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10 Hilarious Summer Vacation Fails That Made Us Laugh Until Fall

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2014 at 12:00 AM
  • 1 Replies

10 Hilarious Summer Vacation Fails That Made Us Laugh Until Fall

by Sasha Brown-Worsham

summer vacationSummer vacation with the family is always a mixed bag. Making memories to last a lifetime comes with its fair share of cost -- most of which involves whining, putting up with annoying siblings, and some degree of hauling ridiculous amounts of luggage. A small price to pay, right?

And those are the good vacations.

Of course, small, petty annoyances are one thing. For some, vacations end up being much worse. In fact, some trips turn out to be an absolute debacle. The irony is: it's sometimes those messy vacations -- the ones with stories that last a lifetime -- that create our most enduring memories. We polled moms across the country to share some of their biggest vacation snafus with us. We got some doozies. Here are 10 memorable, hilarious vacation fails that somehow became classic family tales:

1.) When I was five my family took me on a camping trip to Denali National Park. Midway through dinner, a moose came into the camp. We quickly realized we were standing between her and her baby and she was MAD. My mother ran to the outhouse with me where we stayed for an hour peering out the little window, watching the moose roam the grounds while my dad stood guard. Nothing happened, but we still laugh about it to this day.

2.) My sister-in-law and her family were on a road trip from California with their cat, when they realized the cat had died. They pulled over and everyone was crying and trying to figure out what to do with the cat. Suddenly the cat jumped up and howled, scaring everyone. We still laugh about this even though it happened over 10 years ago.

3.) While standing around the campfire telling a story, hubby's pants suddenly fell around his ankles. We swear to this day he was pantsed by a ghost.

4.) While camping in our VW pop-top van, circa 1975, my dad woke up to moisture dripping on his head. We all woke up when he sleepily yelled at our dog Ralph, assuming Ralph was having some sort of insane peeing accident on him. But then my dad realized the real source of the dripping. His lovely 5-yo daughter (yours truly!) had peed her sleeping bag in the sleeper bunk overhead. Whoops. We laugh about this story ALL the time.

5.) My parents took us to Florida one year to visit my great aunt and uncle not far from Cape Canaveral. Driving past a highway pullover titled "Mosquito Lagoon," my dad decided to pull over. Not so wise. Mosquito Lagoon was given that name for a reason. Five minutes into the boardwalk through the swamp, my sister and I were so bit up we ran back to the car screaming. When we finally made it into the car, we had to kill all the mosquitoes that had followed us inside. Summer vacation fail.

6.) For our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I went camping in Vermont, thinking at the end of July it would be plenty warm to do that. It was 40 degrees and raining monsoon-like for the first two days and we decided screw it and packed everything up wet and stowed it at my in-laws' place and flew to Florida. We figured if it was going to be raining the whole week of vacation, it might as well be 80 degrees and raining and we'd be at Disney.

7.) Two years ago I was alone with the kids on Cape Cod where we parked to watch the fireworks. After they were over, I opened the car and threw my purse in and then quickly shut the door to let a car go by (kids were on the other side of car). When the door shut, the car locked. Dark road, 10 p.m., no purse. Thank God my cell was in my pocket. Called my husband (who was two hours away back home) and then the police who came about 1.5 hrs later (it was 4th of July on the Cape). When the police woman arrived, she was nice enough to let the kids sit in her car instead of getting eaten by mosquitoes, but she could not help as they no longer carry the equipment to open locked doors. Thankfully, my husband called AAA and a bit later the tow truck found us and unlocked the car. My kids were 7 and 2.5 but they still talk about that night!

