It's fugly. It's shiny silvery with holographic-like stars all over it. Yups. Also, all the girls have really similar features. See?
Aw...Abby=13-year-old PoBal minus the glasses!! Check that hair! Also, why is Mal wearing a fucking horse shirt? Isn't she always begging to be treated more adult? Well then, sweetheart, you might wanna lose the animal clothes until you're a middle-aged soccer mom, at least.
The incredibly unlikely (and mind-numbingly confusing) premise? Let me see if I have this straight...So, Dawn's dad has a friend from New York who needs his RV to be in Palo City [we interrupt this "plot" summary for a brief rant: when the fuck did Anaheim or wherever-real-city mutate into faked-out Palo City? Lame lame lame lame LAME!!!] instead of NY. Or something. So, he's cutting Dawn and Jeff's summer in Stoneybrook short so they can drive across country. Then Kristy tells Watson, and he decides that a cross-country ROAD TRIP!!!!!! would be the perfect Brewer family vacation. And, because he's a fucking moron, he offers to bring along any of Kristy's friends. [Do the other Brewer/Thomas kids ever get jealous that Kristy's friends always get to tag along? Oh, Sam and Charlie are staying home to work or something. Not terribly important.] Of course, the BSC plus all the 'rents and other childrens can't fit in one RV, so they divide up between the the two RVs. One will take the northern route, the other will take the southern. Then they'll all meet up in the PC. [Go ahead, start screaming the chorus to "California."] And there's a party. And everyone but the Schafers are flying back? Or something...
[This one's kinda hard to divide up...I'll do my best.]
So, the Schafer RV takes the northern route and carries Jack [that's Dawn's dad], Dawn, Jeff, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey and Kristy [don't ask]. They hit up Cleveland (an Indians game and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Chicago (Art Institute and Wrigley Field), Shaumberg, IL (a mall), Bloomington, MN (the Mall of America), South Dakota (the Badlands, Wall, Mammoth Site), Yellowstone & Grand Tetons Parks, "Buzzard Gulch--Idaho's Turn-of-the-Century Haunted Village, Lovingly Re-Created for Today's Visitor," Seattle (drama and a Mariners game) and San Francisco (drama at a Giants game & general touristy goodness). As for the group drama? They run out of gas in the Badlands and Mr. Schafer leaves them for hours while he goes to get gas.
The individual drama?
Kristy wants to see as many ballparks as possible. And she sees her dad on the Jumbotron! And she goes to find him. And cries in public.
Mary Anne meets up with her grandma from Iowa at the Mall of America ("You'd think they'd build the parking lot of America to go with the Mall of America!"). Oh, and Jack Schafer gets on her last nerve with his constant pokes (ooh, dirty) at her dad, Connecticut, everything.
Jeff goes rock climbing and rappelling.
Stacey gets all pissed at Claud cause she thinks she's reading her diary. [This story line is stupid and makes no sense.] And she's meeting this guy in Seattle with whom she's been exchanging letters. And they have a hard time meeting up, all slapsticky-like. But they finally get together and, well, get together. Sloppy makeouts, if ya dig...
Claudia finds a real Georgia O'Keefe sketch in an antique store.
Dawn I almost completely forgot about her...She wants to see a ghost town. And she's disappointed at first, but has a good time anyway. Or something. All I remember is that she annoyed the piss out of me.
In the Brewer/Thomas RV we have Watson and Elizabeth, Karen, Andrew, David Michael, Abby, Jessi and Mal. On their southerly route, they cruise Oakley, NJ (and have a down-home time with the extended Ramsey clan), Chincoteague & Assateague (which the Wik tells me is in (well, off the coast of) Virginia...and those stupid horse books are set there. (Apologies if you actually like them. I've never read them, but my only associations with them come from these little bitches.)), Graceland, Dalton, MS (home of the Dalton Plantation Museum, and the former plantation where Jessi's kin were, well, slaves.), Lester, OK (Watson's college buddy lives there), Ten Gallon, TX (for a rodeo), Zuni, NM (where they visit the school they helped rebuild after a fire, 'member?), Four Corners, the Grand Canyon and the San Diego Zoo [I now have the 6ths song "San Diego Zoo" stuck in my head. "How could I have ever left you?"]. The group drama? Rodeos make them all uncomfortable. Oh, and they get stuck in a tornado in Lester! Hiding out in the bathroom=FUN! They also keep running into an old couple traveling with their annoying granddaughter.
