Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gone Mudding...Yet Again!!!

It would seem we are 
not strangers to the phenomenon 
called mud.
It actually seems to attract us...
not sure why.

But we have found Virginia mud to work just
like Pennsylvania mud.
It is dirty and slippery.

Let me begin at the beginning.
You see, 
several months ago I discovered a music
festival of the kind that Chelsea adores happening
near Ashburn, Virginia.

It seemed like a wonderful opportunity for time
away and to allow our sweet girl to enjoy
one of her favorite activities.
This time big brother, Jonathan, would 
be her companion at the actual festival.
Warren and I have outgrown such foolishness.
I think it was the MUD festival
called Creation 1989 that cured us.

Our day yesterday got of to a bit of a 
halting start when I ...ahem...
swallowed my crown.
You know, the kind the dentist puts 
on your tooth?
It was a temporary crown that would
have been replaced sometime in the next year
or so anyway....but heading out for 
a weekend minus this tooth covering
really wasn't on the agenda.
Thankfully it really doesn't hurt and as long
as I remember not to chew on it I should
be ok until I can see the dentist next week.

So....then we headed out.
Fighting our GPS and torrential rain all the way to 
You can see the rain just beyond the Bobblehead Jonathan attached to the dash board for this trip.  Don't even ask...I don't know.

There was more frustration as we would 
search for Starbucks noted on signs on the highway
only to find them invisible when we got off the exit.
Grrr....someone needed their coffee.
She has a very nasty cold and yesterday was 
the worst day. 
She was miserable.
Finally, after several attempts we arrived
at a Starbucks.
All became right with the world.

There is something wrong about that
but that is a whole 'nother post!

We found our hotel....
Remember that.
This is where you want to take your
family when you travel.
Can you say
Kitchen, Living Room, Bedroom
and Bath.....
for around $100???
They also have guest laundry facilities,
business center, workout room and 
a very, very nice breakfast which is 
included in the price of your room.
This morning I enjoyed a waffle, potatoes,
bacon and juice.
Chelsea had oatmeal with raisins and 
gorgeous looking walnuts.
Also available were eggs, fruit, pastries,
yogurt, granola, cereal and more.
O.k. that was the commercial portion of 
this post.  But really, this is the third time we have 
stayed in one of these hotels and we are sold!!

The only downside to this one is that it is 
most directly on the flight path to Dulles International Airport.
The planes nearly kiss the roof every time they go over.
But....even so we slept perfectly fine.

So....back to the story at hand, 
which by the way, I am telling as much for our 
memories as for your benefit.

We headed out to take the kids to the festival
and thought we would never find our way back
due to the most roundabout way the GPS took us.
But as we got within the last ten miles 
of that journey things became magical.

How to do this justice?
I don't know.....
Imagine that time of the day where the light
gently touches everything leaving it with 
a soft glow.
Now imagine long acres of fencing with groves of 
trees gracing gentle hills dotted with black 
angus cattle.
The greens could not have been more intense
and as the road wound through this countryside
tears came to my eyes from the sheer beauty of it.
Alas, I have found another spot on this planet that 
is at least as beautiful as some of my favorite places 
in Lancaster County.
So green that Jonathan announced this was a place
he could happily live....
that is saying something. 
He, being very committed to the beauty of Potter County.
We MIGHT go back that way today to 
get some photos.....
it is under consideration.
But, I digress.

You see, as we were preparing to leave the hotel
we put the address for the Concert site into the 
GPS.  It gave us a message we have never seen before.
"Cannot get to this location with the preferences 
you have set."
We quickly looked to see what unusual settings we
had that would make a location unreachable.
Ah...we had asked it not to take us on any dirt roads.
Apparently we were about to travel on at least one 
dirt road because after changing this preference 
the GPS was happy.

We found the dirt road.
Well, we found a road that had been dirt and 
was now completely turned to mud.
Then we found a long line of traffic waiting on this
road of mud.
A narrow road of mud with an occasional 
car headed in the other direction causing the 
entire row of waiting cars to move to the 
perilous piles of mud at the road side.
Thankfully no one got stuck as we 
moved slowly, stopping often, 
toward the event site.

It became clear that the parking and the 
concert stage were far, far apart.
I begged Warren to ask if we could 
go closer to drop the kids off because I 
had to show my ID to pick up the tickets we had 
purchased.  At a tent, near the stage.
Thankfully, they let us drive down the sodden road
and up the hill to a spot closer to the tent.
(About a quarter of a mile)
Along this way families
and youth groups were sloshing through mud
and puddles and walking in front of us,
beside us and behind us.
Not an ideal situation.
Finally, we arrived at the "top" of the hill
behind two stuck vehicles and a big bus.
Warren said there was no way he would pull into the 
field where cars were being parked with promises
to pull them out later.

