Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

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    wprager
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    Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by wprager on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:07 am

    As you may have guessed from recent posts, I've just been on a 2 week family holiday. At around 3:30 PM we crossed the border at Ogdensburg, stopped off at a friends' house in Osgood to pick up my son's pet gecko, and got home around 5:30. As I was unloading the the van and my wife started making supper for the four hungry/cranky kids, she checked the Michael Buble concert tickets I'd gotten her back in February. Yeah, that's right, we came home from a two-week, exhausting vacation only to find out that we had 2 hours to feed the kids (empty fridge, of course), unpack enough to make sure they had beds and PJs to sleep in, get ready ourselves and head on over to Scotia Bank Place (with my favorite back-road access closed off because of construction). And just two days earlier we were contemplating leaving the in-laws on Friday morning or staying an extra day and not getting home until Sunday.

    So, does anyone have similar (or better) vacation blunders to share?

    P.S. While all the cars seemed to want to get to the lot on the arena side, I barreled down the left lane, did a u-turn and got in easy to the lot across the way. And because the lot was pretty much full they told us to grab the empty 'Media' spots right next to the entrance. I grabbed the one closest to the exit lane. Sweet.

    P.P.S. Excellent show. The guy's got a bit of a salty mouth on him, though. A little girl handed him a rose, which he placed on the piano. A while later in the concert, when introducing his piano player, he said "You may like a rose on your piano, but I prefer tulips on my organ."


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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by wprager on Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:17 pm

    Bump


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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by MsConduct10 on Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:02 am

    Hmm, alright, you Canadians will have a laugh at this. Mr. C has weird taste in sports and likes the CFL (not that he shouldn't, but most Texans don't even know Canada has a football league).

    So for a few years in a row we came up for the Grey Cup and explain to people that we're going to "Canada's Super Bowl!" and they'd pretend to be interested...

    Anyway, we went up in 2002 for the one in Edmonton. Tacked a vacation on to it, but didn't really have much of a plan. So we flew into Calgary and decided to drive to ... Yellowknife... to see the aurora borealis.

    So, it's late November, we're a couple of life-long Texans and we're driving to the NWT. Trip up was fine, though kinda freaky watching the sky get lower as you go further north. There was only one radio station up there and we had a laugh as we drove through one po-dunk little town called High Level and how the HUGE news in town was that they got new x-ray equipment at the hospital there. Wooo. Good for you. Play some damn music.

    We get to Yellowknife via that gravel road and a ferry (as the river hadn't frozen over yet so no ice roads for us... ha!) and find out there's a big storm coming in early the next day. So, knowing our limitations as people who think 40 degrees F is super cold, we decide to head south at 4 a.m. (And of course, it's all cloudy so no northern lights for us.)

    We head out. No problem. We get about 100 miles north of High Level (where they have the fancy new xray machines we made fun of) and hit a patch of black ice and flip the car a couple of times into the ditch.

    Awesome. The car is totaled. All our crap is out in the ditch. I'm hurt. Some kind of searing pain in my shoulder. Kinda in shock and truckers pull over and a bus calls an ambulance on their satellite radio. I'm sitting on the side of the road on some nice trucker's jacket trying to keep my wits about me. Sanding truck comes by and I flip him off for being an hour late to the party.

    Then the ambulance comes and they look at the wreck and decide they need to put a big neck brace on me and strap me to the board and give me an intensely uncomfortable slippery ride back to High Level. All the while making fun of us for even making this trip. In a nice way, of course.

    We get to HL and of course, I need XRAYS! Karma's a Wing Dang Doodle.

    Anyway, it was torn rotator cuff or something (nothing showed up on xray but it was WEEKS of healing and still bothers me when it rains or I make a save where I have to land on my right arm), so we spent the night at the brand new Super 8 in HL and picked windshield glass out of our hair and got absolutely giddy about simply being alive. It was amazing.

