Emmett told the kids that they could play the I-Pod and Droid once we were on our way; eager Evan and Corrie were both buckled in long before the suitcases were stowed in the trunk. When everything was loaded, Emmett turned the key. And ... the minivan wouldn't start. Day 1 of our vacation.
Fortunately, my father-in-law had given us a portable jump starter. This was our first time to use it, and it worked great. Emmett jumped the car and we took off. We had a full tank of gas and figured we would try to make it as far as we could before we had to turn off the car. We hoped the problem was just the battery, but lots of the dashboard lights were on, so ... we were a little concerned.
The kids traveled well. Lots of napping and apps. :)
Thankfully, we made it to Lufkin, TX with no other problems. The crew settled into our hotel room and had a good night's sleep.
Saturday morning, the van started slowly, but none of the dashboard warning lights came on. Whew!
We had an easy drive across Louisiana. We stopped to get gas at a small gas station in a little town near Shreveport. The BBQ place across the road had a sign: You Don't Need Teeth to Eat Our Beef.
Here's a picture of Corrie playing around while we were stretching our legs:
Please note that Emmett's wallet is on the driver's seat in this picture.
Another couple of hours down the road, Emmett realized he couldn't find his wallet. We figured it was somewhere on the ground at the gas station. It also could have been at a random RV park where we stopped to change a diaper.
When we got to Vicksburg, Emmett emptied the entire van, looked EVERYWHERE, and couldn't find his wallet. This is Day 2 of our 17 day vacation.
Thanks to the BBQ place's memorable sign, Emmett was able to find the gas station on google street view. He called the station, and they couldn't find the wallet. I called an RV park (not totally sure it was the right one) and the manager didn't see Emmett's wallet there, either. Emmett called our credit card companies and the bank to cancel the cards. Fortunately, our debit cards have different numbers, so we could use my debit card for the rest of the trip.
My mom and brother were delighted to see us. And, boy were we glad to see them!
Mark is a great uncle - he played with the kids for hours. He held Ben, read princess stories to Corrie and taught Evan how to play "Heart and Soul" on the piano.
That's what happened on the first two days of vacation. Days 3-17 coming up.
Ha! If this were the 70's, I could totally see myself inviting neighbors over to watch a slideshow of our trip. Aren't you glad we live now and you can just skim through the pictures on my blog instead of listening to me talk about it for hours?