We have suffered our first two losses on our extended trip to Peru. The first is Rhett's backpack. Not that big of a deal admittedly. The waterproof lining started flaking out of the inside and getting in all of his stuff so he had to chunk it and head to the local Wong store to pick up a new one. Not as cool as the former North Face one but it will do. We bought that one on our trip to Maine when we got engaged almost 7 years ago. It's nice to see some material things not lasting as long as our commitment to each other :) The only reason I even mention the backpack is because I find it interesting that his fancy smancy North Face bag just barely got him through half of medical school and residency and MY Charbon's backpack that I bought in 7th grade (circa about 1990, I think) is still going strong. Bear with me- this is for all the Athens folks who have the same bag sitting in their closet . . .
These backpacks were all the rage at Clarke Middle School back in the day so being the teeny bopper that I was I had to have one just like everyone else. That backpack took me through the rest of my days at CMS (where it went nicely with Umbros and Vuarnet T-shirts and later with Duckhead shorts and Polo shirts) and was a with me all through high school (and complimented flannel shirts, torn jeans and cowboy boots). It even saw me off to college at UGA (where I wore mostly jeans and date night T-shirts, I think). At some point in nursing school I lost my loyalty and bought a super cool North Face bag that was SO in. I really do like that bag and it has gone around the world with me (it has some extra features that made it excellent for traveling - my Charbon's bag is more of a school bag). But for this trip I needed a more streamlined version that could pack up easily so North Face stayed at home and Charbon got to take it's place. It's amazing really how long it has lasted. Is Charbon's even still open for business in Athens? Thanks for going down memory lane with me . . .
The second loss was much more significant to our team effort here . . . The Phil and Ted's went down. I know, I know, I have raved about this stroller and now this happened! It was user error - let me explain. I keep a little hand tire pump in the back of our car at home to pump up tires on various strollers (I have a lot of strollers) since the temperature changes in the car cause the air to go down sometimes. About a week before we left the plastic on the pump broke and it leaked so badly that it wouldn't work. I put on one of my endless to-do lists to pick up a new pump for our trip since I assumed we would need it at some point. Well, it never happend and we ended up here with our fantastic stroller and no air pump for 2 1/2 months. It was just a matter of time. The tires started to get low and it became harder and harder to push. I didn't use it for almost a week while waiting for a solution from my dear husband. I even managed to ask about one in a store (at least I think I did) and came up empty handed. So one day I was feeling like walking to to the park near the beach and decided I had to take matters into my own hands so I pushed the kids across the street to a gas station and found the air hose. It was this huge trapeeze looking contraption that was unfamiliar but air is air right? So I put it on the tire and I hear a loud hiss and the tire was flat. I assumed I had just opened the valve enough to let the air out but had not fit it properly to get the air in. So I put it on again and pushed down hard to get a good seal (just for a second!). The air definitely went in that time and the tire got HUGE. I tried to put it back on to open the valve and let some air out but it was too late. BANG!!!! I think people standing on the corner hit the deck. I got a lot of ugly looks and stares because obviously I looked ridiculous. I took some shrapnel to my leg, Claire was screaming because I had terrified her and here I go with my gimp stroller - riding on the rim of one tire- back to our apartment trying to figure out the whole way what we were going to do without a stroller.
So now Phil and Ted is folded up and parked in our hallway where it will now go directly to the checked baggage area with our other bags for the trip home. I am now a proud owner of yet another stroller (just a little umbrella stroller) that will help us manage for the rest of our time here. Claire has to walk but oh well it will toughen her up a little bit right? We will also have a barely used umbrella stroller for sale on April 4th if you are interested.
Here are some pictures from the park today . . .