Monday, June 27, 2005

The Weekend Recapped

I have never been so happy to see Monday come.

Friday I left work exhausted, but what else is new? Got home, scrambled, did laundry, ran crazy, ended up leaving at 9 p.m. for "up north." Packed two large dogs, two people, and lots of stuff in a Grand Am with no air conditioning, and headed for the hills. 3 hour drive. It turned into 4 because the map to actually find the place we were going to was a little off. We both hate Burger King. It was the only thing we passed, and neither of us had eaten much at all. It was midnight. We had to have something to put in our tummies. So we flew through the drive thru, he got nuggets, I got a veggie burger. Found the campground. Let me also mention that when we got to the campground, which does not take reservations, they had no way to process our reservation. They did not hold the site that my associates had requested for us, because there was "no tent" to put on the site until we arrived. So we were instructed to go set up camp wherever we found a place, and head to the office in the morning to pay for the night in the park. We found a site. All my associates were already sleeping. Put up a tent in the dark that we'd never used before. Got things settled. Sat down to eat the nasty BK at about 2 am. Bun was so soggy it was not edible. I ate half the patty by itself. Went to sleep around 3:30. Clearly wishing I'd thrown caution to the wind and ignored my corporate responsibility to be present to assist in hosting the plant appreciation event.

Dogs were up at 6 wanting out of the tent. He got up to let them outside, and I had to get up and out the door. I was tired, achy, and felt like having an hour long shower just to feel the slightest bit clean. Got in the car, drove out toward the front of the place, then followed the outer perimeter "road" until I saw a bath house. Grabbed my stuff and headed in. The showers were the kind that take money for a certain number of minutes. I've been to one other campground with that sort of shower deal, and vowed I'd avoid them at all costs. There was no turning back this fine Saturday morning. I was already there, and needed a shower. So I went back to the car, got my purse, headed back in, got undressed, and fished for a couple quarters. They didn't fit in the slot. Found a dime. It fit. I followed the instructions, but nothing happened. Got a nickel. Same deal. Figured there must be a minimum cost for any time in the shower at all so I went ahead and put a dollar in, and then a dollar fifty. Nothing happened. I'm standing there in a towel, needing to be at the plant with some parts, and I'm stuck. Hmmm. Maybe that shower was just broken. I grabbed my stuff and headed into a different shower stall. Put in another dollar fifty in dimes. Nothing happened. Suddenly, the shower next to mine started up. There was someone else in the place! I waited for this girl to come out and asked her how she got it to turn on. Yes, I was embarrassed to have to ask, but I had somewhere to be! She was a huge tall girl with a strawberry birthmark that literally covered almost half of her face. It was the most amazingly huge birthmark I'd ever seen. She was very nice, and told me that the showers only work on TOKENS. Not coins. I looked around to see if I'd really been crazy and missed that information. Nope. There was not a single sign in the place.

So I got dressed, and had to pass our campsite in the way to the front office to buy these tokens. I slowed down to let Mocha know that the showers needed tokens. He nodded and said he know. WTF??? Thanks for mentioning it. I'd now lost more than an hour on this whole ordeal. F-ing beautiful! So I went into the store feeling (and likely looking) gross. The woman behind the counter was helping someone already, and the conversation was just too ridiculous. Beyond smalltalk. The woman could have held onto this customer and chatted all day. She finally finished, and I paid her for two nights and four shower tokens. This woman's demeanor was so stereotypically what you'd envision in your mind of a northern country person tolerating the presence of someone who she just senses is from the city. She had been bubbly and chatty and completely drawn out of her shell with the last customer, but she was curt and standoffish with me. She barked out short, fragemented requests like, "License plate on vehicle? Number of nights here?," and then two very weird things happened. First, I gave her what I thought to be our llicense plate number, and I'd actually left a letter out. She went on to write the plate number down on two different documents, and she wasn't writing what I'd told her. I pointed out that she'd added an extra letter in there, and she actually argued that the letter was in my original statement to her. I promised her that I didn't think that letter was on the plate, but she could write it any way she wanted. It turned out that letter really is on the plate. It was as if she was comparing what I told her to notes on a prompter behind me from Big Brother. Then the other weird thing happened. She wrote on the car pass that we had two adults, one shelter, and one vehicle in our party. But she'd not asked me for that information, as she'd asked the previous customer. She just assumed - or already knew. I think it was the latter. I found out later from Mocha that they had trucks around at 4 am reading off license plate numbers on every site. Kept him awake. Of course, that was during the three hours that I was completely comatose, so I had no idea. I'd have complained. That's just a little spooky. The whole thing was weird. I won't ever stay at this place again.

