Friday, October 14, 2011

Boo! Travel Horror Stories...

We all have at least one: a travel memory we wish we had never made... 

For most of my friends, the memory is punctuated with a torrent of vomit or explosive diarrhea.  While I was lucky to dodge those bullets, there is one trip that stands out in my mind as particularly horrible.  One cold October when my daughter was two years old, we took a quick overnight trip from northern New Jersey down to Virgina (just outside Washington, D.C.) so that I could attend a good friend's baby shower and my husband and daughter could visit his sister in the next town.  It was the first long car trip we had done as a family and we were thrilled when our daughter didn't seem to suffer from motion sickness and slept for much of the journey - we figured with a full day of active play under her belt, we'd have no trouble with a small modification to her sleep schedule.

Then we checked in to our hotel. 

To start with, the place was laden with loose cords and open outlets, sharp edges, and accordion closet doors; all immediate draws to my curious toddler.  But worst of all the hotel room's door had about an inch of open space between the bottom of the door and the threshold, so not only could we hear EVERY sound that was made outside (and since we were right near a highway, there was plenty to hear!), but there was a steady stream of cold air pouring in from beneath the door; and conveniently, as it poured in, it created a high pitched screaming whistle. 

With all the noise, cold air, and "no-nos" in the main room, my daughter literally passed the entire night dancing in the bathtub singing and going between tantrums from being sleepy and hysterics from being overstimulated by the distractions in our hotel room.  It was like being trapped in a tea kettle at the north pole with the Tasmanian devil. 

Somewhere around 4:00 am my husband and I decided that no one was going to get any sleep that night; so we packed up our stuff and left to drive home.  I would estimate that I drank enough tea to keep a small nation awake for about 6 months, and between my husband and I taking turns at the wheel, 5 hours later we managed to arrive home... where my daughter promptly fell asleep.  That was the first and last "quick overnighter" our family ever attempted; but on the bright side, four years later, it is a funny story and a valuable lesson about the importance of thoroughly researching the hotel before you book!

Safe, happy, and horror-free travels!

-Destination Mom

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