Karen needs to shut the fuck up. She is a manipulative little skank. And she wants to stand on the Four Corners and wave at Stoneybrook.
David Michael apparently doesn't realize that rodeos involve potentially hurting cows. So, he skeeves, and chickens out.
Abby accidentally (?) convinces the kids that Elvis is still alive. Oh, and she has all this heavy shit about her dead dad at the Grand Canyon, cause it was his favorite place, and they had to cancel their vacation to said canyon when he died.
Mal gets all weepy over horses. And is all nerves at the Ramseys' house.
Jessi briefly suspects that Mal is racist, and she visits her ancestral plantation and is horrified by how horrible slavery must have been.
Whew. Bullets, anyone? (No, not meant for your head! Bad reader!)
- Dawn has to bitch about how RVs are ecologically unsound. On the 3rd fucking page. And I'm already yelling, "Shut the fuck up!!!!"
- Apparently, the BSC will be slow enough for all seven of them to take off for two weeks.
- Dawn, quit ragging on Richard. So he's cautious! Give him a break. Also, I have a soft spot for men with that name, so step the fuck off.
- Coffee makes Dawn puke for months. Or something.
- Oh, yeah. I always forget that Dawn's maternal grandparents live in Stoneybrook. BECAUSE THEY'RE NEVER MENTIONED!!!
- Being in love in high school is a deep, dark secret. Okaaaaay.
- Did Dawn really help set up the We [heart] Kids Club? I thought she was in the 'Brook when it started. And they conduct meetings by a pool with a cell phone. Yeah. And are obsessed with health food. Yeah.
- In this book, Watson is a consultant that works from home. Is that always the case? I can't keep all this shit straight.
- Since this book was written in '97 (the year I graduated from high school), Claud's "outfits are put together from funky stuff she buys in thrift shops."
- "One of her favorite clothing colors is black. According to her, it sets off her blonde hair. Besides, she was born and raised in New York City, and she says native New Yorkers wear black all year long." Wow, I must be a native New Yorker. Who knew?
- Ooh, foreshadowing. Kristy's all jealous that Stacey's dad keeps in touch.
- Kristy describes Abby as wild. Funny, I just think she's annoying.
- How can Logan get working papers at 13? Or is he getting paid under the table? Or is his "busboy" job just a cover for running errands for a mob boss...
- Again, what 11-year-old wants to visit the plantation where her family were slaves?!?!?!?!? On vacation, at that. And doesn't expect it to be difficult or disturbing?
- Oh. You know ANM's retarded "allergy dialect" that Logan's brother has? It's even fucking worse for Abby. Damn, it sucks.
- I get it, Jessi's a dancer, so she makes lameass references to ballet in non-dance contexts. As in, "It feels as if my Big Mac and fries are doing a pas de deux up and down the walls of my stomach." LAME!
- "Okra. Fried chicken. Biscuits with lots of butter. How many times had I smelled those things as I walked up Grandma's front stoop?" Just in case you didn't realize that Jessi's entire family was black...soul food.
- Okay, Cleveland isn't really in the flat part of Ohio. Just sayin'.
- Stacey thinks basketball players look great in those shorts. Weren't they already really long and loose in '97? At least at the college & pro level? RNL, my basketball expert?
- What are "cheekbones for days?" Cause Stacey's distance-boy has them.
- My big rant: Okay, Stacey writes this to Ethan (a fellow NYer): "the Cleveland Indians lost to the Boston somethings..." BITCH DID NOT GROW UP IN NEW YORK AND NOT KNOW WHO THE RED SOX ARE!!!! I DON'T CARE IF SHE DOESN'T PAY ATTENTION TO SPORTS! SHE'S GOTTA KNOW WHO THE YANKEES ARE, AND IF YOU KNOW WHO THE YANKEES ARE, YOU KNOW WHO THE RED SOX ARE! TOURISTS VISITING NEW YORK FOR TWO FUCKING WEEKS KNOW WHO THE RED SOX ARE!!!! Seriously! What the fuck?
