Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cross Country - Chapter 2


I took this down Haven Beach. All of the marsh grass and reeds you see here are ordinarily green, but now everything's turning brown or gray. The sand and the bay are way off in the background--you can barely see them. Speaking of things you can barely see--or perhaps cannot see--this reminds me of a story about my mother on our 1977 camping trip across the country.

As I mentioned yesterday, the entire Chesapeake Bay family was jam-packed into a VW bus pulling a camper across country from Virginia to California and back for our family "vacation." One of our stops was the Grand Canyon.

The Chesapeake Bay Griswolds pulled up into the parking lot of the Grand Canyon. OK, not "the" parking lot but "a" parking lot, and evidently it was a parking lot made specifically for motor homes and campers, because there were many of them nearby.

Chesapeake Bay Mother and Father had been eyeballing various RV's and motor homes all the way across the country. We were camping novices, and we were tired of putting up and taking down that pop-up camper with the canvas roof that had no heating such that when it was 30 degrees in the Rocky Mountains in the dead of August Chesapeake Bay Pre-Teen had to wrap herself in a VINYL TABLECLOTH to get warm enough to sleep. But that is part of a story from a future chapter in this series.

Anyway, Chesapeake Bay Parents were always pointing out various campers, and there happened to be a particularly nice one parked next to us in the Grand Canyon parking lot. Chesapeake Bay Mother decided she ought to get closer for a better look. After sizing up the outside, she cupped her hands over the sides of her eyes and pressed her face against the back window.

Now why did she do that?

The next thing we know Chesapeake Bay Mother jumps backwards and screams. She quickly runs away from the camper and tells us to get to steppin'--but fast.

It seems that although the camper was parked in the Grand Canyon parking lot, it was not vacant as CB Mother assumed. One male inhabitant was still inside and he not only had no clothes on, he was standing naked right near where Chesapeake Bay Mother peered in.

The moral of the story is this: The Grand Canyon is something everyone must see, but the inside of some stranger's camper is not. The other moral of the story is if you are going to prance around naked in your camper, don't do it when the Chesapeake Bay Family is around. We know no boundaries.

15 comments:

Grandma J said...

Oh I can't stop laughing!! That's the funniest Grand Canyon story I've ever heard. And the funniest motorhome/camper story too.

A plastic table cloth to keep warm!! That's classic!

Ellen said...

The family trip circa any time before 1980

VW camping bus - $5000
Gas - $.59.9/gallon
Mom seeing the naked person in the camper next to us - priceless

Now that was a funny camping story!

Mental P Mama said...

CB Mama had her own grand sights. Too funny. I actually expected something else to be happening in that RV. See where my mind resides?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - There's more to that plastic tablecloth story too. That was the coldest night I've ever spent sleeping outside, and one of the scariest. I'll have to write about it.

Ellen - Glad you liked it. Also, I believe my father only took about $200 in travelers checks for an entire month of spending money, and he said he still had money left when we got back home. Absolutely incredible.

MPM - For all I know there was more going on in that camper, but the version we kids were told was simply that there was a man with no clothes on. Who knows what else she saw....

Life with Kaishon said...

What a surprise : ) for Chesepeake Bay Mother : ). This made me laugh so hard! Loved it!

cats said...

That's what happens when Mathews natives leave Mathews. We don't know how to act. As my husband would say, That serves you right for poking your nose into other peoples business. We can't help it. We are just plain nosey. It is a Mathews native quality. I was looking at this cool car one day at Wal-Mart, just admiring it, and thinking how nice it was. I didn't notice that someone was sitting in it. My husband fussed at me, and said YOU shouldn't be around other peoples cars. I said, I would think that they would appreciate the fact that I liked their car.

big hair envy said...

I was thinking along the same lines as MPM......I thought there was a little Grand Canyon Hanky-Panky going on in that RV! Check with your Mumma, and see if the version she told you is actually the truth:)

Didn't those old vinyl tablecloths used to have some sort of fabric backing to keep them from sliding off of a table?? I'll bet you were adorable all wrapped up in a big orange-&-brown-flowered tablecloth. Any pictures???

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Cats - Once you live in Mathews, you should never be allowed to leave, I'm convinced. Especially our family.

BHE - The tablecloth did have that backing on it. Thankfully there are no pictures of me wrapped up in it, teeth chattering, because I was the one taking all the pictures from my teeny tiny Kodak instamatic camera. If it weren't for that, the trip would never have been documented. As it stands now there is an enitre album of highlights which hopefully will never be seen by eyes outside of the Chesapeake Bay Family again. There's blackmail material in that there album.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

LWK - Reb. Glad you enjoyed it. I ought to get CB Mother to write her version of events, we may learn even more about what actually was seen. I'm not quite sure I want to know, but I'd still like to hear her side of it.

BOSSY said...

Warning well heeded. For cryin' out loud.

Anonymous said...

OK, see my comment on the last blog. This is where they pulled out of the parking lot without me! CBMiddleSis was left at the Grand Canyon...

-Middle Sis

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Bossy! (Bossy's my hero.)

Middle Sister: The Chesapeake Bay Mother Peering into a Man's Camper episode DID happen in the Grand Canyon, in The Grand Canyon Parking Lot, I remember it vividly. However, you may well be right about where you had your *unfortunate mishap*...I thought it was Tahoe, but whatever. If it happened in Arizona, I will have to say that it didn't happen right at the Canyon - I remember it being a rest stop vs. an attraction. We'll consult with Chesapeake Bay Mother on all the particulars....will you be here for Christmas, I hope? And by the way, anytime you want to do a guest contribution, you have a standing invitation.

soupisnotafingerfood said...

Um. Is it possible that you were actually vacationing with Soup Husband's family? Because I feel as if I have already heard these stories... from my husband.

Fortunately, my mom put her foot down on camping. "THERE WILL BE NO CAMPING," she said. Thus, we vacationed at Holidays Inns, where kids stayed free and every one had a pool. Woooot!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Soup - There has to be a connection, somehow. I'm telling you, my paternal grandmother had some Pennsylvania roots, so anything's possible.

A Holiday Inn stay would have been a very special and momentous occasion for the Chesapeake Bay Family, who never (or rarely) went anywhere, but for one trip to Ocean City, the camping marathon across country, and a trip to Florida. I think we stayed in a Holiday Inn on that trip to Florida.

I remember an insect the size of an armadillo in the room. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

OK, just so that you know...I remember feeling overwhelmed by the size of the canyon and then feeling like I had no way to contact you all and that I risked being separete from you forever. This was at the brim of the canyon...

I can't be gone on Christmas day, but hope to be there the week between!

Middle Sis