So now with shower tokens in hand, I headed back for the bath house, got me act together, and returned to the site so Mocha could go shower with some of my magic tokens.

He comes back, and I head out for the 25 minute drive to the plant with some parts, then to the local grocery story to pick up 4 dozen ears of sweetcorn and some other supplies. Then I headed to the pavillion to drop of the corn and help set up for the event. Got that done, and headed back to the weirdass campground to pick up Mocha and the dogs. We ran over to the party, and I had to bounce back and forth between Mocha and work people. I had to play co-hostess, so I had to mingle, but yet my shepherd is literally scared of small children, and my chow chow is not always the most friendly dog in the world. So I felt pulled in two directions. Hate it.

Party was nice. Plant staff had a great time. Clean up was a breeze because we had many hands on deck. Headed back to the campsite. It was about 9 pm by this time. It felt like 3 a.m. I had not even enough energy to cook a veggie dog. I did go buy some firewood at the campground store. That experience was par for the course, too. The gal working inside was doing everything at once. Scooping ice cream, ringing up sales on the register, making change, etc. So when she got through the line of 7 people waiting for ice cream, she moved over to the register and started ringing them up one at a time. Eventually she got to me, rang in the firewood, and then had to stop and start searching for a key to open the shed outside where it was. It was missing. So she grabbed the walkie talkie radio on the wall, and had to figure out how to use it. She got a hold of a ranger, found the key, and someone was walking it over to the shop. I went to wait outside. The guy came with a key, stuck it in the padlock, and the lock fell apart. It turned out the key wasn't really required anyway. Then this guy stood back and instructed me to climb inside and pick my own firewood. Yep. That's right. Five feet tall and I'm trying to reach the wood inside this shed from up on a platform. It's too hard to describe this exactly the way it was. It was just ridiculous. What an ass he was. Anyway, I got a hold of one of the strings on a bundle, and managed to hoist it up enough to grab it with only one sliver. I scooted it out, and then stood up to turn and carry it to the car. As soon as I turned, this redneck guy with nasty teeth who smelled like 2 weeks worth of booze grabbed my wood intending to take it from me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said something about having rode his bike up to get wood. Um. Yeah? Okay? And you are touching mine why? So I told him this was my wood, and he was free to climb in the ranger's shed and pick out his own wood, but I had to get going. And with that, he finally let go and I left. At this point I'd been creeped out beyond belief at everything having to do with this campground.

I returned to the site, and made a s'more for dinner. It was delicious. My Mocha enjoyed a cigar and a drink next to our spectacular campfire. That half hour or so, there next to the fire, was the best part of the whole weekend. Just him and me, relaxing. Perfect. It didn't even matter that I was a walking zombie from lack of sleep. It was still perfect.

We went to sleep around 2, and the dogs were so worn out that they actually SLEPT. All night. I didn't get out of bed until almost 8:30. Although we woke up before 6 to the sound of the RAIN. Yep, rain. While camping with dogs. Mocha got up first and started some coffee. I love that man. We had eggs for breakfast, and headed out around 3 in the afternoon after relaxing for awhile, then breaking down camp.

Construction made the ride home take 5 hours. The dogs were miserable. It was just the worst time in the car any of us have ever had. We really need to get a more suitable vehicle if we're going to take them places. They are way too big to share a standard back seat of a two door car.

We got home around 7:30 at night, and started unpacking the car. We were welcomed home by a very angry bird who kept divebombing Mocha's head. The looney children two doors down had a stepladder under a cluster of treebranches, so we are thinking they messed with the nest or took the eggs/babies. This bird was fearless. Ready to take us both out. When I left for work this morning, it was still in the same place squawking. I felt so bad for it. It's obviously suffered some injustice so serious that it dwarfs the redneck campground with Big Brother running around at 4 am. I was thinking of setting out some dryer lint to see if it will take it and build a new nest. Poor little bird.

I'm out to get my roots done. It's LucyTattooed's birthday. Yay!


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