The trip started out somewhat inauspiciously. I had neglected to pack anything - Jenny packed all the kids’ stuff as well as mine, but there was still a pile of things that I needed to take care of the morning of our departure. My parents, Blaine, and Brett along with respective lady friends of each of theirs joined us the day prior to celebrate mom and dad’s 39th wedding anniversary by going to IrishFest in Milwaukee. It was a good time, but afforded us a little less “last minute” packing time than normal. I thought we would be fine as long as we just packed in the morning… It seemed Karma didn’t want us to leave, for some reason.
First, I had about 4 ounces of root beer extract in the refrigerator waiting to make another batch of root beer. This stuff must be the messiest stuff known to man - I think it was probably easier to clean up Chernobyl than it was to clean up the 1⁄2 ounce of this stuff that is still smudging up our refrigerator. I put about 40 minutes into cleaning it while Jenny tended to some other things, but by the time I was ready to quit, there was still a bit of the stuff left coating the fridge.
After packing the car and putting away the lawn mower, I went into take a shower, feet covered with grass clippings from the freshly mowed lawn (another thing we had to scramble to do). As I was showering I noticed the water steadily climbing in the tub - looks like we had a clog. Thankfully it was just a slow leak, so we decided to leave it and address it when we got home. Hopefully we remember.
We finally got out the door, but the trip’s string of bad starting luck wasn’t done yet. We were traveling with one of the Johnson’s kids because they were borrowing a boat to bring up for our entertainment for the week. About 20 miles from home, their luck took a turn for the worse when the wheel on the trailer blew. They were able to put the spare on, but had to spend the next 3.5 hours in Madison getting new tires for the boat trailer they borrowed!
Thankfully we finally made it to our destination in time to enjoy a wonderful first day. Thoughts of our earlier misfortunes evaporated quickly as we soaked in the sunshine and beautiful lake views we were able to enjoy for the remainder of the day.