Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Hassles of Vacationing

Traveling, and vacationing can be great, but the hassles that come with it are not. The first thing I have to worry about is packing. This is the part I hate the most. It takes too much thought and creative cramming. I tend to always over pack too. Take my last vacation for example, it was a seven day cruise to San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Nassau, and I packed enough clothes to last me a month. Maybe it is just because I am a girl, and we tend to do such things. The hardest part of packing is trying to fit everything I want to bring into one suitcase. My suitcase was overflowing with shirts, shorts, styling products inside of plastic bags, and shoes of every shape and color. I had to put it by the edge of a trampoline and jump onto it with twenty pound weights in each hand while my parents tried to zip it shut. Every item had to be in a certain spot in order to make it all fit, in a way it worked my mind just like a puzzle, trying to figure out where that piece needs to go in order for it all to work. I sat there on my bed with a wrinkle in my forehead from going through my daily routines, and trying to think about all the little things I needed. I thought about this for a long time, and re-played it in my head to make sure I had thought of everything, but somehow it still felt like I was forgetting something. I knew better than to sit around wondering what it could be, since most likely it was just my mind playing games with me.

The part of this trip my family and I struggled with the most was fitting the luggage into the car. We looked like a pack of cavemen all huddled around a bow and arrow, scratching our heads in deep thought as to how this was going to fit. The clothes going into the suitcase seemed like a puzzle that led us to a larger puzzle; arranging the luggage in the car so that everything would seem to belong.

Our flight was at 8:30 in the morning, so that meant getting up around the time I usually go to bed. Of course we had to get there early and wait in line to be frisked and personally violated. It was just wonderful! After all of that jazz, came the dreaded waiting period. We found our terminal and just sat around for an hour or so listening to the announcement of "not to leave your luggage unattended, because unattended luggage will be confiscated", playing every five minutes while we became feebleminded by the lack of stimulation occurring in our brains. I might as well have been locked up in a padded room rocking back and worth while listening to the same noise over and over again.

I am not sure that I should even bring up the food situation. All the sitting around on the cold pleather seats managed to get my stomach rumbling. I ventured off in search of a food stand. The smell of cinnamon and fresh coffee lifted me up by my nose and reeled me in. Like a little kid at Christmas time, I anxiously waited until it was my turn. I gave them my order and they rang me up. After paying them, I looked into my wallet only to see cobwebs of desolation.

When it finally came time to board the plane, we were taken by tram to what I thought was a matchbox. The plane was so small you had to crouch down to avoid hitting your head on the ceiling. Sitting there for two hours was awkward. You had as much leg room as a seven foot man trying to fit in a kids toy car. It was ridiculous. We managed to survive, and with only a few dozen charley horses, my family and I started our vacation.

Boarding the cruise ship is a very long process. We had to wait in more lines, but at least there were cookies and drinks offered to us. Unlike the airport they were free. The wait is well worth it though once we got on the ship. My jaw hit the floor in amazement. I had seen pictures of the inside and different parts of the boat, but they do not do to it justice at all. I never in my wildest dreams could have prepared myself for that first step into the ship.

I do believe that next time I go on vacation I am going to bring one empty piece of luggage with me. I always buy tons of things like purses and shirts. If it was already hard enough to fit the puzzle pieces together before we left, now it was definitely going to be a challenge. I had all of the items I brought, along with the new things I bought and was bringing back. Even if I did not buy anything, it’s still a challenge re-packing, and still never seems to fit as well as it did before, and I spent way too much time on it.

When our vacation was over we headed back to the Miami Airport to fly home. Again we had to go through the usual chaos and stress of long lines, waiting, high prices on food, waiting, hearing the same announcement, oh and waiting. We did get on a plane that was a little larger then the previous one we came on. We were treated with only the best...peanuts and pop again. Yum!

One of the most stressful parts of our vacation was retrieving our luggage. My parents and I tied various colors of tape and yarn to our bags so we could find them easily. It still took at least a half an hour though because they were mixed with other bags too. Getting to them was definitely an obstacle. We had to shove our way through people and try to grab a very heavy, moving item, while not falling or throwing our backs out. It was like we were training for the army, and we had to run around poles and grab a body that was floating by. Retrieving our luggage was no simple task.

This experience and others like them have helped me in many ways. I now understand what is going to take place before I reach my vacation destination and how to deal with it. While packing will always be stressful, I can pack lighter which will help. The lines for security at the airport will also never change, (most likely not for the better) but I can double and triple check that I am not wearing anything metal and that I left my guns (except for my muscles) at home. As for the food, or lack thereof, we have learned to bring our own snacks. Vacations may seem like a job, with all the work you have to put into it, and there may be chaos and stress before hand, but it is all worth it for a little relaxation.


Blogger NYPRINCESS88* said...

I really like this story. I feel your It sucks when your not able to fit everything you want in your luggage. I like how you compared your family to a bunch of cave men. That was funny. I like how you write. You go into detail with what happened, like getting to the airport early just so you can get violated.I thought it was funny when you put the luggage by the tramplin and jumped on it. I would do the same thing if I couldn't get all my clothes in the luggage. Nice story!!!! Good job!!!!!!!!

April 19, 2007 at 1:15 PM  

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