Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What smell?

It was 1978 , our first family trip to Disney World and no Katy...we didn't go in a covered wagon. The kids were 10, 8 and 7 and reasonably good travelers so we were all really looking forward to this trip. 1978 was also the year that I decided it was time for me to be super organized (thank God that didn't last long) and I packed one days clothes for each child in a Ziploc bag. Theory was all they had to do was grab a bag with their name and they would have underwear, socks, shorts shirt and I even remembered to put hair bows and barrettes in the girls baggies. It worked really well until toward the end of the two weeks when we seemed to be long on socks but short on underwear and that's a whole other story. The day we were leaving for FL our local grocery had a huge grand reopening sale to celebrate their recent renovation and there was no way I was passing up those bargains. Dave and the kids stayed home to finish packing while I heaped my basket with three for one canned goods, laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, whole chickens, rump roasts and paper towels. I hurried home and everybody helped unload the groceries so we could get the luggage loaded and head to Disney World! As fast as the kids and I were taking in groceries Dave was packing the trunk with the luggage plus my cardboard box of Ziploc bags with the kids clothes. My theory was when we stopped at motels all the kids would have to do is grab a bag and I would have everyones toothbrush, hair brushes and jammies in my overnight bag. Lots less luggage to carry in a motel...right? We actually had the car packed and ready to hit the road before 9 AM which was 3 hours later than Dave wanted to leave but at least 2 hours earlier than I thought we would be ready to go. We made it to Knoxville that first night and found a motel with a great pool that even had a slide (big time for 1978) so our trip was off to a good start. About 3 PM the next day the air conditioner was on high but the sun was beating down with a passion and it was about then that the trouble started. We love Eddie, really we do but when she was a child there was nothing she loved more than relaying bad news. I seem to remember it was about that time that Eddie announced she smelled something and it didn't smell good. Of course with Eddie's love for all bad news that statement was made with the same glee that somone else would have had after finding a 5 caret diamond while walking on the beach. After giving her brother and father the LOOK and both proclaimed innocence I told her we probably were going through a bad area and the smell would go away. Hey....she was 7 and still believed everything I told her. She and Polly still thought I could blow on traffic lights and make them turn green. The next afternoon we are pulling into Orlando and truth be told we are all becoming VERY aware of an unpleasant smell but after several searches of the trunk, under the backseat....nothing. Can't find anything. We arrive at Disney World about 3 in the afternoon and hot....oh my gosh it's hot but we can't wait another minute and plan to spend the afternoon at Magic Kingdom and check-in our motel after the evening fireworks show. We had a great time and arrived back at our car, sweaty, tired, ready to take a shower and go to bed so we can come back early the next morning. We opened the car doors and the WORSE SMELL EVER came rolling out carried by the heat waves that had built up all afternoon. So there we were, in the parking lot, in the dark, holding our noses and taking EVERYTHING out of the trunk. Still we can't find the source UNTIL Dave moved the spare tire and uncovered what used to be a whole chicken. It wasn't pretty. By this time we are all gagging and begging Dave to PLEASE GET RID OF THE CHICKEN. I honestly don't remember what he did with the chicken but I am willing to bet we traumatized an entire cleaning crew that night. We drove to our motel with the air conditioning going full blast, windows wide open and all five of us hanging our heads out like cocker spaniels. By the time we arrived at the motel our hair, the clothes we were wearing and EVERYTHING in the trunk reeked of rotten chicken and I still don't understand why they allowed us to check in. The desk clerk had to be hard of smelling. Sooo....I was in the motel room scrubbing and shampooing children, wrapping them in clean towels and stuffing the offending clothes in trash bags to THROW AWAY while Dave took all of my carefully packed Ziploc bags to the laundry, dumped the clothes in the washer, threw away the bags, threw away the luggage and sprayed the trunk with some kind of bleach product. While the clothes were in the dryer he found a K-mart and bought two big plastic bins. He took the washed and dried clothes and dumped them in the plastic bins. Nothing was folded or matched and every morning there were five people digging around in plastic bins trying to find underpants and matching socks. I swear to God for the next two weeks our family looked like a band of gypsies but we had fun and we smelled gooood!

5 comments:

ga.farmgirl said...

That is a good! story. You know you can really tell things good?
It sounds like we came from the same tree branch somewhere. You sure you didn't grow up in north Georgia? lol...
You just got to come down and visit where we can laugh and laugh.
Oh yeah. I did think of you when I saw that truck and told my sister the whole story of the 30 something ford and holding the gas jug. See, we even think alike.

Eddie Carter said...

Why do I not remember that - sounds like a ton of fun!

Avery obviously is more like me than I knew.

Trailboss said...

OMG that was hilarious! Did you also go to the local car dealership and trade the "chicken car" for a nice one with that new car smell?

Loved the story.

Jan said...

Trailboss-We did trade cars and I would like to apologize to whoever in Orlando bought the 1974 Mercury stationwagon in June of 1978. The next morning Dave took the car to be detailed and immediately drove it to a dealer and traded. When he met us back at the park I asked him what he bought and he said, "It doesn't matter...if you hate it we will trade again when we get home." I swear, I was married to the most patient man in the world.

Holly Horvath said...

I didn't think I was going to be able to make it through the entire thing because my eyes were full of tears. This was hysterical. Reminds me of a story Matt told about a trip his family went on. His mom had their clothes packed in a trash bags. His dad was supposed to put them in the car before leaving...and he did. Once they got where they were going it was discovered that they brought their garbage and not the clothes for this family vacation. So you can imagine that fun!