If you missed my last post, you may want to click here to read part one of our Southwest trip.
We arrived in Phoenix late that night, checked into a hotel near the airport, and crashed. We awoke the next morning and looked out the window; while the palm trees felt like home, the mountains reminded us that we’d definitely left Kansas.
As soon as LCB made a breakfast run to the Circle K next door (high-class and health-forward all the way, baby), we headed to Cruise America to pick up our RV. The formerly small people sat outside and feigned patience while LCB checked us in. They jumped up when he returned, ready to enter our RV, only to find that more feigned patience was now required. Since we hadn’t rented from Cruise America before, they asked us to watch a “short video.” For informative purposes, they define “short” as “thirty very long minutes.”
Do you know what it’s like to make three kids, with their RV in plain sight, sit for thirty minutes to watch an informative, I-sure-hope-it-was-made-in-the-eighties video when they’ve been anticipating renting this RV for approximately three hundred and fifty days?
It’s not good, folks.
It also didn’t help that the male parental figure in their lives sat rolling his eyes for the duration.
Anyway, we survived the video and were finally able to board our RV. Midway through moving our suitcases inside the RV, a man approached our door and asked, “Excuse me, anyone speak German?”
LCB said something that sounded like a mix of German and English and laughed, presumably at his own rusty German. Then the man continued, in English that was quite good, mind you, to ask if we wanted to buy a coffee maker, a toaster, and an assortment of other supplies off of him for twenty dollars.
Y’all, when things like this happen, my mind automatically goes in three directions simultaneously.
Direction One: This is so cool! We’re going to buy a bunch of miscellaneous stuff off some Germans we’ve never met in a large parking lot off the side of the highway in Phoenix. It’s like Breaking Bad minus any drugs, crime, or subterfuge.
Direction Two: (Eyeing the merchants) I don’t know these people at all, so I have no knowledge of their standards of cleanliness. There are no females in the group, and they’ve just been camping who knows where for an undetermined amount of time. Therefore, I will have to scour any and all purchases like there’s no tomorrow before I will be able to use them. This is a point to consider.
Direction Three: LCB loves this stuff. It’s a potential deal and an “experience” all rolled into one. The man’s in his element here.
So, we bought the stuff, and while we were finishing unpacking, the Germans walked by several more times and threw additional items (thankfully paper products, not toasters) in our RV door.
Each time I saw something come through the door, I had a half-second of fear until I realized it was just one of the Germans whipping more paper products at us. Then, it became funny, because how often are you in a situation where strangers are throwing things at you and it’s all good?
Once we were loaded up, we drove to the store to pick up food and supplies. I’d like to tell you about this experience but, gee, where do I start?
Let me just put it this way: When you (I’m using the impersonal you when I refer to LCB here) A). stop to weigh the merits of the brands, sizes, and sources of every product you’re purchasing as well as their percentages of riboflavin and overall durability because you are committing to all of them for at least one meal and to some of them for a whopping six days, and B). then when you return to the RV with your carefully chosen items and decide you need to develop a detailed organizational plan for every square inch of the twenty-seven foot vehicle you’ve rented for six whole days because who could possibly survive for six whole days without a detailed organizational plan for their RV, and C). then when you decide that since you’re parked anyway why not make yourself a hot and cold lunch buffet that rivals the one at Old Country Buffet, and D). when during this whole process you decide to run back to the store three times for things you decide you might need that were not on your list, at the end, YOU MIGHT GLANCE AT YOUR WATCH AND BE STUNNED TO DISCOVER THAT YOU’VE BEEN ON THE GROUNDS OF THE SAME STORE FOR FIVE HOURS.
You read my itali-caps correctly.
I had no earthly idea what to do. So, I did what I often do in these incomprehensible situations.
I read a book.
That poor, poor man.