We were all “sleeping in” (6:20am) when we heard this big crash followed by Will saying help. He sleeps in the front of the RV and I’m all the way in the back with AC. I started saying, “Will, Will are you okay?”, with no response as I’m climbing over pillows and Pawley barriers to get to the front. I had no idea what I was going to find.
Will was still in his bed and the dog was wagging his tail excitedly with his gator in his mouth. I was very confused. Will said he was in a deep sleep dreaming and when he heard the crash he thought he was falling. He didn’t want to move until someone came…and let’s be honest by “someone” he meant me because our kids sleep through EVERYTHING!
After looking around we realized his “office” setup in the front seat had fallen and that was the crash we heard. We cannot confirm or deny that Pawley was sitting up front and maybe had something to do with it. And that was the start to Father’s Day!
Clearly at this point the two of us were wide awake and ready for some coffee. I made coffee while Will relaxed and took Pawley for a walk. Since we had a short drive (four hours) we let the kids sleep in.
Will wanted to hold some “office” hours and I relaxed reading my Bible in a Year along with writing. Eli was the first child to wake up and he helped me make breakfast outside. The KOA had a free pancake breakfast for dads, but Will preferred to stay at the RV. Eli has really enjoyed using the grill to cook two meals in the last 24 hours (let’s pray this continues and doesn’t wear off!). He made us pancakes and turkey sausage on the griddle pan…delicious!
After breakfast we all started to shower (those who did not shower the night before) and get dressed to head out. Knowing we needed to hook Betsie’s car back up, we didn’t want to leave too late (check out was noon). We passed a large industrial park on the way to the RV park so we had planned to pull in there to hook up (we prefer to have a large space where I “drive” the RV a few feet while Will makes sure everything locks into place. Also this campground was very hilly giving us an extra little challenge. ***disclaimer- last summer it seemed most RV parks ask you to unhook anything you are towing before arriving to your site. So we assumed the same before we checked in to this KOA. Turns out we could have kept the car attached. Lesson for the future; however, once we get to Michigan we will be using the car everyday so we will unhook for our entire stay.***
When we unhooked the car Saturday night Will folded down the windshield cover and I assumed we snapped it onto the snaps on the hood as it stayed down when driving (at a low campground speed). Upon leaving the KOA, I followed Will in Betsie’s car to the location we had picked out the night before.
Okay, now I really hesitate to write what happened this morning because, well my mom reads this and if you know her well you know she worries. ALOT. I’m guessing how long it will take for a phone call or text when she reads this too, lol! However, I decided to share this as I know we are not the first or the last newbies to tow a car. And if I can help someone else then it was worth me sharing our story.
The KOA turn in is at the top of a hill, right off the interstate (like most), but also on a curvy road. Wills pulls out first and then I follow after making sure no cars are coming. Immediately as I pull out the hood protector flies up on the windshield and I can’t see AT ALL!!!!! Knowing I’m on a curvy road, I slow down, roll my window down, say Oh God about 1000 times (I know He heard me!!!!!) and grab the cover to pull it down so I can see. What I saw was I was in the middle of the road and THANK GOD no one was coming!!!! My guardian angels were most definitely watching over me and I couldn’t be more thankful. The whole time I’m shaking horribly and feel my heart racing (kinda like it is right now just writing about it!!!). To date has been the scariest driving experience of my life.
I couldn’t use my phone as my left hand was out the window holding down the cover and my right hand was holding the steering wheel. I did have a quick second to put my hazard lights on. As I got closer to Will I started honking my car like the mad woman I was in this moment. I pulled into the area we had “planned” on pulling into while he continued straight. I didn’t know at this moment the parking lot was blocked off with high security and it wasn’t an option because I was so shaken up.
He noticed I pulled off and he pulled off the road onto the shoulder, in a work zone (but since it was Sunday no one was working). It took me a minute to call him as I was shaking so badly I could barely use my phone. When he answers some choice words may or may not have flown out of my friggin mouth! Needless to say, the hood cover was not snapped down.
I was so thankful it was me driving and not Betsie. So thankful!!!!!!
Wills walked over to me (we were feet away) to snap the cover down and we couldn’t get them to snap. Awesome.
