Awkward Family Email: My Uncle’s Road Trip

August 11th, 2009

“Hi Everyone,
Well after cruising along for 428 miles, I arrived at the KOA campground in Bismark. It was fairly empty when I first pulled in around 5:00 but by the time I came back from my Dairy Queen run, most of the drive through spots are full. Most of the tent spots are still empty.

There were two notable things today. Normally when going to the lake I can leave the milage display on the screen and see that I cruise along at 65 MPH with a normal weekend load of clothes and food and get around 24 MPG. Today towing the trailer and attempting to keep up with the 75MPH speed limit (which everyone seems to be ignoring) the jeep only gets about 11 MPG. So I made a few extra gas stops and noted how long it was between stops. There is a lot of open country out here in North Dakota. I sure hope when I turn south to go to the bike race that I find enought gas stations. I note that I will be taking mostly 2 lane roads so I will only be going around 55 MPH, so the milage should be better. It is the long distances between “towns” that worries me. I saw the sign for gasolene on an exit and took the exit. It was 5 miles to the town, and the station was shut. (its Sunday!). Fortunately a friendly person walking down the road gave me directions to get gas without going right back to I-94. However when I started back out from the gas station, my GPS started telling me to drive 133 miles south on the two lane road to continue my journey. I ignored that advice and asked for more directions from a local and only had to go on a couple roads that the GPS apparently did not know about to get back to I-94. Maybe I should have downloaded new maps to the GPS before I left the house. It is only 6 weeks old, so I figured it had to be fairly up to date.

The other thing that really struck me is how big motorhomes and trailers have become since I last camped on a trip in the 70’s. I would say that at least 1/2 half of the “campers” here are with giant motor homes towing jeeps or trucks or they are fifth wheel trailers. The folks next to me have a fifth wheel toy hauler with their Harley’s in the back and the “living quarters” in the front. Like I mentioned, no real tent campers here.

Tomorrow’s only planned activity is the river boat ride on the Missouri river and maybe visiting a few of the historical sites in Bismark and Mandan. I also want to find the city park since someone wrote about in on the web and said it is the best campground in the area. It supposedly is on the river so maybe when I find the boat ride I can find the park.

Thats the news for now. No campground pictures since it would look like last week’s pictures. There is a quick snapshot of the car and trailer as I finished loading up this AM.”

(submitted by Lisa)

335 Responses to “Awkward Family Email: My Uncle’s Road Trip”

  1. Jazzy says:

    Not awkward — just a waste of my time.

    We need way to vote on these items

  2. Monica says:

    this one time, my family and i sat in the living room and watched television. we laughed at the funny parts. boy, has tv changed since i was a kid. awkward, eh?

  3. Paul says:

    This reminds me of an episode of Sealab 2021 where they just basically revoiced an original “serious” episode from the old Sealab 2020 show. The only thing funny about it was that I felt punked waiting until the end for a punch line that never was.

    I found the e-mail mildly interesting. If this was from one of my family members I would have read it with some interest… not much, but some. For a rambling e-mail, it’s short. Otherwise, it seems like a fairly normal journal-style e-mail.

    ie: not awkward.

  4. Andy B says:

    Oh God someone sent an exceedingly long but otherwise typical postcard through an electronic medium I could almost die.

    Apparently this site’s maintainers are 100% dedicated to Dada and take abject joy in tricking people into reading boring crap.

  5. Cassie says:

    I am glad that I am not the only one who there was something missing. There was no point and even any flow in this letter. Too choppy.

  6. Ashley says:

    I was born and raised in North Dakota….for those of you who think he was being boring, think again, the poor man was just in a place that was not giving him any material to work with! Dairy Queen runs and mpg are as good as it gets.

  7. Amy says:

    Did the Russian government also hack into Awkward Family Photos?

  8. Cyndee says:

    If it wasn’t for the title including the word awkward, I would’ve thought the blogger accidentally posted to this site when his intention was a family blog.

  9. Nancy Magoo says:


    I think I fell into a brief coma after reading that. Where was the awkwardness?

  10. Wendy says:

    Seriously I submit a GEM about starting my first period in a mall and my mother announcing it to every salesperson within earshot and it gets skipped over for THAT???

    • Rebecca says:

      That’s not awkward, that’s embarassing. There is a difference.

