I promised ya’ll a great story…and I’m here to deliver on that promise. If you have ever heard the dueling banjos from the movie Deliverance…let it start playing in your mind right now. You will thank me later! (I can’t get the link to upload…and the clip has some terrible language in it so I won’t share it…just google it if you need a refresher!)
This story begins last Friday, July 21, 2017. We had planned to go camping at a new place and I had made the reservations online. Having never been to this particular campground before, we were not real sure what to expect. Tracy (my sis), her family, and my parents had been there recently and they all had great things to say about it. I’ll spoil this blog by saying…I do NOT have great things to say!
Anyway, it was 98 degrees outside that day. In Alabama that means 200% humidity or sweating weather. We sweat just walking out the door here, so you can imagine how sweaty and hot we were just hooking everything up in order to leave. It was ridiculous. Since we had to wait on Heath to get home from work, we didn’t actually get to leave the house until 5:30 or so. We didn’t even get to the 4-way stop by our house before Heath called and reminded me of two things we needed. I had to get gas in the truck so I went to the gas station then back home while Heath stopped by a store to check on an item that he didn’t even end up buying. When I called him he was ahead of me on the highway so we didn’t see each other again until we were within twenty minutes of the place we were going. He had pulled over and was waiting on me to catch up. When I saw him, he pulled out behind me and we went on to the campground. So far, so good. Right? Right.
We turned into the campground road and followed it way back into the woods. I approached the gatehouse (since I was in the first vehicle) and no one was there. In every other campground we have visited they have a number listed that you call and you can go on to your sight (since we were preregistered). I pulled up and Heath attempted to call the number on the window. No answer.
He told me he couldn’t get anyone on the phone so I pulled out my phone to find the reservation (and could know which number site we were in). I found the info and said, “Let’s just go to our site. We can call them in a few minutes”. So, that’s what we did. Only, this campground had a gate with a keypad that you are supposed to use to get into the main camping area located down the road into the campground. You can’t see it from the main gatehouse. Please…ask me if that code was on my reservation. No, no ma’am it was NOT.
Lucky for us, this gate also had a phone number to call in case you were unfortunate enough to NOT have a code. So that’s what I did. I got my handy dandy little phone out and I dialed that number. A man answered. I told him that we had reservations and needed the code to enter the park. He then proceeded to ask me my name, phone number, address, and site that I had pre-booked. I provided the information…like any good criminal would and asked (nicely) for the code. AGAIN.
The man’s voice starts telling me “Pound, #, #, 5, #, 5). Well, since he was silent between the pound and the number 5 I began repeating him. I figured he was waiting on me during the pauses.
No…no people he was NOT waiting on me.
He was going in and out of service and I was only catching the # and 5. This is when he started yelling. Loudly…#! 5! #!5! #!5!….and I started yelling #5! #5! #5! Back at him. This went on for about 45 seconds longer than necessary because the next thing I hear is this man yelling at me saying: “IF YOU WILL JUST SHUT UP YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR ME!”
Can you just imagine my face? Like, it went from shock…to awe…to LIVID. Just that fast. When I tell you I got mad I am NOT kidding. If you know me you can start laughing right now. Honestly, can’t you just see my face and the rage that immediately took over my entire body. From the ground up I was shooting flames and the thoughts going through my head would have scalded that man’s ears had I let them fly out of my mouth. Thank the LORD he delivered me because by some miracle I didn’t say anything. I simply hung up on the “Uh…Man”.
This is the point where I marched my mad little tale back to the truck where my unsuspecting husband of 21 short little days was waiting. Well, as I approached his window I could tell that he recognized the split second before I threw my phone at him that I was TICKED. He caught the phone and looked at me like I had lost my mind….and I was not far from it at that moment. I told Heath that he could call that Uh…Man (ha!) back and get the code. Otherwise I was going to drive through the freaking gate and he was welcome to follow me. I was past livid as I spun around on my heel and marched back to the truck.
Of course, Heath called and the Uh….Man gave him the code with no problem. Heath calls me, I type it in and head straight for our campsite (that I pre-booked online). Guess where it was? Yep…you guessed it! Right across the flippin’ street from the Uh…Man (ha!). Ugh…how I wish this was the end of the story. It is not.
The time is now nearing 8:00 p.m. We had a friend of Maggie’s with us so she and my girls jumped out ready to get things set up. We had planned to ride around in the boat for a while before it got too dark. Ha! How silly we were to think we would be able to do that at this point!
As we were getting everything set up (me inside, Heath and the kids outside…all of us soaking wet with sweat again) the Uh…Man drives up on his spiffy little golf cart. He tells the kids that he needs to give me some information. Maggie comes to the door and said, “that man needs to see you”. I poked my head out the door and said, “Well, he can wait. I’m busy right this moment” and I slammed the door. Poor Heath was just trying to get finished so he could change out of his soaking wet clothes. He heaved a heavy sigh and slowly walked over to the Uh…Man.
