Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A-Camping We Will Go...

Guess where I had dinner tonight!



Right here in the middle of a corn field in Peoria.



We made it here relatively uneventfully. I say "relatively" because we do not have good luck camping. One time our truck burst into flames. Once the whole wheel fell off. Not the tire - the wheel. More times than I can count, something has broken on the truck. One of those times, while Joe went to a nearby junk yard and fixed it, Jen, Chris, all our kids, and I walked around a K-Mart for like 5 hours. It was 5000 degrees outside and I was 100 months pregnant. It was not fun. I'm pretty sure there's a K-Mart in Wisconsin that has our pictures posted near the entrance with a warning, "If you see these people, call the police immediately."

Then there was the time, we got stuck on a hill in the Kentucky mud and the time that our carbon monoxide detector went off in the middle of the night. Another time the truck overheated and we had to drive home from Michigan in rush hour traffic through the city with the heater full blast. The only problem is it was 90-some degrees at the time. On a different trip, something broke and we couldn't drive over 35 mph all the way home. That was fun. I think the worst trip was when our truck and camper flipped over. Needless to say, we had a little detour to the emergency room and never made it to our destination.

Anyway, Joe spent the last couple days working on his truck to ensure it was in good working condition and would indeed safely transport us to Peoria. Yesterday evening Joe got some metal shavings in his eye while working on his truck. He finally broke down and went to the ER when I threatened to divorce him his eye was still in pain several hours later. Much like Clay, a couple weeks ago, he has a corneal abrasion and needs antibiotic drops. Because the ER was so busy last night, he didn't get home until 2:00am.

We only had to stop once on the way here today because the floor beneath my feet on the passenger side of the truck was so hot it was burning my feet. In fact, it was burning the carpet and the rubber floor mat. The smell of burning plastic filled the truck and steam circled around the cabin. Given our glorious history, however, this goes down in the Most Awesome Times Driving to a Campground Ever book.

I'm sure there'll be more adventures tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a giant ice cream cone and a giant rooster. Where else can you go for blurry pictures of giant dairy products and farm fowl? For any of you who happen to live in Peoria, yes I was the weirdo with my head hanging out the car window taking pictures of these things.



52 comments:

Michelle said...

Ummm Dawn, should I ask why you continue to go camping when someone is very politely and subtlely telling you not to?

Oh and GUESS WHAT! We're getting Sonics! They're opening some up near us: Aurora, Bartlett, Algonquin (right by my gym, how convenient!), County Club Hills, and Lockport! YAY!!! Or really really big boo when I think about my waistline.

My Semblance of Sanity said...

YAY!
Glad that HOT FEET is all you had to deal with today!

I would say I hope the rest of the trip is uneventful but then what would we READ for the next week?!

Just hoping for SAFE TRAVEL!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dawn. Guess where i was last night too?? THE ER!!! I also sat there for 4 1/2 hours waiting to be seen. I got an x-ray and left at 2 in the morning. What a coincidence. =)
Amanda

A Week In The life of A Redhead said...

Hmmm ...I think I may have dated that Rooster once...
Catherine, the redhead blogger

mom2seven said...

Have fun!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Apparently, you don't use the "I'm pregnant/nursing/cranky, you take the kids and I'll stay home" approach...

My Kids' Mom said...

I tried camping with our boys ONCE. The rednecks next to us had consumed much Coors Light by our bedtime and began arguing. Loudly. With much profanity. Loudly. Ten feet from our tent. When one of the women BIT another, the police were called and hauled one off to JAIL and one to the HOSPITAL. The remaining couples spent all night both watching LOUD tv or discussing the events again and again. Did I say they were LOUD all night?

My husband points out that it can only get better.

I am Trish Marie said...

And you keep attempting these camping trips? I think I would have called it quits after the wheel popped off and the truck caught on fire!

Anonymous said...

I went to college in Peoria, and the Wildlife Prairie Park is a MUST SEE in my book.
Glad you made it there "rather uneventful".

Karen said...

How cool to read you're here in Peoria! From the pics, looks like you were over on the east side of the river. Where are you camping?
You have to head downtown to check out the fireworks on the 4th - they're great! We'll be on the Peoria side. I'll be the crazy one with three kids, which includes a 7 month old who knows when it's 8pm and just wants to be put in her bed. Instead we'll be rocking and strolling to keep her entertained! Enjoy your stay!

Robin said...

I KNOW THAT ROOSTER!!! We drive by it on our way to a really great, cheap water park near there. I love in Petersburg (New Salem State Park...Abe Lincoln Village...) so it's about an hour or so to Peoria. We drive there because the water park is cheap than a closer one to us and it's really nice.
Have a great time on your trip. I'm surprised you would even consider doing this every year with the horrible luck you seem to have when you do. I'll be praying for a safe, somewhat uneventful time for you!!

B&K said...

OMG Dawn this is hysterical! And yet you still go camping . . . hmmmmm. LOL

I think the karmic cosmos are trying to tell you something, Dear. Like maybe . . . don't go camping!!! Get a new truck? Something!! LOL

So my question is, where are all six kids if you were driving a truck?!? Tell me they weren't in the camper. Is that legal?!? Perhaps you have an RV? Yeah I know; I'm a nosy poker! :-)

Julie said...

Hey, that reminds me - we're getting a Sonic about 3 minutes from my house. When I saw the sign, I thought of you!!!

It's weird that I thought of you when I saw the Sonic sign, you say? Hey, it could be worse, the sign could have been for something to do with butts. LOL

Ariel said...

My goodness!!! Sounds like you have certainly had your share of 'adventure'!! I'm glad to know you made it safely to your destination! May the rest of your trip be uneventful!

rebecca said...

We have a bunch of those ice cream places here in South Fl. Ya'll should def try them out, they have the best ice cream ever!

I love the corn field picture!

Thanks for sharing! Love your blog!

Rebecca

Kim Williams said...

Hi Dawn! I am so glad that you got to eat at Sonic. I honestly think of you every time we go there, with a little twinge of guilt that I have one less than 2 miles from my house and you rarely get to eat there. Then I give that guilt some tater tots and an orange-cream slushy and it goes away....lol!

Hope the camping trip goes well. No flipping the camper this time, please! Love the giant rooster!

rthling said...

And why, I must know, do these stupid alarms only ever go off in the dead of night, when no one can find a flashlight, and you are so soundly asleep that at first you reach for your cell phone, sure that the thing you hear is someone calling you at 2:48am to tell you that your (someone) has died?
Why do they never go off during the day when you are out on the lake and the only people around to hear it and be annoyed are the old people who live in their campers with their satellite TV, and easy chairs, who are really not camping anyway, so they can just get over it?
Why, oh, why????

Mystii said...

LOL Dawn! Only in Illinois can you see such wonderful, unique sites :)

dgmommie said...

Sounds like a true adventure. :) Hope his eye gets better quick. I had a corneal abrasion last week too - a gnat flew into my eye and stayed there. Very weird. All better feeling with the drops after two days.

Mabunny said...

Nope never been to Peoria. Glad ya'll got there with a bit of ease compared to past trips.
Have a great time!

david santos said...

Wonderful!!!

Beth said...

I hope you have a fun filled and event free camping trip!

By the way, when you get metal in your eye, you can save lots of time and frustration by calling your Optometrist. They can dig it out and prescribe drops and insert a contact lens bandage that will save lots of pain while the abrasion heals. (at least in my state they are licensed to dig it out--the laws vary by state on what instuments they are allowed to use) You can call your Optometrist after hours, they are always on call.

The Woman said...

I'm afraid that would make me give up on camping for ever

Chelf said...

You crazy tourist lady! Get back in your burning truck and go find a Sonic in a farm!

Just kidding.

Some of our adventures are almost as thrilling, but my family was only four of us. Two parents, two kids. We nearly got killed one time in Chicago - semi trucks can be sneaky/mean. We had our fuel pump go out only 5 hours from home on that same trip (after two full weeks of country touring). One year we had to leave the camper trailer by the side of the road... the only axle it had was broken in two.

We so need to compare notes! And YES, you need to write another book. Title already decided, and stories are already blogged about. Good start.

Shannon said...

LOL, that sounds like one of our camping trips

HunBun said...

LOL!! I would take all that as a sign from God to NEVER go camping again! I can't believe you keep trying with that kind of history behind you...of course, I'm prejudiced - I just hate to camp! LOL! Hope you have a VERY boring, uneventful camp-out!

Amanda in Louisiana said...

Peoria, Peoria... Seems like there was some tv show or movie that took place in Peoria? Do you know what that was?

Beth said...

I think maybe you should take some of the money you make from the book and maybe invest in a new truck for Joe. Just a thought. Either that or pay them all to go camping *without YOU*.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys are awfully brave. If I had camping trips like that, I'm pretty sure I would never travel anywhere ever again...LOL. Seriously though, I hope you guys have a wonderful and safe trip.

Marie in Akron OH

Anonymous said...

Sounds like my kind of vacation! And some of my best trip pictures are the ones I snapped from a moving car. Here's to an uneventful rest of your vacation!

Anonymous said...

oh my. now i dont feel so bad. when we moved home from oregon to minnesota, we were driving our jeep cherokee. in idaho our jeep broke and suddenly we could not go over 40 miles an hour or the jeep would stall out and not start back up for a while. by the time we reached grand rapids minnesota, we could not go over 20 miles an hour. we called a tow truck to drag us the last 120 miles or so. now that was a LONG trip. and i also recall coming home from somewhere in wisconsin and something broke on my car. of course it was a bout a million degrees outside and we had to keep the heat on full blast. another time we were in my boyfriends car(a beretta decked out with a really nice sound system)and we got lost in down town gary indiana with my boyfriend yelling that it was my fault and we were going to get killed for the car. ha ha. so yeah. we generally try not to drive anywhere if we dont have to.

Rachel said...

You have just reaffirmed why I am terrified to go camping as a family vacation!
Though it looks like you saw some cool stuff!

Cheryl said...

Dawn- Just say NO to these horrid camping trips. I fear for your safety! Someone is trying to tell you something. Somthing like, "you're family is not meant to camp and with my super powers I will throw lighting at your truck and set it on fire!"

Hope you had a great trip and everyone makes it home safe and sound!

Grandmother Goddess of the Garden said...

Try to enjoy yourself, if nothing else, you'll have something to entertain us with, or another chapter for your second book!

Kendra

Michelle said...

Maybe it's just b/c I live in the south and there are tons of fast food restaurants, but I have never liked Sonic. It may be the people we have working there or the groups of teens congregating in the parking lot that turned me away. I love their commercials though and sometimes feel like my DH and I are starring in one w/ the some of the stange conversations we have while in the car w/ our 3 monkeys in the back seat.
God Bless the rest of your camping trip. You are a BRAVE woman.

Meg said...

Haha, you must have been super busy with that camera if you were able to get those two pictures since they are fairly close to eachother. :) Now did you go to the Sonic in Pekin or Peoria?? I don't know if I've ever seen one in Peoria, but I know there is one in Pekin, because I live there (and it's near a corn field). Enjoy camping!

Feisty Irish Wench said...

Twistee Treat used to occupy business space in Florida at one time. The ice cream cone building is still standing with another business in that space.

And in all these years that you've attempted to go camping with repeated mishaps...did it ever occur to you guys to take a year off maybe? Just maybe?

And thank you Beth for the handy tip about the optometrist. I took my boys to the regular doctor's office when they needed stitches. It works out to be cheaper there than the gawdawful ER copays etc. THANK the LORD they did stupid stuff during office hours!

Tina said...

Clearly it's been a while since I've been camping, but how, while camping, do you have internet access to tell us these wonderful stories??

jodi-mother of six said...

I have repeated memories (called Nightmares) about RV camping with six kids. One includes a 5 week across country trip in a 28ft RV with a bad drive chain that eventually gave out in Elko, Nevada. It's horrible to watch your "house, clothing, food, etc" being towed away!! And there is NOTHING to do in Elko Nevada for 3 days whilst ones RV is being repaired...even the movie theater was only open on weekends. Ahhhh..the memories...I now only "camp" at the Hilton or some such!! And without kids!

Anonymous said...

I'm jealous of that corn! Wow - nothing around here looks like that. Knee high by the fourth of July?? We have corn that won't even be up to our ankles tomorrow. Stupid rain/flooding. Hope you have a fun and safe trip!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Peoria... in fact I know the giant ice cream cone well..

I second the suggestion of seeing the Wildlife Prairie Park. I went there a lot as a kid, and it was sooo neat seeing buffalo up-close-and-personal. They also have an amazingly long slide that goes down a hill... or at least they did in the 80s.

Another suggestion is Lincoln's New Salem. Thttp://www.lincolnsnewsalem.com/ This is a neat little town that Lincoln lived in when he was a young man. The town itself no longer exists, it is now a living history park. During the summertime costumed interpretors will demonstrate life in the 1840s and 50s. It is very cool. Incidentally, they also have a campground. I camped there many times in the summer growing up. This park is just outside of Peoria.

ProudMary said...

If it plays in Peoria, it will play anywhere they say...

I know exactly where you are at as I live in Galesburg which is only about 40 minutes away from Peoria. Are you visiting family/friends for the 4th, because if you mentioned it earlier this week I missed it.

Welcome to the neighborhood anyway! There is lots to do and see if you know where to look!

--Mary

My Flock Rocks! said...

You're here in Peoria and didn't stop in to see My Flock Rocks? You could have camped out at our house!

Stressed Out said...

Oh my dear Lord!! Dawn, I think you oughta give camping a rest. I went ONE time (because I had to - I was the Girl Scout Leader at the time) and I can tell you from now on, Motel 6 is my idea of roughing it. I SOOOOOO would have played the "I'm pregnant/swamped/it'd be a really good time for me to deep clean all the carpets - why don't you (Joe) take all the kids and I'll be here for you to call in case something happens." Given your past history with camping, I'd have thought having a "contact person" would be a good idea;)

Dawn said...

Where are you camping around Peoria?

I second the last poster comments about checking out Wildlife Prairie Park and Lincoln's New Salem.

Diane Stahlman said...

Dawn,
This is totally off the subject. But maybe you have some tips to help me... My boy/girl twins turn 8 on August 3rd. And my daughter Hope is a Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fan.

She asked me to please try and get her a personal (addressed to her from Miley) autograph photo of Miley. (She does not want a generic reprint from ebay, lol)

Any ideas??? She wants one very much. I emailed Billy Ray Cyrus's fan website and asked, but it probably won't pan out. ;O)

-Diane
stahlman4@verizon.net

Donna's blog said...

If you care, here is how to tell the difference between a blackberry and a mulberry. (BTW, everytime I googled blackberry, I got the wireless handheld type - not the fruit.) :)

The receptacle comes off along with the blackberry, so it's never hollow.

Blackberry branches’ edges are flattened, not round like raspberries. Along with the very sharp thorns, this makes them easy to recognize out of season, so you’ll know where to collect the following summer.

Mulberries, also edible, resemble blackberries, but they grow on thornless trees, not thorny canes, in late spring and early summer.

Look for blackberries in thickets, along roadsides and the trail edges, in fields, on mountains, in young woodlands, and near the seashore.

-Donna from Buffalo Grove

Angel said...

First time ever posting and I am new to blogging BUT I was raised in Peoria from age 2-15. I have tons of family who still live there. I love reading your blog. Check out mine:)

ttelroc said...

We have a giant ice cream cone in Jacksonville, FL - I blogged about it Here How fun that you saw one, too!

I thought I had some weird stuff happen to me, but obviously my trips are totally boring!

Jimh. said...

Thank for making me feel better about our camping trips here in Washington! Happy Holiday!

Kerry said...

Camping is against my religion. Too many bad experiences. Have you ever hurled in a porta potty? gotten sand fleas in Florida? Broke a window in your camper and spent a night in a laundromat feeding quarters into the dryers? My idea of roughing it is when the hot tub is NOT in the room! I do say, we went out west and stayed in the Kamping Kabins at KOA campgrounds. They're very nice and not expensive. The campgrounds are civilized and full of polite people. We loved it! Plenty to keep the kiddos busy too.

Kresta S. said...

Dawn, you are more of a woman than I am. lol I love to camp, and have even done tent camping under the stars. But I swear the first time a car left me stranded, broke down, whatever, I'd never go in that car again. Time for a trade in!!! LOL Hope you all have a great time now you are there safely!

Who's Visiting My Blog Right Now?

 
Home About Dawn Blog Books News & Events Press Kit FAQS Photos Video Fun Mom's Time Out Get In Touch

Dawn Meehan 2008-. All Rights Reserved.
Site Design by Pulse Point Design