My hubby's birthday and the Ice Cream Festival (Sunday)

Sunday was my hubby's 42nd birthday. He actually had the day off work. He wanted to go to the Utica Velvet Ice Cream festival, which is held every year during Memorial Day weekend.

So we went to church, came home to change, fed the kids a quick lunch (which in hind sight was a great move!) while Bill had to run to work for a minute...then we were off.

Utica is about 20 minutes from where we live, but we knew from experience that we would sit in traffic going to the festival for longer that that.

That is when the adventure began. After sitting in traffic for about 15 minutes or so, we noticed a rubbery burning smell that we thought was coming from a motorcycle a few cars ahead of us, or from one of the old time cars going by. (Sunday was the annual classic car show at the festival). Well the motorcycle decided not to wait and it made a u-turn and left, but we were still smelling the smell. As we moved a little forward, I happened to look out and see a little bit of smoke coming out of the hood of our van!

My hubby was driving and he decided to make a u-turn and head back into the village of Utica. My parents live about 5 minutes from where we were, so we decided to try to make it there as there is no auto place in Utica. We turned onto the street leading to there street and the check engine light came on. We made it to their driveway. I called my dad, who was still in the town that we live in and let him know what was going on as they were supposed to meet us at the ice cream festival. As I got off the phone with him, my mother in law called and wanted to know which way to turn as they were supposed to meet us at the festival at 1pm. Well I told them instead of turning toward the festival, turn the other way and that we were at my parents house because of an issue with the van.

After figuring out how to get the hood open, Bill checked the fluids and everything was fine, but there was still a strong burning smell. My father in law thought that the coolant was low, which it wasn't and that we should just add coolant and head back to the festival. Um, no...not when there is a definite burning smell. We then invaded my parents house (as I have a key!) and I pulled out sandwich fixings for my in-laws as there are no fast food places in Utica, and they had been planning on eating at the festival.

Shortly thereafter, my parents arrived home and my dad suggested it smelled like an electrical burn. He definitely smelled it. At this point, we decided to call Triple A and have it towed to the auto place just down the road from where we live in our town. Bill was on hold with them for over 10 minutes, before we decided to just go to the festival and have it towed after we got back. We piled in my parents van and my in laws decided to take Rebecca in their car and they would follow us.

We sat in traffic for 45 minutes to get to the festival (remember my parents live 5 minutes from Velvet Ice Cream). To us that was not bad at all, as some summers we have waited in line for over 1.5 hours to get to it. At one point, my mother in law got out of their vehicle and knocked on our window wanting to know how much longer. My dad told her probably another 15 minutes or so. She was clearly NOT happy, although we had warned her that this would be the case.

We finally make it to the parking area, pay our parking fee, then head to park in the back of the field. As we get out, my mother in law gets out and says we can't stay, we have to go muttering something about they have to get home to their poor dog who has been alone since 11 that morning (a mere 4 hours alone). They hand us Rebecca's car seat and they leave. After sitting in the traffic, paying the $5 parking fee, they leave without getting any ice cream or anything. I don't get it. I really don't.

That didn't stop us from having fun. We enjoyed some ice cream. Saw some cool cars. Sat by the nice pond for a while watching the ducks. We saw some cool crafts and vendors. There was a booth there, where the couple was selling jewelry, but they had a tarantula (named Cinderella) sitting in a cage on top of one of their display cases. Their daughter had what I thought was a spider nose ring sitting near the top of her was a REAL baby tarantula! EEK! It just sat there until she put her finger up to it, then it crawled on her finger. Totally creeped me out.

We had some yummy food--- Bill got his gyro, I had a funnel cake and the kids had snow cones where they got to put their own flavorings on.

Rebecca even rode the pony ride this year. This year it was put on by a local 4-H group and I was really impressed with the way the kids and adults interacted with the riders and the ponies. It was a great experience for Rebecca.

We were there for about 3.5 hours. Then we headed back to my parents house, where we called Triple A for a tow and waited for them to come and tow the van. While we waited we sat outside and talked and snacked our way through dinner. At one point, my sister started pointing at Bill and saying "um, um, um" and he looked down to see a furry thing on him. He started freaking out and wiping his shirt off....only to discover that it was a caterpillar. The kids had fun looking at it. Personally I am glad it was on him and not me.

After the van got towed, we decided to head home. My parents graciously lent us their van for the night, as we were going to see them in the morning at the Memorial Day parade.

After we got home, we had sang happy birthday to Bill and he opened his presents from the kids and I. The boys were exhausted so we put them to bed and then Bill, Rebecca and I had cake, before Rebecca went to bed. Bill and I cleaned up a bit, then headed to bed, exhausted after our LONG birthday day for Bill, knowing that Memorial Day would bring dealing with the van issues and a parade......


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