Not all vacations are a dream…
In fact, some of them can quickly turn into somewhat of a nightmare! Have you ever taken a vacation, only to take the wrong turn at every fork in the road? Not literally, metaphorically! I sure have. Quite a few times actually. The more you travel, the more you experience; thankfully, most of it is amazing! But sometimes, we get a few stories to tell. And luckily, they are funny to look back upon! I want you to know though – they were NOT funny at the time! Lol.
Here are two different times we travelled in 2018, only to have a trip go from a beautiful, vivid imagination of what is to come, to a brutal reality of luckless, unfortunate, wretched events…
New Orleans – The Hotel That Should Have Never Been
So, let’s go back to 2018. We have a trip planned to New Orleans for a few days, and then to take a cruise out to a couple islands off the east coast. We decided to make a double vacation out of it, since we were going to be in New Orleans anyways! (I highly recommend doing that when you go on vacations – make each stop a little longer, which makes a long vacation really awesome). This time though, we didn’t plan well. In fact, we didn’t plan New Orleans at all. I booked the hotel we were staying at from my Wyndham app (also recommend, gets you points and free hotel stays over time), right before our flight, so there was basically ZERO time invested in looking into the hotel, location, area, reviews, anything!
Well, it showed! We landed at around 10:15p.m., and grabbed an Uber over to our hotel. It took about 40 minutes to get there, which was dorky too because we went like 20 minutes PASSED the French Quarter and Bourbon St., which for those of you who don’t know, is where you wanna be to see New Orleans. Anyhow, we get to our hotel, and our Uber Driver asked us if we were sure this was our hotel…That’s how you know it wasn’t great from the start. But it was, and we were tired of travelling at this point. Let me paint a mental picture for you. From the outside it looked like a haunted mansion. Not creepy like ghostly, but beat up like a haunted place would be. The walls were painted white, but so weathered they weren’t white at all. The cracks in them didn’t help their case either! But like I said, we were tired of travelling from the plane ride and long Uber, so we decided what the heck and went in.
Our next warning sign showed itself.
The guy behind the counter, which wasn’t just protected by bulletproof glass like a bank teller, but also the bulletproof glass was scratched to hell like hundreds of poor souls tried to get in, as if they were running from something. I think they were! Lol. The host that was trying to get us checked in could barely speak English, but also acted like he owned the place and could care less if we stayed or not. We couldn’t understand a lick of a word that he was saying, and that elongated the check-in process, making us stand there in the 3 foot by 4 foot “lobby” for way longer than necessary.
It felt even longer because of the people that kept walking in and staring at us. We don’t dress rich, by any means, but hubby was wearing a button up and jeans with a Guess watch, and I was wearing a floral dress with a Pharrell style hat. To the people at this hotel, that must have looked wealthy because I don’t judge, but the people here were looking at us like Scar looked at Zazu right before he ate him. If you don’t remember that scene, it’s time you re-watch The Lion King. On that note, The Lion King re-make comes out July 19th! Woooooo! I’m excited if you can’t tell! Oh and for those that may be wondering: No, I’m not getting paid to throw The Lion King into this post, I just really love Disney! Lol. Anyways, we were Zazu’s to their Scar. So, it’s safe to say that we didn’t want to go back outside anymore, because we thought we would get eaten, so instead we just rushed up to our room.
Thinking that would be any better was our next mistake. Instead it was the absolute worst. We didn’t use a key card to get into this room. We used a regular key. Not that it’s bad, just wanted you to know. Lol. As we crack open the door, we have a faint smell of something funny. A dirty sock? A moldy carpet? Maybe a dead mouse? No, not that bad, probably a moldy carpet. A faint smell was better than being eaten by Scars downstairs so we went in. Oh my bajeezies. Where do I start? The carpet was filthy. Not dirty, FILTHY. Blood, food, and poop stains. There was a white T-shirt on the floor, thrown into a corner, so dirty, like someone scrubbed it on a red dirt track field. Also, two holes in the wall, hair on the toilet seat, an actual blood splatter behind the door… It was a murder scene! Or at least it looked like one! We both stood silently, gazing over the room in awe. But still felt safer in here than we did downstairs. Since I booked the place, he wasn’t very happy with me at this point. Hehe. Rightfully so I guess, this was overly unacceptable. The only reason we stayed as long as we did was because we were SO tired. But, it just wasn’t worth it, not even close.
We called another Uber and waited in the room until she arrived. To our relief, it was the same Driver as before. She giggled as we got back into her car, which was contagious, because we all knew why we were laughing, without having to explain a word! Lol!! We complained to the Wyndham associates over the phone, and they kindly reimbursed us right away. Luckily for us, we had a bunch of Hilton points saved up, so we got to stay in a suite in the Waldorf Astoria free of charge. (Remember when I said to sign up for hotel programs? Well this is how it pays off!). Well, actually they charged us $1,500 a night for three nights, but refunded us a few days later. When we walked in, the CHANDELIER that hung over the lobby was easily worth more than 3 of the previous HOTELS! An awful trip with a happy ending. Who would’ve known? 😊
California City: The Thanksgiving Weekend When We Found It Hard to Be Thankful
California City is a small town in the desert of Southern California. Tens of thousands go camping, riding, and buggy-ing there all year long, but especially on holiday weekends, like Thanksgiving. Well, include us in that tens of thousands because we had an eventful weekend for this specific trip. For a trip like this one, it was inevitable for it to start with a problem, and it sure did! We couldn’t even hook the truck up to our Toy Hauler, because our truck wanted to quit running RIGHT when it was time to get going… So, we borrowed a truck, which we hate doing, just in case something happens to it. Then you are in that awkward position of having to pay for something that wasn’t your fault. Argh! But we didn’t have a choice at this point, so we left our house in Vegas, with the Toy Hauler all loaded up, hooked up to a borrowed truck, and finally ready to rock!