    • Kimberly says:

      Wow. Now THAT’s awkward!

    • generickat says:

      I know! I submitted a story that involved school, pants, and pliers….and notta! For this? My eyes went blurry about halfway through reading it.

    • tait says:

      i was going to say the same thing. i submitted a story about my dad ditching me at a father/daughter mother/son dance in high school for the bar and some older girls and then dancing with the boys’ mothers and not me. yet i get to read boring drivel like this? i could have read my car’s manual and it would have been more entertaining. i am honestly and truly disappointed by this story. afp needs to step up their game.

  11. killer kate says:

    I couldn’t wait for this to end. Why did you all bother printing this? How boring and annoying!

  12. Sandy says:

    This is hilarious on so many levels! 1. That the uncle would think all these details would be interesting to his family. & 2. All the strong opposition to the posting of the letter. The letter is definitely up there as far as awkwardness…it’s just that the visuals aren’t provided for us. I know inidividuals like the uncle & it always astounds me re: how oblivious they are when interacting w/ others. This is awesome…I laughed!!

    • Jessica says:

      agreed, not your normal conversation with family members. Email gives them the oppurtunity to give odd details we’d normally tune out without having to watch the other person’s eyes glaze over

  13. Jen says:

    Oh, come on, guys! “My Dairy Queen Run”? The whole MPG explanation? The fact that brother drove over 400 miles and is at a KOA campground? The fact that he’s not posting any picture updates because there’s no way to distinguish them from any activity from the following week? The fact that he apparently attached a pic of his CAR? It’s funny! Painful awkward realism…seems like that’s at the heart of this whole thing. Don’t be mad just because YOU aren’t funny enough to get the joke.

    • Anna says:

      I agree Jen! I feel the awkwardness of the family who receive those email updates. I hope Uncle is a birdwatcher or a Trainspotter as well, and I can’t wait for his Christmas Update. Give Uncle his own Blog.

    • actually... says:

      Jen, don’t overanalyze.. this was NOT awkward, plain and simple. The only thing awkward was the lack of anything awkward.. like AFP is punking us or something. AWKWARD!

    • PNug says:

      But seriously, how is any of that awkward?

    • Jessica says:

      Have to agree with Jen, its an awkward email to send. Its weird to email people about your MPG and then try to tempt them with pictures of your car loaded up with camping gear. AWKWARDDDDDDD!!!!

    • Jessica says:

      Don’t let the awkward snobs get to you, not everyone will “get it”

  14. HH says:


  15. MamaRosa says:

    I want a refund.

  16. Steve H. says:

    The only thing Awkward about this is that I read it. zzzzzzzzz

  17. Meg says:

    The awkwardness occurs where in this story? This is just a general update from an obviously nice uncle….

  18. redmirchee says:

    OMG !!!!!!!!
    What an insane inane story !

  19. Raine says:

    I normally get really annoyed at people who comment saying “That wasn’t awkward!” but I am afraid that that wasnt awkward… just boring. I was waiting for some punchline, but nothing. :/

  20. Ragtatter says:

    Too long, too boring.

  21. Pumpkin says:

    the only thing awkward is that it’s spelled Bismarck. A Bismark is a jelly doughnut, Mr. Kennedy.

  22. Teresa says:

    This is the kind of thing I get from my father – rambling details about something completely uninteresting. I’m guessing what AFP found funny about it is how he’s supposed to be going on a camping trip, but he’s completely obsessed with his gas mileage and thought everyone in the family would be interested in that over stories or photos of a lovely camping trip. So, here’s a picture of my gas-guzzler.

    For some people, it’s just not about the destination, is it?

  23. Seedlet says:

    .. Ok, so I’m not crazy, there was nothing awkward in this e-mail.

  24. Linda says:

    Awkward? No

    Boring? Yes

  25. Chris says:

    Definition of awkward: not in this lousy story

  26. Kristin says:

    I’m not sure why they posted this but have not posted the HILARIOUS family pic I sent them.

  27. I don’t think it was a waste of time and I think people are a bit harsh about demanding their life back. It took you what, how long? And you’re throwing a temper tantrum about being tricked into it? Damn people, take a look at yourselves.

    That being said, this wasn’t awkward. Sort of charming in an odd way.

    • JP says:

      Right on, taekwondogirl.

