Mommy Wants Vodka

…Or A Mail-Order Bride

Only Slightly Better Than A Holiday In Cambodia


We were released from the ER after my diagnosis of pneumonia on the day after I was forever to become Mrs. David Harks*, and by the time we trundled off to the pharmacy and carried our wedding gifts up the 47 flights of stairs to our condo, it was well past dinner time. The limo was coming at the ass crack of 3:30 AM to take us to the airport so that we could properly celebrate our nuptials by drinking gallons of rum and laying around in our undies.

Which, come to think of it, was pretty much every Friday night for us.

Neither of us had slept well in days thanks to hangovers (The Daver), coughing so violently that I may have thrown up (me), and dealing with a sick child (both of us), so we threw some stuff into our bag…

(Pointless Rambling! Which was still reeking of cat pee, but it was Sunday night and neither of us was smart enough to go to Target and replace the damn suitcase, but this is neither here nor there)

…and went to bed. 3:30 is just a ridiculously ridiculous time to be awake.

Sure enough the alarm went off what felt like just after we’d fallen peacefully asleep and we blearily got our stuff together and hauled our jangly bodies down the stairs to wait for our limo. One limo ride later, we were at O’Hare, tickets and passports in hand and mustered up some glee as we headed towards the Delta counter. We were flying internationally to St. Lucia on a 6AM flight, and made sure to follow The Rules like good sheepies and get to the airport at 4AM.

Information that might have been useful beforehand:

Knowing that Airport Staffers? DO NOT WORK AT 4 AM. They’re sensibly ensconced in their happy Airport Staffers Bed, visions of murdering ignorant passengers dancing in their heads.

(notice I am not mocking them for this)

We did notice a gaggle of TSA staff sitting behind the desks, all drinking coffee and gossiping, I’m certain, about the terrorists they apprehended mere minutes before plunking their asses down together. I suppose that’s the time of day with which The Reign of Terror could feasibly sneak through security undetected.

Thankfully for The Friendly Skies that day, The Daver and I are not terrorists.

And after awhile, other people began to trickle in line behind us, all of us grumbling at what a stupid fucking idea it is to tell people to get to the airport hours before a flight only to stand in line, waiting for the staff to wake up. Apparently, none of them got that memo either, which made me feel a little less like the moron I am.

I admit, I felt pretty self-important being the first in line, like that was some kind of honor or something, which makes no sense considering it only illustrated what a dumb-ass I am. But we checked our bag eventually, as I glared, red-eyed and sick at the clerk who was still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. It was unfair of me, I know, but I never claimed to be fair, smart or awesome.

Okay, I DID claim to be awesome once or twice. But that was a lie.

Not clever enough to pack a spoon, I began to chug the bottle of codeine-in-aded cough syrup as soon as our delicate butts grazed the seats of the airplane for the first leg of our bipedal flight (please tell me you get that.).

(bipedal = two legs = we had two flights? That was AWESOME! *high fives the air*)

I rested my head on The Daver’s bony shoulder and began to nod off, the codeine kicking blissfully in. I floated somewhere between awake and asleep for quite awhile until I realized that….we weren’t moving. The passengers had boarded, the gates locked, and we.were.sitting. The climate in the cabin abruptly changed as people began to chatter and twitter and grumble.


After about 45 minutes, the captain came on the speaker to tell us that the plane had engine problem.




That meant our connecting flight?

Not gonna happen.

There was one flight that would get us to a DIFFERENT connecting flight, the flight attendant told us, but it had maybe 4 open seats.

Hell hath no fury like a woman in the mood to fucking drink rum in her fucking underwear, so I pushed and pulled and fought my way through the rest of the passengers, grabbed Daver’s hand and we HAULED ASS through the terminal and back to, you guessed it, The Everloving DELTA counter again.

I was prepared to bribe, borrow, guilt, and even turn on the waterworks to get us on that flight. I’d suffered for many miserable months planning a wedding that I didn’t want, comforting myself the entire time that I would at least get a fucking vacation out of it, and I was going to fucking get that vacation, dammit.

By the grace of God, we got tickets onto that flight. *PHEW* Back through security we went, this time subjected to the rigorous pat down/partial strip search. Poor The Daver had been used to flying under the radar until he began traveling with his new wife: A TSA Magnet since 1980.

Deemed safe for travel, we pulled up our pants, tried to put our dignity back on our shoulders and continued down the terminal. Several hours until our next flight took off, we decided to start getting up with the get down and we found a bar. At 9 AM on a Monday in the airport.

We went to the bar.

And we got WASTED with a capitol WASTED. Screwdrivers, something I normally cannot stand, upon screwdrivers were tossed back as we laughed, HAHAHA, so funny! We’d been at the airport for 6 hours now and gotten nowhere! HAHAHA. At least, I laughed, the fucking wedding was over!

Finally it was time to get on the plane and we sloppily made our way to the gate, slurring our speech and staggering into each other. There comes a point during any clusterfuck that you have to look at the person next to you and quote The Dead, “Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.”

And it’s true. What else could we do?

Anyway, our happy wasted asses boarded the plane, trying to pretend that we were dead sober and no, ma’am, not the SLIGHTEST bit tipsy! Sober as a Judge! Sober as THE POPE! Sober as KEITH RICHARDS, more like it.

Plane #2 didn’t serve food, and landed in Puerto Rico many hours later, where we only had a short layover until Plane #3 took us to The Island. Heaven. Paradise. I could just picture myself swimming in the ocean! I could feel the hot sand beneath my feet and hear the lapping of the waves. The rum was calling me, I could hear it, and I was more than willing to answer it with a warbled “I loove you.”

By the time we sat down on Plane #3, a veritable tin can of a plane–incidentally, the ones I always see on the news in conjunction with the phrase “crashed into the ocean”–we were both sober and beginning to feel the effects of the vodka. Nothing worse than STILL BEING AWAKE when your hangover kicks in, eh?

