Almost all of us have had a family vacation that, in the end, you just have to laugh at. I like to call it a simple memory.
My dad and mom had made friends with another young veterinarian in Los Angeles and his wife. They had four kids, two boys and two girls. Our family was Mom, Dad, my sister and me. With time, we began taking joint family vacations.
One summer our parents decided that we would leave California and visit Florida. They made the plans and booked all the flights and hotel rooms.
With four adults and six kids in tow, all under the age of ten, we made it to our destination: Orlando. I am positive no one wanted to sit next to us on the plane ride there. (haven’t we all experienced those people?) Our friends definitely were not quiet or under much discipline.
I remember us renting two cars and driving down south toward Miami. Our family’s car was usually leading the way. A couple hours into the drive, our friends car got a flat tire. Luckily, we saw it happen, so we pulled over on the side of the road and began searching for a phone and someone who may know where we could get their tire fixed. We were in an unfamiliar little town, and I do not remember if there was a spare tire in the car or if the tire was beyond fixing, just that we could not fix it ourselves.
Dad found a Seven Eleven type store with a phone booth and phone book. Back then there were no cell phones. Dad found a tire store made a plan—he would take the car to be fixed and the rest of us would pile into the good car and go to a motel we had seen down the street to rent a room, to hang out in while we were waiting. Six kids on the loose in any area was not a good thing. We all hopped in the car and off we went. Even with this delay we were all having fun. There was a lot of laughing. We pulled up into the parking lot of the motel and parked in front of the office. With a vacancy sign hanging on the office window, our friends' dad went in to rent a room.
After a few minutes, the manager of the motel looked out the door of his office and into our car. He saw two women and six children under the age of ten years old. Another few minutes went by and their dad came out of the office. He got into the driver’s seat of the car stating the manager would not rent us a room.
Cleary this manager saw one man, two women, and six young children in the car and thought the worst! I can only imagine. We headed to a diner around the corner instead and spent a few hours there eating ice cream and drinking cokes very slowly. Their dad used the diner’s phone to call Dad at the tire place and let him know where we were.
We did not care where we were, we had fun no matter what the circumstances, even if those around us were not amused. That was the kind of people we were.
Dad, armed with a new tire and a spare, arrived at the diner. We all separated into our own cars and again off we headed south for the rest of our trip.
Its a silly, happy memory from my childhood. One of my simple memories.