along 3 different audiobooks unknown to the others. We love audiobooks. I brought about 5 books too that didn’t get touched, sadly.  I almost brought the kids’ nature journals, but didn’t. I tossed ALL the snacks in the house in the tiny cooler. We had just finished up homeschool coop and had eaten almost everything in the house because we had been so busy.  So there wasn’t much to pack besides brown bananas, gooy gummies, and nearly crushed crackers. And 2 juice boxes per kid. I had the eldest boy JT (10), load 6 gallons of frozen water and about 3 string cheeses and ½ a package of pepperoni into the giant camping cooler.  And nothing else. Kind of scary, when you remember I feed 8 people a meal every 3 hours, on average, every single day.

Picture so you have a closer view of Indy-Guy’s offspring.  (taken May 2017)

I tell these ordinary details to set the scene, unfold the depth of this undertaking, and reveal the true nature of the adventure.  Indy-Guy’s name Barely Functional is an ongoing joke between us.  This truly was a barely-functional road trip.  This was not just about the car or the drive.  This was about saying yes to living our family life as it is: crazy, messy and delightful.  Barely-functional, but spilling over with joy and the gladness of giving.

Mr. Indy-Guy checked oil and fluid levels, packed his tools, clothes, car charger.  We took out one of the back rows in the white Big Mammoth Whale. Our other BMW. Get it?  We loaded a sleeping bag, a pillow and kids blankets in a laundry basket. He made sure to have the address of where we were going but didn’t bother to look at the map.  We stopped at the dollar store to buy a case of water, more snacks for the grownups, some caffeinated drinks (also for the grownups), and a coloring book which the 2yo immediately claimed, “MINE”.  And we left.

The plan was to drive through Saturday night, get some sleep, hit church somewhere along the way in the morning.  Arrive to get the new wagon about 12 noon, hit the road after a picnic roadside lunch. And then drive to be back sometime after midnight Sunday night/Monday morning, picking up our son from Grandma’s along the way.  Then we would have Monday to recover and rest before facing the rest of the week. It didn’t go quite like that. Close, but not quite.

 

*Picture of said circus: Costumes usually optional.  These costumes are actually a good depiction of their personality.  Except the dinosaur. He is not much of a bloodthirsty carnivore, but has a heart for everyone, except his older brother.  And the pirate is good with babies. Actually they all are, except the baby. She has been known to bite (after she got trounced on and bitten hard at a playdate).  We’re working on it.

Next: Part 3 - Driving on Hope

Dirtydog
Dirtydog HalfDork
6/5/18 7:24 p.m.

Storius interuptus.   Please continue.  Very entertaining, reminds me of us, when we traveled with the kids and dogs.

Indy_Wife
Indy_Wife New Reader
6/5/18 11:02 p.m.

Part 3 - Driving on Hope

There was a potential flaw in our plan we mostly ignored, out of hope. I tend to fall asleep on long roadtrips because, as an Army brat, my coping strategy and body training is to sleep, sleep, sleep. In the past, I have had a hard time staying awake while driving, which often puts the burden on my Superman to make it happen under his own steam.  We’d tried a road trip before about 4 years ago, to Gulf Shores, AL. It was the worst trip-ending of my life.

Which actually says a lot because I’ve been on many, let us say interesting, trips. I’ve some stories about tours and travels, let me tell you.  When we were engaged, dh and I drove to Philadelphia to pick up a car that turned out to have a rod knocking in the engine.  Ultimately it was 32 hours drive-time to have a picnic, see the Appalachian mountains, ponder the edibility of scrapple, and visit the Liberty Bell. Once, when my dad was stationed in Italy, I was in a midsize European tourist type-van on a camping trip when the rear AXLE broke in half on the highway.  I saw the left half of the rear axle of the van spinning away into traffic as the driver got us off to the right. The trip ended up with us hitching a ride in an Italian military police microvan and pooling our money to get home on the train with ₤Lira to spare. Did I mention I’ve given birth in a car going 75+ mph? #5 baby, 4yo girl. Yeah, I’m that woman.  Indy-Guy was there and didn’t stop “because he could see the hospital”. No, her name is not Danica or Ricky Bobby. I could keep going. I have some “fun” travel stories.

So the Gulf Shores vacation had ended badly, very badly.  Not because of food poisoning or illness (did that on a cruise in college). Or getting lost (I got lost skiing in the Alps one winter). Or being robbed (a trip to Rome, when I was in middle school - being pickpocketed by gypsy children will tend to ruin any travel plans). … Nope, partly, the Gulf Shores trip was the worst of my life because at the end of a family vacation at the beach, we drove too far, over too short a period of time, with too many small people, including a nursing infant. It was about 600 miles, 10 hours of driving straight back home.  Stress of the trip + differing vacation expectations + trouble driving awake = ONE FAT MARITAL ARGUMENT.  I said no more long roadtrips EVER.  So, hubby asking to go to NC on a whim was no small question.

But this time, with this trip, with an extra day in the mix, and bigger kids, we figured and hoped if I got too tired, we could just get a hotel room and get some sleep.  But we didn’t verbalize it completely. We just hoped. Our hope paid off because I didn’t have any issue at all driving. Well, I take that back. I didn’t have any trouble staying AWAKE.  I did make another problem for us that could have been REALLY bad, but that would be skipping ahead.

