This blog is titled “Tears, Trials, and Travels,” don’t you know? Well, you’ll never believe this, but after the last blog things actually got worse. You know when you nauseous and you are on the brink of throwing up for hours? And sometimes, you actually do throw up, and sometimes at the worst time. Well my eyes are nauseous with tears and they need to throw up every once in awhile. Have I grossed you out enough or do you want to hear the latest?
Well quick recap of where we’ve been before I tell you the VERY latest. So we went to Detroit, and never actually went into the actual city, but on the outskirts and went to the Henry Ford Museum on a whim. GREAT decision, it was awesome, but I wish it hadn’t been a whim because I would have loved spending more time there. We opted out of the factory tour (I really wanted to do it, though) because we only had enough time to deep explore the museum (and the kids had to subsequently pick something to write reports about).
I hadn’t had time to plan my next 2 weeks, so the rest of my time I spent planning and replanning, so we went on to the Cleveland area. We stopped by a cool store called “Cooper’s Mill and Market”. I actually had to go out of the way to get there a little and kept thinking it was a bad decision, but whenever I buy food, it’s the kids’ favorite part of the trip, so it was a huge success (there were Jam tastings there). Then we went on to a little Bible Museum called “Bible Walk” and for those of you (like me) who like stuff like that, it was cool. If you don’t like that kind of thing… maybe not so much. Wax figures telling Bible Stories. Hey what’s not to like?
Made it to a campground on Lake Erie and rested as much as we could and then…. the tears and trials started coming again.
First, the battery on the jeep had been acting up over the last couple days and I finally figured out it was a light that had been on. I didn’t have time to properly charge it, however, but hopefully it would last until our next stop.
Second, my daughter is taking violin lessons through Facetime for this trip. I have a wonderful friend paying for the lessons and I didn’t want Harmony to stop, lest she forget all she had learned. My other wonderful friend who actually gives her the lessons has worked out this Facetime lesson thing. So as we were wrapping up our lesson….someone in the RV stepped on my daughters violin and broke it. The good thing was that we were still online with Desiree, our violin teacher and she walked us through the process of packing it up to take it to a shop. Luckily, we are renting out of a national chain, so next week when we are in Rochester, visiting my cousin, I can drop off her violin, pay a huge fee for getting it repaired, and exchange it for another violin.
So as we were leaving Lake Erie, someone pulled up behind us and told us my tow lights weren’t working. I pulled over into a parking lot and started trying to fix it. I couldn’t. I eventually was underneath the RV and cried for about 1/2 hour (under the RV). Let me state again in case any of you missed it, “Who’s going to be the adult? That’s not my job!” My kids are not going to help me get out of this problem. I really couldn’t figure out what to do. The only thing I could possibly come up with was to go back to the RV park, tail between my legs, and ask for help. The worst part was my puffy eyes and how embarrassing that it was that they could tell I was crying (I assume). So a guy there, came and helped me. We came up with a solution, albeit, not perfect (zip ties) and I was on my way.
As we were heading into Buffalo, NY at this point, I mentioned that although we had a late start because of our problem, we were still getting in earlier than I would have expected because Caleb woke up early (he has severe sleep issues and so early mornings don’t really happen). So soon after that, I felt something, heard something, and saw something in my backup camera that said something was wrong with the tow vehicle. I pulled over as soon as I could and found that my tow bar had detached, turned upside down, completely crumpled and then the jeep (swaying back and forth since it was only partially attached) had hit and run over (another) street sign (possibly the low battery in the jeep had caused the towing system to not work properly and helped make the problem worse)
So yeah, that happened. Caleb and I tried to detach the tow bar so that we could drive the 2 miles to the campground (yes on the same street), but couldn’t. Ughhh. So I called road-side service, and soon after, a good Samaritan came by and helped us detach the tow bar from both the RV and the jeep and then met us back at our campground to give us a ride back to pick up the other car. It was such a blessing, and as he put it, it was just a happy coincidence that he was in the right place and right time, as well. Normally he wouldn’t have been there. Thank God for people like him.
