We recently returned from a summer holiday. It did not go particularly well.
At least, it started out ok, and Christmas day was great.
But after that things went rapidly down hill. And stayed there. Not even in a good sort of “you’ll laugh later” kind of way. More in a depressed, dragging its heels, sort of “let this be over soon” kind of way. Which got me thinking about all the holidays I’ve had over the years where things have been worse.
First thing that springs to mind is the time we went to the beach and myself and our daughter somehow got pneumonia.
I used to get terribly car sick as a child too, on any car trip lasting longer than about 30 minutes. But I will spare you any drawing of that. Suffice to say I would invariably put a damper on any family holiday, well before we’d even arrived.
At least as an adult I have outgrown that. But now I have responsibilities, and this means I have potential to make some truly awful judgement calls.
And make them I do.
Such as the time we took our brand new baby girl to some historically significant lighthouse, and it poured cold rain on us the entire time. We were not prepared for that, and got soaked through, really quickly.
This pales in comparison, however, to the time I was in an airport in Paris, right before Christmas in 2001, and some jerk had decided to put explosives in his shoes and then tried to smuggle them on to a plane. He failed. And Charles de Gaulle airport ground to a halt.
Speaking of Paris, there was the time my then-boyfriend got sick, and sent me to the pharmacist for medicine. He had a stubborn, hacking cough, and I confidently went to the counter and spoke to the ladies in my best French.
However I forgot the French word for “throat”.
Loudly and clearly, I told the pharmacists that I needed some extra strong medicine, because my boyfriend had bad taste.
Speaking of overseas travel, I once holidayed in Thailand. I don’t recommend it.
Then there was the time I received poor communication from some friends, and went hiking up mountains in the most inappropriate attire that you can possibly take camping.
This reminds me of my earliest holiday memory ever, which was also a camping trip. I don’t remember anything about the camping part, just that at the end, when it was time to go home, the car got severely bogged in a huge mud pit. Took ages to get it out again.
But coming in at first place would have to be the time my now-husband / then-boyfriend and I took our first weekend away together. He went to pick up the keys for a holiday house his parents owned, a few hours’ drive away. I packed meticulously, and we left in good time for the long drive down there, in order to arrive just closing in on dinner time, Friday night.
Except that about 20 minutes’ from our destination, after being in the car for over two hours, I made some joke along the lines of “hope you didn’t forget the keys!”…
A long silence.
I slowed the car to the sound of more silence. I repeated the line. Possibly as a question this time. A desperate, nervous question.
“Hope you didn’t forget the keys?”
And then he said… “er… um… that is… ” Because he had, in fact, left the keys at home.
And I turned the car around, drove all the way back again. He got the keys. Got back in the car, and we did the entire drive again.
The whole thing was executed in a deafening silence.
I was thinking the whole way of all the things I COULD say, but was just too tired, angry and plain astounded to say anything at that point.
Instead of arriving just before dinner time, we barrelled in, cold and hungry, just after midnight. I don’t remember clearly, but it is quite possible one of us spent that night on the sofa.
Somehow it must have improved, because I married the guy a few years later. (And spent our honeymoon in Thailand, as shown above. My bad. So that pretty much makes us even.)
All of this makes the recent holiday seem like a complete picnic. Just had one car breakdown, and a bit of cruddy weather. Not even bad enough to illustrate.
See, I feel better already.