- Boring stuff about horses and wild ponies and shit. Oh, and the wild horses on Assateague (That makes me giggle. I'm so mature.) make Mal cry.
- Claud's disappointed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn't have anything about U4Me or Blaid.
- Aw, they didn't stop at the "Pitsberg stadium." Back then it would've been Three Rivers. One of my former roommates got to watch them implode the stadium from a press boat.
- Yes, Abby. Young Elvis was hot.
- Why doesn't anyone cut Karen off? Like, sit her down and tell her the truth that there are Elvis impersonators.
- Of all the restaurants in Chicago, they ate at the original Pizzeria Uno. And went shopping in Shaumberg.
- They all look really fucking crazy in all the illustrations.
- Damn! Grandma takes a dig at Jack Schafer.
- I can't even touch all the slavery stuff. So very faux-deep. And manipulative. And out of place.
- Electricity on a plantation? Seems kind of...suspect. I'm sure someone did their research, but it just doesn't sound right.
- Dawn knows some areas of L.A. that could be called the Badlands. Ha. Ha. Who's a comedienne now? And a dumb bitch?
- Jeff thinks "Girls are boring," but I think "crestfallen boys are boring."
- What kind of fuckhead doesn't get gas before heading into the Badlands?
- In general, Abby needs to shut the fuck up. She's like the annoying class clown that isn't getting any laughs, so she turns up the annoying. To 11.
- Watson went to Baylor. Is that ever mentioned elsewhere?
- Mal thought Jessi's experience at Dalton would make "a dramatic children's book." Dramatic? Okay...
- I fucking hate tornadoes.
- Dude, I need to buy a velvet painting of horses. And give it to someone as a gift, just to torture them.
- "What a way to go. In a twister. After all those generations. Surviving the plantation. Moving North..." That's what's going through Jessi's head during the tornado. Yeah.
- Oh, shit! The bear! The Schafer crew run into a bear while picnicking in Yellowstone! Bears are funny.
- Dawn's all pissed and disappointed and embarrassed by the cheesiness of the ghost town and throws herself a self-pity party. And, say it with me now, SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!
- Speaking of shutting up...Karen.
- She knows that getting all teary and pouty will get her way. HATE!! She's a CBS sitcom wife-in-training.
- In Seattle, Mr. Schafer wants to shake Bill Gates's hand. That doesn't seem to fit with his easy-going, cool-dad persona.
- Haha, it's Seattle, so there are 50 million coffee places! And dumb bitch Stacey can't find the name of the place she's meetin' the boy! Hijinks!!! Wackiness!!! Ensuing!!!!
- In Stacey's fantasy, her boy has inner torment. That she cures with a "flash of blonde hair." I wonder if my hair can do that, too...
- Another fight, ended instantly with no real problem solving. Hoorah.
- Also, not gonna touch the heavy shit with Abby's grief.
- In the illustration, sad Abby is wearing socks with sandals.
- The gayest mustache in San Francisco is in the illustration of the Giants game. And Mary Anne's eyes are wigging me out. For reals. See?
- The only outfit in the book? "Claudia was examining Maggie's hair, which was light green; and her outfit, tight black leather and Spandex; and her pale, pale makeup." What's this punka doing hanging out with these hippie bitches anyway?
- Oh, and Jessi thinks she might be related to the grad student she met at the plantation. Cause it's likely.
Also, a picture of romance, awkward, kinda painful-looking romance...
Okay, y'all. I had an ulterior motive for doing a super special this week. I wanted to give you guys something big and exciting before dropping the bomb: I, too, am taking my summer vacation! I will be taking a few weeks off from the ole blog while I'm jaunting about. I should be back on July 9th. Not sure what book it'll be yet.
Also, for my LibraryLand readers, I will be attending the ALA Annual Conference in DC, so...If you're there, and you think you spot me, feel free to say hi. Of course, you may wind up inadvertently introducing yourself to random Tiff(any)s in the process. Which could be amusing. For me, at least. (I'm evil.)