In light of the crummy weather here it the GTA (greater toronto area for those unfamiliar with the term), and my increasing urge to just jump on an airplane and fly away to some sunny beach destination for a week… Since I am NOT leaving for a vacation, I figure I’ll cheer myself up today by sharing some funny vacation stories from the past. FYI… Never travel with my husband and I if you are not the daring risk-taking type. Though we don’t consider ourselves to be that type either, daring, and high risk situations tend to come up during our travel! Even, unexpected and unwanted if I dare add that! Lol!

So…. My first story goes back to 2003 when a bunch of us went on a short term missions trip to Kenya. All was well and good for the trip until we were supposed to leave to come home. We somehow got informed that our flight schedule had changed and we were to depart a day earlier and take an indirect route to our connecting plane in London England. So much for our last day plans. Turns out there was a terrorist threat on our flight, so they had to re-route us through Uganda, and we underwent some heavy security checks. Thankfully we arrived home safely. Now while you may not immediately see this as a funny story, it sets a precedent for following vacations. In the moment, not so humorous, but when you put them all together, it makes for a good laugh in the aftermath! Oh, I forgot to mention something else that happened in Kenya – just days after we had left, which is funny in an ironic sort of way, but not funny at all…. While there, I had asked about lions, and how frequent, if ever, they came near towns and villages, and was reassured that they are skittish around humans, and usually avoid cities and towns… Unless they are really hungry! Days after we left, 2 people were killed by lions coming into the small town area we had just been near. Bizarre occurrence! Just days after we left.

So… Fast forward a couple years or so, and my husband and I decide to go on a vacation to Florida. We had lots of fun, but everywhere we went, there was an interesting story that accompanies it. First things first, we went to Universal studios to see the Blue Man group perform, and Jason gets called up on stage! It was quite entertaining, and for those of you who are familiar with the blue man group, they are quite hilarious! So Jason (my hubby) gets up on stage with them and begins mimicking everything they are doing, which makes it all the more hilarious! I’m filming the whole thing, but I wasn’t supposed to, and got caught filming and was asked to stop recording. Sad, but I did capture some of what happened. First, the one guy takes some of the blue paint on his face and puts some on Jason’s face, then they get him to put on a white painter’s suit, which he does, and they take him backstage, where they proceed to have him lay down and tie his feet, and pull him up from the ground by the rope around his feet so that he is upside down, and they proceed to swing him into a canvas after first having splashed him with paint, to make for an interesting painting! Then they put him in a box, and put a what looks like a jello mold on his head and wheel him back out onto the stage. At which point, we all laugh and applaud loudly. Now they are poking his head through the jello mold and then they take it off and he bows and leaves the stage so they can proceed with their next act!

Jason tells me what really happened… In fact, he didn’t know what we were being shown by video while he was back stage. But what really happened, was they had him take off the white painter’s suit and put on one that had been splashed with paint, and then they put him in the box, with the jello mould on his head. He said it felt weird! The whole thing was really quite hilarious! So, we continue to laugh at the antics of the blue man group for the rest of the show, and decide to head home afterwards, because we had already enjoyed 2 full days there. Instead what we discover, is a massive crowd at the exit all wanting to leave but being detained. We ascertained from the crowd that what was going on was that there was some sort of bomb threat in the parking lot!! Go figure. From terrorist threats, to bomb threats…

So we ended up watching a movie to kill a couple of hours to see if we could then finally leave the park and go back to our hotel. Coast being clear, we headed on our way. But the trip was not over, nor were it’s adventures! We then proceeded to take a mini cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas, and while on our cruise, we hear of someone having jumped overboard… Not kidding. Thankfully it was not on our cruise, so we were not detained, but it was a cruise ship from nearby. The Bahamas was amazing and I would go back in a heartbeat! But on our way back from the Bahamas, we heard on the news that there were some crazy forest fires happening… On the exact route we needed to take to get to our next destination, which was Daytona beach! We were able to drive through some of the area and see the blackened trees, and you could still see smoke in the forests off in the distance! The next story, is not funny at all, but true nonetheless…. Our dog passed away while we were in Daytona beach because no word of a lie… He overdosed on Tylenol!! My friend was looking after him and he got into her purse while it was unattended and ate half the bottle of tylenol! Needless to say she has never dog sat for us again! Although, we also don’t have a dog, and our dog was always getting into trouble so we really can’t blame her! I’ll have to do a blog sometime with funny stories about our dog! Lol!

So just when you think there couldn’t be anything else go wrong on ONE vacation, this was all in the same trip, btw, the trip is not yet over. One more story to share from our Florida adventure: so we are on the airplane coming home, close to arrival, and suddenly there is an emergency situation on the plane. Someone’s baby had a high fever and was turning blue! So the announcement comes on requesting that if there is anyone on the plane who knows First Aid, or nurses or doctors or EMS workers, to let them know…. By this time, my heart is pounding, because I know first aid – in theory. I’ve been trained and have renewed that training several times over, but nothing prepares you for the real thing… Heart pounding, palms sweating… Praying “God, PLEASE let there be someone more qualified than me!” Thankfully there was a dr. on board relieving me of the responsibility. Of course, we were given first priority in landing because of the medical emergency, which thankfully was resolved and the child was ok, or so we heard. Back in Toronto, we quickly hurried home before anything else could go wrong!