The plane ride was as uneventful as being hurled through space in a Pepsi Can is able to be. The day that had now yawned into 18 hours. We finally landed in our destination at roughly 8 or 9 PM, the humidity curling my hair slightly and making us both sweat under our it’s-September-in-Chicago outfits of jeans, sneakers and hoodies. But we were there and we would soon be able to change into proper clothes, and we high-fived each other. We’d MADE it.

Sure, our 5 day vacation was now only 4 days, but, well, 50 million wild condors don’t give a shit, right?

The island has two airports and we’d flown into the smaller of the two, barely a shack, no food, no food courts, no nothing. ESPECIALLY no luggage belonging to the happy couple. Turns out that our luggage (to no one’s surprise) was lost in a nebulous sea of nothingness. It hadn’t followed us onto our second plane. Where it was, nobody could say. Gone baby, gone.

Also absent? Transportation that the hotel was supposed to provide. Stranded on the Island, no luggage, blood sugar plummeting rapidly, I promptly lost it.

Just like at the old Delta counter, there was no one currently working to lose my crap on, so I just sort of raged indignantly at a palm tree. Unsurprising to no one, it didn’t give a shit either.

Finally, after about a half an hour or so, the resort van picked us up and we wound through the hilly island in the back of what I lovingly call “Child-Napping Vans” due to their lack of windows and huge back cabin. At this point, I’m not sure how much I would have cared about being kidnapped anyway, but it turned out that fortune smiled upon us: the driver merely wanted to escort us back to the hotel.

Winding through the island, bumping this way and that, while it would never normally bother me, netted my new husband the lucky honor of watching his brand-new bride dry heave into her backpack. Considering he’d already escorted me to get a colonoscopy the year before, this was probably marginally better.

Although not by much.

The hotel concierge was unbelievably kind and offered us some sorts of promotional alcohol shirts to wear–we could buy some new duds at the gift shop in the morning–as we checked in while I was openly weeping. Because, you know, crying totally helps, right?

The following morning, after we laid about in hotel bathrobes in our mini-hut, we purchased some ill-fitting clothing from the gift shop. Not only was the selection awful, but nothing fit well.

It didn’t matter. It’s all what you make of it. And we? Had a blast. Pneumonia, luggage lost for 2 days, airplane trouble. Didn’t matter. At least the fucking wedding was over, right?

*kind of want to punch myself for calling myself this.


Photographic evidence of my ill-fitting (likely) zillion dollar sundress:



All right, Internet, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, make fun of the longest blog post ever (there was NO good place to break it up that would make sense whatsoever) and tell me about YOUR vacation nightmares. Or other superficial disasters.

64 Comments to

“Only Slightly Better Than A Holiday In Cambodia”

  1. On August 3rd, 2009 at 10:02 am Hope/Lucy Says:

    If your wedding-honeymoon was the worst week of your marriage, then it had to get better.
    How did all of the lost luggage and plane misadventures influence your decision to have your hair corn-rowed?
    Seriously, the title of this post should have been “White Girl With Corn Row Alert, and It Ain’t Bo Derek!”

  2. On August 3rd, 2009 at 9:46 am MK Says:

    Superficial Disasters? There are so many. So So many. But hell, the alkiehawl always helps me forget the “hard times”

    Love the pic, esp the Island Braids? Yah?

  3. On August 3rd, 2009 at 10:02 am Creepy Mommy Says:

    I would like to know when you found the time between disasters to get your hair did. Love you, love the story!

  4. On August 3rd, 2009 at 10:12 am amy d Says:

    Look at your cutie patootie self in island corn rows! Super cute!!!

    I am a terrible traveler. Panic & Clastrophobia are at it’s height, and my husband nearly divorces me every time we fly. So, I’ve learned to self medicate (no matter the hour of day mind you) with ass loads of bloody marys!

    This one time, Me, the hubs, and our George Castanza looking friend Scrap flew to Vegas from New Orleans. Straight flight…no layovers. Our flight left at 6 am and Southwest was nice enough to provide a gay flight attendant named Harvey for our in flight entertainment.

    For some reason Harvey had it out for the Hubs and he ribbed him the entire flight. I proceeded to drink my body weight in bloody marys. At one point during the flight I took my drink with me to the bathroom. Stumbling down the aisle laughing hysterically. Oh, it was quite the site.
    to this day, I have no recollection of arriving in Vegas. Good times.

    P.S. I followed up your longest post ever with the longest comment ever. Sorry Dude.

  5. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:38 am Sandy Says:

    Hmmmm…you should write a book, lol. You have? Can’t wait to read it! I never get to go on vacation so I don’t have any nightmares to share. However, this September we will be going on a cruise with Oscar AND Darin’s entire extended family (um, yay?), so stay tuned, because there’s NO CHANCE of anything going wrong…right?

  6. On August 3rd, 2009 at 10:49 am Kristine Says:

    I caught a cold on the plane on the way to Disney World for our honeymoon…our honeymoon sucked so bad, or so I thought, until I read this.

  7. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:52 am Notesfromthegrove Says:

    I have been lucky enough to never have a vacation go awry. *knocks on wood, crosses fingers, dumps salt over shoulder*

    Oh, and please tell me those aren’t corn-rows.

  8. On August 3rd, 2009 at 12:02 pm Kristi Stevens Says:

    Oh, don’t get me started on my Honeymoon… mine consisted of a 14 hour drive from Kirksville, Mo to Dallas, Tx.. well, it was supposed to… that was until I had a fucking breakdown in Nowhere, Oklahoma and insisted we stop for sleep. I was so tired I didn’t even care how skanky the no-tell motel was… that was until I woke up and saw it in the light of day.. ew. Good times, good times.

  9. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:07 am DG at Diaryofamadbathroom Says:

    So, they chased you down the beach calling “Braid your hair lady! Braid your hair?” and you gave in. I have gotten a braid (one) once and they made it so tight that it snapped off at the top. I washed my hair and the whole thing, beads and all, came out in my hand. Don’t know how you managed a head-full without baldness, but more power to ya!

