Sunday, February 12, 2012

Disneyland or Bust

          A couple of blogs back, I wrote about how much I hate road trips. I come by it honestly though. It seems like no matter how well I plan it, my trips always blow up in my face. As an example, I will do a series of blogs on the Disneyland trip I took a few years ago with the kids.

          It started when my in-laws offered us their Toyota Sunrader. They had only used it once or twice, and then parked in on their property in the mountains for several years without going inside. It was gross, but it could be cleaned.

After we got it all cleaned up, my BFF, Shelbi and I decided to use it to take the kids to Disneyland. We thought we could save some money by staying in an RV park. Genius or so we thought.

It was late summer, so we got started early in the day trying to get as far as we could before it got too hot. When it warmed up, we rolled up the windows and turned on the air conditioner. Shelbi and I started screaming when chunks of forest and other stuff started shooting out of the vents along with the distinctive smell of death. Honey said he had cleaned out a nest of rodents from under the hood. Apparently, he didn’t get it all. We fondly nicknamed it the Arkansas Chugabug which you may remember from the Hanna Barbera Wacky Races cartoon. That’s pretty much how we looked driving it too.

After the initial shock, we laughed it off. Soon, Shelbi started to notice a constant drip on her side of the floor board. It was condensation from the air conditioner that started to turn her side of the car into a swamp. I wanted to laugh, but the drive shaft was on my side and it was so hot I had to keep switching my feet on the accelerator. I had bought a special pair of sandals and had been breaking them in for all the walking on the trip. Then the Sunrader started to overheat, so we had to turn the air conditioner off for as long as we could stand it or as long as my feet could stand it. Hot, cold, hot, cold, swampy, foot fry. The poor kids were in the back fighting over a tiny fan.

We decided to take a break in Bakersfield at my grandmother’s house to let the Chugabug cool off and to let my feet cool off as well. We bailed out and started walking towards the house. Shelbi kept complaining about the water sloshing on her side, so we decided to try to get some towels to soak it up (yeah, it was that bad). I was trying to listen to her, but I noticed my shoe felt weird. I kept trying to walk, but it just wasn’t working right. When I finally looked, the heat from the floor board had melted the sole of my shoes! The right shoes was completely destroyed.

When we got back on the road later that evening, we had to stop by Walmart so I could get some sandals. That late in the season, all they had left were reject flip flops. Thankfully I found a pair close to my size, then we continued on our way to Disneyland with towels for Shelbi’s side to soak up the water and towels on my side to insulate me and my cheap flip flops from the heat. We sucked it up and powered our way to the RV park thinking the worst was behind us.

Stay tuned for the next blog in this series – Disneyland, the happiest frickin’ place on earth.


  1. Oh man, this could be scarier than anything Stephen King dreams up. I flinch at what is to come!

  2. From the Arkie.....Love it! As you know we ARE the home for Walmart, but if you want to say it right you have to say "Walmarts". Then your Chugabug is authentic!

  3. I'm still in therapy over this trip!

  4. No! We love Disneyland at our house. We were just there in early December when my son's Kingsburg High School band marched down Mainstreet. I'm going to have nightmares now, wondering how bad this next post might be. *cringes & peeks through splayed fingers*