It’s Day 19 and we got on the road bright and early … The Captain woke early and started driving again … while the rest of us slept …. once again … we make really good time when we don’t actually “camp”.
We didn’t stop till late night. We finally crashed in a Wal*Mart Parking lot but the Captain was up early and couldn’t sleep so we were “hammer down and east bound” by 4:30 AM … my honey is crazy.
It was COLD last night … so I was happy when the Captain started driving and turned the heat on … we were at 12,000 ft …. I would call that “on top of a mountain” …. and it was much warmer with the heater on and the evaluation dropping.
Once everyone started rousing from sleep, the Captain said we could pick a campground to crash at for the day as soon as we crossed into Kansas … and that was harder than you would think … well … I wanted something family friendly … maybe a pool for the kids to swim … and full hooks up so we could shower and dump the tanks … since we had been “dry-camping” for the past 2 nights …
So … we crashed at KOA campground in Goodland early in the morning …at this point I was confused about what time it actually was … I think we crossed another time zone and it took my phone a few hours to catch up … so I’m not sure what time we actually landed at the KOA … but they were nice enough to let us check in early (and that’s were the niceness ended … I’ll explain more later) … I was thinking … Ok… KOA is everywhere … would be a good place to try … we haven’t really tried any “chain campgrounds” … and thought this would be a good time to check one out ….
They had a pool but we couldn’t swim until after 11:00 … so we got breakfast at the camper … the kids played on the playground … they were enjoying being able to run and play … and I worked on laundry … just 2 loads this morning … but great to get it done while we had a chance … this was a more exspensive laundry … $1.50 per washer … and $0.25 for every 10 minutes in the dryer … but everything worked and I was glad to have the 2 loads completed and put away … (fyi … I store the dirty clothes under the bed … so they are out of the way … but I just like knowing that everything is clean … you never know when we may need something that is dirty 🙂
SO … after breakfast, laundry and the playground … it was time to go swimming … we headed to the pool for some R&R … we played at the pool for a bit and Dancing Mermaid decided she wanted to play putt-putt … she had mentioned this earlier at the camper … but the manger was there … and acted like he didn’t want to do that right now … made some comment that he was hoping to get some breakfast … so I told him not to worry about us … we were fine .. we had plenty to do for now ….(I felt like he was busy and we were trying not to be bother-some) ….. I was shocked to learn that it cost $2 each to play … and there was really nothing to the course …. keep in mind that we have great mini-golf courses at the beach and you can play $5 to play all day … but I knew she really wanted to play when she offered to pay with her money … so … she headed to the office to pay and get our clubs … and the Captain went to put the little guys down for a nap … he also needed a nap after driving most of the night …
OK … so here is were things start to get stressful for me … people have been nice to us at every campground, Wal*Mart, rest area that we have stopped at or been too … the Park Rangers and bus drivers have all been very patient with the kids … other vacationers chatting with us … but you know … there is alway one sour-puss somewhere who just has to make things difficult … and today was that day … and the KOA manger/owner was the “one” ….
I really don’t know where to start … except to say that the manager seemed very busy and stressed …so we tried to stay out of his way … and now … back to putt-putting …. Dancing Mermaid said the lady in the office (his wife) told her not to play hole number 10 until she was done because it would take her ball) ….there were only 10 holes … so we played only the first 9 … and let me say that the putt-putt course was not well maintained … and was pretty sad but she and I were having some great one-on-one time … so I wasn’t focusing on any of that … just us having fun … so … we got to the end of the first 9 and decided to play again … around this time the guy comes by on his bike (which he was always doing … riding here and there .. unlocking the store then locking the store back … again … we felt like he was way busy so we just stayed out of his way) … and said that when we were done, could we leave the clubs at the front door of the store … again … I’m not thinking anything “bad” about his comment … just thinking they must have problems with the kids keeping the clubs … or taking them back to their campgrounds … or that they don’t have a lot of clubs and need to have them nearby when others want to play .. anyway .. I just let it go … later I realize that this was his way of hinting to me that we should put the clubs back …
We kept playing … and around this time a storm comes up … you know, we are in Kansas and we were keeping our eye out for a twister to touch down …. that would be a great story to add to our adventure … we almost saw one when we left Arches … anyway … it’s starting to rain and I don’t want to get struck by lightening while putt-putting … so we grabbed a game from the camper and head to the table in the laundry room to play a game or 2 of Sequence … again … she and I were enjoying our time while everyone else was resting in the camper ….
Shortly after finishing our second game of Sequence … the rain stopped and the storm seemed far enough way to go back and play again … since Dancing Mermaid had paid and gotten the clubs … I really didn’t have anything to do with the actually money transaction .. and was not aware that the putt-putt course had to be “turned on” … so … we realized that it had been turned off …and HONESTLY not thinking anything about it … I reached over and turned it back on … since I had felt like the manager was so stressed .. in my mind .. I was thinking …”why bother him with something so simple as turning the putt-putt back on” .. well … that didn’t go over so well … (oh … I guess now would be a good time to point out that he was foreign … and so he had a think accent and the broken english added a bit of humor to the situation …. but at the time … I didn’t think it funny) … so .. the owner comes out of the store saying … “you guys are just all over the place … I guess I need to put a pad-lock on everything” … so … in my mind …I’m thinking … “all over the place” … what is that suppose to mean … I paid to stay here … I’ve dropped at least $5 in the laundry so far … paid $4 t o play putt-putt … it’s not like we have bothered him … we have only giving him business … and I guess I should add … that at this point during the day … we were one of only a few campers in the park … so … I’m thinking … it’s probably no wise to talk to customers like this … especially when it doesn’t look like your business is flourishing … BUT … I say nothing … and he continues to talk and walks over and turns the putt-putt OFF … I am astonished .. but still try to keep the smile on my face and I say … “So … we can’t play?” … and he says … “play … it’s nice out” … not sure what all that was suppose to mean …
Well .. I’m trying to keep my cool and not let this mess up our day … and … we move to some holes that don’t require the electricity to be running …. and after a few minutes .. I say to Dancing Mermaid … “You know what … let’s start back at the beginning … we can work around this .. not going to let this bother us … we still have the World Championship of Putt-Putt to complete” … and we headed back to hole number one ….
