Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Biggest Vacation Disasters

I have to say I don't personally have any excessively disasterous vacation stories. I have never gotten deathly ill on a cruise ship or had all my luggage shipped to Dubai.  The biggest problems these days on our family vacations has been excessive rain on our vacations.

Our Family spends two weeks every summer recreating the Middle Ages at the Society For Creative Anachronism's Pennsic Wars.  This past summer we also recreated the Johnstown Floods. Every year produces one or two storms, but this year produced spectacular deluges from beginning to end, and enough confinement to tents to spark some snarky creativity.

There is however one problem I have had over the years when I was on vacation.  Namely, especially during the early years of our marriage, people kept dying or getting sick while I was on vcaction.  Not people who were with us, but rather people we knew.  It didnt have to be a travel vacation either, it could just be week off from work. 

Like most people we have had the occasional trip that had to be altered or cancelled due to sick kids.  But our various vacation complications go way beyond that.

Back in the days when cell phones were a luxury and coverage outside the cities non existent, I went camping in the boonies for a week with a bunch of friends.  Unfortunately my aunt died while I was gone, and as there was no way to reach me I missed the funeral, although I got back in time to see some out of town relatives before they went back.

Another time I had a lovely little week long staycation scheduled in early November--My husband's grandfather died 2  days before it was supposed to begin. At least we were able to stay longer since I didnt have to worry about getting back to work.

It wasn't just me either.  My husband was on a trip to friends once when his stepgrandfather died.

In 1993 my husband and I had a trip planned to Maine. We were flying to Boston, meeting our friends, and then driving to their vacation cabin.  Being young marrieds with a limited budget we had of course bought the cheapest possible no refund tickets.  We were set to leave on Thursday.  The Friday before my father died. Ironically enough he was also on vacation, visiting my sister in another state.  With the difficulties of bringing him back home we weren't able to have the funeral until the morning of the day we were set to leave.  At the insistence of my mom and other family members, we attended the funeral and then took our plane to Boston.  The visit with our friends went fine, it was actually a great comfort to be with them. On the return trip however, we had a few problems.  First our plane sat on the tarmac for several hours.  It turned out that President Clinton had been making a speech in Boston and Air Force One was due to leave Logan about the same time we were.  Even in those pre--9/11 days of innocence no one took off from an airport within an hour of the President's departure, hence the delay. Unfortunately by the time Air Force One had taken off there were storms around Pittburgh, which is where we were to change planes.  By the time that was cleared up we missed our conncecting flight.  Fortunately the airline got us a motel room for the night, since the cause of our lateness was the President.  So we had an extra night's vacation, albeit at the Pittsburgh Airport Holiday Inn, courtesy of President Clinton.

As you might imagine all this had made me a little paranoid about the whole vacation thing,  But for a long time now, more than 10 years, we had no problems on our vacations, other than a little inclement weather.  And to be honest, the vacations have all gone fine, its been the homefront that we had to worry about. 

That is it all went fine until this week. 

My husband's family has always been more into Thanksgiving than Christmas.  That is when their big family get together always has taken place, which has worked well for us since Christmas has always been the bigger deal in my family.  In recent years they have seated 30 for dinner.  Unfortunately they have always done it without me, because I had to work Thanksgiving and the day after.  My days off never landed on Thanksgiving and coworkers with more seniority always took the time off.  Until this year, when my schedule gave me Thanksgiving and the day after.  Moreover I was able to secure the time off around Thursday and Friday to allow for the travel time to go along. 

Everything has been set since last December, when I secured the time off.  Until this Monday when we learned that the illness of a family member at our destination would require the cancellling of the entire get together. The vacation curse strikes again.  

So much of the last two days were spent running around making sure we have all the things we need for Thanksgiving at home.  Also in figuring out what to do with two bored and disappointed kids who are off school till Monday and anticipated spending the weekend baking Christmas cookies and making Christmas candy and just hanging out with cousins and other family members. 

So our vacation has turned into a staycation. I like to think there is a working of the universe to these things, like maybe something bad would have happened to someone who was journeying to the big event if it had taken place.   We can't ever know of course, but I like to think that it works that way.

So we will have our dinner, watch the Macy's parade and the WKRP turkey drop and the football games, and at  be gratified to all be together today.  And try again next year. With a little bit of good  luck we might pull it off.

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  1. That really stinks Meg. But I'm glad you are all healthy and together. Have a wonderful day anyway!

    1. Thanks Mod Mom. We had what mattered, good food and company, and no doubt will appreciate it a lot more next year when we are all together again.

  2. I thought I was the only person that remembered WKRP! Man, do I miss that show.

    1. Our local station carries WKRP and they ran Turkeys Away so I DVR'd it and ran it for the kids this am. They didn't think it was funny at all. I think its one of the funniest thing ever made.

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  7. Hey Meg,
    We are notoriously unlucky in the vacation weather department too! Hawaii, trip of a lifetime, record rains (35 inches in five days during the not rainy season), roads collapsed, hotel flooded, on and on... Cruise, hurricane. Disney, hurricane (not once, but THREE times as it crisscrossed the state from Atlantic to Gulf to Atlantic to Gulf). You get the idea. I now create Staycation in a Box -- maybe you'd like one too? Perfect for the washout weeks! :)
    Love your blog!