The Spontaneous Trip

My friends and I took a random trip to Idaho this weekend. So many things happened, it would’ve made a really great movie! A story about three co-dependent best friends setting out on a journey, looking forward to the impulsive adventure that lay ahead of them. Little did they know what kind of experience it was going to be…. <— That would be the tagline!

(Discloser: I really slacked in the picture department this go-round. I mean, there are one or two…but not as much as I would like, so this post is just going to be a butt-load of words… Sorry!!!)

Brad, Ashley, and I were hanging out together Thursday night doing homework when we started making plans for the weekend. Brad said that he wouldn’t be able to do anything because he was going to visit family for the day. His plan was to leave sometime Friday night after class and come back Saturday morning. He didn’t want to go alone, so he invited us to come tag along with him. With my new job, it’s a little tricky to take last minute trips. I quickly texted my other RA and both my supervisors. A few hours later, all three had said yes. I was in the clear! Hooray! Thursday night, my friends and I said goodnight with unknown solid plans but for sure going to Idaho the next day.

Friday I had morning classes so I was up, gone, and back from class when Brad started wanting to make plans. Ashley had a class in the early afternoon, so while she was doing that, Brad and I ran some errands. We ran to the bank, the store, and the school. Ashley got done with class and met us for lunch. We all ate and goofed off for a while before we all climbed into Brad’s car to go do things to get ready for our trip to Idaho that night. (Oh! Brad had also checked out his car to make sure she would make it on the trip. That’s important to remember.)

We finally hit the road about 5:30. It was Friday night but traffic wasn’t too shabby surprisingly. So I think I’ve mentioned this before but Brad is from Idaho Falls. We had about a threeish hour drive ahead of us. My parents still live in Pocatello and because Poky is on the way to Idaho Falls, we planned on stopping by for a potty break and hugs. The first two hours were fairly uneventful. Brad drove, we ate snacks, we rocked out to music between conversation, Ashley watched a movie, I was freezing…totally normal trip. As we came up on Plymouth, Carolina (his car) was making a really soft clicking noise. I turned off the music and we listened. It stopped for a second and then switched over to the other side. After a little bit of that, the RPM’s shot way high and that’s when we knew something was wrong. Brad pulled over and popped the hood.  While he was checking stuff out, Brad noticed a little puddle up black stuff but didn’t want to worry. He checked the oil – it was fine. Perfect level. He then checked the transmission fluid – there was NOTHING on the stick!It was getting dark so I climbed out and shined a flashlight on the engine so he could see what he was doing. He called his parents to ask if he was missing something or just doing something wrong. We took pictures of what we were looking at, talked about what happened and where we were.

We got off the phone and decided to push the car further off to the side. I climbed into the driver’s seat so he could push the car. After we were safe again, we noticed that there was a pretty little trail of that shiny black goo that followed the car off the road to where we had just parked. We sent a picture to his parents. His dad called us back, I answered, and trying not to laugh he said, “that’s either the cleanest oil I’ve ever seen OR that is all your transmission fluid on the road.” 

That news was pretty exciting. With that information, and the fact that the stick where you check that fluid was clean, we knew exactly what the problem was… We weren’t going anywhere. It was starting to get cold, so Brad and I climbed back in the car. I called my dad (who was only an hour away) to explain the situation and ask if he could come get us. While I was doing that, Brad explained to Ashley was was going on and what the plan was now. We had stopped at the gas station before we left so we had plenty of fluids to drink, Ashley had claimed a blanket that was Brad’s. and I got to cuddle up into his coat to stay warm. We sat in the dark and cold, analyzing the situation. What was going to happen now, where the car would go, how far away Dad was.. We eventually were able to laugh about everything. I know my laughter was out of exhaustion, Brad’s was most likely out of frustration, and Ashley’s was probably out of confusion.

One hour later, Dad showed up. I gave hugs and made introductions. Mom has met both Brad and Ashley before, Dad had not. Quite the first meeting, huh? Hehe. We all hopped into the Suburban and finished the last leg of the trip. Brad almost imediatly zonked out, Ashley finished her movie, and I chatted with my dad about the classes I’m taking this semester. (Side note: Holy crap! This semester is going to be amazing. I have some really awesome classes that I’m already in love with!!)

Dad pulled up and we went into the house. Because 1. it was so late 2. we didn’t have car 3. we were all really tired, we decided to stay in Pocatello for the night. We’d figure out a way to go up to Idaho Falls in the morning. Mom had set up the bunk bed in my old room a while ago when I had moved out so it was already planned that Ash and I would sleep there. Josh is a sweetheart and gave up his bed for the couch so Brad could have a real bed for the night. We said goodnight to the boys but stayed up talking and laughing for a while longer. None of us were tired at all! I guess it was all the adrenaline with what had happened.

