We kicked off our vacation adventure with the One Direction concert in Kansas City. The girls found the tickets at the end of a Christmas day present scavenger hunt and Fish was absolutely speechless. They waited seven months for this moment and they were pumped. On a horridly humid 100° evening, we rolled into Arrowhead stadium with 55,500 other giddy teen girls and their mothers.
When the boys in the band approached the stage the noise level approached epic volumes. At some point, Niall Horan touched his crotch and the noise level reached a deafening pitch. I was hot, dehydrating, and deaf in my left ear, but I couldn't help but smile. The girls were smiling ear to ear and singing along with every song. It was truly magical. I couldn't think of a better way to kick off a vacation.
Until morning came. The RV was not completely packed and we were physically exhausted from the late night before. We planned to roll out at 9:00, but by the time the RV was packed and everything was double checked, it was almost 3:00 in the afternoon. We were aiming for Aurora, CO but we cried Uncle in Oakley, Ks.
Our only stop worth noting on day 1, was the World's Largest Easel in Goodland, Kansas. We cooked dinner at a rest stop and finally rolled into a little RV park, still in Kansas. We were tired and beginning to realize that nothing was going to go according to plan because everything took longer than we had planned for including bathroom breaks, getting gas, and arguing over who got to sit where and who had control over the coveted colored pencils.
The next morning, we vowed to start anew and make better time. After picking hundreds of stickers out of our carpet, our feet, the dogs' paws, and our flip-flops, we belted in and rolled out. As we moved through Kansas and into Colorado, the pavement seemed to climb right into the clouds. The landscape gave way to beautiful blue skies, fluffy white clouds, and more wind turbines than we could count. Our ears began to pop as we gained elevation and everyone's spirit climbed with the altitude. Now, we were on vacation.
Our second day took us into Colorado, which was absolutely beautiful. Our pit stops were getting faster and more efficient and the girls had developed a seating chart which eliminated some of the bickering, but we just couldn't make up for all the lost time. We were aiming for Bryce Canyon, Utah but we gave up in Aurora, Colorado.
We had dinner in the cutest little restaurant somewhere in Colorado and then headed for a campground recommended by the waiter. We never found said campground but we did take a very hairy drive through the mountains in the dark and we all saw our lives flash before our eyes as the Big Guy turned our 32' Cebu around on a narrow gravel road perched on the edge of a cliff. We finally made our way back to the interstate and we exhausted every app on our smart phones looking for an RV park with full hook-ups before declaring defeat and pulling into a Walmart parking lot in Avon, Colorado.
A quick call to the manager for approval, a potty break for the dogs, and we were all in bed with our hearts set on a good night sleep. The next morning, we would drive like mad for Utah and though we would lose our extra day to rest there, we would finally be on track with our itinerary.
This is the gorgeous view that greeted us over Walmart...when we awoke the next morning ten minutes before our alarms were set...to the blaring beeps of our carbon monoxide detectors. We had turned off the air conditioner while running the generator all night because Colorado is chilly at night. Apparently, that is a big no-no in an RV. So, there we all stood, in our pajamas, in the Walmart parking lot, with the dogs, alarms beeping, windows thrown open wide for ventilation, Rough Stuff feeling nauseous. Yep. We were definitely on vacation now.