Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Chaperone Adventures

Don't ask me how this happened, but I allowed myself to be talked into chaperoning my 8th grade son's 3 day school trip to Washington D.C. A few parents backed out at the last minute so how could I say no especially if it meant a solid 5 hours of bus knitting and a private room.

When I told the 8th grader, I thought he was gonna die.

I reminded him that mothers always have the last word

Meanwhile all of his friends (boys and girls) CHEERED when they learned that I'd be going. So while my son was embarrassed to know me, nearly 200 other kids appreciated my "coolness" and the child that I nursed until he was 4 years old and who is also responsible for everything that sags on my body, sulked. He also lobbied the principal to be on a separate bus. So, I baked cookies and bought boxes of the best donuts for my bus. I made the sulky child a bologna sandwich (my last word).

But as you all know, life (especially mine) is full of surprises...



FOLLOWED BY THIS totally screwed up the day.

Of course I would be on the bus that broke down. The only consolation was I got to see a black and tiny female state trooper. Ok, for all of you Non-Jerseyites, New Jersey State Troopers have a dubious history. If I hadn't seen it for myself, I would have never believed my eyes when this very petite trooper with a giant trooper hat was for real. After I adjusted my eyes, and my camera, I realized that she was issuing instructions to the bus driver to get our bus off the highway, pronto, by getting it towed - WITH US ALL ON BOARD!!

The tow truck started to hitch our bus 'cause trooper girlfriend don't play, we had to scurry to get the kids back on the bus.

Then our very Irish tour guide who for obvious historical reasons that I don't need to recount to you all, matched attitude for attitude with trooper girlfriend and said that we were all going to sit and wait until our replacement bus shows up and if we were going to get towed it would be to Washington, D.C.!!

Trooper girlfriend left in a huff!

So, we waited

And waited...

And waited some more...

And started to lose all hope

I started getting bored and began taking pictures of traffic... Then I spot a bus!

Oops, wrong bus!

Help finally arrived 2 hours later and then we had to transfer stuff from the dead bus to the other (sans cookies and donuts - long ago devoured)

The rest of the trip went as most school trips go, you spend most of the time on the bus and enjoy drive by history -

Mount Vernon

Don't ask

The requisite Starbucks

Evidence of unending war esthetically displayed at Arlington National Cemetery

Evidence of national pride - baseball stadiums - we build these better than schools

Lord, we sure need him again

We were able to de-bus at the Capitol Building for a photo op (yes "they" still let us lowly citizens climb the capitol steps)

There were some museum stops (no pictures allowed) and a fabulous dinner cruise around the Potomac. We were also treated to a zany guided tour of Old Towne Alexandria, Virginia.

I found a 1792 Apothecary but tragically no yarn store

But I did find the chance to have a cup of java with Obama!


Two Cables and a Frapp said...

Sorry about your 2 hour delay. That trooper story is scary. Looks as though the trip turned out good though. Also, while you were chatting Obama up, did he slip you anymore of that 'Obama Chapstick' ?

trueknit said...

Oh I wished I knew you were coming. One of the best yarn shops going was right on N. Washington Street in Old Town - Knit Happens.

Deb-VA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb-VA said...

Gotta give you my phone number so I can direct you to LYS if you ever come this way again! Not only did you miss Knit Happens in Old Town but one mile from Mt. Vernon is In Stitches Needleworks and Capital Hill has Stitch DC. After your ordeal you needed some yarn therapy.

Beverly said...

Looks like the trip turned out great in spite of the hiccup. There's so much to see in the DC area it makes for a wonderful and interesting trip.

Virtuous said...

Gurl you are something else with your trip pictorial! Hahaha!

Glad you were there to chaperone with great cookies and donuts despite the getting their woos.

What!! No LYS in site! Blasphemy!!

Glad all went well!

BTW - did you really breast feed him until 4??

Love that your red flower and yellow bumblebee pic!

WandaWoman said...

Dang, that was quite adventure. I love that you gave your son a bologna sandwich. I hope you were able to get some good knitting time in despite the detour.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, poor you! Though you sound like you all made the best of it, even though your child didn't want you to go, lol.

Ina said...

Hooray! You survived the trip! And thank goodness for all the cookies and donuts. (The part about the bologna sandwich made me spew my beverage.) I hope a grand time was had by all.

Rebecca said...

it comes as no surprise to me that you're the COOL mom! looks like a trip to remember. can't believe your bus broke down...

Lynn said...

thank goodness for the cookies and donuts!!!! and having the bus break down stinks. BTDT.....except as the student and not the parent.

hope said...

I miss you Deborah. We really have to get together. Are you still writing that book? You should just publish a collection of your posts, they're hysterical. Let's get together soon. I need to get to work on that cupcake hat. Now where did I put the pattern?

sappmama said...

The look on your son's face is priceless.

You and Barack crack me up.

Honey, we need nine more like Thurgood Marshall. The lack of integrity on America's highest court is appalling.

Beate said...

ha,ha,, what a nice shot of you and Obama...almost for real.
school trips are fun and full of surprises.. glad to see you all had a nice trip.

Diane said...

Boy you were brave. 3 days? I did a day trip with a bunch of 8th graders and had one heck of a time. Didn't know until we pulled back into the school parking lot that I had all 8 of the problem children who almost didn't get to go due to behavior problems. No behavior problems with me because I'm a mean mom but it was exhausting.

I love DC. So much to see.

Jeanine said...

Oh my... That sounds like it was a long day. Glad you finally made it to your destination .

hakucho said...

Looks like you had quite the adventure! Glad you all are back home safely.

Patricia said...

Lucky you, having a java with Obama. I'm sending my only boy unchaperoned to Rhode Island next week.

AR said...

Ooh, you are a brave lady! I thought I had it tough with 9 little girlscouts for 2 days. lol

Glad you all made it ok (with crazy breakdowns and all)