Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hail Of A (Field) Trip

Today Chris and I had the pleasure of going on the 3rd Grade field trip with Mia, destination Legoland KC!

We started the day off like any other day starts - by running late. By the time we got to the school, Mia's entire class thought that she was sick and missing the field trip!

 "Mia! Mia you're here! Yea!!!!"

We dropped her off and headed to pick up lunch for the day. Did someone say sandwiches from the gas station? You know I can't pass up gas station food, guys!

Chris drove and for once, I didn't have any complaints about his driving AND WE DIDN'T EVEN GET LOST!

Field trip time...

The trip went so smoothly for once, and we all had a really good time. At the end of the afternoon, we signed out Mia and her cousin, Emanuel, and headed home intent on stopping at the Walmarts when we got closer to home. 

It was sunny when we went inside, and sprinkling by the time we came outside. Hello, Missouri spring! And then?

The hail started just as we got onto the highway to head home. By the next exit, it was hailing so hard that Chris could only drive 35 MPH. It sounded like someone was literally hitting baseballs into our car! At that point, I started getting nervous as we merged over to the exit lane to head down 7.

"Kids, scoot closer together. Get away from the windows." 

We inched closer to the on ramp and suddenly, all of the cars in front of us were stopped. No one was moving, the hail was still coming down and hard. They were parked on the outer lane of the exit ramp - to afraid to drive.

Granny called to see where we were and as she talked it was hard to hear with the Mia crying in the back seat, the hail hitting the car, and Chris yelling at the cars to go. And then? Then I got a severe weather alert from the Bates County 911 service saying that there was a tornado warning for the area.

We made the choice to pull out from our spot in line and drive around the parked cars. Up the ramp, a short right, and we pulled in to a big gas station known to locals as 'the fireworks stand'.

When we pulled in, there were 10 or more cars parked under the gas pump awnings. I rushed the kids inside to an empty building and the cashiers inside looked at me like I was a crazy woman.

"They just issued a tornado warning for Bates County! I have to get these kids somewhere NOW! You have a parking lot full of people out there, we need to get them inside!"

I was shaking like a leaf the entire time! I don't know that there's anything that scares me more than tornado season!

After a few seconds, people started to come into the bathrooms and within 5 minutes of hiding in the women's restroom, a new message came through signalling the all clear.

We exited the building to sunny skies, 65 degrees, and a parking lot filled with little balls of ice.

Seriously, a day without chaos would be awesome...

"So you guys had an awesome time, right?"
"We almost died!!!"