Travel TroublesOur recent experience on the way to my husband’s high school reunion in Minnesota reminded me of all the travel troubles we’ve encountered over the years. Perhaps you’ve lived a few travel nightmares. Here are just a few of ours.
My husband was transferred from Denver to Phoenix in 1980. Over Raton Pass, our VW pop-top camper slipped out of gear. He crawled beneath the car, set the gear in place, and we continued down the mountain to the small town of Raton. The only mechanic open on that 4th of July weekend said he couldn’t correct the problem. We continued to Phoenix in the right highway lane stopping occasionally to set the gear.
In 1994, we signed up for our first cruise. A bus took cruise passengers from the airport to a different hotel than promised. We stumbled over wires strung throughout the lobby. The renovation hadn’t reached our room as indicated by peeling wallpaper and dirty carpet. My husband went for ice and left the outside door ajar, as he often does. A knock, then, a voice asked, “Are you all right?” I explained to the policeman. He responded, “I’d close the door; we’ve had some problems lately.”
When I walked aboard the ship docked in Miami aimed for the western Caribbean, I saw clear, beautiful, blue skies above the land. Over the ocean hung a black ominous sky that suggested Hurricane Gordon lingered closer than predicted. We sailed through 48-foot swells for a day and a half. One of my suitcases remained on the Miami dock and arrived three days later at the first major port. I’m surprised we ever cruised again.
Yet, a few years ago on our tenth cruise, we left Alaska’s Kodiak Island in route to Japan. The captain sailed north of the Aleutian Islands to avoid the winds left over from a Japanese typhoon. Strong winds rocked us and prevented shipboard activities, elegant sit-down meals, and entertainment for a couple of days. In our room, I buried glasses in the couch to prevent breakage. In bed, I clung to my husband to keep from being tossed to the floor. One day the loud speaker blasted “Code Blue, Code Blue.” At our first Japanese port, I watched paramedics carry a man on a stretcher from the ship. “Do you know who he is?” I asked a crewmember. “It’s the captain,” he replied.
On the way to Minnesota this September, we stopped at an I-76 tourist information rest stop in Sterling, CO, where we picked up a guide to hotels across I-80. As I drove, my husband read aloud some ads for Lincoln, Nebraska, our planned overnight destination. “Hey, this sounds good, free WiFi in every room and breakfast for only $39 a night.” Against my better judgment, we rented a room with a king sized bed, one nightstand and lamp but no clock. In the bathroom I found an empty tissue holder and half a roll of toilet paper (the clerk said they were on back order). The dangling towel rack held two hand towels. Two, not much larger, “bath” towels sat on a shelf. A closet alcove boasted no rod and no hangers. An ironing board leaned against the wall beneath an empty iron holder. My husband asked for a chair. “You have a couch, why do you need a chair?” Good point since there was no desk. However, the only outlet for the computer was on the opposite wall from the couch. Bob opened the microwave, the refrigerator and finally the separate small freezer. “We have no clock, but here’s a pair of frozen women’s heels.”
What travel troubles have you encountered? They provide a host of unforgettable memories and stories to share.