    We ended up taking Greyhound the rest of the way back. Still went to the Grey Cup in EDM. All I remember is watermelons on peoples heads, hot chocolate, and getting a really nice suite at the hotel because they felt sorry for me. I love Canada.

    It was a crazy trip, but still pretty fun. Definitely limped out of the country with a story to tell, even if the story does make us seem like a couple of idiots.
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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by wprager on Tue Aug 10, 2010 7:11 am

    You tell a great story!


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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by Riprock on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:27 am

    Wow, that is a crazy story. Even if I had one I couldn't top that.

    Ahhhhh!
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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by wprager on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:33 pm

    Dash wrote:Wow, that is a crazy story. Even if I had one I couldn't top that.

    Ahhhhh!

    I was in a rolled car once. I think I was 8 or 9. This was back in the U.S.S.R., a tiny car with three of us. Raining cats and dogs, and there was an oil slick on the road. Remember when the first Ladas came to North America? They had no seatbelts because there were no seatbelts in use at the time. Anyhow, the car rolled 2-3 times and flipped over end-to-end once. My mom an I were in the backseat and her legs were covered in bruises where my head repeatedly hit her. When we finally opened our eyes to look around, my dad -- who had been driving -- was nowhere to be seen. The driver's door was still closed. He was actually thrown out of the car, probably when it was flipping or rolling and landed in some bushes 20-30 feet away. How he did not get crushed when the car rolled, I still don't know. One thing I still vividly remember is the prickly feeling I had in my fingertips when I washed my hands -- minute pieces of glass must have gotten embedded under our fingernails, and for days afterward we could still feel the pain.


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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by MsConduct10 on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:51 pm

    It's scary isn't it? It was several years before I could drive in any inclement weather and not almost have a panic attack. Any kind of slippage from the tires and my heart still leaps out of my chest. My next car will be 4 wheel drive, simply because of the heavy rain we get here that sits on the roads and freaks me out.

    Can't imagine going thru that without a seatbelt. Ugh. Sick to my stomach just thinking of it.
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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by TheAvatar on Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:40 pm

    MsConduct10 wrote:Hmm, alright, you Canadians will have a laugh at this. Mr. C has weird taste in sports and likes the CFL (not that he shouldn't, but most Texans don't even know Canada has a football league).

    So for a few years in a row we came up for the Grey Cup and explain to people that we're going to "Canada's Super Bowl!" and they'd pretend to be interested...

    Anyway, we went up in 2002 for the one in Edmonton. Tacked a vacation on to it, but didn't really have much of a plan. So we flew into Calgary and decided to drive to ... Yellowknife... to see the aurora borealis.

    So, it's late November, we're a couple of life-long Texans and we're driving to the NWT. Trip up was fine, though kinda freaky watching the sky get lower as you go further north. There was only one radio station up there and we had a laugh as we drove through one po-dunk little town called High Level and how the HUGE news in town was that they got new x-ray equipment at the hospital there. Wooo. Good for you. Play some damn music.

    We get to Yellowknife via that gravel road and a ferry (as the river hadn't frozen over yet so no ice roads for us... ha!) and find out there's a big storm coming in early the next day. So, knowing our limitations as people who think 40 degrees F is super cold, we decide to head south at 4 a.m. (And of course, it's all cloudy so no northern lights for us.)

    We head out. No problem. We get about 100 miles north of High Level (where they have the fancy new xray machines we made fun of) and hit a patch of black ice and flip the car a couple of times into the ditch.

    Awesome. The car is totaled. All our crap is out in the ditch. I'm hurt. Some kind of searing pain in my shoulder. Kinda in shock and truckers pull over and a bus calls an ambulance on their satellite radio. I'm sitting on the side of the road on some nice trucker's jacket trying to keep my wits about me. Sanding truck comes by and I flip him off for being an hour late to the party.

    Then the ambulance comes and they look at the wreck and decide they need to put a big neck brace on me and strap me to the board and give me an intensely uncomfortable slippery ride back to High Level. All the while making fun of us for even making this trip. In a nice way, of course.