  10. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:14 am daisybv2 Says:

    Love the story…. Love the Hair…..

    I traveled with my first born so many times before she was a year old it was just crazy…

    There was once that I flew from Chicago to DC to see my Brother in Law and his family, My SIL flew with me and my then 7 month old daughter.

    First of all no one told me you had to collapse the stroller you kid was in to put it through the security belt. THAT WAS AWFUL, your kid does not walk so you are carrying a shit load of things and then you have to take her out of the stroller and some how manage to do all of this…. My SIL was usless she did nothing to help me.

    We get to the gate I had to check the stroller there, My SIL walks on the plane and leaves me there hanging the lady in front of my spills her BIGGIE SIZE COKE all over me and Kylie… So now I am sticky with a screaming child. That was followed by the worst vacation I ever took in my life

  11. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:17 am Sarah Says:

    OMG. So totally my honeymoon, but with Bahamas, Northwest Airlines, and subsituted Wal-Mart clothes. awesome.

  12. On August 3rd, 2009 at 12:18 pm Nancy Says:

    Mrs. David Harks, you bring the Chaos with you at all times, don’t you?

  13. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:30 am Angie Says:

    It probably doesn’t say anything about my SES or hometown that my brain calls those “jail braids”.

    My honeymoon was combined with my FAMILY REUINION because I was 1) too pregnant to wait much longer for the wedding (I *waddled* down the aisle) and 2) too poor to have two vacations. So I shared my honeymoon cabing with my *mother*, brother, sister, brother-in-law, and (worst of all) husband.

    I still look back on that trip and wish that mommy bear really *had* mauled him (just a *little* bit at least)

  14. On August 3rd, 2009 at 12:31 pm Kristina Says:

    I am not going to speak of any of my vacations, lest I jinx my good track record. But I love how most of the time, when someone is telling an awful vacation story, it always ends with “And then we had a great time!” Sometimes disaster makes for the best story. Love the story, love picture, undecided on the hair 🙂

  15. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:44 am mrs. seay Says:

    Anytime we go on vacation, one of my kids tries to drown. Its like an unwritten rule.

  16. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:57 am lady lemon Says:

    OMG, Becky!! Did you have to tell this story right before I leave for NYC? Now I’m all kinds of worried about delayed flights, missed lay-overs and lost luggage! Damn you!

    But, really, I do have a horror story to tell. When I was in highschool I went on a trip to Paris with my French class. I had never been out of the country (expect a 1/2 day in Canada once) so I was super-duper psyched! We had to get on a bus at 4:00 am to drive to JAX airport about three hours away. That went ok, until we got the airport and they had some problem with our flight, landing us the JAX airport for a whopping 15 HOURS!! Let me just say, that I now know that tiny airport like the back of my hand. After that, we had a missed lay over flight, landing us in Memphis for a few hours. Then, after another longer-than-expected layover in Amsterdam (NOT long enough to leave the airport and go into the city for ‘refreshments’) we finally made it to Paris. Where we discovered the bus that awaited us was not there (because, duh, we were like 24 hours late) and they had given our hotel rooms away.

    Ah, good times.

  17. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:58 am p jane Says:

    Vacation nightmare:
    [1990, pre cell phones]
    College boyfriend and I had tickets to fly to my parents’ new home several states away over Tday. [Wed.] On the three hour drive to the airport the car muffler (rubber mount, actually) caught fire. The fire extinguisher was defective, so we grabbed the luggage and ran down the highway, trying to flag a trucker. One stopped, put out the fire, but wasn’t able to take passengers to the next exit or call for help. Police arrived, took the statement, found a garage w/towtruck for repair and called for a cab. Cab arrived, got us to the airport as the flight was taking off. Compassionate airline clerk got us a flight for the next morning when we departed without incident other than stiff necks from sleeping in plastic chairs. Arrived safely at my parents. The End.
    Until…[Sat.]BF called the garage to check status of the vehicle. They didn’t have it. The wrecker never went out. Called highway patrol who said the vehicle was towed to IMPOUND after 24 hours. No, no way to pay over the phone to have it released, must do that in person. No, they aren’t open on Sunday, you’ll have to come in Monday. We flew back Sunday planning to rent a car, only neither of us were 25, so we rented the smallest UHaul available…the 19 footer. Which we skipped Monday classes to drive back down to the impound lot to pick up the car, then found there would be an additional fee to drop the UHaul at a location other than where it was rented, at which point BF threw a temper tantrum and I pretended I didn’t know him. Seriously, I came close to walking the 103 miles back to school.

    THAT was my worst vacation. (And a damn long comment…)

  18. On August 3rd, 2009 at 12:21 pm The Mommy Says:

    Oh, dear. In my world this would just be called “A Typical Vacation”. Usually, at least one leg of my trip is disastrous (although not deadly, obviously) so if the trip “to” is uneventful, we brace ourselves for the trip “from”.

    The worst trip was for business. I had a conference in Boston and my flight left on Easter Sunday. Since I was going to be at my parent’s house for dinner, I had them drive me to the airport. Before we left their place (which was an hour from my apartment), their cat pissed on my suitcase. Then I arrive in Boston in the middle of a freak snowstorm. I am lost in downtown Boston with every place CLOSED because of the holiday. I finally find the highway I’m supposed to be on and as I get closer to my exit (still snowing) the signs are covered with snow. As in, can’t read them. I have to get out and scrounge for rocks which I then throw at the sign to knock the snow off (why, yes, I was a girl scout. How’d ya know?). I’m two exits away…except there was an “A” exit and a “B” exit. So I got off on the wrong one. I’m decent with directions so I eventually found what was supposed to be my hotel – except it was a Marriott and not a Hilton. Shit. I decided to stay anyways but remarkably they had my reservation (later found out the 2-inch sign saying “formerly the Hilton” was, that’s right, covered in SNOW).