Jonathan, Chelsea and I got out and waded though
ankle deep mud to the tent.
I'm thinking that this is ridiculous because we were 
planning to come back for them at 11pm.
Things were only going to get worse.
But, this was what we had come to do
and we were going to make the best of it.

After saying goodbye and making arrangements
for a general meeting place at 11pm we left.
My heart pounding.
Did I mention they had not eaten dinner?
I assumed, incorrectly, that we would pass something
on the way....nope!
But surely they would find something there.....

I crawled gingerly back in the van trying to keep my mud encased
feet from touching anything of import.
Warren was so calm and sweet when he 
said that it was just mud and we could clean 
it up....obviously he was beyond himself.
He would normally avoid this at all costs...
but what could he do, really?

So, obviously, we couldn't walk into a restaurant
like this...I mean they would likely just toss us out.
So...back to the hotel to wash my one and only 
pair of shoes in the sink.  We were only going to be 
gone a short time....why would I need more than
one pair of shoes?

Finally sometime after 8pm we headed out to find 
dinner.  Bertucci's fit the bill.  
It was close.
The food is good.
And ....did I mention it was close?
We took our time with the salad and bread
and were leisurely eating our main course
when the cell phone rang.
The kids had had enough.

They were about to begin the trek down to 
our meeting place.
We told them we would see them in about an 
hour.  One would have thought we could
make it in that time.
However, the fog had rolled in and formed
a blanket around all of that beautiful scenery.
The going was slow.
And then there were flashing lights ahead.
This didn't look good.
It wasn't.
Some of the young people from the festival
had crashed their SUV.
We found out later they were fine
but we sat on the road for about 20 minutes
while the accident was cleaned up.
I was somewhat concerned about Jonathan 
and Chelsea now waiting way past the time
we had agreed to meet but as there was 
nothing we could do I tried to put 
my mind at rest.  

Finally, we followed the tow truck and 
its occupants up to the festival site where the
four young men piled out, obviously shaken.
I asked them if they were ok and they responded 
to the affirmative.  Such a blessing!

Jonathan and Chelsea had not been bored
while waiting for us.
Apparently due to their location they had 
been serving by answering questions, directing campers
and Jonathan had helped to push at least one 
car out of the mud.

A little bit of the mud....the rest is still in the car.

You don't want to see his shoes. We are going shoe shopping.  He needs them for work tomorrow night.

They both chattered away about the day
but had not gotten anything to eat and were
starving by now...after 11:00 PM.

Having thought ahead we had asked our 
server about local McDonald's.
We already had one scoped out and in the 
GPS by the time we picked up the kids,
slipped and slid our way down the road, 
then squinted through the fog and 
made our way back to civilization.

It was so good to get back to the hotel
and return to our beautiful room and soft
comfy beds.

That, my friends was day one of our
adventure.  Day two began with 
Chelsea speaking softly in the dark....
"I don't think we need to go back today.
I'm just not up to all that mud."

That works for me.
Don't know what we are going to do today.
But we'll have fun together.
We might end up in DC or Baltimore
or perhaps just go to a mall and shop...
I'll let you know...


Marydon said...

You are too cute! Not my kind of a day ... I don't go down dirt roads nor roads that have water crossing over them. Knowing you, you will always make the best of any situation ... love your write, Becky.

Take a peek at my blog today.

Have a great weekend.
Hugs & love,

ZudaGay said...

Oh my goodness! Good decision, Chelsea. Can't wait to read about what you all did instead of mudding. :)

Julia Badgley said...

What a day!!!!! What kind of a concert was it?
You guys are troupers for sure!

Vee said...

What an adventure! Very glad that Chelsea didn't see the need to return, but what about the pictures of the most beautiful spot on earth? Have fun whatever you decide to do. Sometimes not having a plan is the best plan of all.

MYSAVIOR said...

You and your family are so blessed to make the best of the situation. Whatever you all do together will surely be wonderful. I am looking forward to the next chapter.


Mrs.Rabe said...

All, I can say is Oh. My.


Theresa said...

WOW... that is one story to read again when those two adventurers decide to go back to the MUD place:) You are some great Parents! I don't think we have that HOTEL here but I am sure gonna check! We love Hampton Inns because ALWAYS know what we are gonna get there! Enjoy your weekend, hope you get the MUD out of everything! HUGS!

Vickie said...

Vee's right - we need pictures! What a great sloppy mess - we've done that, too. At my Jr. College, it would get so muddy and flood that I'd roll up my jeans and take my shoes off and just wade through the yuck. Even in the cold... Just can't keep ruining shoes! I'm glad Chelsea didn't want to go back!