    We get to HL and of course, I need XRAYS! Karma's a Wing Dang Doodle.

    Anyway, it was torn rotator cuff or something (nothing showed up on xray but it was WEEKS of healing and still bothers me when it rains or I make a save where I have to land on my right arm), so we spent the night at the brand new Super 8 in HL and picked windshield glass out of our hair and got absolutely giddy about simply being alive. It was amazing.

    We ended up taking Greyhound the rest of the way back. Still went to the Grey Cup in EDM. All I remember is watermelons on peoples heads, hot chocolate, and getting a really nice suite at the hotel because they felt sorry for me. I love Canada.

    It was a crazy trip, but still pretty fun. Definitely limped out of the country with a story to tell, even if the story does make us seem like a couple of idiots.

    That made my day. Thanks Smile

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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by MsConduct10 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:06 am

    Yeah, the cuss replacements here are pretty funny. Worked beautifully there.
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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by PTFlea on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:17 am

    Great story, you're a natural.
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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by Hoags on Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:34 pm

    Not as great ... but here goes nothing.

    Story #1

    When I was on holidays in Guam a year ago there's a tourist shuttle bus that goes to all the major spots in the area. The buses operate on Hawaiian time but they're a great way to get around. I bought a weekly pass for me and my wife which was good for unlimited trips and a great deal considering how much an individual pass costs. All in all we had a great time, the weather was great and the little hotel we got had internet a pool, even laundry facilities.

    So on our last we head out to the bus stop for our last sightseeing trip, which included a trip to Little Caesar's for Crazy Bread (love the stuff and so do most of the tourists there apparently). So we get on the bus and I reach into my shirt pocket which I washed the day before ...

    ... and you guessed pulled out a pair of dried laundried bus passes resembling the paper mache I played with as a kid (only smelling like Tide).

    I ended up having to buy a restricted pass for the day at almost the same price (only good for a few trips) so we never got to do as much as we planned nor did we make it to Little Caesar's.

    To this day, when we go to Little Caesar's I get it rubbed in my face by my wife.

    Story #2

    Years ago as a kid I was visiting my uncle in Germany with my mom and younger brother. We were due to fly back together. Knowing that airlines overbook flights and all our plans were very flexible my uncle decided we'd be real clever and leave at the last possible minute and try to score some compensation from the airline.

    Sure enough we get there when the gate is about to close and while there's 4 of us there's only 2 seats available. They gave us 5 seconds to decide who goes and who gets bumped. My mom and brother ended up going while me and uncle collected a few hundred dollars in compensation and went to celebrate in the lounge to wait for the next flight out.

    It dawned on us shortly after that my mom boarded with my passport. I wouldn't be allowed to board the plane nor enter the country without it.

    Suffice to say this caused a massive commotion which involved the airports and the pilot of the plane with my passport onboard radioing ahead to make arrangements so that I'd be allowed to board the plane and have someone meet me before Passport Control so that I could get my passport back.
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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by Riprock on Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:10 pm

    I personally don't have any horror stories, but when I was working on the Norwegian Dawn from Sept 06-Jan 07, a friend of mine had an accident.

    Our ship had just left NY and myself and a lot of the other crew were busy about doing their regular things, when word had gotten around that we weren't moving. So I went outside hours after we left and could still see the lights of NY as we sat there just a few miles from land. Turns out that the Azipod propulsion system had failed, and obviously our entire cruise would be affected. Instead of the usual itinerary we managed to get to Norfolk, VA (not on the itinerary at all). The hope was that it would only be for a day or two max while the engine was repaired, and that we would carry on our merry way.

    Well, repairs were not that easy and we ended up being there for a few days IIRC, and for crew, that wasn't all that bad. It meant we had little to no work, and that we were free to disembark for basically the entire day with about a 3am curfew. The passengers on the other hand were not quite so impressed. There were riots aboard the ship, and police and SWAT were called in. Some passengers were allowed to make arrangements to leave via bus to return to NY, while others stayed and put up a fight. The cruise line didn't help their case and caused further outrage with their insulting offers to passengers for compensation (something like a $100 tab for onboard services, and I think a 10% discount on future cruises). The whole thing was covered by the media.

