“Put your bags in the car and lets go!” my now agitated mother screamed for the one hundredth time. The clock on the wall read 2:00AM and my brain hadn’t awakened to control my movements, yet miraculously I advanced toward the vehicle. We were on our way to experiencing “the vacation of a lifetime” or so my mother said. I do not know about that, but it did become a vacation I would never forget-and not all for good reasons.
None of the family knew the directions to our destination, so it was necessary to hire a driver. Essentially, it served as a good idea, especially since we had chosen someone who knew the area and could serve as a tour guide. However, we failed to check references and only went off of our acquaintance. That was a big mistake.
Our incredibly insufficient chauffeur visited a friend along the way, and left us in the car to remain the entire time, causing a four hour delay without any explanation. But too excited to care, we rubbed it off and continued our adventure.
After many miles, we needed gas. My mother sighted a gas station off the exit ramp and instructed the driver to take it. His inaccurate expertise influenced him otherwise, and he insisted we could make it to the next exit. On edge, we constantly watched the dashboard meter. By mere yards, we made it to the next exit, but the car stopped inches from the pump, requiring us to stretch the cord.
The surprises didn’t stop there. Before long we needed more and more gas, indicating that something was wrong. The driver stopped the car and popped the hood. He found the problem and fixed it quickly- or so we thought. Soon, the noises began. There was clacking, banging, and other noises that have no words. Now, we were riding up the interstate with a noisy vehicle. We should have serviced it thoroughly before our trip.
Following that, things got worse. Our driver started to complain of fatigue, and he relinquished his duties to my mother, suggesting she take the wheel under his direction. Soon he fell asleep, and we got lost numerous times.
Finally in our destination’s vicinity, we decided to get a hotel room for the night. We went to at least ten different hotels and either the sign or the manager stated there were no more vacancies. Our failure to make reservations caused such findings, and our driver’s incompetence contributed to it. With no beds available, we were unfortunately condemned to our car. The only time I have ever slept in a car, and it had to be on vacation. The next morning we drove around another hour until we found an available hotel room.
After a quick snooze, the real vacation began. In the following three days, we ventured around Six Flags Great America conquering roller coasters, shopped at Gurnee Mills mall for the most fascinating buying experience imaginable, and felt the calming waters of a beach off the shore of Lake Michigan caress our feet. Those occurrences provided for outstanding memories, until the driver delivered a devastating blow, his bill. He completely inflated his price, charging eleven dollars an hour for every person. Of course, my mother was infuriated, but she eventually talked him down.
Back home in Mississippi, we exhaled. We were happy to be there rather than on the vacation from a not so heavenly place. Through this, we learned our lessons on travel, always make preparations and, the most important one, always check the references of the person you hire.
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