Another gem from Darren Pecoraro.
There is nothing quite like a family vacation to simultaneously relieve and create stress. I’m sure most parents would agree that a family vacation sometimes leaves you needing a vacation from your vacation. While any trip can cause both relaxation and grief, it is sometimes the trip home that leaves you swearing to god almighty “never again, NEVER !!!!!”. That is of course, until next year.
It’s with this in mind that I regale you all with the tale of a trip that evolved into the biggest stress-fest I have ever endured. My wife and I are fortunate enough that we can give our children more than we ever had growing up. It is a natural desire for parents to strive to give their children a better quality of life. In that vain, my wife and I purchased a timeshare in Walt Disney World. We travel there at least once every year, with some trips more eventful than others (And I don’t mean breakfast with Grumpy, Dopey, Sleepy, and Doc. Isn’t is amazing how those characters can mirror the members of your family? Because I love my wife and children I will not divulge who is who, but you can call me Doc.)
We just finished a week in paradise and were traipsing through the airport when the loudspeaker informed us that we would be guests of the Orlando International somewhat longer than we had anticipated. Yes, we were delayed - a perfect opportunity to catch some football (It was a Saturday in fall after all), and maybe, just maybe, have a beer or two. The one-hour delay subsequently became two, and then three hours. The beer also became two, then four, then six. When the time finally arrived to board the plane, I was feeling somewhat relaxed. My wife however, was having none of it. I showed up at the gate with my foolish beer grin and she was wearing the face of a frazzled, frustrated mother. Little did she know, the fun was just beginning.
We eventually left the gate and prepared to depart when a voice on the loudspeaker said the following: “Attention passengers, this is your captain speaking, due to a mechanical issue we will be going back to the gate for a necessary repair.” A collective groan was heard throughout the cabin. Just then I noticed Andrew kicking the seat of the lady in front of him. I pleaded for him to stop while apologizing to the woman, who was quite gracious. After about 90 minutes of repair, Andrew kicking away, and my beer buzz turning into a waking hangover and headache, we finally departed Orlando for Newark.
With the flight well underway, my head pounding, and Andrew still kicking, we made the fateful decision to switch Andrew and Christian’s seat. Christian had been relatively quiet playing with his Nintendo DS and it was the least we could do to give this woman a break. It was only after the captain said: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are beginning our descent into Newark” that I noticed Christian didn’t look so well. He complained that his stomach hurt and I noticed his complexion had begun to resemble that of Kermit the Frog. Just as Adele and I were telling him that the DS was giving him motion sickness it happened. Christian just opened his mouth, he didn’t wretch forward or heave, he just opened his mouth and out it came. The vomit spewed out in a straight line defying gravity the entire way. It hit between the seats, and cascaded down the bare arm and into the lap of the woman who had been so gracious. This was no ordinary vomit, mind you, but the viscous, chunky, rancid, industrial waste grade puke that could only come from a week long vacation of junk food.
The woman leapt from her seat leaving the vomit covering the floor and aisle. The stewardesses rushed to cover the chunks with coffee and napkins, (the coffee to suppress the incredible smell, and the napkins to prevent the visual). I was overly apologetic to the woman in front of us when the stewardess announced that each passenger would receive a 100 dollar credit towards their next flight for all of the inconvenience. (I assumed they meant the delays and not the vomit.)
We finally finished the cleanup of the aisle then Christian and I made one final apology to the woman and the crowd and departed the airplane. We began out walk toward baggage when we heard someone calling us from behind. “Mr. and Mrs. Pecoraro”, called a breathless stewardess, “you forgot your voucher”. I thought it was big of them to give it to us especially after all the chaos we had caused. Upon closer examination, I dropped my bag and began a hearty laugh. My wife looked at me incredulously, “what could possibly be funny right now?” she asked. I showed her the voucher, still laughing; it was for a different airline!