    Go to the conference in my cat-piss smelling clothes and proceed to catch the head cold from hell. {SIGH} And then the return flight I find myself sitting at the airport HOURS early (because I really couldn’t risk anything else) and I hear a group of three guys who were pretty loaded walking around with their obvious local (my local) accents. I turned to the woman closest to me and said, “I will be you $1000 I am sitting next to them on the plane.” She didn’t take the bet. Smart woman. I get on the plane and one guy is sitting behind me and one is right next to me. But where’s the third guy (“Bucky”)? He GOT ON THE WRONG PLANE! (which is why I wasn’t surprised that a lot of the flights for 9/11 originated at Logan Airport. Just sayin’) We have to wait while they track him down before we can take off. Jag offs.

    So, that was fun! Maybe I should post some of these stories myself instead of leaving them in your comments section (sorry).

  19. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:32 pm Halala Mama Says:

    Actually, from what I’ve heard, Cambodia would have been better than what you went through. At least the clothes would have been cheaper.

  20. On August 3rd, 2009 at 12:34 pm Suzy Voices Says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t even mention the corn rows!

  21. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:39 pm heather Says:

    Hmm. A fourteen hour car trip with two kids under four who refused to nap despite an early rise at 2:00 am. This? Was followed by missing our ferry over to the island by 10 minutes meaning we waited another 50 minutes before the next one. Oh! Did I mention the younger child had crapped herself somewhere around hour 9? No, no I didn’t. No one noticed until the pungeant odor of rotting animal wafted to the front seat. It was then that we realized she’d shot the one outfit that wasn’t buried in the mound of luggage strapped to the roof, so she road nudey (and mad as hell – for the remaining five hours, but who’s counting?). When we finally arrived to our NOT CLEANED rental house, we found that there were already about 300 other tenants – ANTS. And the water? Mixed with motor oil, so bad that we “sprinkled” for the remainder of the trip rather than actually wash. Ahhhhh. Good times. My beautiful shutterfly photobook tells a much happier, albeit LIE, tale about the Great Vacation of 2009.

  22. On August 3rd, 2009 at 12:39 pm Kristin Says:

    Love the story! I was going to post something similar today so check it out later.

  23. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:06 pm ainebegonia Says:

    There was the time I was traveling alone with a 9 month old on crutches. I had been planning to visit my family back home and the idiot, of course, had no interest in going. I cut my heel and sprained my ankle (on the same leg, the right one) the night before by dropping a dish and then myself on the kitchen floor. I had to have 8 stitches in my heel and they put a dressing and then an ace bandage on top.

    The next day the idiot dropped me and my little one at the airport. He didn’t even go inside the airport. I was carrying her in the snuggly, had a suitcase and the diaper bag all while on crutches. Luckily, a lot of other people were far more compassionate then the idiot and helped me out. Some guy in line carried my suitcase to the counter for me, when I had to switch flights, one of the airport guys sent the little airport golf cart thing to take me so I would make it on time (of course the connecting flight was on the other side of the airport) The flight attendants even offered to carry my little one for me to meet my sister by baggage claim (I declined the offer)

    The second worst was the last two days in Orlando at the Nick Hotel. I had taken all four kids and the first few days were great. We had great fun. Then my redhead got sick. She has midwestern white skin to begin with and she was whiter than that and had a nice fever too. Down to the little convience store I went and I paid $8 for a tiny bottle of Tylenol. Back upstairs to the room, clean the puke off of her, call for clean sheets, again, give her some tylenol, pray it stays down. Up and down all night with her and then had to get everyone up and ready early the next day for our flight. Thank Bob, I had paid extra for a nonstop flight. My poor redhead filled three air sickness bags and was almost translucent by the time we got back home to Tucson. She was fine a few hours later.

  24. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:08 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    At least the marriage only had one way to go – up! You worked hard for your happy marriage…you poor poor thing….

    I’m trying to think of a fateful vacation and having trouble thinking of one. It may be because I haven’t had one, or it may be that it’s Monday and my brain is not functioning correctly.

    I’ll let you decide which one is right.

  25. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:11 pm ainebegonia Says:

    and I think i may win for longest comment. Sorry, I just can’t shut myself up

  26. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:38 pm ZDub Says:

    I can’t top this.

    No one can.


  27. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:50 pm karin Says:

    Last year’s Christmas present: a ski weekend away! sounds great, right? well, I got reservations but made sure that the lodge knew that we’d be coming in really late (like midnight) and asked if that would be a problem. Nope, not a problem. They are in the middle of nowhere, PA, and they’ll leave the key in the door for us. I called the week before we left to confirm and remind them that we’d be in really late. I called again the day before (paranoid much?). We got there, found the lodge, found our room but there’s no key and the door is locked… called the lock-out number, no answer. Apparently, in middle of nowhere, PA, cell phones are spotty and the lock-out number goes to the owner’s cell phone so it’s hit or miss as to if he’ll get the call. it gets better – (a) I have to pee, (b) we’re running out of gas, (c) nothing is opened b/c we’re really not close to anything. About this time, a group of teenagers from the youth group also staying in the lodge come in and realize that they did not bring their keys with them and they too are locked out (but they did know where there was a public bathroom!!). So we ended up sleeping on a couch in a room full of teenagers for our weekend away!

    So next day, we’re skiing and I manage to fall off the T-lift, smacking it into my chin and nose bleeding everywhere. i also broke a nail at the quick in this misadventure. I don’t ski often – I hadn’t been since before having my kids. On the way down the hill, I hit ice and tumbled the rest of the way – I was done then but finished out our lesson. We returned out skis and vowed to get into shape again before we go skiing again then we spent the afternoon snow tubing and had a blast.

  28. On August 3rd, 2009 at 1:56 pm Beth Says:

    I didn’t even have to read your post and I can tell that the picture was taken in St. Lucia. We went there on our HM also and had a blast.

  29. On August 3rd, 2009 at 2:07 pm lydee Says:

    holy crap, good story!