The drive is about 4 hours long, which was easy-peasy, riiiiiight up until the 3.5-hour mark, where we got a flat tire on the trailer – in the middle of nowhere. Well, that’s no problem, right? We have a spare! But of course, no jack strong enough to lift the Toy Hauler, and no service to call for help. So, we wobble slowly over to the first auto parts shop. The dogs in the back seat wondering why it is taking so long and why we are bouncing up, down, and around (the flat tire). Once there, we bought a jack to swap the tire out. Only to find out that the spare is completely stuck up under the trailer frame! That was a no-go. At least here we had cell service; we called AAA, and waited about an hour for him to get there. Add all that up and turn a 4-hour trip into about 7 hours and we finally made it to our destination! A trek to say the least. “Phew.”
Once we get there, we get all settled in, start the oven, and crack open a few beers. As the sun begins to fall behind the mountains, it leaves us with a beautiful desert sunset and a brisk evening breeze. The Mojave Desert at night in late November gets very cold – you want to be sleeping inside with a heater and a fireplace running… With camping, you have to have a really awesome motorhome to have a fireplace…We don’t. But we do have a heater! Well, we HAD a heater. Right when it started to get really cold out, our power decided it didn’t like us anymore. I sent the hubby to fix it, and all the men who knew anything about heaters and generators started helping him out. After a few hours, it was just him again, pondering how he was going to save the day. By about 2 a.m., he finally came up with a solution to get us through the rest of the weekend with just enough power. Another hiccup that turned into a “Phew.”
The next morning, we woke up, drank our coffee by a small campfire while the aroma of bacon drifted and lingered from site to site. By about 9, it was time to take a ride! So, we all hop on our motorcycles and into our buggies. For this trip, we brought motorcycles and our buggy, but for this ride, I was on my motorcycle. I go to start it up and vroom! She roars like she is trying to make a point. She wants to be ridden! We all take off on a group ride and get about 2 minutes in before the bottom of my radiator completely cracks open and all my coolant leaks out. I walked it back to camp, and put it on the kickstand where it would stay for the remainder of the trip. But not to fret, we brought the buggy too! So, it’s not like I am completely out of the fun! “Phew!”
The next morning, I wake up fairly early, stumble out of bed and crank the stove burner below the percolator to High. Looking out the windows while I wait for the coffee to boil and brew, I see how beautiful the world is. Even a place like the desert has gorgeous layouts and seemingly unreal mountains. The view out our dining table window could have been the backdrop for a painting. After a few minutes, I wake the hubby up to watch the sunrise with me. I absolutely love watching the sunrise. Always have! And I have always woke him up early to watch it with me. Call me weird, but I think it’s romantic and love watching it [even more] with him by my side. After that, we start getting ready for some fun in the dirt and made our way outside.
Since my motorcycle broke the day before, today we took the buggy out. After a few trips, it was time for someone to ride in it who hasn’t ever been in a buggy. So, we took him for a spin that he wouldn’t soon forget. In fact, we were going about 40 mph when all of the sudden, a 7 ft ravine decided to show itself. But by the time we saw it, it was too late! As we drop into the ravine, the front of the buggy hits first, and it feels like we are going to finish end over end. But somehow, the back of the buggy whips back down, hitting with some force. It’s safe to say everyone in the back was in a little bit of pain! Nothing serious though, just temporary pain. The buggy didn’t snap in half, even though it felt like it was going to! Lol. We just drove back to the campsite, slowly though because something felt wrong. When we got back and inspected it, we found out that one of the 4 bolts that was holding in the VW Type-1 Motor was missing. It literally snapped from the hard hit. On top of that, one of the bolts that was holding the exhaust on was missing as well. So, we put that out of commission for the remainder of the trip as well. But everyone was okay, no injuries! “Phew!”
The next day, it was time to pack up and leave. Queue the “Awww.” Just kidding. After all the problems so far, we were absolutely ready to just be home and stop working on stuff. After cleaning and loading up the trailer, we hit the road full force at about 5p.m.! About halfway through the drive, it was almost pitch-black outside, and a guy pulled up next to us and was yelling something. We rolled down the window but could barely hear him. After the third yell, we finally heard the word, “Fire!” We immediately pull over and hop out of the truck. We thought the trailer was on fire, but instead, it was the spare tire of the truck… The truck we BORROWED! As the hubby starts throwing dirt from the desert next to the shoulder on the fire, I rush over to the trailer and grab the fire extinguisher. I pull the hook, point it, and pull the lever – Whoosh! The fire disappears in like 3 seconds! Luckily the truck was black, or else it would have had burn marks all up the side and back of it! The spare tire that hangs below the truck bed was loose from the last time the owner got the spare changed. It was wiggling around and ended up getting pushed up against the exhaust pipe, which is hotter then hell! Well, that was a close one! Another “Phew!”
It’s safe to say that we had way too many “Phews” this trip. From start to finish and every single day, if not twice a day, in between it was problem after problem. This trip was a disaster and we were so happy to get home and relax afterwards. It was one of those vacations that isn’t a vacation at all! One of the most important things we did have to be thankful for though is that no one got injured, and a trip without injuries is always a good thing! We were also thankful for all the help we had throughout each problem, and thankful for the family that let us know we were on fire! Lol. Crazy to say!
I am sure some of you guys have had nightmare trips as well! Don’t hesitate to let us know your story in the comments section below!! We love to laugh at each other’s mistakes and feel compassion for each other’s problems! Thanks for reading and I hope you got a kick outta mine!