Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Grizwold Style Vacation

Happy Fall!

We just got back from a wonderful week long vacation back to Southern Illinois to visit our good friends, and no vacation we take is ever lacking in adventure, Grizwold style adventure that is...

**Like the time on a camping trip when Steve put racks on our turd brown 80's Honda Civic wagon,better know as "The brown turd."  Across the racks he put a piece of plywood on which he stacked every single camping item we took.  Let's just say on that trip we questioned whether or not we'd fit under bridges.  Packed to the sky!  We showed up to our first campground for our family reunion.  Steve unlatched the LOAD, when we were told "Oh no, your camp spot is two down." Frustrated and forgetting he had untied the STUFF, he backed up quickly and "STOP!" before I could stop him the whole pile fell from the top to the ground!  YES!  Good times are always in store!

**Or the time we rented a new not new tent trailer for our family camping vacation and just when we were almost there the axle snapped right in the middle of the highway!  To make it worse we had to continue to pull  drag the thing to the campground and sleep in it for the night.  Come to find out the tent part of the trailer didn't attach properly and Abbie, who was a toddler at the time, fell out the back while she was sleeping!
These are just a few of the oh so many vacation memories we love to laugh about!  I'd love to share them, maybe I can set aside a day to do this?  I can call it, Vacation's with the Grizwold's or something like that?
St. Louis to West Frankfort
Grizwold-esk adventure #1

Our first sort of "adventure" on this vacation happened right after we landed and got our rental car.  We landed in St. Louis, Missouri, and we were starving.  West Frankfort was our destination and it was almost two hours away, so we decided to stop right away for food.  Steve had purchased a TOM TOM navigator right before our trip, and he asked me to find a restaurant on the way...Well, after getting really frustrated with it and Steve, I handed it to Bub who actually knew how to use it.  So we followed the directions it was giving us leading us to a Subway. 

We got off the freeway and I thought the area looked a little run down, but not awful, I'd seen worse and we were hungry.  I could see the Subway in the distance when Bub said, "Hey, there's a White Castle.  I've always wanted to go to one of those." So we just went there.

We walked in to realize we were the ONLY white people in the place, I can say almost positively that we were probably the only white people in East St. Louis period.  Of course we could have cared less, in fact I thought it was probably good for us to know how minorities feel in these situations.  My kids didn't even seem to notice, but I swear the place went silent.  We sat down to wait for our food when Abbie innocently says, "I feel so pail!" Uh, ha ha *nervous laugh*  "Abbie, you're not pail." Even louder she says, "Yeah I am, I'm so pail!" Gritting my teeth, smiling, and in a whisper I say, "Abbie that's enough, now HUSH!" She had no clue of the irony.

I found out after that when Bub got up to refill his soda, a man walking behind him shook his head and with no smile on his face made a clicking sound like, "shame on you!"
No one would look at us or smile or anything, except one man who left before us.

We got our food and went on our way.  I'm pretty sure I heard the sound of laughter when we left. The only thing white in this part of town was us and the word "White" in White Castle.
We found out that this part of town, East St. Louis, isn't a part of town anyone stops at, let alone white people.  It turns out that one in ten people are murdered there every year!   People break down there and they just leave their car and keep walking, its NOT a safe place at all!  

Lem and Dee, our friends, were cracking up laughing at our lack of knowledge!  We just laughed too, its typical, because we're the Grizwold's y'all that's how we do!

A few days later we went back to St. Louis to visit the Arch. We had a blast!  We were all in line to go up into the Arch, and the sweet man taking our tickets says to us with a bit of laughter in his voice, "You're not going to believe this but, I saw you all at the White Castle the other night." It was the one man who smiled at us!  What are the odds!?  Seriously!?  It was meant to be! I high-fived him!

Its good to be home, but we miss our friends a lot!  That's all for now, y'all come back!


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