  30. On August 3rd, 2009 at 2:10 pm excavator Says:

    I’ll try to be brief:

    My parents were celebrating their 50th anniversary by taking the family (me, my two twin brothers, my two kids, one brother’s two kids, my niece, my husband, my brother’s wife) to Disneyworld for 2 nights in Florida, then a 3 night Disney Cruise.

    This falls right in the middle of Party Season–the 3 weeks between one boy was turning 8, and the other 4.

    Dh has to go to Asia on business, 2 weeks before the first birthday party, arriving the day of. We’re scheduled to depart for Florida (from the Pacific Northwest) 3 days after dh’s return.

    We’re fixing up one house to sell and trying to find another one to buy. This is at the height of the housing boom and3 houses have already been yanked out from under us.

    The night before we’re supposed to leave (an extremely early flight next morning) dh pulls an all-nighter at work.

    We’re seated in the row ahead of the emergency exit, so our seats won’t recline. DH snoozes through the flight (jet lag) while I cope with two restless, cranky, and uncomfortable kids

    We arrive in stifling hot Florida. My brother lives in Ohio; my other brother had joined him there. They’ve driven down to Orlando, and didn’t change time zones. They came a day early and have been settled in their hotel already; already spent a day in the Disney park.

    My family is completely out of sync with everyone else between dh trying to readjust his sleep schedule and my kids’ jet lag. In the mornings my brother’s kids are up extremely early in the room next to us and no one quiets them. However if my kids are watching TV past 8:00 in the evening, my SIL is knocking on the door to tell us her kids are trying to sleep.

    Her kids behave perfectly.

    Mine do not.

    My youngest doesn’t like her youngest.

    On the last night of the cruise we’re instructed to put our luggage outside our room by 10 pm so the porters can transfer it to a holding area to offload next morning. We’re cautioned to keep out the clothes we’ll be wearing to breakfast. We’re told horror stories of people coming to breakfast in nighties, boxers, towels. I go to the room and pack for myself and the boys. I set aside the clothes they’ll be wearing in the morning; I put my own morning clothes in the closet, separate from the luggage. DH goes to room to pack himself while I watch kids in pool.

    Next morning I open the closet to get my clothes.

    They’re gone.

    DH very thoughtfully packed them away, thinking I’d forgotten them.

    He didn’t tell me.

    Fortunately my niece didn’t trust the whole process and so had kept her bag with her; she had some extra pants and shirt I could wear. I had to hitch up the pants all day to keep them on.

    We get booted off the boat by 7:00am. We stand in line for 45 minutes waiting for customs and to be placed on buses to the airport. It’s very hot.

    We arrive at the airport 3 full hours before our flight.

    One leg of our flight lasts 1/2 hour, Orlando to Atlanta. The other leg is 5 1/2 hours. The first flight is in a large, cushy, spacious plane. We’re grounded for 1/2 hour because of thunderstorms between Orlando and Atlanta. We sit on the ground and youngest boy falls asleep. That will be it for the naps he takes the rest of that day.

    Orlando airport is miserably crowded. We frantically find our way to our gate to announcements that our flight is full and inducements to spend the night in Atlanta. Dh says no.

    We shoehorn ourselves onto the tiniest full-sized plane I’ve ever been on. We’re not seated together. I sit with older ds next to a window. I’m in the middle. A very large woman sits down next to me on the aisle. We exchange pleasantries and suddenly she moves the armrest between us up so it disappears between the seats. My left side and her right side nestle softly. As an afterthought she says, “I hope that’s ok. I’m more comfortable that way.” Later I’m grateful for the wussiness that kept me from being assertive (I was already beaten down by some earlier kid management in the airport, in front of my parents, but fortunately not in front of my SIL)–I’m glad I said nothing because she was the only kind person on that flight.

    We sit at the gate for 45 minutes because housekeeping had missed cleaning up the rear toilet which an arriving passenger had “been sick all over and we decided it’s too cruel to only have 1 toilet available on a full 5 hour flight”. We wait for housekeeping, and then join the queue waiting for take-off.

    Younger ds is back with dh, in a seat in front of a woman who is one of ‘those women’ I probably was before I had kids. The kind that sighed and rolled eyes when a kid sat anywhere near. During a shift I took sitting with younger ds I could hear her complaining loudly to her seatmates when he squirmed and shook the seat. Loud talk about how HER friends’ children are so well-behaved on flights (not knowing that these kids had been up since 6, and at that point in time had already been travelling 12 hours and had 5 more to go. In my opinion my children were handling being hot, cramped, and tired far better than she was. They at least weren’t being mean.). It’s the longest, saddest flight I’ve ever been on, and at the time seemed to be the climax of the Worst Trip Ever.

    Until I got an email 2 weeks after returning home from my SIL who said that when she’d gone to pick up her daughter from childcare on the cruise ship she’d found my 3 year old hitting her 2 year old. Freaked, she’d gone and told my parents and brothers; my mom begged her to not tell me because she was afraid it would ruin the trip (it was the last day anyway). So now she was telling me.

    THAT was the cllimax of The Worst Trip Ever.

    There was still a birthday party to plan for youngest ds once we got back.

    For my parents it was The Best Trip Ever because We Were All Together. I just smile weakly and tell them how nice they were to have done that for us whenever they get to fondly reminiscing.

  31. On August 3rd, 2009 at 2:11 pm excavator Says:

    P.S. Sorry so long. I should have probably just written a post on my own site.

  32. On August 3rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm Sarah Says:

    I was nervous the week of my wedding, and when I get nervous I don’t poop. When the wedding was over, there was honeymoon nervousness, so still, no pooping. We drove to Yellowstone National Park where my sister was a park Ranger and was going to let us stay in her awesome little ranger cabin (two rooms) and she was going to stay with her friend. When I saw my sis, she gave me our wedding present which included four cute little clove scented mug coasters. You put your hot mug on them, and the sweet smell of cloves wafts wonderfully to your nose.

