Let me tell you a story about a vacation… not just any vacation, but possibly the most ill-fated vacation ever…
As most of you know, we’ve never been on a vacation before. We did go on a honeymoon, which my parents paid for as a wedding present, and it was very nice, but we’ve never said “you know, we’re tired, we should go away somewhere nice.” So I’ll admit that maybe we didn’t really know what to expect. We certainly wouldn’t have gone if we knew what we were getting into.
It started, as I mentioned earlier, with my back going out — suddenly and painfully — on what was basically the day before we left. Our plane flew out at 6:30 in the morning on Monday, and we got to the airport at 6:03. My pregnant wife carrying all the luggage, because I couldn’t carry a match stick, much less a suitcase.
We would have canceled the trip if we could, but there was no way to do so without losing our money, so we decided to push on anyway. We had bought a package which included hotel, airfare and a rental car — or so we thought. The rental car actually ended up costing $150 more than what we’d already paid — once insurance and tax was added in.
Our sweet convertible with GPS!
Still the car ended up being one of the few bright spots of our trip. Check out how hot my bride looks in a convertible! I wasn’t even put on the rental as a driver because it would have cost extra to have two drivers, and since I was planning on spending most of the trip on drugs (painkillers, of course) there was no point in paying. I did, however, get to play with the GPS — which admittedly was another bright spot. That thing was so cool. Anything we wanted to do, we just asked the GPS and it told us how to get there!
The hotel was also quite nice to be honest, and we did get a great deal on it. However, I guess we went during off-season, because it was desolate…
The ghost beach — when it wasn’t raining
I’m not what you’d call a “people person” — and by that I mean, I don’t like people. Crowds make me grumpy, but even I found the beach depressing. Even the guy who rents beach chairs for ridiculously high prices wasn’t manning his station.
It turns out, though, that the beach wasn’t of that much use to us, seeing as how it RAINED two out of the three days we were there!
Our vacation package also included two tickets to Universal Studios — which we discovered later is a 2 hour drive from our hotel. Still, we were determined to get our money’s worth, so we set the GPS and started driving.
We were both initially concerned when our vacation package arrived in the mail, because there was no tickets or vouchers included for Universal. But our fears were allayed when we called the travel company, who assured us that the park would have our tickets at the gate. Boy was that a line…
The closest we got to Universal Studios
Universal knew nothing about us, and certainly had no tickets waiting for us when we limped up to the gate. I pulled out my iPhone to show them the confirmation e-mail, and they eventually agreed to let us in — if we could provide a printed copy of the e-mail. Neither of us had a printer on us, so they suggested we walk to the nearest hotel and use the printer there. Obviously they weren’t aware that it had taken me nearly an hour to hobble from the car to the gate.
It proved to be a moot point, however, because the “ride guide” they provided us basically told us that a pregnant person and a person with back problems had no business going on ANY of their rides. We took some pictures, did a little shopping, and watched a movie instead.
Fortunately, we knew about most of these problems in advance — or at least suspected they would happen. The weather reports leading up to our departure were even more depressing than reality, and my back problems were made very obvious. So we’d come prepared with the entire season 4 of 24 on DVD. We spent a significant amount of our vacation lying in bed watching Jack Bauer save the world, once again. And we found plenty of excuses to eat well.
Neither of those things are something we couldn’t have done at home, although we did get a tiny bit of beach and pool time, but to be honest, it doesn’t matter. It was just nice to get away. I had a computer with me, but we only ever used it to video chat with Benjamin back home in Canada, and to watch movies. And we both agreed that we needed the escape, and that we’re going to have to get away again some day.
Here’s hoping the next vacation goes a little smoother.