Are We There Yet?

"Are we there yet?"....."Are we there yet?"....."He's touching me!"...."She's looking at me!"...."I have to go potty, NOW!"....."Are we there yet?".....

Ahhh, the endearing sounds that sweetly dance upon the airwaves from the back seat and are a rite of passage handed down from generation to generation of  family travelers for the sole purpose of allowing the younger generation to totally and completely annoy the older generation. 
Admit it, we've ALL said those words at some point in our lives so who can begrudge our own angelic offspring the opportunity to participate in the same right of passage? And you have to admit that we have it better than our parents and grandparents ever did. Today we travel with iPods, iPads, MP3 players, DVD players and the list goes on. My poor parents endured endless repetition of books-on-tape (yes, I am dating my self, I had real cassette tapes) which were played over and over on a portable tape player without the mercy of ear phones. With the newest gadgets equipped with "noise cancelling" earphones and airplane modes, I fear that my mother's highly developed skill of "tuning it all out" will become a dying art!

So how do we survive these memory building, fun family vacations?

AAA Travel specialist, Deb Hyde recommends the following in AAA Living Magazine:

1) Have a family meeting before you go to gather ideas from each family member and be sure to try to include something for everyone.

2) Come together for at least one meal or activity each day to share experiences and create family bonding time.

3) Plan down time into the itinerary or you will end up needing a vacation to recover from vacation!

Lastly, don't forget to make sure the personal items you are taking with you are properly insured against theft or loss while you travel and that your excursions via vehicle are protected by AAA Emergency Roadside Assistance Membership to ensure minimal trip interruption. Call our knowledgeable agents at The Writer Agency, LLC.  308-436-4202  or contact us on our website where you will find other valuable insurance information:  www.insurance-by-katie.com.  We can't guarantee we can eliminate all the "Are we there yet?" inquiries but we can make the getting there and back a bit less stressful by giving you peace of mind that you are well protected.

Share your travel and vacation plans or past experiences by leaving a post! We would love to hear from you.

Graduation on the Face of the Sun!

The woman scanned the arena. Three thousand (or so) students were sitting below her, anxiously awaiting their graduation diplomas. She craned her neck and strained her eyes looking for the one student she was there to see.  Her dear friend was being awarded her PhD today and the woman was not about to get distracted from the presentation....but good grief it was hot in Arizona as the sweat trickled down her forehead....it was July after all. 

In the immortal words of Matthew Broderick, "it's like Africa hot"!  Now, the woman had never been to Africa but she was pretty darn sure that Arizona was at least face-of-the-sun hot!  She was melting!

Apparently this summer heat phenomenon has made an impression on other visitors to Arizona.  Below is an excerpt of  the "Arizona Diary" that was published about Arizona in the Apache Junction - Gold Canyon News: 

May 15th: Now this is a state that knows how to live! Beautiful sunny days and clear, enchanting evenings. Mountains and deserts blended together. What a place! Watched the sunset from a park lying on a blanket. It was beautiful.... I've finally found my home. I love it here.

June 14th: Really heating up. Got to 108 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car, work in an air-conditioned office. What a pleasure to see the sun every day like this. I'm turning into a real sun worshipper.

June 30th: Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 10th: The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least it's a dry heat. Getting used to it is taking longer than I expected.

July 15th: Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed two days of work; what a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though: got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

July 25th: Dry heat, my butt. Hot is hot! The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the A/C repairman charged $250 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

July 30th: Been sleeping outside by the pool for three nights now and got stung by a scorpion. Spent several hours in the emergency room. At least it was air conditioned. Why did I ever come here?

August 4th: 115 degrees! Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $1,200 and gets the temperature down to about 90. I hate this [expletive deleted] state.

August 8th: If I hear another guy wisecrack like, "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to tear his [expletive deleted] throat out. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and my deodorant's not working!

August 10th: The weather report might as well be a damn recording: Hot and Sunny. It's been too hot to sleep for two damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this barren damn desert? $1,700 worth of cactus just dried up and blew into the [expletive deleted] pool. Even a cactus can't live in this heat.

