A few weeks ago our pastor told a story from his recent vacation. He shared about an evening walk he took on the beach. And at this particular beach cars were allowed to drive in the sand. As the family walked, they noticed a car that looked very out of place among the trucks, jeeps and other all-terrain vehicles driving through the sand. The small, 2-wheel drive car lost traction quickly in the deep sand; however, the driver forged ahead.
And what do you think happened next? The answer seemed obvious to everyone listening to this story in church (and probably everyone on the beach that night!) The only person caught off guard in the story was the driver of the small car!
As you might have guessed, the car got stuck in the sand. And as the driver pumped the gas, the wheels only spun deeper. Eventually some onlookers were able to assist with the rescue of the small car stuck in deep sand. But then the story took a shocking turn, rather than admitting defeat the driver of the car appeared determined to forge ahead with his bad plans to drive further down the beach. As beachgoers watched he attempted (again) to drive further from the exit point that would get him back onto pavement where the car belonged.
Have you ever been that guy driving the car? I mean, not literally the guy driving the wrong kind of car through deep sand…but the one who’s so determined to make bad plans work that you keep going no matter what?
I can relate.
In fact, it’s TOTALLY ME to do something like that. Except instead of digging my tires further into the sand- I’m usually dragging my family further into crazy, bad plans. I’m not one to quickly admit defeat. And so I forge ahead and attempt to make lemonade when I find myself with a bucket of lemons!
If you think this post is sounding familiar, you’re right. Earlier this summer I wrote Oh The Irony of a Travel Blogger and Her Post. It’s essentially about the time I planned to squeeze a 3-day itinerary into about 10 hours. Oh, and with little sleep in 100+ degree weather.
Well, like the old Brittany Spears song goes- whoops, I did it again.
Except this time I did the exact opposite of the travel mistake I made earlier this summer. Rather than over planning our trip, I under planned. Big time!
In lieu of a big Labor Day weekend trip, I decided our family would do a Staycation. We’ve been on the go for so many months and I thought a very low-key couple of days on our home turf would be much appreciated by my kids (and husband!) Not to mention, selfishly I’m working on crossing off our New Year’s Resolutions and I needed some additional activities in our home state!
So the plans were fairly simple: a couple nights in a hotel downtown; a day at the lake; a day at a local amusement park; and a night at our favorite football stadium. What could go wrong?
Well, let’s start with Hurricane Harvey.
The little spirals of rain headed straight for our area- and coincided with our Staycation dates. We watched it for a week. And yet, at no point did I consider changing my OUTDOOR plans. (Yep, I’m totally that guy digging his tires into the sand!) I didn’t even bother coming up with a Plan B.
I kid you not, our power flickered from the torrential rain as I zipped up our suitcases and put the finishing touches on our picnic for the lake!
In my defense, it wasn’t actually raining when we pulled up to the marina to hop on our boat for the day! However, the guys who work there were surprised to see us and immediately asked if we’d seen the radar. After a little back and forth we conceded that the lake day was a no-go.
We managed to salvage the day…after a quick stop at Target for more clothes. Yes, I’m serious. I chose THAT vacation to practice packing light. We literally didn’t have any clothes for that day other than bathing suits!
It took some work, but at the end of the day I felt pretty good about the positive way we made lemonade out of my bad plans and poor weather. So I decide to do a little pre-planning for the next day by checking the hours of the amusement park. Imagine my horror to find that Carowinds was closed! Keep in mind, we’d been planning this Staycation for weeks.
Uh, my bad. It never occurred to me to check to see if a huge amusement park was open the Friday before Labor Day weekend! That was really fun news to break to my husband and children.
Out of all of this, the bad news ended up being that Brent took 2 completely unnecessary days off of work. But, on a positive note- we ended up having LOTS of very relaxing family time. We also made the most of our hotel amenities since we ended up with very few other activities. And, we have a day on the lake and at Carowinds to look forward to this month (though our plans to go during the week when no one else is there have been foiled- at least we still get to do both!)
Have you ever had to make lemonade out of bad travel plans?