To celebrate the countdown to Disney World (4 days!!!), I thought I’d let you all take a glimpse into a past Sweet Family vacation. To Hawaii. I was 15, Annie was 17, and Corinne was 19. Or something like that. It was ill-fated, to say the least. So ill-fated that on the first try, we never even made it out of the airport. In an attempt to save money, it was somehow decided that we’d take a military hop out of Travis Air Force base in northern California. It would be free, but flights aren’t guaranteed so you just sort of have to go there (a four-hour drive for us) and wait around, hoping that a flight will stop by to drop off cargo or refuel on its way to your desired locale. The General factored in a couple of day’s wait time on either end of our trip to account for the uncertainty. Well. It just so happened that this trip coincided with the conflict in Kosovo, and the only planes stopping by were on their way to blah blah blah Not Hawaii. We waited for three days…THREEEE DAYS….for the flight that never came. Instead, we put our tank tops and capris to good use in the bum-fight district of San Francisco. The hotel was a dump, and Corinne got coughed on by a homeless person. But you know, it ended up being a pretty fun trip, despite the dashed hopes and tuberculosis and all. (tangent: My favorite memory from that vacation came from an old homeless man strumming on a out-of-tune guitar near Ghirardelli Square. His shtick was coming up with rhymes for the word “tip”, then singing little ditties about unaware passers-by to solicit money from on-lookers. I was happily tripping along and hopped a curb with a flourish. Then from across the street, I heard a deep voice sing, “skippity skip, have yo mama gimme a tip”. We were so amused that we stood and watched him a while longer. My personal favorite was when he crooned, “Wipin’ yo lip, gimme a tip” as a man walked by, rubbing his face.) Apparently the most memorable parts of this trip all had to do with homeless people. Thanks, President Reagan!
So the first attempt at a Hawaiian family vacation didn’t go as planned. The second attempt came the next year, and SUCCESS! Kind of! We did make it to Hawaii, but we ended up on a slow, windowless cargo plane and rode the entire 7 hours in seats made of cargo netting (not even kidding) with tanks in our laps (only slightly kidding). And THEN, when we got there, it rained. Really hard. As in record rains that caused flooding and mudslides the whole island over. On our third or fourth day, we explained to a nerdy surfer guy that it had so far rained the entire time we’d been there, and he responded “DUDE, that’s a bummer!” Keep in mind this was ten years past 1991, the last year that “dude” and “bummer” were acceptable vernacular. We still repeat it sometimes when we need a laugh. But all the rain and cloudiness was a joy for Annie, who’s allergic to the sun. Not like she was one of those kids on 60 Minutes playing hopscotch in a NASA space suit or anything, but she has to be careful or else she gets blisters. Poor Annie :(
Anyway, hopefully we have better weather in Disney World. All the final things are falling into place for this trip. I’ve got my ride to the airport lined up. Corinne has her supply of antibacterial hand gel. Annie’s already packed her turtlenecks and SPF 1,000 sunscreen. And rumor has it The General just bought his first new pair of swim trunks in 15 years, therefore reducing his chance of being arrested for public indecency at the water park. We’re all relieved. (Jon borrowed the old pair once to wear in the hot tub at Christmas and he would have been better off in white underwear. They were ALMOST as scandalous as the mandatory swim trunks for the pool at BYU-Idaho.) Kthxbai.