The Second Plan - My Family Travels

With a depressing sigh, I quit the windowsill with a leap from it, and slowly slumped back onto the couch in the executive suite’s living room, my eyes still heavy from the lack of sleep the night before. Of all the days it just had to rain, it had to be today: the day when the family was planning our regular ‘fun day’ that we almost always spent at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. Granted, I was just along for the ride half of the time, but, being the eldest of the children along, I was going to be just as aggravated today as my parents.


There would be no end to the incessant whining that was inevitably placed on the lips of the two kids with us, whom I loved very dearly, but wasn’t shy to admit that their complaints drove everyone crazy on more than one occasion. And so, I held little doubt that there would be nothing but yelling, screaming, and carrying on permeating the air in our lodging this dreary day. I sank ever deeper into the couch, not wanting to even turn on the television, as the silence of sleepy companions was ever so golden to me.

If they were asleep, and not running around whining about ‘we’ll never get to the park now,’ I would enjoy every moment. My eyes shifted back to the window as another roll of thunder signaled the storm’s closing in on the town. The rain was unyielding, and cars scrambled about like little ants seeking their hill, hoping to free themselves of the wet mess that was ruining family plans and schedules.

What a great way to start a vacation, don’t you think? It was at this point that, in looking outside, I noticed that the housekeeper had been generous to us ere the storm’s moving in, as she had refilled the little binder on the computer desk that told us of a few spots to visit before we left Newport News, where our temporary abode resided. I fingered through it fervently, hoping to find something, anything, that would allow us to burn time and keep the spoiled fledglings interested. Sadly, many of these places were either restaurants, fancy department stores, or particularly outside-oriented attractions.

These would not do for our cause; after all, what kind of child would sit around in the clothing department all day, watching my mother pick out clothing? Even I wasn’t that formal, so why would the other two be? And then, something caught my eye on the back page. It was a fairly small ad, rectangular in shape, with little to single it out from the rest of the pages attracting sights in images, fancy crafted add-ons, or those crazy explosions that always batted the eyes of little boys and girls. This one, however, was almost all text-based information, probably clipped into the page at the last minute by one of the hotel staff to fill blank space.

From the ad, a thought came: could I, by chance, have found something that fit my criteria? With much haste, I grabbed the notepad and pen set on the table next to the binder, and scribbled a short note to Mother, telling her that I was going to use the hotel’s rental computer to get information on something, and left the place, without noticing that I had neglected to change from the white tee I included in my pajamas to go with the jeans, and my shoes still half-tied. Withing minutes, I was there, and, slurping down a complimentary hot cocoa with one hand, I used the ad to find out more, via logging onto the official website given. What I found was a world of wondrous adventure and inventive methods of learning, with an all-inside structure to boot; there was so much more to it than this, but I was so awe-struck that I fail to recognize just how much opportunity was at hand.

I knew I had found what I was looking for. It was called the Virginia Living Museum. Hours later, when the storm passed and the sun shined, I reflected on how important it was to look up information for vacations, in case a second plan was needed for those rainy days.

And, to my surprise, when Mother asked the kids if they wanted to go to Busch, they both replied, ‘No, we wanna go see the rest of the museum!’ Right then, I knew it was all absolutely worth it.

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