I then drove the car to line up behind the RV thinking we were going to find another place to hook up and a child would hop in with me to help with the cover (we tucked it under this time but I wanted an extra set of hands). I will also note here that this exit was not the best as there was nothing around making it difficult to find someplace to hook up. However, Will started to hook the car up right here! I thought to myself you have got to be kidding me!!!! If someone hits us from behind you are dead. On Father’s Day. I may or may not have voiced out loud this was the stupidest decision. I looked on a map on my phone and saw it looked like there was a place straight across the road on the other side of the interstate. It was a service station that was closed, but all I cared about was being off the main road AND having space to drive the RV a few feet. Thankfully he listened and we moved.
The space was very large and it was a great place to pull off and take our time. And Will agreed. Ladies, it’s kinda like a man asking for directions…it may cause some arguing, it may cause some curse words, but in the end safety is all I care about. After fifteen minutes we were all hooked up, a bit more relaxed and on our way. I also want to note, when we get to Michigan and will be driving the car every day the cover will be removed. It simply to protect when towing.
Lessons learned: make sure hood cover is SAFELY SECURED before driving any distance. Have an extra passenger with you if possible if hood cover is present. Always pull off in a safe area. And lastly, listen to the wife (or the one wanting to make the safer decisions).
Just writing this I need to stop and take a deep breath as reliving it through my writing makes my heart race.
Once on the road we had a four hour drive to Ohio. The drive was easy despite the many work zones and toll booths we went through making for some right spaces. While Will drove I was doing some band exercises, lol! We pulled in to another KOA around 4:30pm which is unusual for us and we loved it. We learned last summer to have shorter days of driving to be able to relax when we get to the destination.
If you followed the blog last summer you may remember I shared there are three levels of KOA campgrounds: Journey, Holiday and Resort. Holiday and Resort are more geared toward longer stays, while Journey is more geared for a quick night or two. However, some may use Journey KOA’s for longer periods the layout and setting of the others are more conducive to longer stays with more amenities. The first two KOA’s have been Journey as we are familiar with KOA and know what to expect.
Upon arrival Eli helped Will set up, Betsie took Pawley for a walk and to find where everything is and I was with AC prepping the main cabin for arrival. It’s kind of like being a flight attendant. Since it was Father’s Day I gave Will his choice of dinner options and he picked salmon and shrimp which I was excited about since both were quick to prepare. Everyone relaxed while I cooked and we decided to eat inside as it was a bit humid outside.
I was very careful in my cooking not to have any cross contamination as the kids are allergic to shellfish (don’t worry mom!). I brought two of my favorite cooking items with me, my air fryer and my always pan. We have an induction stove and it requires a magnetic connection in order for the stove to turn on and the Always Pan fits the bill!!!! I used the air fryer for the salmon and pan for the shrimp. The salmon was served over basmati rice with a lemon butter sauce (some of us had cauliflower rice instead). And the shrimp also had a lemon butter sauce! It was delicious!
Clean up was easy and everything was washed with lots of soap and extra hot water. After dinner Will and I took Anna Cate for a walk while Betsie started a fire for our s’mores. When we approached the swing set Anna Cate said “puh me”, which was the first two word combo she ever said. I don’t think I have heard those two words in a long time. Needless to say we pushed her! She was incredibly proud of herself as were we.
We made our way back to the RV to make s’mores that were so yummy. Betsie did a great job getting our fire going for us. After s’mores I walked with Betsie to the bath house to sit with her while she took a shower. Another mom walked in with her daughter and true to my Enneagram 7, I was chatting with her within minutes. We moved our conversation right outside the main door as it was getting hot in the bath house. They were just starting their summer RV journey and moving from Orlando to just outside Atlanta. It was fun to hear where they were going and to share with her our favorite places of the destinations they will be going to. The excitement in someone else’s voice and face when talking about a place we loved always makes me smile!
Right after Betsie’s shower it started to thunder and you could see a storm coming. Within five minutes it was raining hard, but luckily with all hands on deck we cleaned up everything outside quickly. We jammies up and played Spades. Team Anna Cate and Mommy were in the lead until Eli came up and won with two points with the last hand. Spades is a family favorite!
Will, AC and I called it an early night around 10:00pm and hood thing we did as the storms that came through last night were loud and woke me up many times. Plus I wanted my phone on for any warnings. Not quite sure where to “shelter” when in an RV, but we just roll with it and pray a lot. I assume if it’s really bad in any area the campground would round everyone up and take us into one large pavilion area.
Father’s Day 2020 was spent in Sante Fe, 2021 Toledo, Ohio KOA and who knows were next year’s travels will take us. I’m extremely thankful that we ended Father’s Day together laughing and having fun!