Next: Part 4 - Just Keep Driving, Just Keep Driving

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
6/6/18 9:22 a.m.

You are a welcome addition to the group. Thank you for helping shed light on our wives perspective of the insane crap us guys around here do.

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled Reader
6/6/18 10:15 a.m.

Yes, more please, and don't skimp on the details, they really make the story.  Also feel free to throw in those other road trip "adventures".

I'm tempted to send a link of this to SWMBO as I think she'd enjoy reading your perspective of a trip similar to something stupid we'd do (albeit with no kids), but I'm afraid my worlds may collide.  I don't need her on here calling me out for all my embellished truths and my scheming on how to convince her something is a good idea, I do a good enough job of shooting myself in the foot the way it is.

Indy_Wife
Indy_Wife New Reader
6/6/18 7:33 p.m.

Part 4 - Just Keep Driving, Just Keep Driving

Now we get to the actual leaving.  I think we left at about 7:30pm? Close to bedtime, that way the littles could sleep as much as possible along the way for the first leg.  We did stop about every 2 hours either to get gas, or to use the restroom. The big kids had brought their money, and every time we stopped, tried to make a desperate break for the vending machines.  Normally, we don’t let them buy from vending machines, but this trip was all about saying yes, so they were in heaven with gum and chips etc. They work on commission over their normal chores, so they had some money to spend.

I have 2 pictures on my phone of the trip.  Both are completely black taken at night. So I’m running out of actual pictures of the trip that aren’t just dashboard shots. Indy-guy was posting those on the forum as we were going so he has some.  At this point though, why take pictures of children that might hurl at any moment? Oops, hadn’t gotten to that part yet.

Around 1am, somewhere in West Virginia, our little 2 year old baby threw up in her car seat.  (She had not been eating the junk.) So we stopped and cleaned her up, changed pajamas and used lots and lots of wipes to clean up as much as possible.  I chalked it up to being car sick and prayed that this was the worst part of the trip. Nope.  But all 3 little girls were being so good.  Being asleep helps, and hubby and I drove on into the night listening to an audiobook about a boy growing up during WWII. The big kids did fall asleep and so did I as it got later.  My better half let me sleep and I dreamt of uninterrupted hours of golden silence. Bless him.

We drove through the dark and eventually dh stopped to get some rest instead of letting me drive.  Frowny face. We slept until about 7:30 am. He drove on into the morning and eventually we stopped at McDonald’s for hotcakes and such.  However the 6 year old ended up getting sick in the car and we cleaned her up in the parking lot. Deja vu. At this point I knew it wasn’t car sickness and just hoped to get home ASAP before we ran out of clothes and had to stop to either a) buy more or b) wash blankets and clothes at a laundromat. I knew it could get much, much worse if this trend continued.

We must have stopped at the WRONG exit, because as we were wiping the girly clean and using up more and MORE wipes in the McDonald’s parking lot, a man walked up and asked us for money for food.  We back ourselves into the van like a crab into its shell. Indy-Guy asked him if he is hungry and he basically indicates yes. So dh handed him one of our “giving-bags” that we keep in the car to hand out to those holding cardboard signs at stoplights: a brown paper sack with a can of ravioli, a flavored water bottle, 2 slim-jims, pre-packed Oreos, a fruit cup, and fork with a smiley face note.  All the things my kids beg me to buy for them. He handed it back and shook his head and made a face in disgust! Oh, well, Then. Sorrrr-eee! ASAP - Cleaning finished, Trash tossed, Doors closed, Buckles buckled. OFF WE GO!

We drive while trying and failing to explain to the kids why someone would NOT want free Oreos.  At this point we planned church for those well enough to attend. I found a church service using MassTimes.org -- 9:30am.  It was 9:15 am. Perfect. We could have made it to the 10am farther on, but this put us on the schedule we wanted. Some of us did Mass as best we could considering 2/7ths of us were down and out with germs. Visiting Jesus across the country in the different churches is a fun part of road trips that I thought, until recently, we wouldn’t be ever doing this soon.

Everyone was awake and cheerful actually after the long break, where they were turned loose from the car like a canister of tennis balls, truly bouncing off each other and jumping on green grass as if made of rubber.  Back in the car, we started a different audiobook, this one from Naria, I think. We hit the road again and we noticed the dirt on the construction sites was red, not the white brown of south-central Indiana limestone country.  At this point, I do think the 4 year old said, “Are we there yet?”

Next Part 5 - We Bought It

Dirtydog
Dirtydog HalfDork
6/6/18 10:29 p.m.

From what I've read so far, Jesus had a big smile on his face watching you guys do what you do.  Please continue.  And thanks.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
6/6/18 10:39 p.m.

Let me interject your recollection of the timing is off a bit. Having slept a good portion of the wee hours while I was driving. Stopped for an hours sleep between 4:30 and back driving at 5:45am. Here are some pics of the stops along the way:

Somewhere in Ohio.

Another stop.

This is where I spent an hour that night/morning.

This is the welcome center parking lot that I got an hour sleep at. Until day break (and the need for a bathroom) woke me up.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy UltraDork
6/6/18 10:44 p.m.

Fog in the (Smokey) Appalachian mountains.

And we still had sleepers, it was so early.

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