January 25, 2014


Right on the border of Nevada and Arizona, there's a little town called Mesquite.  It's a really nice place to stop for gas or grab some chicken nuggets on the way to Utah.  And that's it.

Last weekend, my mom, Ruthe, and I were stranded there.  At a Big O Tires.  For at least a day.  

Let's backtrack...

We were going up to Salt Lake to visit John and to set up the apartment there.  Because after six months John was still living out of boxes.  The palm was to leave Thursday afternoon, spend the night with my grandparent's in Cedar City, and finish the drive (with my wonderful Aunt Summer) on Friday morning.  Everything was right on track until we started to pack the car on Thursday...

First of all, we had to pack the crib.  I don't know if you're aware of this, but cribs are fairly large.  We realized that it would fit, but it had to lay on top of our suitcases to fit, and it would also probably hit me in the head every time we ran over a bump in the road.  (Because I had to sit in the back next to Ruthe to feed her, not because it's that big.)  So we packed everything in the car, and then we packed the crib on top of everything, and then we got on the road.

I wish I had a picture of the back of the car so you could all see how FULL it was. Because this next part would be so much funnier of you only knew...

The drive was fine.  Ruthe's limit of being in the car is about 3 hours, so she wasn't difficult at all.  The car, however, hit its limit after only one hour.  My mom said it just wasn't getting any power when she'd hit the gas.  In Mesquite she said something was really wrong, and we pulled off the freeway.  We coasted down the road for a couple blocks before we saw a sign that said "mechanic on duty" at the Big O Tires.  We pulled in, parked, and my mom went in to talk to the mechanic.  You know how whenever you tell the mechanic what's wrong with you car they try to replicate it and the car works just fine?  Luckily this wasn't one of those times.  UNluckily, the car's fuel pump was broken.  And they didn't have that part in the store.  They had to order it from Salt Lake, and it wouldn't be there until 8 or 11 the next morning.

Ok, great.  So, what happens next?  We're only an hour-ish from home.  Should we just have my dad come and get us, and bring us back in the morning?  No, that's a waste of time and gas.  Let's just sleep over in Mesquite!  There are plenty of dilapidated casinos for us to choose from.  Only, Rithe has a lot of "accessories" that need to come with us everywhere we go.  So we grabbed all of her stuff.  That includes: 
     - a feeding pump and stand
     - a nebulizer
     - formula and water
     - g-tube supplies
     - medications and more supplies
     - a cooler of already-prepared milk
     - the diaper bag
     - the carseat (with the baby, duh)

With all of that unpacked, we didn't have an extra arm between us to carry any of our own things.  So we submitted to having dirty hair and wearing the same clothes, with the promise of a gift shop toothbrush to look forward to.

The nice mechanic at Big O helped us pack our things into his truck, and drove us down the street to the Virgin River Casino.  (We called to make a reservation from the parking lot, which was good, because there was a big car show in town and they were almost booked solid and the line inside was LONG!)  Have you ever stood in line inside a crowded, funky, smoke-filled casino with 70 pounds of baby gear for a half-hour?  It's not fun.  But we did notice the free wifi sign, and see a doppelg√§nger of our friend, so it wasn't all bad.

The room was fine.  We weren't expecting anything fancy.  We laid down, laughed a little bit, played with the baby, ate some dinner, and fell asleep.

In the morning, we stayed in the room as long as possible, then went back to the casino for breakfast, and waited outside by a fountain for the mechanic to call us. 

We finally got back to our car around twelve-thirty. (AND the guy who picked us up is the dad of a two-year-old heart baby who had a g-tube and shares Ruthe's surgeon!! Small world!)  I repacked the car while my mom was inside paying and thanking them for their shuttle-service, and then we hit the road.

The rest of the trip is it's own story, so I'll tell it in another post.  But this part does have a moral, and it's that you should NEVER ignore the promptings you get to (1) drop the car off at the mechanics before you leave on your trip, (2) pack a small bag of overnight-essentials to keep easily-accessible in the front seat, and (3) pull off the freeway when your car starts acting strange.  We should have listened to the first one, but we didn't.  Listening to the second one would have made the whole ordeal more comfortable, but it's our own fault.  Thankfully we listened to the third, most important prompting, and we didn't end up stranded in the gorge or in the middle of the dessert or in an accident.  We'll know better next time.

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