      Whoever runs this site obviously spends hours maintaining it and uploading content for the public’s entertainment, and he/she really doesn’t owe it to you to be hilarious EVERY TIME. There’s no reason to get all worked up over one post you didn’t enjoy when you like the other 99% of the posts!

  28. S. says:

    I’m tempted to post my awkward family story here in the comments… it was far more awkward than this one… but didn’t make it onto the site.

  29. Jeff says:

    Hey I have a totally awkward story too:

    I went on a trip, I used gas like everyone else, I went camping, and then I drove back home and unpacked. Awkward. *spreads a large serving of sarcasm over the last two sentences*

  30. kandee says:

    Well I just figured out a surefire way to fall asleep if I’m having trouble – just read this email. Yawn – I’m getting sleepy already. I kept waiting to read “the catch”, but it never arrived. Now THAT was awkward!

  31. jnmcnally says:

    I went camping last weekend and never thought once about sharing it as a supposedly awkward story. I agree with everyone else.

  32. LSpencer says:

    Dear AFP:
    you owe me 2 minutes of my life back.

  33. char says:

    I don’t get it – is this written by the keeper of this blog? Is the keeper of this blog on vacation? Why am I stuck on saying “the keeper of this blog??”

  34. Cinde says:

    I think I’m finally starting to see the brilliance in this post – 92 pointless identical responses about a non-awkward story – sort of awkward!

  35. Cat says:

    I think the part about this that is supposed to be awkward is the fact that it seems to have no real point and how he keeps going on forever, and ever, and ever….

    I actually didn’t realize this was an email until I read all the way through and went back up the top. You can imagine how confused *I* was!

    • Steve says:

      I’m with you on this one. And I also agree with the above comments that this isn’t awkward, just boring. please raise your standards, aff.

  36. Sarah says:

    I don’t get it …

  37. Xerxes says:

    Not awkward at all. I was wondering if it was just me, but apparently everyone else finds nothing awkward about this letter either. If anything, posting this under the guise of being awkward when it’s not awkward at all is pretty awkward.

    • Caroline says:

      I had the same reaction. I actually only clicked on comments because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t the only one who found this ridiculously UN-AWKWARD. It sounds like every random email I’ve ever gotten about a trip.

  38. foo says:

    I would actually like to hear more about this chap’s story – maybe not as verbose on the mileage etc, but hey, he sounds like the kind of guy who would stop at the Mystery Spot kind of tourist traps instead of just driving by! How in the world is this *awkward*?!

  39. Manhater says:


  40. Gordon says:

    The only thing awkward is the fact that I read this.

  41. Alyssa says:

    Agreeing with the rest of the comments. How is this awkward? This is now how many non awkward stories in the last few days? You guys can and have done better!

  42. Elle_Woods says:

    Hmmm….Something tells me that Lisa’s uncle is single…

  43. Crotch Cricket says:

    Have a little cheese with that WHINE ?

  44. Jessica says:

    Okay, this email is awkward to me because 1. I don’t care what gas mileage your car gets 2. why is he just now noticing how things have changed since the 1970s???? 3. is this guy traveling alone, setting up a 1970s tent at any KOA campground he can find? for some reason I think of the old man in the Green mile who doesn’t know how to adjust outside of prison…this email is depressing….

  45. Gob says:

    I think what’s awkward is that the picture wasn’t there. I’m sure it explains the decreased mileage or something.


  46. Johnny Cat says:

    We should all get a nickel apiece for that time-stealing dreck.

  47. JQ says:

    Please, AFP, get some standards! The people have spoken, and no one wants to waste their time reading a boring letter that has no awkward payoff. I find it hard to believe anyone at AFP read this before posting it, because unless maybe they’re Lisa, or hooking up with her, it obviously doesn’t belong here.
    There’s a reason I check AFP every day, and it’s not for junk like this.

  48. wannabeerbad says:

    I feel awkward for having wasted the 2 minutes reading that ridiculousness!!!

  49. bees says:

    Wow, slim pickings from the submission pile? Might be time to drop this site from my daily internet rounds.

    • Erika says:

      But you won’t… it’s awkward cuz you’re left wondering what you just read. So the story isn’t awkward, its how you feel after you’ve finished reading it. lol

  50. Choddy says:

    Nevertheless, nearly 100 comments, all saying the same, that’s kind of awesome, so cheers for Liz and her uncle 😀

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