Thursday, July 26, 2012

Once In A Lifetime Vacation

(Super long post…I know. I wanted to document all our fun…and it’s worth the read. You won’t believe everything that happened to us! Plus…the pictures are pretty cute, too!)

The week leading up to our vacation was a horrible week. It seemed like everything that could go wrong…did. We had to register our van…$137. It needed two new tires to pass inspection…$405. A filling fell out of my back tooth, meaning a last minute dentist appointment and new crown…$369. One computer got a horrible virus and was unusable, even after hours of help from my company’s IT dept. Most of the family had head colds and/or a stomach bug. However, none of that mattered, the morning we were set to leave.

As we were doing last minute packing and rousing kids from slumber, the phone rang. It was one of my best friends’ (Bek) Mom, telling us that her grandfather wasn’t doing well and wasn’t expected to live much longer. We dropped everything and drove into the city, arriving in time to allow her to spend a couple hours with him. We left, not knowing how long it would be, and by the time we got home her Mom called again. I answered Bek’s phone and the first thing her Mom said was, “Grandpa is dancing with Grandma.” I handed the phone to Bek and watched her dissolve into a sobbing mess. Her Grandfather played a huge role in raising her, after her father passed away and even though he was 89 and not well physically…it’s hard to say good-bye.

After finishing our packing and dealing with kids that were growing more and more antsy, we headed on our way. We dropped all the dogs off at the homes that were going to care for them in our absence and finally arrived at our condo. Then, while unloading everything, Bek dropped her phone and cracked the screen. *sigh* After realizing we could replace the screen and it was still functional, we discovered that only ten units out of the 100+ in the complex had central air (Park City being mostly a winter destination and all…) Of course, we didn’t have one of those ten units. It was 94* in the condo the day we arrived and all we could think about was hitting the pool! We surprised the kids with new swimming suits and tons of new pool toys and ended the night with banana splits for dinner, because really…what else would one eat on vacation??? ;)

Hitting the pool, decked out in new swimming suits!


Our second day began with a change of plans. We had originally planned to visit Olympic Park and go zip lining, play on the alpine slides and a variety of other activities. After calling them and finding out that not all the rides were open and knowing that thunderstorms were in the forecast for the entire day, we decided to head to Lagoon! The kids were so excited to go to Lagoon-A-Beach and ride Wicked…except that they all chickened out and didn’t. ;) It was 100* in Farmington that day and we were feeling it, all day long. We tried to stay cool by riding rides that got us wet and by staying in the shade as much as possible. Peanut was a little daredevil and loved riding anything that was fast or high up. She rode the roller coasters with her arms up in the air, screaming “Woooo hoooo!!!” During the day, Bek managed to drop her phone…in a toilet…and it promptly died. *sigh* Bad luck just kept coming. However, regardless of the heat, the bad luck and me realizing that I’m too old to ride spinning rides back to back…we had a great time. We left Lagoon shortly before closing time and watched kids zonk out on the way back to the condo.

Soooo much fun! (I only had my iPhone and no good had to work with the pictures I got.)

Our third day was going to be spent relaxing and we had no plans other than winging the entire day. We began by trying out a new recipe that most of us agreed was really yummy and having ice-cream cones for breakfast! We made cinnamon rolls, danced around to songs on the radio (dealt with sibling fighting that made me want to pull my hair out), made homemade ice-cream and decided to spend the afternoon at the pool. After several hours in the sun and water (my tan is amazing, by the way!), we rented some movies and made popcorn. We decided that we were having so much fun that we didn’t want our vacation to end! When our property manager stopped by to install a new keypad lock on the door, we asked him if the condo was booked by someone else for Friday night and found out it wasn’t! He gave us an amazing deal and we decided to extend our vacation by another day. We were so excited…but had no idea that that decision would result in the most chaotic day…

Ice-cream for BREAKFAST?!?! I hope my kids know that they have the COOLEST Mom, ever!!!

Like Father...Like Son
Poolside Fun!
We LOVED pool time...can you tell?

LOVE my Fantastic Five!

