I’ve always loved the Vacation series of movies with Chevy Chase. Most especially do I love the first one, with the ever-optimistic Clark Griswold taking his family in a new car through a series of catastrophic vacation blunders until in the end, he finally snaps and his car is a wreck.
I travel a great deal with my husband, but it is a sad fact that I could very easily be the female version of poor old Clark. I have gone through a series of mis-adventures over the years, but by far the worst was a car trip through the southwest where we fixed the car at every stop and never did get everything running smoothly. We finally landed in a very small town in Arizona, and they managed to at least get it working so it didn’t die on the road. I, however, declared that Arizona would be colder than the South Pole in winter before I ever showed up there again. I should have stuck to that declaration. This year, somehow, Roy talked me into vacationing in the southwest. That’s right, folks; Arizona—in June!
I knew we were in trouble before we had even headed south. The night before we left, there was a terrific rainstorm. It washed out the bridge we were to take south. This might have been a sign from God that we ignored. No problem though, we just drove miles out of our way through interesting places like the town of Bob. Interesting fact—the town of Bob has a population of 11…one of them must be named Bob, right?
We finally made it to Denver after mistaking a military base for a bathroom break. The nice men at the gates with guns explained that we were wrong. In Denver, we spent the night listening to a hail storm outside. In the morning, our very new car was sporting any number of hail dings and looked a little like a car with the measles.
However, it was vacation; we needed to carry on. Outside Durango, we observed a sign which said, “Watch for migrating wildlife.” I gave a laugh, “Now there’s an interesting sign. I wonder where they’re….” At that moment, we bagged the “migrating wildlife” with a 2013 Fusion. The deer came out of nowhere at top speed, hit the side of our car breaking the mirror and the headlight and pushing in the side front panel until we couldn’t open the driver’s door.
With the use of a mechanic’s jack and some sturdy tape, the car was again made drivable, but by now it looked a lot like Chevy Chase’s station wagon in Vacation. All we had missing was the wheels turning in!
We took that sad car all through the vacation with people giving it double takes all over the place. We traveled to Silverton, Colorado, where we were in a snow and sleet storm. We took it to the Grand Canyon where the fog was so thick, we couldn’t see anything but fog. And then we took it to Las Vegas, where the temperatures were a heart-stopping, knee-buckling 106 degrees! And through it all, the bent up, hail-dinged, mirror-cracked, taped-up light car seemed to keep on going.
The final straw came when we got back to Denver. We parked the car for the night on the street as we were staying with my daughter. Unfortunately, we parked it in an area meant for residents of the housing property. The following morning, the car was gone. I’m sure someone took a look at that banged up mess and supposed someone abandoned it there. We had to go 20 miles away to the tow company and pay $250 to get that semi-wreck back.
Roy swears that when he got in the car, the steering wheel grabbed him by the throat and the car snarled, “What the heck, Roy? Next year, take the other car!”
© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.