8.) A few years ago we were coming home from South Carolina. We drove an 1.5 hours to the airport. Since we were early, we decided to spend some time at the local mall. I think both our boys were still in strollers, or close. Somehow we got to the airport late and missed our plane. That was a Sunday. The next flight out was on a Wednesday. While my wife was sobbing and begging and pleading and making arrangements for another flight out, one of the boys blew out his diaper. I had to go to the small, bathroom with both of the boys, put one on the counter that was open. I didn't have wipes, so, I used a lot of paper towels. When I got back to the ticket counter, I learned the only flight was leaving three hours away in another state the next morning. $1200 on new tickets for the 4 of us. Fine. Now we had to rent a car. Went to the rental counter and couldn't rent a car. Neither of us had a credit card, and even though we had JUST dropped off a rental, none of the rental cars would let us rent again. Turns out, you can rent it online just fine, but not in person. So, we had to get to NC, with no car, no buses, and two toddlers. Only other transportation? A cab. OK, fine. A $300 cab ride to another state. Rented a hotel room ahead of our arrival and got a cab to be there at 5 a.m. to drive us to the airport.  I needed to charge my cellphone, but couldn't find my charger. Went to the front desk to see if they had anything, nope. Then I slipped and fell. In the lobby. Hard. On my back. The hostess called our room a few minutes later to see if I was OK, because as she said "he fell REALLY hard!" My wife was confused (and scared). I hadn't come back yet. Where was I? A few floors up, borrowing a cell charger from some guest staying at the hotel (I had to return it that night). After a layover in NY, we made it home. We learned a few things from this... NEVER be late for a flight, ALWAYS have a credit card, and life could be worse! We definitely laugh about it now. Great trip, we still do it every year... Just skip a few of the steps.

9.) Our car broke down in the middle of Kansas on our way back to Canada from Colorado. My parents had to purchase a new vehicle it was so bad. When we got to the border, my dad was so tired from the drive that he FORGOT the kids names -- all five of us. Border patrol wasn't buying his story, so they took him in. Fifteen hours later, my dad was released. They accused him of kidnapping and stealing a vehicle. While at the time, it wasn't very funny, it's still my most favorite story to tell!

10.) My whole family used to go on these trips to Lake Tahoe. We had these HUGE parties. The morning after one of our 'epic' parties, we heard a scream from the front patio. It was our aunt, who had remembered she left a cooler out overnight and had gone to retrieve it. We ran outside to see what happened. It looked like a Smurf village mass murder scene; there was liquid blue ice everywhere...and blue paw-prints. Thankfully, the coolers were empty of food, so the bears hadn't stayed for long. My aunt earned the nickname Ranger Smith that year.

Have you ever had a summer vacation fail?

Image via Cris/Flickr

by on Jun. 9, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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by Bronze Member on Jun. 9, 2014 at 12:12 AM

Mine isn't so much summer vacation, but I think it fits anyway.  My parents are ministers of a church that has hundreds of locations throughout the US and several in other countries.  Twice a year, when I was a kid, we had church conferences, all of which were outside of Mexico, Missouri.  When we lived in Indiana, it wasn't that big a deal, but then we moved to Portland, Oregon.  We had these little 4 door sedans that were really cramped because we packed up everything we needed for two weeks (1 week while we were there, and almost a week total to drive there and back) and only one seat open for me.  So my dad got this great idea to buy a station wagon for the trip one year.  Everything was fine until we got to Idaho.  The engine stopped running, but it just so happened that we were coming up on an exit.  My dad coasted down the offramp, and into a really long driveway.  We rolled to a stop, got out of the car, and walked up to the house.  The whole way there, my parents are quietly saying "please don't let them be mormons.  Please don't let them be mormons."  Yep.  It was the mormons.  And not the kind I like.  I have mormon friends and they are all nonpretentious, down to earth, friendly, and supportive people.  Not so this couple.  They were friendly enough.  But they adamantly tried to convert us, even after my parents told them that they were born again christians and ministers, and didn't want any part of converting, we just needed to use the phone.

Well, we couldn't get through to anyone, and the guy had to go out and do some planting, after reciting all the names of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who had gone on missions (he had a giant map with pins all over it, each one somewhere his progeny had gone on a mision), but he called one of his sons, who towed us to his house, where HE then tried his dangdest to convert us.  Meanwhile, we still can't get ahold of anyone.  Well the son says he'll drive us to the nearest airport, 50 miles away, but first he has to do HIS planting now!  My parents are frantic at this point, because if we wait much longer we are going to miss the opening day of conference.  FINALLY, at about 10 at night, the son finally comes back and drives us to the airport, with all of our stuff, after a full day of sitting around with a woman who speaks no english (and the husband doesn't speak any spanish either, by the way, so I don't know HOW they got married and had 2 kids!!!) putting movies into the tv about the mormon faith.  My mom ended up walking out of the house because she couldn't stand it anymore, and my dad gave up and pulled out his bible and started reading loudly over the sound of the television that the wife kept turning back up whenever my dad would turn it down.

I tell you, we rented a car each and every time after that, and we never drove through idaho again lol

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