    When I finally relaxed, the morning after we arrived, my sis and new husband were sitting in the living room having some coffee using the new coasters, and I took a shower and finally FINALLY pooped! It was such an enormous relief. When I came out of the bathroom, my sis and hub were sitting on the far side of the cabin, holding the coasters over their noses and mouths. I was only slightly embarrassed, until my sister had to blurt out, “Oh GOD, It’s so gross! I could smell it with my MOUTH!”

    We’re still married.

  33. On August 3rd, 2009 at 2:58 pm Mwa Says:

    That’s horrible! And holidays that short should be outlawed.

    One of my finest trips was one to the north of Holland. I went there for a conference, on my own, about two and a half months pregnant and all I did was chuck up the whole time. I wasn’t even that interested in the topic.

  34. On August 3rd, 2009 at 3:08 pm Melissa Says:

    Oh, let’s settle down, shall we and share horror stories.
    My honeymoon? We were too ass-broke poor to travel anywhere by plane. Instead, my dearest beloved had a camper on a pickup truck. We decided to go from Norfolk, Neb., to the Black Hills in S.D. He (now retired Army) is used to “roughing it,” my idea of “roughing it” is having to carry my own luggage.
    He outfits the camper which, by the way, does not have a functioning bathroom or stove, with every contingency – if we encounter fire, flood or famine, we are prepared. We set off in our trusty pickup truck and travel as far as O’Neill, Neb., where said pickup truck is ailing as it pulls into town. As we’ve left after work (6-ish) by the time we pull into O’Neill, nothing is open except the local bar. We park the pickup truck at the service station, eat in bar, where locals examine us like we are Trekkies at a country-western rodeo. We go back to the camper, put a bucket on the floor of the non-functioning bathroom (because there’s no way even, then, pre-baby, i could make it through the night without a potty break) and go to sleep, next to the highway, in a service station parking lot. Romantic, huh? Next a.m., I do discover how terribly talented my husband is as he discovers the fuel pump is shot, walks down the street to a auto supply store, where he purchases what he needs, and replaces it on the spot. I’ve, meanwhile, finally snuck into a real bathroom at the gas station, where I’ve peed in a real toilet, washed my face and brushed my teeth. Almost human.
    We trundle up to the Black Hills and camp overnight (in a campground with showers and toilets, hooray) and wake up to a campground full of smoke. Yup, the hills are on fire and Needles Highway, which we planned to take, is closed to all traffic. fabulous.
    You had the ocean and cute corn row braids. I had smoky-smelling clothes, a trip to “Reptile Gardens” and trying to get used to my brand-new husband while squatting over a bucket in a camper bathroom, parked next to a major state highway. Isn’t it romantic.

  35. On August 3rd, 2009 at 3:45 pm Jenn Says:

    I love it when my google reader tells me you’ve updated. You always have the best stories to share. I haven’t had even one-twentieth the interesting experiences that you’ve had. (And I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, haha.)

  36. On August 3rd, 2009 at 3:56 pm Tracy Says:

    Happy to say my honeymoon was uneventful once in the air. I recommend using a travel agent that doesn’t have their head so far up their ass they need a plastic belly button to see with.

    #1 – passport…obtained under my maiden name – duh…9 months or so before my wedding.
    #2 – Travel agent with a rectal cranial inversion arranges airfare WITH MY MARRIED NAME.
    #3 – Airline staff does not wish to let me on the plane to Heathrow (months after that little Lockerbie Scotland incident) with a passport and drivers license that doesn’t match my plane ticket.
    #4 – FRANTIC call to mom and grandma to dig through the enormous pile of presents to find the box I had stuffed the marriage certificate into and then drive it to the friggin airport.

    Thank god I had followed “the rule” of getting to the airport 2 hours early.

    Thanks for the story! And I’ve already broken my rule about reading your posts at work. :-/

  37. On August 3rd, 2009 at 4:24 pm a Says:

    I took my mom to Italy to spend a couple weeks with my sister. They cancelled our flight back. I don’t know who was more upset about that.

    Another time I went to Italy, I got served with contempt of court papers the week I was supposed to leave. I actually fled the country! (By the time I got back, the matter had been settled – and no, I didn’t have to go to jail.)

  38. On August 3rd, 2009 at 5:47 pm Nicole Says:

    The fact that your marriage survived the duration of that trip (and still continues to go strong) is a true testament to the power of love. And bad hair decisions.

    When Cooper was about 3 months old I flew back to Denver for a girlfriends wedding. While I was gone, hubby injured himself at work and was ultimately admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery. I was able to find a flight from Denver to Salt Lake City with no problem, but would be flying stand-by from SLT to San Diego. Guess which flights from SLC to San Diego were full that day? All of them. Guess who had plenty of extra clothing, diapers, etc.? Cooper. Guess who had no spare clothing, etc.? Me. I spent the night in SLC and eventually got on a flight that landed in Palm Springs and rented a car to get back home. I had been puked on, pooped on, had some major boob leaks, and hadn’t showered in almost two days. I came home to find out that my mother-in-law had called my own mother to tattletale on me (I had asked that they not drive to Palm Springs to pick me up because I had already made rental car arrangements) and that both she and my father-in-law were trying to clean my house, as my husband had done NO CLEANING in the 3 weeks I had been gone (they being ones who have never even cleaned their own house.) Good times.

  39. On August 3rd, 2009 at 5:17 pm Inna Says:

    I’ve got nothing… nothing to top that.
    I love the braids 🙂

  40. On August 3rd, 2009 at 5:47 pm Lisa Says:

    Hubby joins “fancy” law firm. Boss has private jet. Takes lawyers and wives for a Vegas weekend one summer. Leaving Vegas (from Texas) we walk across the private hanger to the plane, which has been parked (uncovered) in the 117 degree heat (YES I SAID ONE HUNDRED SEVENTEEN DEGREE HEAT). Now, living in Texas I am not unused to heat, but the temp INSIDE the plane was ONE MILLION DEGREES. But the best news – wait for it – we had a 40min delay for take off.

