The Griswold Family Goes to the Hill Country

The Griswold family the Houston Art Car parade.

We felt like Clark and the fam heading out to Wally World a couple of weeks ago. Except we didn’t tie Aunt Edna to the roof or our dog to the bumper of the station wagon.

Mainly because we don’t have an Aunt Edna and we left our dog, Sadie, with my in-laws.

Sometimes vacations just don’t go as we plan.

We decided to head out of Houston for a couple days to visit Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels. Halfway there our trusty 2002 mini van started revving up, Ed lost control and smoke came billowing out from under the hood.

“I’m sure its ok,” I said without an ounce of reassurance and to no one in particular as Ed tried to steer the van to the side of I10 and our kids started freaking out in epic purportions.

“What’s that burning smell,” Jackson asked as I opened the door and smoke came pouring into the van.

Yeah, things were definitely NOT ok.

We called our insurance company to help us arrange a tow truck to take us to the next town down the road. Which was Luling, Texas. And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” said Jackson after about an hour.

“Ok, pick a tree,” I said.

“WHAT?!” he screamed.

“We’re in the middle of nowhere, Jackson. We don’t have any other options.”

Jackson is very modest….so Ed, Annie and I formed a human shield to prevent vehicals passing by to witness the horror of what was happening just a few feet from a major freeway.

And then our tow truck drove up….

And took us….


“And they were never heard from again,” I said a little louder than I meant to.

After some animal crackers and water and a brief inspection of the situation, we determined that it was transmission problems and our van would take a couple days to fix. Instead of throwing in the towel and heading back home, we decided to press on, handed over our keys and our credit card to the owner and arranged for a rental car from the nearest place in another town 20 miles away.

And made our next unplanned, financially draining pit stop…in Lockhart.

For the third time during the day we repacked our belongings into another vehicle and headed out.

And while we worried about our van and the accruing charges the entire time…we made it to Wally World…er…Schlitterbahn and didn’t even have to hold anyone at gunpoint to get on the rides. All-in-all, not too bad.

What have you been up to this summer?



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