I have to start this article by saying how appreciative I am of all that my parents do for my siblings and me. For all that they do on a daily basis to make my life as stress-free as possible, they deserve as many vacations as possible. However, I have to laugh at some of the memorable, yet hilarious moments of our family vacations that just didn’t quite go as planned. I am sure that many of you can relate to looking back at a Christmas card photo thinking, “If they only knew what actually happened before/after this”.
1. Skiing into the parking lot.
Imagine the Hallmark card with a family skiing in a perfect row down the bunny slope. Imagine sipping hot chocolate in a cabin with a beautiful view of frothy white snow and happy children playing on the floor. These images sound picturesque when you think of a family skiing trip, right? Let me splash a little bit of reality into this Hallmark card. Imagine two of your three siblings getting altitude sickness because drinking Mountain Dew instead of water on the way up sounded way more refreshing. Imagine a restless Dad carrying ski poles and boots half a mile to the resort only to get there and realize that the ski lift tickets he so strategically placed on each of his children were one short due to a costume change just before leaving the cabin. Lastly, imagine your younger sister finally get the hang of the bunny slope only to witness her skiing through the ditch and crash land in the parking lot of the resort. To this, we retorted with “Does anyone know that poor kid?” This vacation was anything but Hallmark. It was hectic, at times unorganized, but gave me memories that make me smile to this day.
2. Beach pictures.
Here it is. The dreaded photos that are unending no matter how many times mom says “Last one, promise!”… the annual family Christmas card. Now, I will give my mom props. The finished product looks nice. All white shirts, pretty hair, smiling faces, and hugging each other as if you hadn’t just knocked your sister down in the bathroom for the hairspray make for a lovely site in the living room of our home. However, looking back at those pictures you don’t always smile thinking about how nice someone looked in their white shirt or how someone’s eyes really popped with again, that white shirt on. You think about arguing over who was going to stand where. You yell at the one sister who is constantly styling her hair during the most exhausting twenty minutes of your life as if this is a photo shoot for Vogue. Above all, you stare at the picture and probably think, “If they only knew.” Regardless, these pictures still make us smile, even if it isn’t in a Hallmark or 7th Heaven kind of way.
3. Why isn’t the hot tub working?
A close family member that I promised would remain anonymous tops off the family vacation fail with her hot tub excursion. Let’s just call her Jan. Located in the center of the resort was an extravagant water feature that she and her boyfriend decided to spend a few peaceful minutes in. Upon their entry, they noticed that the water was not as warm as they had expected. In addition, they noticed the stares of several families around the pool. As the two began to survey their surroundings, Jan noticed the panicked look on her boyfriend’s face, which was followed by him saying, “Get out, now.” Aside from noticing the jets that were out of service and the lukewarm water, Jan also failed to notice the bright red “NO SWIMMING IN THE FOUNTAIN” sign that was attached at the top of the water fountain. After scurrying away from their hilarious misjudgment of the “hot tub” they also made the mistake of telling us exactly what they had done. Again, this family vacation fail was never forgotten, and we made sure of reminding her every chance we could.
Family vacations are memorable for different reasons. As dysfunctional as family vacations can be, I wouldn’t trade these hilarious moments for anything in the world. At the center of skiing into the parking lot, the dreaded beach Christmas card pictures, and sitting in the beautiful fountain “hot tub” is spending time with my family. Bless their hearts.