I think my family vacations are cursed. I seem to have no problem when it is my own immediate family of everything falling into place and running smoothly while on vacation. When I was married, our family took many vacations with no exceptional circumstances or happenings. I won a trip to Nashville a few years back and took my friend and coworker Sheree with me and had nary a problem the two days we were there.
It seems to be a different story when two or more people from the family I grew up in travel together. It seems that when any or all of us travel together, there is some kind of little black cloud hovering that makes a totally trauma-free vacation impossible. I know, I know, that is crazy talk. We live in the modern world, free of hexes, curses and the like. I must be out of my mind. Maybe so, but I think I can back up my claim with examples.
Here are some happenstances from vacations we took when I was a child:
- the summer we drove through the desert with no working air conditioner in the car
- the summer the pool was out-of-order at the campground we stayed at (come to think of it, that might have been the same vacation as the first)
- the summer we traveled to Canada and the “pop-up” mechanism on our camper stopped working
- the summer we somehow ended up with sand in the gas tank of our pickup
- the vacation to Wisconsin Dells, a place filled with “way-cool” water parks in which it rained the entire week we were there
- the vacation in which we got to the motel late at night and opened the door to our room to find it filled up with mattresses
I remember sitting with my siblings in various service stations while one thing or another was repaired on our vehicles. I distinctly remember noticing the type of vending machines one service station had and another didn’t. I do remember that we were pretty happy when a station had a television to watch. 😉
When we travelled with my sister and her family to Disney World over Easter many years ago, the curse seemed to have been in full force. She was pregnant at the time and as fate would have it, our plane was delayed in getting to the connecting airport and we missed our connecting flight by a mere minute or two after running (yes, literally) through the airport to catch it. We made it to Atlanta, but then had to go from gate to gate to gate to find a flight that could get us to Orlando. It never happened. We finally found a flight to Daytona and had to drive to Orlando, arriving in the wee hours of the morning.
Last year I went on a Mediterranean Cruise with my sister and we added a couple of days in Rome to the package. The curse struck again as first her ATM card refused to work in the machines there and then she developed a blister on her foot which made walking a painful ordeal; not a good thing in a city where walking is a necessity. On top of that, after one of our day trips around Rome, we were dropped off far away from our hotel and became disoriented and lost. That one was my fault as I was totally confused by the map which had pictures of landmarks, but not necessarily the direction that they actually were facing. As a visual person, I was totally thrown off and my mistake caused us to walk much farther than we needed to. Thankfully, my sister got to experience a stress free vacation in Rome with her husband later that year.
This past week my family (less one brother, who had to work) travelled to North Dakota for a family reunion. It was a wonderful time and a great opportunity to see distant relatives again. My 18-year-old, Nathan, had been complaining that his finger was sore because of a hangnail he had recently removed. I didn’t think it would be anything serious, so had him take some ibuprofen and didn’t even look at the finger. Saturday morning it looked terrible and after my cousin and his wife, both medical professionals, looked at it and deemed it worthy of a doctor’s visit, we found an urgent care clinic and got him in there pronto, found out it was definitely infected and got him some antibiotics. Par for the
My cousins planned some great activities for all of us and one of these included an arts and crafts fair at the State Capitol building. There were some amazing artists and craftspeople there and everyone had a wonderful time walking around. When we got into the vehicles to follow my cousin to the park where a catered lunch was being served, somehow amongst all the people and vehicles, we all got in formation and headed out of the parking lot…… without my mom. By this time, we had become separated from the convoy and after going back and getting Mom, we formed a new caravan with my sister acting as mother duck and my parents, my carload and my son and his girlfriend following behind like ducklings. We made it to lunch with no more catastrophes and had a delightful day after that.
The things that have happened, for the most part, provide interesting antecdotes and stories. Nothing has caused any permanent damage to any family members, so at least if we have a curse following us, it’s a mild one 😉 It’s definitely not enough for me to avoid any trips with the family. We actually had some pretty fun experiences despite the little setbacks. If anything, I think it’s taught all of us to learn to be a little better at going with the flow and taking whatever comes along with a smile and a little shrug. That’s life, after all!