Oh my goodness girls, you will NOT believe what boneheaded thing I did today.
I RAN OUT OF GAS in the middle of a 400 mile trip ALONE with my 6 year old, 4 year old and 16 month old.
I was waiting until LaCrosse to get gas because the stations close to MN have MN prices (which are close to $.20 CHEAPER then WI prices at some stations). Well, the older two kids played tag team "I have to go potty" today. We were stopping every hour or more (which is really unheard of for them, and they went a LOT each time, both of them, every stop so I don't know what was up). I was in a brain fog anyways and having trouble waking up, so when we hit construction and then Katie fell asleep, I totally forgot I was pushing the tank further then I usually do when traveling alone and enjoyed the cushion of silence for traveling.
We get into Minnesota on I-90 and past Nodine and then you enter a no-mans land where there are exits only every 10-15 miles and a lot of them are no service exits. I drove past the Winona exit because I had 25 miles left on the tank and didn't know how far off the highway it was to Winona. Figured for sure I'd hit SOMETHING in 25 miles. (Note, I've driven this route probably near a HUNDRED times so you'd think I'd know) Next exit, nothing as far as the eye can see- and from experience I know not to get off and try it- I'm better off hitting the next exit. Then we're in construction again. I decide that no matter what the next exit is, I'm getting off, because if my van dies, I don't want it to be on I-90 in the middle of a one lane construction zone. Pull off with 11 miles left on the tank and a sign for a town 10 miles away.
Make it to the town and follow the traffic flow and NOTHING. I can't find a station anywhere. I decide then to turn around and see how close I can make it to a church I saw with people around. I was literally on "0 miles left" then but I didn't want to be in the deserted downtown that only had a few scary looking men. I don't know how I made it back to the church, but I did and my car died right as I parked it in the first available spot!
I get the kids out of the van and hike about a 1/4 of a mile down this gravel road where I see attendants. Turns out the church was having a free music festival. Ask for help from the attendant and he calls his wife to get the gas can from their house and bring it over. He says it will be like 15 minutes, which is totally fine since I'm the idiot who needs a gallon of gas to make it to a station.
Well it was like 85 degrees out and humid and BRIGHT. My kids and I are all redheads and I had already disclosed that I was pregnant and traveling alone because I was DESPERATE. I know my oldest and youngest start to get red in the face, but then he looks over at me and practically yells at me "Will you PLEASE stop scaring me and go sit in the shade?!?!?!" I must have looked horrible! LOL
So we go and hang out in the cemetery under some trees and the next thing I know there's an older gentleman next to me saying we can walk to my van because he lives 1/2 a block from the church and his son is bringing over some gas. It seriously seemed like a blink to me! So I start chatting with him trying to glean any information I can from him because, like the attendant, he refuses to let me pay him at LEAST for the gas. Get a name really quickly and directions to the gas station (other end of town).
Get gas, get the kid's cooled off and their cups refilled and buy them some candy. Ask the gas station attendant for a phone book and find the address for the gentleman who helped me by piecing things together. I'm going to send a thank you at least to him and ask him to pass it on to the attendant too. (Totally need ideas at this point!)
Felt horrible for delaying the kids and making them have to be in the van so much extra so I bought them an early dinner from McDonalds. 2 meals at McDonald's today... I feel so icky even as they're elated. More calories then I needed but I needed to eat something, icky or not. I'm so done with fast food for a long time! I'm totally not letting the tank go below a half the rest of this pregnancy either! Preggo brain has hit me harder then ever this time.