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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Scooter was a Sign

After the drama surrounding our April cruise, I was so looking forward to a nice, relaxing, beach vacation.  After 14 hours spent traveling from Kentucky to South Carolina, I was ready for my Myrtle Beach vacation to start.  We rolled into town in probably the busiest part of the afternoon on Saturday, July 24, so I suppose the fact that the loading zone for the hotel was jam packed shouldn’t have been surprising.  Aggravating yes, but surprising, no. 

Due to the overcrowding of the loading zone, and the apparent incompetency of the man working the loading zone, we had to take our cars to the hotel parking lot----across the street.  Alvin and I stayed with the cars while the rest of the gang checked into the hotel.  Once we got the call that they were ready for us, we headed back to the loading zone.  There was a brief moment where we should have taken the hint and headed back to Kentucky before we ever unpacked the car.  See, there was a scooter rental place right across from the parking lot.  Apparently any monkey on crack can rent a scooter from this place, and then ride freely all over Myrtle Beach.  One of these “scooter renters” came barreling out of the rental facility and I watched helplessly as she almost slammed right into the side of Alvin’s car.  Thankfully, the woman managed to stop her scooter……barely.  Wouldn’t that have been a crappy way to start the vacation?  No, see, our vacation didn’t start badly.  It gradually worked up to bad.

The bad luck started with a missing wedding ring.  Alvin’s to be exact.  It just disappeared.  He and Ria didn’t wear them to the beach, so it had to be somewhere in the room.  We looked everywhere, but never did manage to find the black hole that swallowed the darn thing.  It went missing on Monday night, and the rest of the week, you could catch any one of us lifting a couch cushion or peeking behind a chair just to see if we saw anything.  One time, while the couch bed was out, Ria even stuck her head between the bed and the back of the couch.  Now, she said she was just trying to see if her head fit, however, I suspect she was hoping to find the missing ring down there.  I can’t blame the girl for trying.  I wasn’t looking forward to the call we’d have to make to maintenance if she got her head stuck though.   Can you imagine, “Um, Mr. Maintenance man, my sister’s head is stuck between the couch bed and the back of the couch.  Uh, why?  Good question.  Well, she wanted to see if it fit…..guess she got her answer.”  Yeah, that would have gone over just great.

Anyway, as much as I feel bad for Alvin losing his wedding ring, I really wish that was the worst thing that happened on this trip.  We almost made it to the very end of our vacation without any other chaos.  We were tanning, swimming, putt-putt golfing, and having a ball.  That all changed Thursday night…..Our van is wrecked.  Probably totaled actually, but we’re still waiting for word from the auto body shop on that.  I honestly don’t know what the hell happened.  One minute I was chatting with Angie, the next I had bruised ribs, and a gash on my neck from the seatbelt.  I don’t remember the wreck at all.  All I know is that it definitely happened.  All of our bumps, bruises, and aches can attest to that fact.

I did impress myself by remaining calm and calling 911 to get emergency crews to the scene.  I remained calm right up until I got off the phone with the operator.  My sister counted 5 panic attacks in the span of 15 minutes or so.  I couldn’t get my shit together from one minute to the next to stop those attacks.  The next day we went through rental car hell, but we still managed to enjoy our last night at the beach.  The most drama we had after that was on the way home when we sat in traffic in the mountains of North Carolina.  It took us an hour and a half to go six miles……with our gas light on for some of the way. 

Clearly that woman almost smearing her face all over the side of Alvin’s car on that first day was a sign of things to come.  Apparently, we’re not much for paying attention to signs in my family.  In our defense, even the near scooter “incident” was still a little too subtle.  A flashing neon sign saying, “IF YOU STAY HERE IT WILL BE DRAMATIC” would have been much more appropriate.  All in all the vacation was fun….in between all the drama.  However, based on my experiences with vacations this year, I think it’s safer for me if I just don’t leave the state anytime in the near future.  Good thing I like Kentucky. 

Now for the public service announcement:  WEAR YOUR SEATBELTS!!!!  Honestly, I don’t want to think about the injuries we might have gotten if we weren’t wearing them.  The cut on my neck is well worth what that seatbelt prevented.  Oh, and if you’re traveling…..please be careful.  It’s a jungle out there!

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