Travel Mishaps Happen!
Nothing is more frustrating to me than general mishaps and chaos of life. However this becomes even more frustrating when you are traveling and away from home.
Our Latest Travel Mishap
The latest travel mishap that I had occurred when I was traveling to Chicago with my four year old. I had a wonderful little trip planned with Huxley. Rarely with four children do I get to take one at a time and do something truly special. I was on assignment from Real Family Travel magazine and had an amazing two days planned for the two of us.
We were going to get to the city and eat lunch at Ed Debevic’s. After that we were to travel to the Sky Deck, check out Kid’s Island (a unique little spot where I would have received a pedi and mani while he played at an indoor beach and I watched him on closed circuit TVs), go to the Rosemont Theater for Disney Junior Live, and then dine at Lou Malnati’s before going back to Key Lime Cove to enjoy the adventures at the water park hotel.
The next day we had plans to see some family, go to IKEA for some much needed shelving, and then eat at Gino’s East before heading home. A perfect little trip and something that I took special care to plan just around everything that Huxley loves.
And So Our Adventure Began
We got up in the morning and headed out to the windy city, just the two of us. We went straight to Ed Debevic’s where I trusted the valet to be able to park our van and then went on to walk a few city blocks and come back to enjoy a nice lunch. We had a great time while dining at Ed Debevic’s (you can read my full review of the restaurant here).
Realizing the Mishap Had Occurred
I went out to claim my car and stood waiting. The valet said “I’m sorry, I hit___” and then spoke in Spanish so I still have no idea what he hit. He told me to walk around to the back of my car where I discovered that the entire back window had been busted out. This was devastating but he assured me that he knew a guy. I asked him to call the “guy” that he knew and he said that they would have it “finished in 1 hour” so I decided that this would be the glass repair shop that I would choose.
The Frustration Begins
When I got to the repair shop it dawned on me that there were 188 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in the back of our van and that now these cookies were completely unsellable. This kind of got me upset but I took note and took photographs, called the Chicago PD and filed a police report from the alley behind the shop. Then I went inside and took a seat in the lobby. What I thought was going to take one hour ended up taking four. I was quite devastated and started to feel stressed.
Choosing to Have the Right Attitude
When you are trying to do something special with your child you try to make it go smoothly and perfectly. You do not want it to be something that is not fun for the child or something that is going to be ruined. I knew at this point that I was going to miss some of the things that I had planned. I thought that Sky Deck would be the most memorable experience so I set out to cancel the other appointments and let go of the fact that tickets were going to be wasted. I then rescheduled our appointment at the Sky Deck and worked to be able to talk to Huxley about all of the great experiences that we could have.
We played in the office waiting room and I was blessed with a happy little boy that showed no disappointment at all. He did not complain about being in the waiting room even once the entire four hours that we were there and he was perfectly well behaved.
I could have chose to have a bad attitude. I could have chosen to worry about the money that I was going to be forced to spend. Not only did the accident ruin the cookies but it also ruined two car seats, one of which is no longer in production and can not be replaced. But instead I chose to focus on having as much fun with Huxley as I could in that little office.
He came home talking about our window being broken out but never once complained about the day and only tells everyone what a great trip that he had. I could have ruined this for him by getting worked up over the stress but thankfully I was able to control my emotions and what I was feeling to make the trip as special as possible and to still have a great time with him.
Expect the Unexpected
When you are traveling I can not stress how important it is that you expect the unexpected. Expect that things are going to happen that you might not be able to control and let go. If you do not do this then it is likely that you will end up disappointed and overly stressed about the situations that you are facing. Instead you can enjoy the time that you spend with your family anywhere, even a little office with bars on the windows in an area where there was no where to walk and nothing to do. Each experience that you have is what you make it and you can choose to make it great no matter how bad it really is.
Chances are that if you are traveling with kids that they are not going to know that you were stressed or know that there was ever a problem to begin with.
This blog was written by Amanda Walton for Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog.