About three years ago now, I moved with my family to the country from the suburbs. And for the most part, I love it. This weekend, however, I learned that even the best laid plans can be torn asunder -- among other things.
This weekend, we took the girls, along with some friends, tubing on the Battenkill River. This is apparently a pretty common activity for those that live in my area, as the river is very winding and slow moving. It draws fisherman, kayaks and "tubers". So we decided we would see what all the fuss was about. It certainly looked like fun all the times we have driven past the river to see the groups of tubes floating down it.
We mapped our route on the river, rented tubes, left one car where we were planning to end our ride and drove the other two up to the start point. We planned to be on the river about 5 hours and packed lunches and drinks for the ride. We had prepared.
At the start, my friends spent a good deal of time berating me for not having done this before. "You have this practically in your back yard, and you have never done it before? This is awesome!"
And admittedly, it was an amazing and fun ride down the river on a very sunny and hot day. Perfection. Our theme for the trip became -- We are making memories!
Well, it turns out, that what we thought would be five hours on the river became eight hours. By the end of trip, we were all rounding bends in the river and praying desperately to see the bridge where we parked our car. The funny thing about tubing, is that you really have NO CLUE as you are riding about where you are or how much further it is till the end. Side note: 10 yr old children do NOT like being stuck in a river for 8 hours. And "do you see a bridge, yet?" and "Are we still getting slushies when we are done?" became the questions of the hour. Oh, and two of us managed to loose our shoes during the trip.
The theme of our trip changed at some point to -- "We are making memories, Dammit! Shut up and enjoy it!"
We finally made it to the car to learn that Pete had locked his keys to his car in one of the other cars, which was parked at the beginning of the journey. So he had to hitch a ride with some other adventurers to the car to get his keys and drive one of the back to meet us and all the tubes that we still had to return, as we had rented them.
The tube rental place charged $8 per tube for a 5 hour trip. We missed the fine print where they stated that you get charged $5 per hour per tube for being late. So, when we arrived to return them, looking completely exhausted, waterlogged and VERY happy to have the river behind us. --they were not pleased and were looking for another $150 in fees for keeping the tubes out. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! We finally settled on paying half of the fee and had to go to the store and take out cash to pay.
What a weekend!! Making memories can be hard work!