Aaron and I left bright and early to take the youth group to Passport Camp in MA today. We have 14 kids going and 4 chaperones. I have been really excited about going, but nervous to leave the boys. My MIL is staying with the boys for the week. We said good bye to the boys last night and left before they got up. I was ok until we got into the car. Then I started tearing up. And I fought back tears 4 or 5 times until we actually left. This is the longest I have ever been away from my babies! I talked to them twice today though and Rhonda assured me that they have all had a very fun day. Lots of laughing and no tears!
We had a great trip until around 3:45pm. We are driving two vans, Aaron and I with the high schoolers in one 12 passenger van and the middle schoolers and the other two chaperones in the other 15 passenger van, which was pulling a trailer. We were following the van with the trailer. All of a sudden they pulled off to the side of the freeway. We followed suit. It turns out that a belt had come loose from the engine and tons of fluid gushed out of the van. Needless to say, we were stuck. On the side of the road. In the middle of nowhere in PA. For two hours.
But the kids did great! All of them had great attitudes. Some of them decided to use the bathroom up the hill and in the brush. They found a patch of wild blueberries and picked a huge cup full. Others played cards and just hung out. Aaron called 411 for road side assistance. We couldn’t get a rental van. So, we had the van towed, the trailer with the luggage picked up by an SUV from the towing company (five kids also piled into the SUV). The rest of the kids piled into the other van. And I and Hannah Owen (an 8th grade girl) got to ride in the back of the state troopers car (He showed up after about and hour an a half and “guarded” us against oncoming traffic). Everyone was so nice. And the repair guy (who came out earlier to look at the van) agreed to work on the van tomorrow (Sunday!) so we can get to camp.
The next adventure was to find a hotel. Like I said, we were in the middle of nowhere–actually we are in Fracksville PA. Yes, Fracksville. The state trooper drove us a Holiday Inn and our trailer was dropped off there too. We were supposed to spend the night in CT (where we had reservations at $74 per night). Well, we did not get such a good deal in Fracksville but we got the price cut down from $174 per room to $126.
After getting all the kids settled in their rooms, we decided to head up the hill and around the corner to the mall (yes, they have a “mall” in Fracksville) to eat at the food court. All 18 of us pilled into the 12 passenger van as rain came pouring down. The pouring turned into a sideways downpour with hail!!! It was crazy! There were rivers flowing across the road! We drove right up to the mall entrance, onto the sidewalk and ran screaming into the mall.
All four of us chaperones had a nice dinner at a Chinese buffet while the kids walked around and did a little shopping. The plan tomorrow is to just hang out in the morning while the van is getting fixed and maybe see a movie at the mall to pass some time (Harry Potter 6 is playing!). Prayers for getting on the road again by 3pm! Only 6 more hours to get to camp!
Right now I am relaxing in the hotel room. Mmmm….missing my sweet babies though.
To be continued….hopefully with less adventures but with the same sense of fun and good attitudes!