When Katie was in Kindergarten, we thought it would be a great idea to take a family trip to Disney World. I mean, what kid doesn't love Disney World? We also decided to invite my mother and drive, instead of fly. I am pretty sure I must have been high when making both decisions.
We left early on a Saturday and things were going swimmingly. And then we hit Baltimore. And when I say we *hit* Baltimore, I mean it in the literal sense. Or at least we hit a tire that had fallen in the middle of the road, off a farm truck not legally allowed to grace 95. Did I think my dear husband should have seen said tire before slamming into it? Well, we don't go down that road. But we did hit it, exploding both passenger side tires. Really, I am lucky I lived to share this story with you all.
So, we pull over to the breakdown lane and call 911. Calling 911 is such an awesome experience. They are never like the dispatchers you remember from Rescue 911. I told them we had a hit a tire, the tire was still in the middle of the road, and we needed help. You know, since it was an accident. And since Mr. Farmer was also on the side of the road, and we weren't paying for this shit ourselves. The operator huffed a bit and told us someone would eventually be there. Eventually a policeman did come, you know, while my 5yo kid with Autism did her best to freak out and think imminent death was upon us. The policeman took down the farm guy's info, gave us the number to a tow truck, and was like SEE YA!
We were like, I don't think so.
You see, we couldn't all fit into a tow truck, and even though he apparently thought some of us staying on 95 was fine, we disagreed. So, he said someone else would be by soon, but he had to go. So we called the tow truck guy, and sat and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally the new cop showed up, and by new I mean they apparently went to the local high school, slapped a uniform on some kid, and sent him our way.
But, whatever, he had a car and we needed a ride. This would prove to be the highlight of Katie's trip. (Literally. When they had to write about what they did over April vacation, she wrote about this) Why? Because the COP let her ride on the FRONT SEAT of his cruiser. Whatever, she was 5, only 7 years shy of safely being able to ride shotgun. So, as I sat in the back with my 2yo, and prayed to Jebus we made it to the tire place on one piece, my daughter thoroughly enjoyed her front seat time. She also enjoyed it when we finally pulled up to the tire place and the policeman pulled up the Disney website and started asking me questions about booking his own trip. Right.
But, alas, our fun times had to end once the tow truck pulled up. We bid adieu to our 14yo escort, and realized we weren't in the best part of the city. I mean, we were at a 24hr, new-to-you, tire place, so what did we expect? Did you ever see the movie Barbershop? Imagine that. But at a tire garage. In the middle of the night. In probably the least safe part of the city (not a movie lot, with highly paid actors).
Of course, my first born had to use the bathroom, so we walked to the back and carefully positioned the curtain they had half hanging in front of the (out in the open) toilet, so she could do her business. We then sat outside, feeling totally safe, and waited for our "used, but they'll totally get you to Florida and back", tires to be ready.
You would think this would be the worst part of the trip. You would be wrong. There was the fact Katie hated Disney (yeah, should have called that one). Then both kids were highly allergic to the Disney bedding and broke out all over their faces. Then Ben got Scarlett Fever, sending us to the ER for 6 hrs, and then out at 1am to find a 24hr pharmacy. Then there was Ben projective vomiting at Red Lobster, and later all over my mother, while she waited for Kai and I go to on Space Mountain (after which I had to hold back my own projectile vomit. I am way too old for this shit). Then there was us having to go a Toyota dealership to get new tires, since, whaddya know, the tires we got in Baltimore were not, in fact, going to make it back home (thank you, Disney security guard, for pointing that out). Then there was me almost passing out in the lobby while waiting to check into a hotel on our way back, and having to go lie on the bathroom floor because, damn it, I was not passing out in public (they might have to call 911, and we all know how that goes). Passing out was just a precursor to the stomach bug/fever I came down with, which Katie also came down with the next day. In the car. Yeah.
P.S. we got AAA after that. I advise you to do the same.