Missing the Road

Today, I am writing with a heavy heart. My wife and I just received a cancellation notice for the second week in our beloved Destin, Florida. While this was expected, it’s still a crushing blow. I could almost hear an iron door slamming shut on our two-week vacation. We had hoped the lockdown order would be rescinded in time for us to make our annual pilgrimage. Alas, it was not to be. Hopefully, we’ll be able to go next year. However, next year is an eternity in vacation anticipation time (sniff).

Since our vacation plans have been unceremoniously tossed in the crapper, it reminded me of other trips that didn’t necessarily go according to plan. The first vacation that comes to mind is one we took to beautiful Virginia Beach. It’s a very touristy spot, but the boardwalk and beautiful beachfront make it all worthwhile. That morning, as I loaded up my wife’s car with suitcases, I noticed that my son Kevin had jumped into my Saturn SL2. It was my last car with a manual transmission (stick-shift). 

Kevin was notorious for hopping into our cars and immediately locking all the doors. As he climbed into the back seat, his foot must have dislodged the stick, because suddenly the car began to move. Since I was in the house at the time, I thankfully didn’t see this happen. However, the shocked look on Kevin’s face was priceless. What I wouldn’t have given for a smartphone with a camera back then! The car had rolled down the driveway and rested curbside on the far side of the street. Thankfully, it was about 6 a.m. on a Saturday, otherwise, he might have gotten t-boned. 

Another trip that comes to mind is known as The McDonald’s Snafu. Once again heading to VB (we hadn’t yet discovered Destin), we stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s, and to fill up on gas. Unfortunately, we arrived during the Witching Half-Hour that used to happen at Mickey D’s. Even though it was only 10:40 a.m., they were no longer serving breakfast. My wife went into a rare snit over this, so we all piled back into the car and headed down the road. Of course, completely forgetting about the gas.

We were suddenly reminded of this fact a short while later when the car began to cough and sputter. Oh NO! Stranded in rural Maryland! However, St. Christopher was watching over us, and an exit (with a gas station) magically appeared a few feet away. Thank you, Jesus! Somewhere, there is a picture of me walking back to the car with a gas can. Not a great way to start the trip, but it could have been SOOO much worse.

Despite these little mishaps, I was really looking forward to hitting the road again. This time, Kevin was coming with us to Destin. Now that he is a licensed driver, he was going to help out with the driving duties. On the way, we had planned on spending the night in Nashville and kicking up our heels a little. Best laid plans all shot to hell. Oh well. Hopefully, by next April this plague will have run its course, and we can do it up right next time. Can I get a Yee-Haw?!

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