Vacation Chronicles, Part I
So our flight landed at KCI about 10:30 this morning after a 9:00 transfer at O'Hare from a 6am (et) flight out of Hartford, CT. We had driven thru parts of CT, MA, VT, and NH starting at 2 this morning, and since the wedding reception ran pretty late into last evening, it was a bleary-eyed El B who pulled into the ranch early this afternoon. But I was pretty thankful, because it almost never happened.The yellow "coolant level low" warning light came on in the Impala the night before we left, so when I was doing a last-minute fluids check on the car, I was sure to fill the coolant as well. But when we left in the morning, it wasn't 5 miles before that yellow light (which had gone away on my filling the radiator) was replaced by a red one, an alarm, and an overheating engine. So it's 4am on July 3, we have an 8am flight 100 miles away, and the car will not cooperate.But Sam Walton will, bless his dearly departed soul. Given that Wal Mart is the only store open 24hrs in FS, and given that it is within a couple miles of the appearance of the Red Alarm of Vacational Obliteration, we pulled in there and I got some more coolant, and we turned around and headed for home to switch cars. After some fits and starts (and earnest - if transparently selfish - prayer on my part) the Impala grudgingly crawled to the ranch. Switch the luggage to the Jeep and let's go. Kids are groggy; I'm checking my watch every 30 seconds, because though we gave ourselves an additional 2 hours to get to KCI, we are not exactly off to an auspicious beginning.Descending a hill about a half an hour north of home, I notice some more flashing lights - these ones safely outside the car - and figured someone's just busted for attempting to make up lost time (not unlike yours truly). But as we get closer I notice a profound lack of blues and reds in the lights: these are all yellows and belong to the highway department, not the highway patrol. Apparently there have been some rains to the west overnight which resulted in a rise of our already swollen rivers. Short version: your road to the airport is closed, drive west old man.So we drove west thru Mound City and caught 7 North - hey, what's a few more miles of winding, 2-lane highway when you're in a hurry, anyway? - hoping to get back onto the US hiway about La Cygne. No chance, English bedwetting type: all roads into La Cygne are closed, so we're going to have to find a new way to the airport. The unforgiving clock continues to tick off the seconds until 5 of us miss our flight and spend Independence Day in the KC International Airport on standby...Hiway 7 joins eventually with US169, which goes thru (over, actually) Osawatomie, Kansas, lately featured on the Weather Channel as being "That really screwed city in Kansas that's underwater." We waved as we went by. It was still underwater.US169 goes into Olathe where it joins I35, which joins I435, which goes to KCI, which according to our rough schedule will put a certain plane in the air about 15 minutes after we arrive. It's still questionable whether we'll make it. But all is well that ends well: I drop the wife and kids at the terminal, park the jeep and take the blue bus back, arriving literally as my plane is completing boarding, and I am unbelievably thankful to report that there was not a single problem in security or with the busses, and so I made my flight and everything was great with vacation.Until day 2 when we climbed Mount Sunnapee the wrong way, my wife got food poisoning at a party, and Austin lost a fight with 3 plates of beef stroganoff. But those are stories for another day..._It feels pretty wierd having been in 7 states by noon of any day.__thereby promoting it to the top of the "next car I'll get $500 in tradein for" list.__A joke for which I have never been told the punchline.__All over Aunt Joyce's beautiful Persian rug._Copyright 2007 El Borak, inc. Makers of Lyin' Your Bass Off brand photogenic rubber game fish. When you need a picture of 'the one that got away', try Lyin' Your Bass Off!