Can you imagine the most chaotic family vacation you embarked upon? Everyone has experiences of that vacation that could not seem to end fast enough but still is reminisced about fondly. My particular vacation memory that comes to mind occurred in June of 2007. My parents had gathered the notion to buy a camper in the spring and it was time for the maiden voyage. Where should the family go? St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the country. As the departure date arrived and my mom, my dad, my sister, and I began to pack and prepare for the trip our anticipation and excitement flourished. It seemed as if we were going to have an enjoyable, easygoing vacation. Wrong!
At 2:30 A.M. the family piled into the truck and waited to roll out of the driveway on our way to the beach. As the key turned in the ignition…nothing happened. During the night the camper had depleted the truck battery. After an hour’s delay and a few jumper cable boosts we were on the open road. Only a small number of hours passed before the next complication arose. Pulling into a narrow Love’s truck station off of the interstate resulted in too tight a turn which bent the hitch that fused the camper to the truck, nearly disconnecting it, and severed some of the cables. My father and I hammered the hitch back into position and had to replace the damaged cables. The setback of this repair cost us another three hours!
However, these occurrences were not going to dissipate our determination to have a splendid vacation. Since we had become several hours off schedule, we had to stop for dinner. Upon returning to the vehicle after dining at Truman’s CafÃ©, it was discovered that we had depleted our oil and the truck would not start. My mother and sister walked for about two miles up the road to an auto store where oil could be purchased and quickly returned with the required amount; my dad poured it in and I started the truck. With the truck now back in working order we set forth once more, this time without further interruption.
The family pulled into Bryn Mawr Ocean Resort at approximately 8:00 P.M., utterly depressed after a twelve hour trip that deviated into a sixteen hour nightmare. The camper was set up swiftly and the remainder of the evening was passed reflecting on and laughing about our tumultuous day with our friends. Now that we were at our destination it was time to enjoy ourselves. The ensuing week was filled to the brink with exciting activities including miniature golf, shopping, a tour of the historic St. Augustine, an alligator farm, and relaxing and playing on the beach.
After returning home from our vacation (accident free), my family realized that all the trouble of getting there really is half the fun. No matter how difficult or stressful the situation may be, persevere and you will enjoy yourself. Being with the people you love the most is what it is truly about. In fact, my family still looks back upon this particular vacation and shares a laugh or two.
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