    The vomit I splayed all over the plane’s bathroom could be heard and (forgive me) smelled all through the parked stifiling plane.

    Needless to say, I am totally the “favorite” wife.

  41. On August 3rd, 2009 at 5:50 pm Z Says:

    I’m torn. I’ve got TWO good airplane stories that immediately sprang to mind reading your story… which to share? WHICH??!

    Both? Really? Oh, OK. I guess.

    (ha, you had to know I was gonna overshare)

    1. 17 years old. Flight to Paris. First international flight EVER. Second flight without my parents EVER. Didn’t know ANYONE on the plane. So what happens? Delays, delays, delays… 25+ airplane queue. We wait, wait, wait. We’re… 7…6…5…4th in line! YAY! But… What’s this? HUH?!?! Did that guy just PULL A KNIFE??? !!! Oh YES he DID !!!
    (YES, this was a *little* while ago) So, yeah. Solo flight. To fucking PARIS. Me, a scared little teenager. All alone. Long delay, me just huddled up in my tiny airplane seat. And a guy. Pulls a knife. On the plane. Before we take off. W.T.F. indeed. (And, um, yeah. That flight was DELAYED…)

    2. This story has less, you know, KNIVES and shit. But it was actually the first that popped to mind reading yours. Another flight, a bit more recently. Also at 6am. Me, alone again. Going to a conference. Knowing no one. (See a trend here? I need to fly w my posse more often, methinks. But first I need to acquire a posse. And stop saying “methinks” because is that even English?) Anyways… I show up at maybe 5h15am. Late, methinks. (again?!?!) But… NO. Because despite the flight being at 6am… or so they say… the damn AIRPORT doesn’t open til 6am. Another WTF moment. Indeed. I think I may stick to trains from now on. And boats. I like boats. Cars are OK, too. Unicycles, as well. You know, the usual modes of transportation 😉

  42. On August 3rd, 2009 at 6:52 pm Lauren Says:

    That was a lovely story. A story about love. My husband, like your’s, also has infinite patience.

  43. On August 3rd, 2009 at 7:33 pm Ms. Moon Says:

    Oh please. Travel disasters. Hmmmm. Maybe the worst was having to ride four hours in a car with my entire extended family to get to a place in Pennsylvania where THERE WAS NO BAR.
    Yeah. That would be it for me.

  44. On August 3rd, 2009 at 6:47 pm linzm0 Says:

    There is no vacation in my meager history to top these apples, Auntie B!

    Holy moly.

  45. On August 3rd, 2009 at 6:53 pm Evil Twin's Wife Says:

    Stories like this make me glad to be a total homebody! 🙂

  46. On August 3rd, 2009 at 9:10 pm kyslp Says:

    Love the pic of Dudley Moore and Bo Derek!

  47. On August 3rd, 2009 at 8:14 pm Tiffany Quintana Says:

    Mine’s nothing compared to that but it did have that additional sting of traveling with ankle biters. Always makes things so muchly much more complicated:

  48. On August 3rd, 2009 at 10:46 pm MrsLaLa Says:

    Ahh, don’t cha just love travel? It’s never easy to get there, no matter how much you plan ahead…but GAWD is it worth it! 😉

  49. On August 3rd, 2009 at 9:50 pm mountainmomma18 Says:

    Screw it you still looked hot and besides a swimsuit what does one need for a honeymoon in paradise? My husband liked to take the arliest frakin flights he can find so i have found myself standing at the airport at 4 am waiting for the people who actually work there to get there and almost stabbing my husband when the starbucks was not openly yet. Fortunate for him security had taken my machete.

  50. On August 3rd, 2009 at 11:13 pm Tanna Says:

    Uhg. You poor thing. That sucks. I’ve been air-sick plenty of times, got a nose bleed that wouldn’t stop… oh, and haven’t been on a single on-time flight this year (except the one leaving Hawaii) 1/20?. I saved the superficial disaster post for Tuesday, thanks for the vote of confidence. Now I can just say Aunt Becky told me to do it:

  51. On August 4th, 2009 at 12:49 am Lindsay Says:

    I’ve had a lot of airport disasters (used to travel for work every single week), but none on my honeymoon (we went on a cruise out of San Diego so we didn’t have to fly). I’m glad you guys were able to look at the bright side through it all. Vodka always helps make the cup half full.

  52. On August 4th, 2009 at 1:45 am Beautiful Mess Says:

    It is what you make of it and you sure made one hell of a vacation! Cute picture! How much rum was consumed after the vodka?

  53. On August 4th, 2009 at 6:27 am SCY Says:

    Aw, what a cute pic – lurve the braids 🙂


  54. On August 4th, 2009 at 6:31 am mumma boo Says:

    Hmm…let’s see…after reading that post, and the comments, I think I’m glad I don’t travel very far. Yikes!

  55. On August 4th, 2009 at 6:33 am Rayne of Terror Says:

    Our honeymoon was 2 week in Vancouver. We were married September 1, 2001. The trip out was delightful. We flew to Seattle and then drove to Vancouver. We stayed in a lovely bed & breakfast and had such a great time. Then my grandfather died in Texas on September 8 or 9 and his body needed to be shipped back to Indiana on September 11th. The morning of Sept 11 I was looking at the MSN home page on the laptop and said, Honey I think something’s going on in the US. We turned on the tv for a few minutes, said geez louise, and went about our regular plans. All day people were stopping us on the streets to say they were sorry. ANYWAY, the borders closed, grandfather’s body was somehow stuck in Toronto, we had a flight in Seattle to catch back to Illinois, but the borders were still closed, and now we had a funeral scheduled. We called Hertz rental and explained the situation and they told us to drive home to Illinois and there would be no extra milage charges. So we drove FOUR days across Canada listening to AM radio and the 2 CDs we had, Jesus Christ Superstar and Barry White. Somehow we all got to Indiana on time for the funeral, including grandpa.

