The forgotten vacation

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

Sorry to have been away from my blog, but we have been enjoying a driving vacation over the past few weeks. It was enjoyable, at least I think so, it’s hard to remember everything and the older I get, the more I run into this problem.

We were excited to get away, but our excitement may have affected our ability to pack reasonably and remember things for the trip. We didn’t notice it at first. The first day’s drive was fun and informative and if I finally noticed that I didn’t have the card for my camera, it was a minor annoyance. As I say, this was the case at first.

By four o’clock, when I had taken three pictures before the card signaled, “No more pictures, I’m full,” I was taking things a little more seriously. So, we left the tourist path and pursued the, “I need a new picture card thingy,” path. The people in the shop where we went in search of it were unable to grasp the fact that we wanted a card, not just because our card was full, but because we had forgotten the new card that we had already bought. At least, the clerk I purchased it from looked uncomprehending, but maybe that was because I was filling him full of this information and he really didn’t need to hear my “I’m losing my mind” rant when his coffee break was coming up!

Okay, so we forgot the extra card, no biggie. Until evening hit and I realized that I had forgotten my hairbrush…and any hairbands at all. So, okay, so we hunt down a local WalMart and I restock. Now we’re set, right? So we went to our motel room and Roy went to take his evening medications…which he keeps in his shaving kit and–you guessed it! No shaving kit.

Now, of anything we were noticing we forgot, this was probably the most serious. We spent a restless night, wondering if we would be forced to return home for the missing medication. The next morning, our pharmacy and the one in the town we had stayed in were able to work out an arrangement to get enough medication for the trip. We had to wait two hours, however, so while we were waiting in the car, I bought a couple of chocolate chunk cookies to eat.

It was when I was getting out of the car to go back in the store because I forgot to buy water that I noticed that one of the chocolate chunks had dropped from my cookie…and my leg had gently warmed it so it spread to the maximum amount of the cloth car seat possible.

I went and got the water, came back, got into the trunk to get the paper towels I always carry on a driving trip and discovered I had none. Back to the store where I purchased some rather costly paper towels and I did a scrub job on the car and a muttering under my breath job on myself.

However, we were finally on the road! Our first stop for the day involved a hiking path. Five minutes in, my feet were already complaining. This was odd because, I am actually a pretty good hiker. However that is when I have the proper shoes…which I had forgotten at home…along with the ankle strap I wear when I don’t have the proper shoes. So now, it was necessary to make an unscheduled purchase of expensive shoes which would be redundant when I got home, along with the ankle strap I bought, and which has an identical mate at home. My forgetfulness was starting to cost money!

It became necessary to buy shampoo and conditioner, because the stuff provided in the hotel rooms wouldn’t take care of my bangs, let alone my full head of hair and, since I know this, I always make sure I’ve got a supply with me–which I forgot to do this time. I forgot my heating pad which my back really needed because of the hiking I did without my proper shoes.

I forgot a bathing suit, which I didn’t discover until we got to a hotel with a pool. Then, going shopping for one, I took one look at the massive number of suits, asking massive prices and revealing more than I would show at a physical, and forgot to buy one. I used some shorts that I had, mercifully packed and waited until the pool area was empty.

We played the “I forgot” game all the way through the vacation. We forgot our binoculars and Roy refused to replace them on principal–the principal of “I paid an outrageous price for the pair I’ve got and I’m darned if I’m buying another one that obviously came out of Fort Knox.” We forgot the GPS and this one was pretty major, because we forget directions as soon as someone gives them to us and the GPS always remembers.

We were getting used to stopping at multiple stores to replace things like shaving materials and stamps for postcards, but the final straw may have come when we toured the forest fire. Yes, I know people don’t tour forest fires, but we really didn’t plan it when it happened. We were driving through the Bitterroot Mountains in southern Montana and since things are pretty hot and dry there, the mountains were being troubled with fire outbreaks. On our way through we could see there was a smoke haze, but it seemed to be away from us and they weren’t stopping traffic, so we kept going. We read the signs about bears being possible, getting away from danger area and considered that we were smart enough to stay in the car.

Then it happened: we were driving along and a portion of the trees just above us were on fire. It was our first forest fire; we were typical tourists. “Get the camera,” Roy said. “I can get a shot from over here.”

“The camera’s in the trunk,” I whispered back, “and I’m not becoming dinner for some bear or getting burned up, so I can get it out.”

He was incredulous. “You are supposed to make sure the camera is in the car. That is one of your tasks every morning. So why isn’t the camera in the car?”

And you know what I answered, “I forgot.”

We made it back home all right and no, before you ask, we didn’t forget the way. The atlas is about the only thing we remembered to pack!

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