2008 Vacation: What Went Wrong

Though we had a wonderful time visiting with 3 out of 4 sets of grandparents, being tourists, playing at the park, etc….we had some serious mishaps as well. And looking back on it, they just got worse and worse…

Bad Thing #1: The flight out was fine, except that evidently there was a robust cold virus on that plane. Napoleona got an annoying cough the first day in California, quickly followed by SillyBilly having asthma (thank goodness nebulizers are portable) and me getting whacked with it too. It didn’t last that long, but SillyBilly ended up needing his nebulizer on and off through the whole trip. The cold, plus Nana’s smoking (even though she only does it in her bathroom behind closed doors, it’s still in the air I think) and the dog just overwhelmed his system I think.

Bad Thing #2: One evening, Napoleona was in her jammies, sitting on the arm of Grandpa’s leather recliner. When my back was turned, she evidently slipped off and landed on her elbow somehow. She was crying that it hurt, so I assumed she had another case of nursemaid’s elbow. I tried to pop it back in the way the pediatrician had showed me, but she just screamed bloody murder. So off to the ER we went.

She was a real trooper the whole time (especially after Nana showed up in the ER, having been unable to wait at home without knowing what was going on). They took xrays but couldn’t see any fractures, but the doctor said in little ones you just treat it like a fracture just in case. So they splinted her up and gave me the name of a local pediatric orthopedist.

We finally got an appointment with the ortho, a few days later (the injury happened over the holiday weekend, of course) but had to wait in the examining room for about an hour before even seeing him, putting us into dinner time. Then after examining her, the doctor decided Napoleona should have a cast, because of the amount of pain and limited motion she still showed in her elbow.

The nice ladies casted her arm, even giving her a pink cast! But I asked them, if her elbow is the problem, shouldn’t that cast go over her elbow? Oh no, they said, the doctor said short arm cast.

In the hallway, the doctor happened by and immediately said, that’s not right! So the cast had to be sawn open and replaced with a long arm cast. Napoleona was incredibly patient. Meanwhile SillyBilly was starting to get very upset, both because he was tired and hungry, and because little sister was getting all the attention (and had been for days).

Bad Thing #3: Our flight back was good. We even went through some thunderstorms with minimal jostling. Unfortunately the flight arrived in Newark at about 11 pm, so we were really tired. We caught the shuttle to the offsite parking company lot at a nearby hotel, and were looking forward to getting home by 12:30 am.

The parking company could not find our car. They drove around in their van, both in the drop-off lot at the hotel and their remote lot, and they drove Anthropapa around both lots–he even went around pressing the button on our alarm doohickey to see if they were just missing it in the dark. The shift manager also personally walked around both lots.

The parking company could not find our minivan anywhere. So, they arranged a hotel room for us (we paid a reduced rate, they’ll reimburse us) and the next morning, after meeting with a police officer to report the van stolen, we rented a car and drove home.

I have a strong feeling that this was an inside job. They claim that Person A remembers driving the van from the remote lot to the drop-off lot at around 2 pm that day, and Person B remembers marking the van delivered. And they had our keys. But the only way to get out of the drop-off lot is to either pay the attendant with a parking ticket stub, or to have the hotel validate the stub. So I think someone (Person A?) actually got the van from the remote lot, parked it elsewhere and probably had the key duplicated, and then walked into the drop-off lot and told Person B that the car had been delivered. There is just no way that someone hotwired a beat-up old minivan in broad daylight in a hotel parking lot and then somehow got past the parking attendant without a stub.

Then I was trying to think if we had left anything in the van. There was a carseat, which we really didn’t need any more as SillyBilly is big enough for a booster now. There were a few music cd’s, nothing important there.

Then I remembered the deposit slips for our checking account in the glove compartment. So we’ll probably have to close out the account and get a new one set up. Sigh.

So, now we’re waiting for the insurance company to decide what to do. Hopefully just pay off the loan on the van so we can look for another car. Eh, the van needed a brake job anyway.

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Filed under Family, Health, life, Napoleona, SillyBilly, travel

10 responses to “2008 Vacation: What Went Wrong

  1. Oh good heavens! It’s reason enough to stay home and lock your doors, isn’t it??? Well, I am sorry that your holiday turned National Lampoon’s, but I’m glad everyone is home safely. Take care!

  2. Sorry about the bad things. Hope the good ones outweigh them. A big German Gute Besserung to SillyBilly and Napoleona.

  3. Those were all huge things, and to have them happen within the course of a week or so is horrible! I hope that both of your kids are feeling better now. It’s a good thing you remembered about the bank deposit slips in your van.

  4. And all we had to worry about was an itty-bitty log! It must have been a relief to get home in one piece. We’ve only ever done one long-haul flight (with dudelet) when things got a little bit hairy, otherwise we’ve been very lucky with flying to date.

  5. Those are certainly not little things that can go wrong with a vacation.
    I am so sorry about Napoleona’s elbow.
    I can’t believe someone would steal your car!! I just can’t believe it, I would have been utterly shocked.
    I am rally mad at Nana for smoking in the house while a little boy with Asthma was visiting!! I had a roommate whose son had to use a nebulizer and many late night visits to the emergency room. Bad Nana!
    Maybe you can get a nice, new, gas efficient car out of the whole rotten lot. I like my little Scion, plenty of room for two kids. The thing that closed the deal on our scion was that Amelia could fit her Cello in the trunk and I still had room for carpoolers.

  6. Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. The stolen car was quite a shock, but we were pretty philosophical about it. The shift manager at the parking lot even mentioned that “you must not be from around here” because we weren’t screaming our heads off! Napoleona is just fine and enjoying all the attention, and SillyBilly seems to be just suffering from some sniffles at this point.

    Lisa Anne: Really I wouldn’t cast blame on Nana too much. We could have chosen to stay with my Dad who is nonsmoking. And she really did try to contain it. I think it was only a small factor in the whole situation.

    We are looking at trying to get a much smaller vehicle, but our choices are a bit limited by what we can afford, so something brand new is not possible. We drove something similar in size (I think) to a Scion on our trip, and it was quite roomy indeed.

  7. There is nothing quite like “getting into the system” of a place you’re visiting to really get to “know it.”

    The van thing sounds terribly suspicious… Thank God, with all that you have filling you mind right now, you remembered about the deposit slips.

    I hope they kids were able to fall sleep in an exciting hotel room — where they have an “ice machine!”

  8. Hey there! TOTALLY off topic, but re: your comment on Renaissance Mamas post, could you let me know the names of the books you mentioned about analyzing kids drawings? Thanks much!

  9. Wow what a stressful bunch of disasters – you must have just been wandering what was going to hit you next. Sounds like you did an incredible job keeping your sense of humour.

  10. Semi-Bad Nana

    You forgot about the mishap when I took the kids to work, where they enchanted everyone. I decided to take Grandpa Dave’s car, since he doesn’t smoke in it, rather than my smelly one, for the sake of the kids. Got the car started by jiggling the key in the ignition a bit (I was using the secondary key, of course, not his) and off we went the 9 miles to my office.
    Well, when it was time to leave and go to lunch I COULD NOT GET THAT INFERNAL KEY TO WORK. The nice security guard from the lobby even gave it a try, but was unsuccessful. So Nana calls AAA and within 20 minutes our rescuer had jiggled the key just a tad and started up the engine! It seems we were jiggling THAT INFERNAL KEY back and forth instead of in and out. Go figure.
    Now here’s the cute part. While the kids waited ever so patiently in the back seat Napoleona pipes up with “When I’m grown up I’m going to belong to the Auto Club. I want to be in that club”

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