Highway to Hell

Within the same realm of lessons learned I present a family outing for your enjoyment. I will emphasize "your" enjoyment because there was none to be had by us. Balloon Glow... those two words make my stomach churn.
I had been reading the local newspaper during lunch at work that Friday and there was a section on things to do that weekend. It was back in fall and we had only been in the area for a few weeks and trying to be super dad I laid plans to pack my family up and surprise them with an unbelievable time we would have never been able to have in our old town. When I saw the festivities that were to take place the night before a hot air balloon race in St. Louis it seemed the perfect fit for my wife and kids.
 Balloon Glow is an annual event that takes place in Forest Park. The night before the race all the hot air balloons light up and fill the parks boundaries with their light. That is as much as I know about it however, because we never made it.
As soon as we got a couple of miles over the Mississippi traffic slowly came to a halt. The exit I had originally planned to take to the park was blocked by police due to the park being full, and as we drove by it little did I know that the three seconds we saw the balloons in the clearing would be the only time we saw the balloons that rest of the night. We kept slowly creeping forward hopeful to find parking at the next exit, but all we found was gridlock. By this time the kids had had it. The fun night promised was not being had and they were starting to let us know. Lily, as per usual, was letting us know her distaste. Princesses such as her royal self were not to be kept waiting. Anna was too excited about the balloons to fall asleep like she would usually do, so instead whimpered off and on to our dismay. Jack went through bought of crying to threating us with horrible images and smells ("I have to go potty!!"). When it was all said and done We were two hours in a van going about 15 mph.
Vehicles are horrible places. I always walk to our van with great anxiety. The seat belts are chains, the turn signal sound a Chinese water torture. I need no comparison for the dreaded car seat. The people that designed these must think children are extremely patient, shaped like an acute angle, and small people that enjoy clean conditions. HA! But really the joke is on me. All four are obviously in car seats, and all four obviously hate it.
 So now I hope I've painted an accurate picture of our outing. I sometimes think that night the glow from the hot air balloons was actually the faint glow of the nearing fires of hell. Two things I learned that night, when it's in St. Louis go early... super early. And when you see traffic stopped, GO THE OTHER WAY!

No comments:

Post a Comment