I received some complaints, in comment and email, about my previous Griswold post. Evidently the title raised hopes of something related to a certain movie franchise, and readers were disappointed to learn it was boring lawyer stuff instead. So I’d like to use the last post of my stint as a BCC guest blogger to make amends. This is a meaningless post about Family Vacations.
My family growing up had an atrocious track record when it comes to family vacations. I suspect that this is true of many LDS families. Lots of kids + stretching limited budgets + Utah’s proximity to that Bermuda Triangle of minivans, Nevada, adds up to a high likelihood of the kind of thing that would be hilarious if it were in movies.
Speaking of minivans in Nevada, there was that time ours broke down just outside Battle Mountain, NV, and we squeezed my parents, myself, and 3 siblings, along with the driver, in the cab of a tow truck for over 50 miles to Winnemucca, itself hardly a weary traveler’s Shangri-La. And, no, it was not one of those “crew cabs.” There was also the time our flight to Hawaii was delayed for hours on the tarmac with no ventilation or refreshment, but you can read any of the news accounts of those kinds of things to get a picture of that one.
Instead I’d like to focus on the chef-d’oeuvre of our family vacation disasters, a reunion in the resort town of Sunriver, OR.
For one day, the adults all went golfing and the kids took off on our own adventure. I don’t recall if we had been instructed to stay together, but we didn’t. I went off with my older cousin–I idolized her–on a bike ride (I was a very scrawny, awkward 8 or 9 years old, she was a couple years older and much prettier). She was chasing some cute boys and I was struggling to keep up. I kept losing sight of her around corners of the bike path. Whipping around one corner and full speed, I slammed head-on into another cyclist. We were both thrown from our bikes. I got up and inspected a few nasty scrapes, but was basically ok. The burly police officer I had run into, on the other hand, was still on the ground moaning. He radioed for help and I stayed until an ambulance could come collect him.
Meanwhile, another of the kid splinter groups got lost and had to be picked up by a passing squad car and taken back to our rented condo.
Meanwhile, my grandmother had been feeling very ill and was taken to the ER to be evaluated for possible heart problems. (This part isn’t funny unless you know that our family has yet to have a vacation sans ER.)
So, we’re all back at the condo eating dinner and laughing uproariously about the crazy events of the day. And the adults are pretty much acting like a bunch of drunks, because Mormons are good at getting in that kind of mood without the assistance of alcohol (maybe it’s just my family). And another squad car pulls up. Turns out one of the littlest kids didn’t end up in any of the kid splinter groups, and had been quietly amusing herself alone at the Golf Pro Shop all day, just putting a ball back and forth down an aisle. Finally the shop had to close and the employees discovered her and called the police. At some point when things get bad enough, you just laugh–so all the adults were positively howling over the fact that nobody had noticed the absence. Police officer did not think this was funny.
Anyway he leaves, and we’re all winding down a bit, when grandma arrives back from the ER (she’s fine), and says, “You’ll never believe what I saw in the ER today!” And proceeds to tell us that all the EMTs and a few police officers were passing around an x-ray of a fellow officer’s wrist, which was very broken. Poor guy was being mocked mercilessly, because apparently this didn’t happen in a fight with a dangerous criminal (and here Grandma announces that we’ll never guess how it happened), but in a bike accident with a little girl.
Now, that’s not a bad tale, but I’m sure that collectively the bloggernacle can one-up me many times over in vacation and/or ER/accident horror stories. So, please, have at it.