So here’s what I learned on this roadtrip: digital cameras can’t take pictures when your memory card is at home, still popped into the hard drive. …
I was so frustrated: Angels spring training. With NO camera. I snapped several pictures of Mike Scioscia talking to the crowd; my kids getting autographs from Brandon Wood, Sean Rodriguez and Rob Quinlan; my kids and their cousin playing catch in the parking lot; my husband and his brother in their caps and jerseys … THEN I saw the note. A little message to me in the viewfinder that the memory card was missing. (I have to admit, my vision had been pretty fuzzy up until then, with the desert sun, Transition lenses, glare and whatnot.) Anyway, needless to say, I was frustrated. I guess you only do that once, right? I bought an extra memory card that night and vowed to keep an extra one in the camera case at all times.
Aside from my memory fiasco (in more ways than one), the trip was fantastic. The roadtrip playlist ended up being ’70s music. (“My name is Michael; I’ve got a nickel” always makes me smile.) I didn’t have time to pull together any roadtrip snacks, but that just forced us into gas station marts where we were able to select outrageous treats like Ho-Ho’s and Dibs ice cream nuggets. And spring training is an amazing experience for any baseball fan — you really get up-close and personal to your favorite players. The players are relaxed; they’ll stop and sign autographs; and every seat is field-box level. Sure I didn’t get any pics, but my husband took a few “back ups” with his camera phone. And it just made us realize we’d have to go back next year.
Have you taken a trip that seemed desperate to go wrong, but you refused to let it? Were you (like me) so happy to be on vacation that nothing could have ruined it?
A couple years ago, a few of my friends and I decided we wanted to go to Memphis for the weekend to get some ribs at Rendezvous and to see the beer drinking goats on Beal Street. (What can I say? We’re a group of bored bachelors.) We decided this on a Friday and left for Memphis that night. I had started the week off in Seattle on business. From Seattle I did an overnight in Chicago and made my way back to Dallas for a change of clothes before heading out to Memphis.
It was a comedy of errors from the start. Once I got on the plane in Chicago we were delayed on the ground. In no time at all I had no time to grab a change of clothes once I made it to Dallas. As time dragged on I worried I might not make my flight to Memphis. Long story short, I get to DFW and have to race to the gate for my flight to Memphis. I checked in at the gate, boarded the plane, got to my seat to breathe a sigh of relief and then it hit me. I checked my bag in Chicago. I was going to Memphis for the weekend with no change of clothes (the reason I even bothered going back to Dallas in the first place), no toothbrush or toothpaste, no deodorant, no anything. Oh well, at this point I am committed so I vow to make the most of it.
So the flight to Memphis is pretty uneventful for the most part. I found my buddies in their seats. All present and accounted for. My buddy Danny loves the ladies so when I saw him on the plane he said to me, “D. Spats reporting for booty sir!” I lost it. I was laughing for a good 15 minutes. This is going to be a great weekend.
As we make our final approach into Memphis, one cannot help but notice that we have gone into a circling pattern. No big deal, we’ve all been there. Check that. Very big deal. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain on the flight deck. You may have noticed we have gone into a holding pattern. We’re having a little trouble with the landing gear. The right side fuselage gear is malfunctioning. We’re trained to land the aircraft in this scenario. Memphis control has advised us to continue the holding pattern at this time. Again, we are trained for just such a situation. Flight attendants please prepare the cabin.” OMG! Ever felt utterly powerless at any time in your life?
So, after what seemed like a long time but in reality was about a minute the captain comes back on to tell us that all landing gear is down and the tower has cleared us for approach. Oh, by the way, there is a problem with the flaps so the landing is going to be fast, bumpy and hard. We’re assured there is nothing to worry about because they are trained to land the aircraft under these circumstances. Me and my bright ideas: “You know what we should do? Let’s hit up Memphis for the weekend.”
Our pilot was a stud. We came in hard and fast but he got us in safe and sound. The emergency vehicles lining the runway gave me this odd feeling like I failed to grasp the severity of the situation. Danny looked like he had seen a ghost and asked me as were exiting the plane, “What just happened?” Either way, we were in Memphis and we were late and I kept thinking about my lonely suitcase going around and round on baggage claim carousel A24 at DFW.
We grabbed a cab and hauled it to Rendezvous. We barely made it. The ribs were outstanding. We then headed over to Beal Street and saw the beer drinking goats. Don’t tell PETA they still do that. We had gone through a lot in that one day and it felt good to hit the hotel bed.
Me and my bright ideas: we had no second act planned. Saturday afternoon rolls around (apparently we slept through Saturday morning but I am not entirely convinced Saturday morning ever took place) and we don’t know what we are going to do. So after a lunch of Neely’s BBQ we decided to go to that island from the movie “The Firm”. It would have been much more if someone was chasing us with a gun like they did in the movie.
My buddy Pete likes to bet you as to how fast he can fall asleep. So, on the skytram leaving the island Pete bets us he can fall asleep before the end of the ride. Whenever Pete bets us he can fall asleep we do everything in our power to make sure he doesn’t fall asleep. We must have been so annoying to everyone around us. Oh, did I mention I didn’t bring any toothpaste or deodorant to Memphis? In my haste to eat something greasy and relieve my boredom I failed to rectify the hygiene situation. So if we weren’t annoying enough trying to keep Pete from falling alseep I’m sure my frgrance was enough to put us over the top.
We have been in Memphis for less than 24 hours and I am ready to go home. Me and my bright ideas.
What a great trip!
Oh my gosh, Dave, that is a great story! I love that you didn’t let anything ruin it — hygiene situation or not. I used to be the type that couldn’t go on vacation without everything planned to the last possible detail, but now I’m loosening up and realizing that spontaneity can lead to some fun discoveries. (Plus when your expectations are nonexistent, the trip can only be “great”!) I still can only leave ONE day unplanned, though … I’m working on the spontaneity thing! ; )
Thanks for a great story.
A week before our group was to go to the Thanksgiving football game, I fell do down the stairs and broke my foot. After frantically trying to get my swelling down, get a cast on so I can act like it’s been broken for weeks and I can travel, I got on the plane. Well didn’t know the travel agency that planned our trip gives special treatment for peeps like us and we were treated like royalty the whole trip. Of course my family walks around with baseballbats before any trip we take just in case I’m game for some rough play.
Denise — Wow, so your original vacation tragedy ended up being the thing that made it great? That’s a great story! (But yeah, now your fam is going to be eyeing you before every weekend getaway like a pack of vultures …) : ) Anyway, good reminder that what can seem like plans derailed can certainly end up being much better than we expected. thx!