When I think about vacations as a child I do not remember how much money we spent or lavish hotel where we stayed. Instead I remember the things that went wrong and how funny it was to us. It seems like a holiday could not go past without something going wrong. Even as an adult I look back on those moments and am thankful that my parents were able to turn what could have been a disaster into something funny and memorable for us kids. To illustrate my point here are a couple of the stories that we laugh at today:
Two Dogs, Three People, One Tent
I remember one vacation in which my brother, my mother, our two dogs and I went camping. This was a last minute trip and we were ill prepared. With little to go on but our three man tent, an extension cord and a small fan we camped out in the woods of Texas in the middle of summer. To say it was hot and humid is an understatement. You have never felt humid until you have felt South Texas in August. Anyway, we set up our tent just as the sun was going down. We also had a small television with a built in VCR along for the ride. We all settled in to watch a horror movie (a bad choice for a dark night) and fell asleep soon after. Of course, three man tents really only sleep two so we were snuggled in very close with the dogs panting at our heels. The roots of the tree dug into our back as we discovered we were lying on an incline and slowly squishing towards the side of the tent. Then in the middle of the night as the quiet hoots of owls and chirping of crickets faded to an eerie silence we head the howling cry of an animal and the ferocious barking of a large dog in the not too far distance. After a few minutes of this raucous there was a gunshot and then silence. We all sat up and looked at each other as the night sounds began again. Who was shot? The dog or the animal? We were not going to stick around to find out. As soon as it got light out we had the tent packed away and were ready to move on to a nice, safe hotel.
Attack of the Mosquitoes
Another camping adventure gone wrong on that trip happened in Florida. A lovely park on a beach island turned sour when night fell. We stayed in the back of the minivan we drove to avoid having to put up tents. However we covered the windows with mesh netting to keep out mosquitoes and get circulation. One night it seemed like the mosquitoes would not stop coming. We swatted and killed until the roof of the van was splattered with black and red. I was near tears and wondered how they kept getting in. It was then that my mother discovered we had left the back vent open on the window and as soon as we shut it we were okay again. Then it was the journey to the bathroom that got us. As we crept through the darkness with our flashlights, snakes slithered out of our way, warming themselves on the stone paths. The bathroom itself was covered in Daddy Long Legs and spider webs. Needless to say I learned to hold it while we were there.
Family vacations do not have to be perfect to give kids great memories. Sometimes it is about treasuring the things that go wrong as well. I remember all these stories that have been told and retold in my family with many laughs. We enjoy remembering our misadventures ad relish the time we have to spend together. Make your own memories and do not worry about making everything perfect. It is the mistakes that make things really memorable.
This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.