About that weekend vacation… (Part 1)

So, remember how I told you about the awful ending to our weekend? Well, here are all those details you wanted:

The Good:

Things started off well before we even left. Diesel had the whole trip planned out, which is a huge deal. I like having vacations scheduled to the hour or even minute. Diesel, on the other hand, is a free spirit when it comes to travel. He likes to be as spontaneous as possible. The fact that he had an activity planned for us every day of this trip was amazing!

With help from both of our parents, we were packed and ready in less time than normal. Nearly stress-free, too, which was another happy surprise.

Mother and son with a book in the car

We reached our first destination, a vintage camper rally, and immediately felt this was going to be a great weekend. The entire group was so welcoming to us even though we were new and had never attended one of their events before.

We were there for two days and spent almost all that time out of our camper. I gotta tell you, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes we are stuck in the camper because of rain, mosquitos, or even a lack of plans. (See why I like having activities scheduled?)

There was a huge grassy area near us where Choo-choo could run around and get a bunch of energy out. I spent most of Saturday walking around a giant (and awesome) antique market.

And at night, the vintage camper group had potluck dinners, desserts, and a total party vibe. There was music, a campfire, and decorations. Choo-choo liked the party vibe so much, he never wanted to leave for bedtime.

I can’t forget the gorgeous weather, too. Mostly sunny, not too warm or too cool. Beautiful stars out at night.

On Sunday, we went on another train ride up in that area.


This was another new train for us. It was yet another beautiful day with no rain despite it having been forecasted. Diesel, Choo-choo, and I sat in one of the old coaches and enjoyed our nearly two hour train ride. We even had a “layover” in one of the towns, where Choo-choo and all the children played in the giant playground area.

Back on the train, one of the young men who worked for the railroad walked by and asked Choo-choo’s name. He put his conductor’s hat on Choo-choo and asked him if he wanted to be a conductor for a little while.

It was like one of those moments from a movie. It was just like a scene from one of Choo-Choo’s favorite books. I wished I could have taken video of it because it felt so perfect.

Then Choo-choo threw the hat on the floor.

Not a great moment for sure.

We apologized immediately, but it was too late to get the moment back. The young man just smiled, picked up his hat from the floor, put it back on, and walked away. Diesel and I had been afraid Choo-choo was going to toss the hat out the window, so really, it landing on the floor wasn’t so bad. But it was still embarrassing.

Despite that little moment of three year old mischievousness, Diesel, Choo-choo, and I still had such a great day. We moved on to our next camping spot, made dinner, cleaned up, and went to bed.

The Bad:

Let me preface this section by saying that Monday started off great. I had slept on the sofa by Choo-choo’s bed all three nights of camping because he was scared, but he did really great with it. We had plenty of sleep Sunday night, and he woke up and played quietly Monday morning before I got up.

Of course, he woke me up in a really annoying way. But things were still okay.

That is, until he decided he didn’t want to have his diaper changed. Then he didn’t want to get dressed. It was raining by this point, so Diesel couldn’t take Choo-choo outside to run around and play while I cleaned up and got myself and the camper ready to leave.

Eventually, though, everyone and everything was ready for us to head to a restaurant for breakfast. We promised our son we had something super fun planned; we just needed to make it through our meal first.

Unfortunately, the meal almost never started.

Choo-choo repeatedly kicked and hit both Diesel and me before we arrived at the restaurant and once we were there. He pulled on the strings to the window curtain by our table despite our every effort to keep them away from him. Choo-choo also knocked a bunch of stuff over on purpose then started screaming.

Diesel finally took Choo-choo out to the camper for a timeout. I put off ordering because I wasn’t sure if we were staying or not. From the table, I could see my husband and son leave the camper. Then Choo-choo hit Diesel again.


Of course, they immediately went back in.

When they eventually returned to the restaurant, Choo-choo was no longer screaming or crying or hitting or kicking. In fact, he looked pretty happy. Diesel said Choo-choo had gotten a timeout and had several toys taken away. That worked well enough for our son to calm down.

We had a great breakfast then headed to our fun activity. Problem was, we couldn’t do what we originally planned because of the rain. A zoo is hard to enjoy when standing in cold rain. We needed to find an alternate activity.

After checking the maps and the GPS, we finally found a great place to go. And it was closed.

Then we spent more time looking on the maps and the GPS (because we don’t have smart phones) and found a third place to try. We got a little lost on the way due to the GPS not having been updated for the construction but still found the place in a rather short amount of time. It was another railroad station with steam train rides, which is one of our fave things to do.

And it was also closed.

Choo-choo was asleep by now, so he had no idea what was going on. I was so desperate to find something to do, but there really wasn’t anything else age appropriate that was close by and open. It was also still raining so the zoo was a no-go. There wasn’t even anything on the way home either.

During our drive back home, Choo-choo woke up and kept asking where the fun place was. I told him the situation, but he either didn’t understand or believe me. He just kept asking and asking and asking. Then he started whining.

Diesel had already told me when our kid was asleep that he didn’t really care if we found anything because of how awful Choo-choo had been that morning. I, on the other hand, still had hope of finding something fun to do since we had promised. I did not want to break a promise to our son.

So, we gave Choo-choo some books to look at and toys to play with to keep him occupied on the drive home. He wanted me to play, too, but it was this toy that you just put stickers on. Choo-choo wanted me to do it except the point was for him to play. I told him no, it was supposed to be fun for him, not me. and really, he wasn’t asking me to play; he was telling me.

I was neither happy nor comfortable with that.

And then came the fit. He just kept pushing and pushing and pushing even though I said I didn’t want to play. Diesel sat there, driving, not saying a word. No “listen to Mommy” or anything.

Then I did what I always do when frustrated: I cried.



Author: stepbackandbreathe33

I am a writer, mother, wife, and fighter in the battle against depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD.

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