Although traveling is fun, exciting and adventurous, that doesn’t mean that it goes without its hiccups. Traveling can often leave us vulnerable to mishaps and obstacles, especially when braving the unknown with your kids. I understand that traveling with kids can be a bit chaotic, but…heck. Life with kids is chaotic too, so I might as well take my chaos on the road and continue to do what I enjoy. I am a glass- half-full, never-fully-dressed-without-smile kind girl and choose to focus my energy on the positive moments of our travels. That’s what I enjoy sharing with all of you. However, I’d thought it would be helpful to share our not-so-hot moments of last year’s escapades. Yes, behind those fabulous photos of our smiling family have been some hairy moments and now I’m spilling the beans. Here are HotMama’s Picks for 2014 Top Travel Fails.
I wrote about this briefly in my post Rashes, Bug Bites and Ouchies! Oh My! The first morning of our trip my husband woke me up to inform me that Cuddle Bear was covered from head to toe with a rash. Of course, I was upset. I was worried about my baby and we had the whole family with us for a weekend of RVing fun! My husband wanted to rush him to the hospital, but I examined his rash and it wasn’t welts or hives. I figured it was a late reaction to an antibiotic he was on the week before, but to be sure I called the nurse hotline. It turns out that I was right and I was instructed to not put sunscreen on him and keep him out of the sun. Sounds like easy instructions, except we were camping at the beach. It all turned out fine and his rash was gone by the end of the day, but it started out as a very hectic morning.
There were actually two mishaps on this trip. The first was our rental car issue upon arrival. HotDaddy decided to use his frequent flyer miles for our rental car while in Florida. The miles covered the entire week of the car and everything seemed peachy, until we arrived. I was watching the kids while HotDaddy picked up the car and I noticed a lot of talking and not a lot paper signing. I could tell there was an issue, so I went up to find out what the heck was going on. Turns out, HotDaddy accidently reserved a small SUV not a van. The problem? The rental car booked didn’t have enough seats for our group and they were going to charge us a ridiculous upgrade fee that would cost more than if we had booked the van in the first place. I just got off a plane, I was dealing with two wild toddlers and I was not in the mood for B.S. Needless to say I went into B**ch mode. Finally, I marched over to Hertz and scored us a van with car seats for a week for less than the original cost over at the other place. Hertz was wonderful, friendly and efficient. I seriously could have kissed them! Downside is that we lost our flyer miles, but the upside is that we had a fantastic experience with Hertz and now use them for all our rental needs. We even bought a car through Hertz recently.
Now, once we were in our rental van it was smooth sailing to the Tradewinds Island Grand. That is until we arrived at valet. As soon as we pulled up the hotel, Cuddle Bear informs me that his tummy hurts. Out of pure reflex and mother-instinct, I reached my hand out just in time for him to explode partially-digested fruit snacks all over himself and my hands. The valet guys were sure in for a surprise when they opened our van door. Ewww! I was mortified, but they were amazing! One came out with a stack of paper towels, while the other guys climbed in the car to entertain my son while I cleaned up the mess. I was so impressed by their friendliness that despite being covered in stinky barf, I was super excited to be staying a week at the Tradewinds! Also on the bright-side, I saved the van with my lightning-fast reflexes.
A summer weekend in the mountains, by the lake, celebrating our nation’s independence; sounds perfect right? Well, it was a great weekend, but there were some unexpected weather changes. For instance, while enjoying what was supposed to be a delicious lunch alfresco, a sudden thunderstorm came crashing down on us, flooding our plates, leaving us looking like a group of drowned rats. We laughed about it and I happened to catch it on video, which I will post on my YouTube channel. The weather continued to be crazy throughout the weekend, suddenly raining on us during breakfast, preventing from taking the pontoon boat out on the lake, followed by two earthquakes. We had fun though, like swimming in rain under the covered hot tub. Whatever, weather happens. You just have the make the best of it!
Old Town San Diego & SeaWorld:
Now, this uh-oh moment is my fault. I was having a blast in Old Town San Diego (as I usually do), but I might have over done it. Okay, I really over did it. After a busy day, the kids crashed and were sleeping soundly in our hotel rooms at the Hacienda. So, Sis and I sat on the balcony, enjoying a rare uninterrupted conservation, while sipping tequila and Modelo Negros. Mind you, we had been drinking all day while in Old Town. Let’s just say, I was feeling pretty good that night. Morning came and I wasn’t feeling so great. In fact, as the kids excitedly got ready for a day at SeaWorld, I was barely pulling it together. I was so mad at myself. I was pretty much miserable up until we parked at SeaWorld and I finally got all that poison out of my system. I’m not a quitter and I don’t care how awful I feel, I won’t ruin my kids’ fun. Thankfully, I was able to snap out of that nasty hangover and the rest of the day was actually really fun.
Weather was an issue again. Not a huge deal, but I love going to Las Vegas in the summer to spend the day by the pool. This year, we hit some strange weather and it rained on us poolside. We didn’t have the blistering hot days like we were expecting, but it was actually nice for the kids. I didn’t have to stress about the overheating or getting sunburned. Plus, it forced us to explore other kid-friendly options.
The point of the matter is that things happen. It is how you roll with it that makes the difference between a good memory and a bad memory. I love traveling so much, that it is easy for me to shake off the struggles and only focus on the highlights. You need the bad to appreciate the good, right? The Yin Yang of life and a life of travel. Besides, those crazy times end up being what we laugh about most later. Even the travel fails are still travel successes, because we got out there and made memories together.