    Meanwhile, there were huge North-Easterly storms at the time and Norfolk had been hit hard with flooding, which I will get to later.

    So some crew member friends and I headed out to have dinner at the Hooters, and afterwards we went outside and some other crew were on their way to meet up. I told my friend I was just running in to the washroom and would be back, but when I returned the entire group was gone. I looked down streets to see if I could find a pack of people, but no luck. So I headed back to the ship.

    The following morning I was talking with some other friends and they were asking if I knew what happened to "Mandy". Apparently the group met up with some locals and went to some guys apartment. She went outside on the balcony for a smoke and as she was tossing her butt over the rail she ended up going with it. Miraculously, she fell from the 5th floor balcony, and what would have been a fatal fall 5 stories, she somehow hit her face on the 4th floor railing beneath her, and it caused her to bounce inward on the the balcony below. One of the friends had witnessed it happen and had tried to grab her arm as she fell. Perhaps it was the simple gesture that saved her.

    The damage was a broken nose, fractured palate, split lip and some missing teeth. I went to visit her the following afternoon, walking from the pier in Norfolk down flooded, debris filled streets for about 45 minutes to a hospital which I only assumed she was at. There were cars in the middle of the street that had been swept by the flooding waters, tree limbs down on the ground. It was a mess. Well she ended up being admitted to the same hospital I ended up at, fortunately, and I had about an hour visit with her while some other friends who who were there waited in the lobby. They had left before I finished with the visit, and it was dark by then, and so went splitting a cab fare. So I got the hospital to call me a cab and my only direction for the driver was that I was "with the ship that was stranded at the pier". Thankfully they took me to the right one.

    My friend was consequently let go from her job as a result of the incident, and the company wouldn't have anything to do with her and her tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. They were just going to leave her there on her own. This outraged many crew, and I am not certain to this day, but I believe they ended up paying for her medical expenses, or at least most of it, and maybe her flight home to Calgary. They also put her up in a hotel for a night or two until she could go home.
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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by wprager on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:15 pm

    By the way, if you know someone who drives a red Ferrari around town, I think their insurance rates are about to go up. I was coming home from dropping the boys off at a summer camp in the Laurentians, and just after entering Ottawa -- rain coming down pretty hard -- this red Ferrari passes me. I was going nearly 100 (which was plenty fast for the weather, IMO) and I remember thinking, as he passed me, "He either must be brave or stupid; those things aren't exactly meant for rainy day driving." Well, sure enough, less than a minute later he loses control and spins out, bounces off the median, slides across the three lanes of traffic and then bounces off the (what do you call the "median" that's on the right side?) The one guy in front of me (not too close) managed to swerve to avoid him as he was sliding through, the two guys in the right lane beside me slowed down enough -- one was ahead of me enough to go around him, the other had to stop right next to him; hope no-one smacked into him from behind.

    As I passed the car the driver had this stupid look on him; his female passenger looked like she was in shock. Not a young guy, either. He's just lucky there was a median, as the head-on traffic wouldn't have had time to react like we did.


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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by Riprock on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:25 am

    I'm in Ottawa currently, on "vacation" before school starts Sept 7... and was out boating on the Rideau anchored out and was getting into the boat and slipped off the swim platform and sliced my toe/foot on the prop and have a nasty half circle gash there. Went to the Perth Hospital and spent almost 2 hrs in the waiting room bleeding out. They didn't even apply any 1st aid when I was admitted and I sat there for about an hour before they even saw me at Triage to wrap it up, then nearly another hour before I was seen by the Emerg doctor and stitched up.

    Here's a photo, not for the squeamish I suppose:







    Spoiler:


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    Re: Has this ever happened to you (vacation blunders)?

    Post by MsConduct10 on Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:31 am

    Ow ow ow.... *cringe*

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