It's so hot and humid, I might as well have stayed in Nauvoo!  

Posted by Heidi in

Mom and Dad on the banks of the Mississippi River in Nauvoo Illinois

I am so behind on everything, the laundry, the gardening, the cleaning! In fact, I was behind before I even left on my little jaunt. I should be working but it is as hot and almost as muggy as it was in Nauvoo, which is saying quite a bit. Not only that, but I think I slept an average of five or six hours a night the whole time I was away from my bed and I am just exhausted! Sitting at the computer sounds like the best kind of activity for now. So, here goes . Back to the plane ride . . .

Finally we were on the plane! Many episodes of “Airline”, a show about imbroglios, such as the one we nearly experienced with the cold cream incident, at various Southwest gates around the country, did not prepare me for that tiny plane. I had last flown nine years prior on a large and lovely British Airways plane (to the even larger and lovelier British Isles) and I had forgotten how compact an airplane can be. I found a seat next to my parents since my three sisters were already seated together across the way in what Mom called “the giggly aisle”. What they had to be so hyper about, I’m not sure but they certainly weren’t so giddy on the way home.

But I digress. It was a fast 4 hours and I enjoyed talking with my mom and catching up on news while my dad looked out the window testing his voluminous brain power by theorizing over just what part of what state we were currently flying. We were told that our landing could be delayed due to a storm in Chicago but we actually landed early. This bit of good news was apparently at the expense of my twin sister (sister #5) as her plane had to wait for ours to land after circling the airport for an hour waiting for a break in the storm. Poor sister #5 almost had to land in a different airport which would have made it pretty much impossible for us to find her. This would have been heart attack fodder for my mom, so we are all glad that the storm let up when it did. We also met up with sister #4, whom I personally hadn't seen in two years, and then we were off to acquire our two rental cars.

This is where the really sad thing happened. For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know just how I feel about my Target ballerina flats, the ones made of multi colored satin that smell just like real toe shoes (prior to usage—an important distinction). I wore them on the plane, never expecting rain—actual real rain!—to be part of the scenario on my trip. Yes, I did live in Colorado for over a year and did experience rain in summer, quite a bit of it, in fact. That is one reason why I no longer live in Colorado. Nevertheless, I didn’t really expect it. What I was expecting was a tornado and we got one of those, too, but that is fodder for another day. The point of this paragraph is that my beautiful little shoes now have watermarks
half way up the sides, squiggly lines that did their squiggling around every available surface.

The great Mississippi River as seen from Missouri

I could go on and on about the five hour drive to Nauvoo but all I will say is that the 4 of us in my car had a great time talking and laughing so that by the time we got to Nauvoo at 8 PM, we were starving. We checked into our motel (a little tough to do since the office staff had knocked off for the night) then headed off into the dark. It was a bit disconcerting in that there were very few visible people, no houses with lights on, no open stores or restaurants. We drove and drove but all we ever found were convenience stores (we didn’t want microwaved frozen pizza) and a bar called The Pink. Finally we found out that there were some fast food stores in the opposite direction across the Mississippi River in Iowa. We headed in that direction pronto because fast food was what we truly needed about now, based on the hysteria in my car at the time. In fact, sister #2 laughed at every single one of my inane jokes so I know her blood sugar level must have been pretty darn low.

And here is where the story gets a bit weird. If there are any out there who can shed light on this scenario, please, start shedding. We drove onto the bridge, the reality of food being consumed sometime in the next half hour almost like a beacon of light in the distance, when we found that there were cars stopped on the bridge. Naturally, we were forced to come to a stop, as well. We grumbled and theorized over the delay for about five minutes. We suspected the drawbridge was up for a boat to come through but there was no boat, ship, or raft in sight. Finally, we spotted a very bright light wayyyyyyyy down the river to our right. Could that be the ship causing the hold up? No way, that just couldn’t be right, we had already been stopped for twice as long as any traffic light in California, L.A. included, and it looked like it would take at least ten or fifteen minutes for that light to reach us. And so it was. Just about fifteen minutes later, this slothful slowpoke of a barge came slithering under the bridge. We were chagrined, we were giddy and weak with hunger, but we rallied when that barge went by, sure that we would finally be able to put the car into gear and be on our way.

But that’s not what happened. Oh, no, we had to wait at least another ten minutes to watch the barge disappear into the night on the other side of the bridge. There really are no words, no words whatsoever.

We did finally get to eat at a great fast food joint where I discovered french fries smothered in velveeta cheese and real bacon (they went down very well with a real ice cream chocolate shake topped with whipping cream—yum—though I suspect a plank off that barge would have tasted like manna at that point) which vastly improved my mood. In spite of that, when we went back over the bridge and paused at the booth to pay our toll, I really wanted to ask the two women inside why in the world we had to wait so long for a barge miles away. Actually, that’s not true. What I really wanted to do was get an explanation and then give them a good smack but, alas, I was in the back seat and couldn’t reach them.

That’s it for today—I will have to retreat and try to figure out what amusing anecdote I can share without making anyone look bad. I mean, no one actually did look bad, it just isn’t very amusing to talk about how good everyone looked. Was. Is. My brain hurts.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 9, 2008 at Monday, June 09, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

2 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Heidi, oh how I wish I could have joined the gaggle of gigglers know as the Baldwin girls. It would have been nothing short of a great trip to Disneyland being able to spend 4 days with the likes of you and your siblings and your very entertaining parents. I know that Debbie and I would have contributed to the gaiety. Alas, twas not to be. So glad you had a fabulous time.

June 10, 2008 at 4:52 PM

You bet, Roxanne--it could only have been hilarity times 2 with two more Baldwins around. I wish you could have been there, too! What a blast we would have had!

June 10, 2008 at 5:22 PM

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