Wednesday, September 7, 2011

There's Nothing Ironic About Mud

Over the long weekend, I trekked to with  to rural Minnesota, along with Husband, Preschooler, and Toddler, to attend an old friend’s wedding.  The wedding ceremony and reception were both held outside, so in the invitation we were directed to wear “field appropriate” shoes.  And  by “field appropriate,” they meant hiking boots.  And by hiking boots, they meant galoshes.

These will go perfect with my little black dress.

We should’ve known things might go asunder from the get-go.  Weddings with two kids 3-and-under are iffy undertakings at best.  But, off we went.  A couple hours into the trip, we notice the flat tire signal in the van lit up.  Strangely, we felt safe to ignore it.  The sensors in the van are kind of touchy, and often light up for no apparent reason.  Except this time there was a good reason, as we found out when we got a flat tire a half-hour later.  WHO KNEW?

We attempted to replace the flat with the spare tire.  But our spare is kept underneath the body of the van, and is next to impossible to access.  I know this because this is my fourth flat tire in just as many years. Did I mention how much I love this van? Truly a diamond in the rough.

We were forced to call a tow-truck.  When the tow truck arrived, we realized we had no one to call to pick us up and drive us to the tire store.  So we all climbed Clampett-style into the tow-truck, with the kids on our laps, and illegally rode with the tow-truck-guy to the tire store.  

It was exactly like this.

An hour-and-a-half later, we were back on the road, but we were running late.  We originally planned on checking in at the hotel, and changing there into our wedding clothes.  Now we had to drive straight to the wedding and find a secluded spot to at least put on clean shirts before reaching the ceremony site.

The area the wedding was in is absolutely gorgeous.  There are these beautiful forested bluffs and valleys, with the Mississippi river winding through them like a satiny blue ribbon. But this wedding wasn’t in any sort of state or county park on the outskirts of the bluffs.  It was smack in the middle of the forest.  We should’ve just left a trail of bread crumbs between us and civilization, ala Hansel and Gretel.  Instead, we decided to rely on our Garmin.  I like to multi-task, by getting lost and going insane at the same time. It’s on my resume!  

On we traveled, into the heavily forested bluffs. After a while we were directed onto a two-lane dirt road.  Then we were directed over a one-lane bridge.  Then we were directed onto a one-lane dirt road.  We spent half-an-hour on these dirt roads.  Then we were directed onto a mercifully-paved state highway.  Then we were directed back onto a dirt road. 


We finally reached our destination, having been warned that there would be a fifteen minute walk from where we parked to the actual ceremony site. But we didn’t park in a lot, and then stroll down a paved, or even well-mowed path.  We parked on the side of the aforementioned dirt road, and then stared down a gloomy-looking expanse of hiking trail.

In case we were still actually planning on attending, fate turned her hand and it started to rain. And rain.  And rain. We sat in our van parked on the side of an increasingly-muddy dirt road, when it finally dawned on us: There was no reasonable way we could get ourselves to this wedding.  Preschooler couldn’t walk, she’d get stuck in the mud.  We wouldn’t be able to push a stroller through a muddy unpaved hiking trail.  We’d have to carry both kids the whole way, and this doesn’t include the child-wrangling we’d endure during the wedding itself.

We turned around and headed back to the hotel.

Then we took the kids bowling.

It was the logical thing to do.

*     *     *

P.S. For what it’s worth, it would’ve been such a awesome wedding, had Husband and I gone without the kids.  The mud would’ve made for a light-hearted story, in the way of, “OMG, we went to this wedding and it was in a field and there was MUD but it was such a beautiful ceremony tra-la-la-la!”  Husband and I were sad we ended up as no-shows.  But sometimes what’s best for the kids is what’s best for us too.  Now we know, and according to the folklore of the ‘70‘s and ‘80‘s, knowing is half the battle.  The other half of the battle is probably guessing.


Fox in the City said...

What a crazy setting for a wedding! I have to agree with you, bowling was by far a better choice for the kidlets . . . although, they may have had a blast playing in the mud!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Fox in the City - it was the kids' first time bowling, but seeing as we were staying in a hotel and 150 miles from home, that was ONE expensive bowling trip :)

Lindsay Schultz said...

Aww, too bad. Was there a reception?

I'm at least glad to see there's no painful bowling ball story here!

Lizbeth said...

OMG, I lived up in North Dakota for years and I still have my Wellington's and bug spray! I can't give them up. I'm sorry you didn't make it to the wedding but it sounds like you made a good time out of a bad situation.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Lindsay - there was a reception, but it was in the exact same field as the wedding, so no dice.

@Lizbeth - Nothing wrong with that! Anyhow, they make some really cute pairs of wellies these days.

Kid Id said...

OMG, this is such a crazy-yet-all-too-familiar story! I will say, we did that to our own guests at our wedding, which was not as secluded but far enough down a long road to a field that my parents stopped the car half-way there, rolled down the window and screamed "WHERE THE HELL IS IT??!!"

Marianna Annadanna said...

I'm sorry you missed the wedding!

We had a similar experience this summer, but *our* bare-footed mud/field hiking took place *after* the reception (read: drunk) in the pitch black woods back to the shuttle bus, back to the ferry, and back to civilization. I was terrified of snakes. Luckily the only snake I had to worry about was the drunk guy peeing in the bushes. "Move along! No snakes to see here!"

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Kid Id - glad to know I'm not the only one who went through all of this :)

@Marianna - I remember that snake incident! I had a couple beers at the bowling alley, but that was too little too late.

Janie Jones said...

Too bad about the wedding and all the "hitches" in your being able to attend... but what a great blog post you got out of it!

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Janie - Isn't that the way of it? Some of the greatest mishaps turn into awesome blog posts.

Jen said...

Ha! That's a crazy wedding! Makes for a great story though ;)

Laura said...

I have never been to a wedding but I might if there was outside chance there'd be banjos playing the wedding march and perhaps a bear mauling.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Jen - I agree!

@Laura - We played some Irish punk music at my wedding, AND there was a polka band at the rehearsal dinner. Does that count?