Thanksving Vacation

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Melissa and her family went to Boston for Thanksgiving. They arrived at Jim's (Melissa's father) brother and sister-in-law's and house around 2 pm to join twenty-five or so of their relatives for another memorable holiday. The meal was fantastic and it was wonderful to see everyone. They spent the rest of the weekend at Jim's parents' house. The shopping, visiting, and so forth went very smoothly. It was getting home that posed a massive problem.

Around 5:30 p.m. Indiana time, Melissa, her Mom, Dad, and brother, got into their minnie van (a 1995 white and black striped Oldsmobile Silhouette) and headed home. It was going to be another smooth ride in the family space ship, or so they thought. Melissa had been ever so peacefully sleeping with her I-Pod blaring for the first part of the ride. She subconsciously felt the car come to a stop, but attributed it to the seemingly endless amount of toll booths that lined the Massachusetts freeway. After feeling stationary for an abnormal amount of time she opened my eyes only to discover that the van was stationed on the side of the road, which also happened to be an extremely high bridge over a river. Melissa was informed that the car simply stopped moving mid trip. Her brother had apparently pushed the thing to its current location so that the other travelers, along with their MOVING cars, could continue on.

Melissa's Dad worked in the automobile industry and was very car savvy. He had heard some strange noises coming from the car as it began to break and was almost positive that the problem stemmed from a failing transmission. Being the humorous Catholic family that they were, Melissa's mother decided that we would pray. So there were, sitting on the side of the road in Boston, Massachusetts, praying the Hail Mary. They finished and attempted to get their old girl up and moving again. Sure enough, she turned on and began to go. The McBride's all cheered (literally) thinking they would make it back home. WRONG. After about 2 miles the gears began jumping again. The family got off at an exit and parked outside the Ramada Inn. The car could give no more.

It was now about 5:20 pm. Frustrated, the family entered the doors of the hotel to speak with the front desk about rental cars. They were given the number of every car rental facility in the surrounding area. Jim called every number, to no avail. Not one place was open. The man at the front desk informed them that there was a train station about a mile away. Jim's aunt lived in Michigan City, Indiana, 175 miles away and the train just so happened to have a stop there. It seemed that this was there only option, so after 2 hours of discussion and listening to Melissa throw a fit about the party I was going to miss the next evening, her parents decided that they would take the train.

Since they no longer had a working car, the now exhausted McBride's were forced to walk. Each of them gathered what they needed (luggage, purses, pillows, backpacks, shoes, coats, laptops etc.) and took off on foot to make the 8:40 train. Each of them had at least three things of their own, plus we had to pick up the slack for Melissa's mom, who had just had a hysterectomy for uterine cancer 10 days prior. Needless the say this was going to be a LONG walk. The family waddled down the highway like a group of homeless bums.

They had been instructed by the hotel clerk to turn right when they reached the Walgreen's. This turn took them off the highway and into Little Mexico. They passed no less than 15 Mexican stores and restaurants. It severely nerved the clan to be walking in such unfamiliar grounds but they finally made it. The building to buy tickets was closed and no one else was waiting to catch the train, which wasn't due to arrive for another twenty minutes. Everyone sat along side the tracks on a bench in the subzero weather until it pulled up. The ride took a staggering fie hours. Jim's cousin was there waiting outside the station when the train arrived. Melissa was never so happy to see her, and she didn't even like her. Anyways, they arrived at Great Aunt Alyce's and spent the night.

The morning came quick and it was time to find a way home. Since it was Sunday, there were again, no rental companies open. The only way to get a car was to rent one through an air port. The nearest one was in South Bend, about fifty minutes away by train. At 9:20 Melissa's Dad yelled up the stairs that the next train left at 9:40 and they were going to make it. Melissa and her mom, who were both still sleeping, jumped out of bed like bats out of hell. They could not and would not miss that train.

At precisely 9:30 the four of misfits and their Aunt Alyce packed into the car to make the ten minute ride to the train station. They arrived just when the train was due only to find out that it was running fifteen minutes late. That was nice because it actually gave them time to say our goodbyes and thank the old woman for her hospitality.

The fifty minute trip went fast. They arrived at the airport to claim the car they had reserved. The rest of the trip home went fabulously. It took about two hours, which to Melissa felt like nothing compared to the amount of hours spent walking, riding the train, and waiting. Finally, they arrived home and it never felt so good.





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