So I made it into the park, we picked up the jeep and we went to the RV service center 1/2 mile down the road. I told the girl at the service desk our issue and said it was more parts than service I needed, but probably needed some service, she stared blankly and told me that if we were just passing through, they probably couldn’t help. This was one of my biggest fears leaving Denver since the RV place in Denver books months out. How does someone just passing through survive? So by then, my eyes were super nauseous and I went to the parts counter and started explaining that hopefully I just needed a new tow bar, but I didn’t know how I’d attach the bar that attaches to my jeep. The tears started coming and I couldn’t stop them! Caleb and the guy just started at each other and stared at my for (according to Caleb) like 30 seconds. I was trying to explain that we couldn’t drive them separately because Caleb’s not quite 16 and I am the only driver (more tears, many more tears). Finally the guy said he would help us and I went to look around and calm down. He came back to us awhile later saying they would give us a HUGE discount (like 50% off) and have it shipped next day and that they would find SOMEONE to install this bar onto my jeep. At one point I said, you have no idea how many people have helped me get to where I’m at, I’m inept at this stuff, and yet here I am (at the mercy of so many people). So very humbling.
So we were originally going to Niagara Falls for the day, but there wasn’t enough time on a second day because I didn’t want to lose time seeing my friend who lives in Canada (which is our next stop). So it was going to be an 8-5 kind of day… but because of this, we had to wait until 3:30 to get our tow bar, then they installed it and we were ready to leave. We got to the falls around 5pm!
Well guess what…. it was awesome and I’m SOOOO glad we didn’t go until 5pm. First, we walked around, saw stuff, ate some ice cream (in America) and then we walked over to Canada. The first thing we saw ( before the falls) was the “Street of Fun”. To be honest, I’ve researched so many cool places for this trip, but I had never heard of this place. It was so great! It was like Las Vegas without any naked people on billboards. There were arcades, haunted houses, restaurants, casinos, and fun places wherever we went. Since this was unplanned and late in the day, we only went to “Zombie Attack” and, of course, the giant Ferris Wheel. While on the Ferris Wheel we were able to see the Falls, all lit up. It was the perfect night (until of course we couldn’t get back into America because you have to pay .50 of Canadian Money and I didn’t have cash, or an ATM card and then we all got in a huge fight after we finally got some stranger to give us the money….but other than that, it was awesome) It was the first time on the trip that I felt truly happy, even if for just a moment.
The next day we were on our way to Canada (by Car this time). Would we get in? Would we get stopped at the border? Would we be able to rehook all the new towing equipment and not kill ourselves or others? Stay tuned for the next blog post!
- We will be able to replace the violin soon.
- Guy at the RV park helped us (for free)
- Another guy pulled over and helped us as we were stranded…a lot
- Yet another guy helped us get the tow bar ordered, gave us a discount, expedited shipping, and helped get it installed
- It was such a blessing that we COULDN’T get to Niagara Falls until evening because it was so much better, plus we really didn’t need a whole day after all.
- The “Street of Fun” was so awesome and I didn’t ever know it existed – an unexpected surprise
- This was probably my favorite time on the whole trip.
- The next day we would be staying with friends in Canada for a few days where we can REST
Yesterday we were driving and crashed we knocked down one sign but Caleb says that we knocked two over (he’s probably lying) Then we crashed and we broke most of our Towed Jeep. Also the tow bar broke off of the RV. We went to a lake that had a snail and fish in it (which by the way Zoe HATES fish but yet she has fish that my mom’s friend is taking care of) there was a dock by the lake that Zoe and I jumped in. It was gross water Zoe said before we went to the lake that their water was super clear (more clear then Jenny Lake) but it was actually WAYYYY less clear then Jenny Lake.
That night I had a Violin lesson at 5pm. My teacher said I have been doing a very good job at violin. My Sister accidentally stepped on the violin and it wasn’t face forward and somehow the neck of the violin was cracked. So we are going to rent my third violin next week. (so basically I can’t play violin for one more week.)
We went out to Red Lobster that night. Although I didn’t want to get a kid’s menu, I had to still get one. Zoe got my favorite drink Strawberry Lemonade and I got something sort of similar to that drink, Raspberry Lemonade. I got macaroni with mashed potatoes (which is VERY strange)
We went to CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went to this ride called Zombie attack, I got 20th place, Mom got 4th place, and…………..umm………………….uhhhh………………. I forgot Caleb and Zoe’s place they got. I also went on Canada’s Largest Ferris Wheel. Next time we go there we are buying the whole pack instead of just two rides. At 10:00 pm, we saw fireworks by the falls. (a lot of the fireworks were hearts.) I was REALLY tired, speaking of tiredness, i gotta go to bed. Talk to you later!
Tomorrow we are going to see some friend’s in Canada and rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Although we do have to do chores and school. I’m going to do division I just have two more lesson’s left of multiplication!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!