It’s in retrospect that some of these stories can be funny now… But at the time, they were not.

So…. You might think that’s a lot to occur on one trip, but our adventures are not over. Yes, that’s right, there are more stories to share!

You all remember the big earthquake in Haiti a couple years back? Well, a few months after all of that, we went on a vacation to the Dominican republic… next door nighbors To Haiti. Everthing was wonderful and good, until one night, the ground moved under our feet…. we were freaked out! We had experienced our first earthquake! I can’t remember what it measured on the richter scale, but it was something like a 4.2 or a 5.2 ish… not super close to where we were, but close enough that we felt the ground move. And only a couple months later, back here in Canada, there was another earthquake, to a lesser degree, but still enough to make those of us not used to earthquakes, feel like the ground beneath is a little less safe than you gave it credit for!

Moving on, September of 2010, we decided with a couple good friends of ours, to take a greyhound to Manhattan New York. First of all, I will NEVER again take a bus trip like that again, and NEVER EVER EVER on a long weekend!! The trip itself was super fun… we practiced new york accents before we went to be sure to fit in! As you can imagine the laughter and fun times we had alone just trying out the accents. “he left his Kahkis in the Kah, and packed the Kah in brooklyn.” This translates to “he left his car keys in the car, and parked the car in brooklyn.” Loads of fun!
We were lucky to get a dicounted rate on a hotel right by times square, because it was a ‘soft opening’, meaning it was a brand new hotel, not fully completed, so they were giving discounted rates on this brand new amazing hotel! Can’t complain there! We were busy from morning till night taking in the sights and sounds of new york… and the shopping!!!!

Now here’s where our funny new york stories come in.

So the one morning we decide to go find a french restaurant to eat at for breakfast. after breakfast we were going to check out ground zero and the financial district and… go shopping. DO keep in mind, we went in Sept 2010, not in Sept. 2001!!!

So after hours of shopping, my friend who was with me realizes she doesn’t have her cell phone!! she’s freaking out… we reconnect with the boys, and call the restaurant. Sure enough, she left it there. They would hold it for us while we continued to shop. So when we were ready to check out with our purchases, we grab a cab and head back to the area where we had eaten. We were taking turns paying for the taxi. my friend’s hubby took the bill this time. We all climb out of the cab. We are standing on the street corner as the taxi drives away when my hubby realizes he has lost his wallet! My friend is telling him not to freak out until her hubby notices she is missing her purse. Now they are both freaking out, because her camera was in her purse and he had a couple hundred in cash in his wallet! After retrieving the cell phone, we head back to the hotel to call the cab company. They ask for the cab #. We don’t know. All we know is it was a yellow cab. Didn’t even catch the license plate #. They basically said, “good luck getting it back”.

So a little more careful, we make it through the rest of our time in new york. We successfully navigate our way to getting on the right bus back to Toronto. And end up spending like 6 hours at the border while 26 buses are ahead of us in line to go through customs. We missed dinner, the bus driver refused to stop anywhere, and wouldn’t let us off the bus, in fact, he locked us in while waiting at the border for hours! By the time we were heading back home, the toilets on the bus were smelling up the entire bus!!! From wearing hoodies backward with the hood over our faces, to wearing bandanas around our face or burrowing our heads into pillows to avoid the smell, we bitterly endured the long trek back to Toronto, all the while worried that we wouldn’t get back before the subway closed down for the night… At this point all we wanted was to get home!! We survived and lived to tell of our experiences! A couple months later, we get a package in the mail. My husbands wallet! With all the contents in it! The guy who sent it didn’t even take out money to pay for the stamp! We were so grateful! We sent him a thank you card in the mail. Sadly, because my friend had no ID in her purse, it remains a mystery of who is enjoying the pictures of our new york vacation, while sporting a new handbag!

One last quick story… Our last vacation, this past September, on a Mediterranean cruise, was amazing! Hitch free! No issues, no volcanic eruptions, even though they say mt. Vesuvius is about due to blow again anytime, it thankfully did not happen and has not yet happened since we left. But is it a coincidence that not too long ago there was a Mediterranean cruise ship that sank along the same route we had just been on our cruise? Is it just coincidence? Hmmm. We’ll never know. This much I can tell you though, a vacation with us is bound for some unusual excitement, drama, risk and earth shattering experiences!

Cheers to vacations! Hope you had a bit of a laugh at our expense!

Be sure to check out Friday’s blog as I continue a series on understanding and developing healthy boundaries! And if you have any funny vacation stories to share, I’d be glad for the laughs!