We eventually made our way down to Josh’s room to hang out. It was cold in the room, so Ash had climbed into the covers of the double bed for a bit, just to warm up. I eventually did the same. We laughed about not actually sleeping in “his” room. “Girls…What are you doing?!” “We’ll move!” “We’re just warming it up for you!” About an hour after that, I started getting really giggly and weird. (That’s what happens when I’m really sleepy.) Brad or Ash would say something and I’d die of laughter. That’s when Brad decided to call it a night. He grabbed his stuff from the end of the bed and started heading across the hall. “Wait,” I whisper yelled! “My stuff is in there. Ash and I will move. Get back in here!” “Sarah…you’re half asleep and Ashley is already comfortable and tucked in. I’ll just take this room.” “But that’s a girl room. *laughter* We can move.” “Nah, it’s fine.” “Ugh….okay, let me just get my stuff.” I jumped out of bed, ran passed him to grab my pillow and backpack. “Goodnight girls…” “Goodnight Brad!!!”

After we had said goodnight, Ash and I got really wide awake and hyper again. We started talking and giggling. We talked about lots of things. We ended up finding a book on the bookshelf and decided to read it. It was a big book about fish. There were lots of pictures of the different kinds so I came up with the brilliant idea of figuring out backstories and voices for them. Oh, man! My belly still hurts from laughing so hard. Eventually we both crashed. The next morning, Brad made arrangements for his car, Ashley slept, and I made breakfast. (The night before, the boys had asked if we could have rolled up pancakes and Dad told them yes…if Sarah made them. I wanted rolled up pancakes, and my friends had never had them the way my family eats them so that’s how i got roped into making breakfast on my vacation.) After breakfast, Josh, Nathan, Brad, Ashley, and I went downstairs. The boys and I played Mario Kart for a while. Lots of laughter and teasing were involved. Brad and I wandered upstairs and he taught me how to play a different game. (I’m not a gamer… He thinks it’s hilarious to teach me how to play First Person Shooter games because I scream and freak out.) Anyway, we tag teamed on that for a bit before we asked Dad if he had time to run us to Brad’s house in IF. About 6, we said goodbye to the boys and headed to our original destination.

We pulled up into the Coleman’s driveway and got out of the car. Brad’s dad met us outside when we got there. As the five of us stood there talking, kiddos started to shyly wander over to see their bother. I just need to say, this family is adorable and I love them so much!! Dad left after hugs and handshakes and we all went back into the house for proper introductions. We had come right after a night of making marshmallow catapults at scouts, so the kids showed us how to make them. After our projects were complete we sat on the couch and shot mallows into the kid’s mouths. It was so much fun! There were piggy backs, a soccer game, stories, hugs, giggles, cookie dough, attempt at a movie, gathering in Mom and Dad Coleman’s room for family prayer, saying goodnight to the little ones, and then talking with the adults.

The next morning, I came downstairs and all the boys were conked out in the living room.  The two youngers were sprawled out on the floor, Brad was on one end of the couch with a brother on the other end. I really regret not snapping a picture. I found an empty spot on the floor by a window and started reading. About three paragraphs in, I started hearing little girl voices. When they discovered I was awake, I didn’t get much reading done. We all quietly sat on the window seat, watching and counting the birds outside. Each time a boy would move, we’d all shush each other and then start giggling. One by one, the boys started waking up.

Most of the family was sick and the three visitors (Brad, Ash, and I) didn’t have church clothes, so after a big family discussion, it was decided that we weren’t going to do church. We had family prayer and went to our separate Sunday appropriate activities. Some kids read their scriptures while others took the littles to play legos.

We ate a really yummy lunch together (made by Dad Coleman and some of the kids) around the table with the whole family. We cleaned up and Brad, Ashley, and I took the youngest one outside for a walk around the property. We played with the kittens, said hi to the dog and chickens, went over and petted the horse.

Brad’s dad called him into the house so he ran back inside but Ash and I kept following the baby around…just going where he wanted to go. As we wandered around, a few more kids had joined us on the walk. The girls showed us the garden, we played on the swing set, we heard stories about the animals, and we even ran away from some yellow jackets.

We eventually all went inside. Ashley went upstairs and got to talking to Mom Coleman, while I was in the living room. I was playing with the kids when Brad and Dad Coleman came in. Dad Coleman and I talked about what I was going to school for, what my plans were.. Just general get to know you stuff.

Brad had bought bus tickets the night before so the three of us could get back to Utah for school this morning. We had to start getting ready to leave… You know getting dressed, packed back up, all that fun stuff. At one point, one of Brad’s little sisters grabbed my hand and told me not to leave. I wanted to cry! I told her that I had to but I would definitely be back to visit I guess that was a good answer because she grinned and gave me a hug before running away to play again. I then looked up and said to anyone who was listening, “I probably will come to visit regardless if Brad is with me or not!” That got lots of kiddo giggles.

About 2:00 the final goodbyes came. It was so sad! The whole family was out on the porch waving as the three of us rode away to the bus station. This family had been so welcoming. In the short time I had known them, they felt like I had immediately become part of their happy family. We got on the bus and settled in for a 5ish hour drive. I slept on and off the whole way. We got back home to Utah safe, tired, and full of wonderful memories!

This spontaneous less than 24 hour trip turned into a three day much needed break. Oh, as sad as it is that Brad’s car is out of commission, I wouldn’t trade this weekend for anything! Although….next time Brad invites me to go anywhere, I might have to reconsider. Haha! 😉


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