  56. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:31 am natalee Says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog so.. funny.. i will be back regularly.. natalee

  57. On August 4th, 2009 at 8:34 am Badass Geek Says:

    God, I’ve got nothing. Short of getting lost in New Jersey and almost getting elbowed off of the George Washington bridge in New York, nothing.

  58. On August 4th, 2009 at 3:26 pm habanerogal Says:

    best story ever me I’ve got nothing cuz our vacations always just go smoothly although he and I have never gone for a plane flight together. He is some kinda awesome freaky flyer so I’m told.

  59. On August 4th, 2009 at 6:13 pm Rebecca Says:

    This is not a vacation disaster, but it is a plane disaster. Or something.

    I was on my way to a job interview in Salt Lake City. I was leaving out of O’Hare and connecting in Denver… in January. (This was for an academic job, so all the interviews are several days long and in the dead of winter. Your comment about being a retired nurse amused me, because I, at 34, am a retired math professor. No, really.)

    So I get to Denver, no problem, board the plane in Denver, and I am seated next to a father of two small children. The mother was across the aisle with said children, and it was blizzarding (is that a word?) in Denver. So, you know, we are a little (like two hours) late taking off, and the kids were NOT HAPPY, totally understandably. I was not happy either! I had two talks to give the next day and I had already missed my dinner interview, but, whatever. The people around us were not understanding of the kids screaming, AT ALL, and in a rare moment of understanding and empathy, I actually really kind of felt for this family.

    At this point it is germane to mention that the entire rear of the plane was occupied by motorbikers in full leather regalia on their way to some biker conference.

    So we got de-iced, and then were about to take off, and there was a mechanical problem that had to be fixed, and by this point they actually LET US OFF and gave us vouchers for food, let us on back in, blah blah blah, and finally, FINALLY, we were getting de-iced for the final time, and one of the kids next to me was absolutely in HYSTERICS. The poor dad, totally at the end of his rope, and obviously in desperation, said, “if you don’t stop crying right now you’re going to get a spanking.” (I don’t think he was really going to do it, but who knows. Anyway.)

    Well, at that point several of the bikers swooped down on him and said something like, “If you raise a hand to that child you are gonna have 20 bikers on your ass before you know it.”

    It was only then that I noticed the logos on the backs of their leather vests. “Bikers against Child Abuse.”

    So we had to go BACK to the gate and the bikers AND the family were removed from the plane (threat of violence in the air, don’t you know), and after SEVEN HOURS, we took off.

    The next day, when I met the provost, he had read about this story in the paper and knew I had been on this airline and actually asked me about it. I felt like a celebrity.

    But I didn’t get the job.

  60. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:24 pm GingerB Says:

    My story following a run in with BACA is kinda lame but anyway . . . on a simple vacation with my best girlfriend, we arrived at out hotel in Playa del Carmen, Mexico where we were booked for 5 nights all inclusive, and were told that the hotel was overbooked and they were looking for guests willing to spend three days / two nights in Cancun at a FIVE STAR HOTEL and take three spendy excursion vouchers in exchange for being willing to give up the known quantity of the hotel we had booked. Always ready for adventure, my pal and I agreed, thinking we’d save $200 apiece on Xel-ha, Xcaret, and Isla Mujeres / Garafon (all fun snorkel /dolphin / Mexican food/ shows/ and lie in a hammock good time venues). We set off in a van with two couples, and after an excursion day our personal driver took us to a cheapo looking tower hotel on the poor end of Cancun (we went to our all ocean view villas in a smaller town for a reason) and we thought well, what the hell and went in. We waited more than an hour for the concierge to produce room keys, only to find our room had no towells, water oouring from the showerhead, no shower curtain, an actual hole in the wall (actual!) a three legged table and the bed was a box spring on a concrete platform. The AC unit groaned and wailed and didn’t cool the room, the phone was dangling from the wall, and it was of coruse, sandy. I requested towells be sent up, they promised in ten minutes, which turned into three hours (after being stolen from another location perhaps?) When the man brought the towells to the door he asked how many I said 4 he said only two I said 4 mimed me slipping on the bathroom floor and needing a doctor than I snatched four from his stack and slammed the door. We went to the buffet, and my friend, who has notoriously low standards, wouldn’t eat there either, so we searched out the others who transferred with us and headed out for a meal. It turns out it was a FIVE star hotel on a scale of 1-20. But we did enjoy being able to tell the tale of the concrete bed, because really, concrete!!

  61. On August 4th, 2009 at 10:33 pm HHRose Says:

    GET OUT. My husband and I went on our honeymoon to St. Lucia, had “mechanical difficulties” on our flight from ORD to Puerto Rico, and missed our connection to the island–spending the first night of our honeymoon in a seedy-ass hotel Best Western in the (ahem) lovely town of San Juan. Small world. (We departed on July 25, 2005, by the way.)

  62. On August 5th, 2009 at 12:17 am heather... Says:

    fucking. cornrows.

  63. On August 5th, 2009 at 11:23 am Fiddle1 Says:

    Nothing can top your nightmare, but I did miss two flights on the same trip (AND WHILE I WAS IN THE AIRPORT). yes, you read right. sitting in an airport restaurant/bar with my then-boyfriend (now hubby), talking up a storm. We missed two going and one coming back (he was going to meet my mom). I miss those days when we’d get so lost in conversation we’d miss planes and not take the right interstate exits. One time, we ended up in macon, GA instead of Auburn, AL b/c we never exited on I85! Sadly, after 7 years of marriage, we don’t get that wrapped up in conversation any more.

  64. On August 20th, 2009 at 5:03 pm Rachel Montoya Says:

    Last time we traveled we had an almost identical experience… and we had our 2 year old with us… Only worse travel experience was getting our passports stolen on a beach in spain… leading us to miss our flight and stay there for 4 years…

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