August 14th: Welcome to Hell! Temperature got to 120 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the [expletive deleted] windshield out of my car. The installer came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My wife had to spend the house payment to bail me out of jail.

August 30th: Worst day of the damn summer. I'm not leaving the house. The monsoon rains finally came and all they did is to make it muggier than hell. Nobody told me about staying out of the washes during a "flash flood" warning, so my car is now floating somewhere in Mexico with its new windshield.  

September 10th: Seventy-five days in a row over 100 degrees. That does it. To hell with Arizona! We're moving back to [Nebraska] and buying a snow blower. 

Hopefully your summer is going better than the poor person who wrote this diary! We can't make the heat go away, but our knowledgeable agents can help you obtain the proper insurance coverage to protect again exploding windshields and cars that suddenly turn into boats (and a variety of other damages that can happen to your vehicle!) And in the event you do suffer a loss, our experts can help make filing your claim less stressful.  

Call us or click to contact us today:  308-436-4202 or www.insurance-by-katie.com
Have you heard or experience a strange automobile claim? Tell us about it!

Bugs, Dust, and Flat Screen TV's

Rrrrrrrrraawwwwwrr!  Rummmmmbbble! Rattle.  Clank!

Aaaaachooo!  Sniffle. Sniffle.

Buzzzzz.  Buzzzzz. Slap!

The woman squinted into the sun that was already streaming in as she rolled over in bed and looked at her watch. 5:07 AM. Seriously? 5:07 AM, on VACATION for Pete's sake? And then she remembered. This was NOT a vacation in a 5 star hotel (not that she had been to a 5 star hotel but a girl could dream!). No, this was a CAMPING vacation.

A camping vacation complete with trains that rattled and roared past the campground all day and night. Complete with dust and allergies, itchy eyes and runny noses. Not to mention the bugs. Creepy crawly bugs and biting bugs and bugs that buzzed all night long just out of reach of the swatter!

What could possibly make this woman want to endure these horrors?  Oh yes.....she smiled as she remembered:   being able to spend time quality with her family playing games, swimming in the lake, hiking, and enjoying nature in general. (And the S'mores were not too shabby either!).

Summer is a time for camping and all things "outdoors-y" but it is not a time to go unprotected. While you are slathering on the sun screen and bug repellent, don't forget to check your insurance coverages as well.

If you are a a back packer and/or tent camper, the personal belongings you take with you should be protected from loss because most homeowners and renters policies provide coverage any where in the world by extending between 10% and 100% of your contents policy limit to property away from your residence.

If you have a camper trailer or a motorized recreational vehicle, your personal belongings (the "stuff" you take along with you) are protected in the same way as listed above. However, having proper protection on the trailer or recreational vehicle is another story. Is it a vehicle? Is it a residence? Actually it is both - a vehicle when it is moving and a residence when it is parked. As such, special insurance should be secured that provides automobile liability to meet state motor vehicle laws and physical damage coverage on the trailer as an option. You will also want to make sure you have liability coverage while the vehicle is parked and used as a temporary residence in the event you are legally liable for injuries to someone or damage to someone else's property.

Other specialized coverages for your travel trailer or motor home include Emergency Road Assistance to get your unit to a repair shop should it break down. Additional Living Expenses are also important as this pays for temporary housing, such as a hotel, and travel expenses so you can return home in the event your motor home is unable to be used for these purposes. Lastly, all the furniture and fixtures within the trailer or motor home should be inventoried to ensure they are insured sufficiently. After all, camping just would not be camping without your flat screen TV, DVD player and a few movies, right?

Before you take off for your own summer camping excursion, call or click to contact the knowledgeable agents at The Writer Agency, LLC:  308-436-4202 or www.insurance-by-katie.com .  We would be happy to discuss your unique situation and design an insurance protection program so that you can enjoy your vacation without worries (bug spray and ear plugs not included!)

Where have you vacationed lately?  Share your camping/travel experiences with us!