Our fourth day began with breakfast and the decision to go wander the outlet stores, then we made more homemade ice-cream and headed to the pool after lunch. It began to rain about 30 minutes after we got there and after hanging out in the hot tub for a little bit, we decided that it was pouring too hard to stay and headed back to the condo. We were going to take the kids to Red Banjo Pizza on Park City’s Main Street and walk up and down Main. As we were leaving, Bek waited in the garage with the van (because it’s freaking huge and she couldn’t park it after returning from the store), while I ran upstairs to gather everyone. As we were leaving, I realized that our new keypad lock wasn’t shutting properly and locking, so I sent Josh and the kids on ahead, while I called the property manager. As I stood in the hall talking to him, the lights flickered a couple times…then went out. I then realized I could hear my kids yelling…from the nearby elevator. Josh and the five kids were stuck!!
Josh used the phone in the elevator to call….whoever that phone in the elevator connects with…and let them know. They promised to send help and I ran down to the garage to grab Bek. We both stood on the other side of the elevator door, feeling helpless. The kids were handling it pretty well, for the most part, but it started getting hot pretty quickly. After about 15 minutes, I began getting frustrated. I told Josh to call…whoever that phone in the elevator connects with…and explain that he had five small children stuck with him and find out how much longer. The voice on the other end said that he had a mechanic coming and it would be about another 15 minutes. I watch from a nearby window as this guy arrives, calmly and slowly saunters across the parking lot and…can’t figure out how to get into the building. Bek and I went tearing down 4 flights of stairs to catch him and hurried his slow, uncaring ass back upstairs. As he fiddles around with the release mechanism, I begin to grow more and more and more upset. All I could think was, “Get my kids out of there, you incompetent idiot!!” He then turns around and announces that he needs a different tool. Holy hell, are you kidding me??? I calmly explain to the kids that the man will be right back and I glance out the window to watch him slowly make his way out to his truck, texting on his phone. Then…the unthinkable…he drives away!! At this point, I’m infuriated and I called our property manager. I explained (not so calmly) that my children were stuck in an elevator (and had been for about 35 minutes) and the tech that was sent had just driven away! He told me that he would get us some help and 5 minutes after the tech left, he returned. He attempted again, to release the mechanism…only to then announce, “Uh, I need a crowbar.” I am on the verge of a panic attack at this point, as he goes back down the stairs and back up, for a third time. I promised my kids that if he left again, I was calling 911 and getting them out of there. I had kids that needed to use the restroom by this point, it was a good 90* in the elevator and I had had enough!!

Finally, after about 50 minutes, he is able to pry the exterior door open and we realize that the elevator isn’t totally on the third floor, but had gone down several feet. As we open the interior door halfway, I see that Josh’s head is about level with my knees and my kids were below the opening to the floor. As I think we are now home free, the *blankity blanking blanker* of a tech then announces that he has to go down to the basement to shut off all electricity to the building, because if it came on now, my family would drop. Looking back now, I’m sure what he meant was that the elevator would then try to descend to line up with the lower floor, however he used the word “drop” and I internally freaked out, trying not to show my kids. Josh was holding Peanut, who had remained extremely quiet and calm during this entire ordeal and her face looked blank and her eyes looked dull. I NEEDED her in my arms and made Josh quickly pass her to me, while we waited. After what felt like eternity, he returned, letting us know the power was off and we started pulling the kids and Josh out of the elevator as fast as we could. I have never felt such relief in my life. I wanted to cry and laugh hysterically and scream…all at the same time. Peanut didn’t talk for almost another hour, in a bit of shock I think, but she finally came around.

The power was still out and we no longer felt like heading to Park City’s Main Street, so we ended up in Heber for dinner, since they had power. I called the power company when we returned to the condo, only to find out that the power wasn’t expected back on until 10:30 pm. We had no candles, no flashlights and no way to buy any, since 7,600 people (stores included) were without power. After trying to settle the kids, in the pitch black, for over an hour, they finally fell asleep. I called the power company again about 10:15, and discovered that now 22,000 people were without power and there was no estimated time for it to be repaired.

We had a couple friends (Kristen and Thais) on their way up to hang out with us for our last night and they were kind enough to stop and grab us some candles. We couldn’t go relax in the hot tub like we had planned, so we sat out on the deck and listened to a very loud, rambunctious party going on two floors below us. Sometime around 2 am the power came back on and we happily got fans going again.

Day five…and we are now heading home. The kids are fighting and are tired. The adults are exhausted. We all just can’t wait to get home, unpack and hopefully take a nap! We will be attending Bek’s grandfather’s viewing and funeral over the next couple of days, rounding out a couple of weeks of emotional highs and lows.

When I googled what the odds were for getting stuck in an elevator, the consensus seemed to be that it is a “once in a lifetime” experience. Thank goodness, because I don’t think any of us could handle that again. Once in a lifetime, is one time…too many.

It’ll be good to get back to normal life. After all…there’s no place like home. <3

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Wow! Oh wow! I was freaking out just *reading* about the elevator story, even knowing that obviously everyone made it out okay. Elevators make me nervous...this is why!!