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And then a hippie changed my life.

Posted Aug 29 2013 4:28pm

Last week we packed up the family truckster and headed off on vacation.

Our first stop was Jenny’s parents’ house in Virginia.

After a slightly harrowing arrival (we got lost in their “neighborhood”, which is on top of a mountain with only very scary looking roads and very little cell service. Fortunately Aunt Diane got my SOS text and sent Uncle Charlie to find us!) we had a lovely visit.

Uncle Charlie took Andy and the kids on a hike, where they had the very educational experience of finding a rattle snake (!!). Later, Aunt Diane and I took the kids to a children’s museum while Andy and Uncle Charlie stayed back to play mountain men and drive around on the four wheeler. That evening, Andy and I left the kids on the mountain and went out to dinner in Lexington, VA. Nothing like a date on vacation!


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From there to the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA. We went there because one day I randomly googled “best family vacations” or something, and this resort came up. It had great reviews and a lazy river – I was sold. And I was not disappointed – it was incredible. I wish I could go back right now.

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We also took about a day and a half to do some of the historic sites – Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Settlement. Andy, Kate and I enjoyed both – Sam was a bit young for the experience. He pretty much just wanted to get back to the resort and hit the water slide.

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Who am I kidding, I couldn’t wait to get back to the pool either.

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Before we knew it it was Thursday and it was time to pack up and head back to Ohio. We got home about 11:00 that night, but we weren’t home for long. The next day we headed to Friendship, Indiana for the Whispering Beard Folk Festival.

Let me say – I was skeptical about this adventure from the start, but Andy was super excited about it and – well – it seemed less painful than some of the other music-related “experiences” he’s suggested over the years.

A Friday afternoon to Sunday morning camping trip required WAY more crap than our previous Friday-Thursday trip did.

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That was the first sign things were going downhill.

Here was the second.

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And the third.

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This place was out in the middle of nowhere.

The day before, I had texted Jenny in a panic not knowing how I was going to charge my phone battery all weekend. As it turned out, it didn’t matter, because there was no cell service.

I felt like it was 2002 or something.

But, we pitched our tents, got everything set up, grilled hot dogs, and listened to some folk music. Everything was peachy until it was time for bed.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Kate is very, very sensitive to sound when she sleeps. As in, she can’t stand the noise of bugs outside the house when we are inside the house with the windows closed. We’ve had problems with this for years – at home, at hotels, you name it.

Why we thought camping was a good idea is beyond me.

So, Friday night when she was hot and dirty and exhausted and just wanted to sleep, there was still a concert going on. After the music ended, there was the cacophony of 30 college kids in the campsite behind us. (Kate learned some new vocabulary words that night, yay!) Then, after those kids went to the after party at some barn, there was the sound of bugs and frogs.

Kate just about lost her damn mind. And so did I.

She was quite literally hysterical for probably a solid two hours.

Eventually, she went to sleep – only to be awakened by the joyous noise of her father snoring in the next tent.

This led to another, I don’t know, hour of hysterics. She was finally able to sleep after she crafted herself a sound barrier.

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It was an awesome night.

The next day was better, though. It was super hot, but we stayed in the shade and played cards, Blokus, and Fibber (omg a dumber game I have never played). We played washers and football and baseball, and we had a fun day as a family.

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By late that afternoon, though, I was already dreading the coming night. Around 6pm, I looked at Andy and said “What’s more painful, spending another night here or driving home through the night?”

We both took one look at Sam…

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…and decided to get the hell out of dodge.

After we packed up all of our belongings, our neighbors (not the rowdy kids, a nice couple who had a brain left their son at home) came back to their tent and asked why we were leaving. I explained the situation with Kate and noise

And this is where a hippie changed my life.

(They probably weren’t hippies at all. He is probably an IT guy who threw an old t-shirt and an ironic trucker hat on for the weekend. And I heard her say she bought her hippie dress on “one of those flash sale sites.” I don’t think hippies shop on But I digress.)

He said, “That’s why I bring earplugs everywhere I go. We couldn’t even hear each other talking last night, and we didn’t wake up until 10 am!”

Earplugs. Are you fishing kidding me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Do you know how many hours of my life could have been saved – or slept through – by having purchased some freaking 99 cent EARPLUGS?? It had never, ever occurred to us.

The rest of the night, Andy and I kept looking at each other saying “we are idiots.”

However, we were idiots who were not stupid enough to spend another night at a loud campground, so after the music ended for the night, we hit the road.

And as soon as we were back in the land of 3G wireless? I made an immediate purchase from amazon.


Thank you, psuedo-hippie guy. You will never know the impact our brief encounter had on my sanity.

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