At this point all my Dear Husband wanted was food, air-conditioning, and dry clothes. It was late, he had been up since 4:00 a.m. and he was ready to call it a day. Bless him.
When he walked over to the Uh…Man sitting on his spiffy little golf cart he had no clue what was about to happen. The Uh…Man gave him the necessary paperwork for our campsite. He also proceeded to tell him that no vehicles could be parked on the grass. There was a $150 fine PER TIRE sitting on the grass. Until this point, Heath had been cool, calm, and collected. However, now the Uh…Man was saying that his beloved bass boat had to be parked in a parking lot located half a mile away and left there the whole time we were to be camping. Let me just fill you in on a few quick facts about my husband. He is a retired Marine. He is a neat freak. He takes better care of his boat than most people do of their children. He is very close to having full blown OCD. And, he had someone who wanted to buy the boat the next week. Does anyone see where this is going?
After taking time to actually ride down to the afore mentioned parking lot, Heath calls the Uh…Man’s cell phone (yet again) and tells him that his suggested plan will not work. At. All.
Heath offers to rent (at full price) the campsite next to us so that he can park the boat there for the weekend. The Uh…Man says, “No. You have to have a camp structure on the spot for it to be rented.” Heath tells him we have a pop-up canopy and the Uh…Man tells him that it has to have closed in sides to be considered a camp structure. So, basically it was either park at the parking lot where “I told you to park” or nothing. Can you feel that rage building yet?
What did we do you wonder? Well, we put everyone into the truck; rode around until we found a bigger campsite; called that same cell phone number AGAIN; told him we were moving sites; and went back to site #1 to unhook everything and move. Yes, yes we did. The time now is nearing 9:00 p.m.
I’ll save your eyes the pain of reading the next two hours worth of hollering, eye-rolling, sweating, and cussing under our breath. Honestly, it was so bad that I was seriously surprised to see my brand-new husband still there when we finally got everything setup at the new campsite. It was awful. Then, I still had to fix some supper!!
I had planned to cook taco salad for supper, so I pulled out the hamburger meat and tried to turn on the cooktop in the camper. The pilot light would not come on. I tried again. No pilot light. The gas was not working…or we were out. Who knew at this point? The kids were sitting like piranhas on the coach, Heath was pacing back and forth inside the 9,000 degree camper (because we had just now turned on the A/C), and I could not get the flipping gas stove to work!!
Go ahead and ask me if I could find a flashlight…or if the door got slammed and it messed up…or if the hook that holds the rack for towels & rags broke off the bathroom door…or if we got eaten alive by bugs as we set up the outside stuff…or if the bathhouse right across from us was in working order…or if Heath ate more than three bites of the supper that I finally sat in front of him at 10:27 p.m. Please….ASK ME.
At 10:43 I picked up my phone and saw a text message from my sister Tracy. She, my Mama, Emma, and Garrett were in Waco, TX and she had sent me a bunch of super cool pictures. I replied to her text with “So cool!!” and a whole bunch of Smiley faces.
Then, I sent her this text: “We are on the camping trip from Deliverance. Hell. We are in hell.”
To which she replied: “Awe it is so hot outside. What happened?”
I responded: “Do you have like 3 hours?! We are literally in hell. I’m either going to go into hysterics laughing or slap crazy screaming like a banshee.”
She responded: “LOL”. That’s sister code for…Oh Lord…this must be BAD.
The next day didn’t go much better. I had bought a brand new tube & rope to use behind the boat (that I didn’t know was gonna be sold!) and almost got drowned on it. It wasn’t blown up enough, the boat ran hot, the water in the lake was hot, there were 5,000 boats on the water, the wakes were ten foot tall, and the tube had to be held by hand as we ran 60 mph on the water because that’s how bass boats run. I won’t mention the fact that the tube blew out of the boat nearly ripping my little finger off of my right hand, or the fact that the ladder didn’t get put back up and was pounding against the fiberglass bottom of the boat unbeknownst to us, or that when we loaded the boat back onto the trailer I didn’t pull it tight enough and we had to re-load it. Or that the “motor-tote-er” got bent.
If you are still reading, please understand me when I say THANK THE LORD we made it home in one piece! We woke up Sunday morning like we had fire in our veins! We had that place broke down and loaded up faster than lightning! We could NOT get out of there fast enough. And, do you want to know what the Uh…Man said when he flagged us down…as we were squalling tires to get out of there?
“Glad y’all came! Please leave us a review on this little card here and come back real soon!”
You betcha there, Uh…Man. You betcha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Not a rat’s chance!
I wonder where we will go camping next?