Hole number one required electricity to turn one of the flaps (an obstacle …. I guess that’s what it would be called) …. Dancing Mermaid holds up the flap that won’t spin … and out he comes again … wanting to know what we are doing …. at this point … I’m starting to feel like we are being watched … I say that it stopped working after he came out the last time … not wanting to be confrontational or cause any more problems … I figure it is best not to argue with the obvious fact that he turned it off on us …. maybe he is psycho or split personality or something … but you know what is going on when you turn it off on someone … and now he says “next time … let me know you need help and I will help you .. I don’t like for people to do things themselves” … Ok .. I have several thoughts about that but I will let it go … I smile and say Thank YOU … and Dancing Mermaid and I start playing again ….
I’ll remind you at this point … that this is all happening pretty fast … everyone is still asleep in the camper …. so not a lot of time has past because naps don’t last more then 2 hours or some (give or take) …. and we are still having a great time and trying to let all this other stuff roll off our backs ….
So … we finish our game (remember … only 9 little holes … nothing much … just some little wooden boxes with fake grass on top … only takes a few minutes to play all 9) … the sun has come out again .. and it is hot!!! … we decide to go take a dip in the pool … I ask DM if she is done playing and she says maybe one more game after we swim … and I think that should work out just about right (time-wise) … and I was also thinking the little guys would probably like to play when they get up … so we head to the pool to cool off …. a fellow camper comes out to join us at the pool too … I don’t think Mr Happy realized other campers were at the pool or he probably wouldn’t have been so openly rude … but then again … you just never know ….
So … we are sitting at the pool … I’m sitting on the steps because the water is really cold and each time I have to work my nerve up to get back in … I’m chatting with the lady who has come to the pool … and Mr Happy starts heading towards the pool … already I know he is coming for us .. not sure what we have done this time … but I can feel it … the phone rings and he stops to answer it … and I continue talking with DM and the lady … Jikkal has actually wandered out of the camper and has come to see what we were up to … but has decided to head back to the camper … (but he could hear Mr Happy yelling at me on his way back to the camper)
And here is comes …. he says he can’t find the clubs we were using … and I say ….” oh! There right here … she wanted to play some more … just cooling off for a minute” … and he starts yelling at me … and I quote …
“You are being ridiculous .. you only pay $2 …. you take advantage” …. so with the smile plastered to my face … which is now red … because he is yelling and this lady is watching … I said … “if you want the clubs back … I will give them to you but your wife told her she could play as much as she wanted” ,… and he didn’t like that … he continues to tell me about how I am ridiculous and taking advantage … (I’m guessing he is still working on his English vocab … being a homeschool teacher … I was thinking I should give him a list of resources he could use to improve his “word bank” … and place for him to put them) …. He very rudely informed that YES! He wanted the clubs back, NOW! … So I handed them to him …. and he continues to fuss … and I very calmly said .. .OK … I gave you the clubs .. that’s enough … at which point … I just turned my back and walked back to my seat …. I’m thinking … he better be glad that he met this Tabitha because “BC Tabitha” would not have been sooo nice … maybe left a few flat tires when we broke camp …. but ???? …. thankfully he started back to the office … mumbling as he went … but at least he went (after living with a teen in such close quarters for the past few weeks … I can overlook mumbling 🙂
Of course, the lady at the pool was astonished … and when I sat down … she said she could not believe how rude he was … I was just glad someone else was there … 1) to witness it and 2) to keep me from saying or doing something I should not … I plan to inform KOA that their GoodLand Ambassador needs some lessons in “Southern Hospitality” …. not good for their name … needless to say … we will not be frequenting another KOA on this trip … maybe ever … but we were the hot topic at the pool that afternoon …
After all this excitement … we headed to the camper … everyone was waking up …. and we took showers and got ready to head into town …. we took our picture with the World’s Largest Easel … you can read about it http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9183 …. and attempted to go to the local museum but it was closed … our bad! … new time zone and we still didn’t have all the clocks right … next we headed to Pizza Hut for dinner … once again … not very happy people in these parts … but we got our bellies full and moved on … we made a pit-sop at Wal*Mat … and back to the campground …. the Captain thinks everyone here is mad because they are here and can’t figure out how to get out … I don’t know … just love laughing at his point of view …
The kids played on the playground again … met some friends … enjoyed the cool evening weather … could see a cloud forming in the distance … the wind is right brisk coming across these plains … we kept watching to see if a tornado formed … not that we wished that on anyone … just thought that would be fun to film … maybe end up on the weather channel with the Storm Chasers ….BUT … no such luck!!! I sat at the picnic table and worked on typing up all the details of the past days while the kids played … and enjoyed the cooler weather … I bit later … we got everyone in the camper and got everyone settled down for a good nights rest … the Captain plans to drive all the way across Kansas tomorrow ….
I took a few mnutes to look up some totally cheesy spots to stop and take photos .. trying to give the kids a break from educational stuff … I think this will be a fun drive tomorrow.
I think the Captain is as excited about getting out of Goodland as he was about getting out of California 🙂