5+ Impressive Wayfaring Bungles
Funny Travel Stories
We have some interesting habits when it comes to travelling –
things that we always seem to do wrong,
or the little quirks that make our road trips memorable,
even though they may seem to suck in the moment.
Read On for those “little moments”
which have made for great campfire stories!
CONDIMENTS & UTENSILS
We have this insane habit of forgetting some of the smallest,
yet most important things.
We’ve driven 6 hours, only to realize,
in stunned reticulation,
that one of us (usually me)
has forgotten, say… the water shoes!
However, there are two things that we ALWAYS forget:
Ok, so this doesn’t sound like it would be a major deal,
but we don’t do ketchup.
We do mustard.
Mustard is cheap. It’s easy. It’s tangy. It lasts forever.
So, as I pack the cooler, I remind myself,
It becomes my mantra.
We pile into the car, reach our destination
and eventually, pop open the cooler.
And there is not a single yellow mustard in sight.
Off to the closest store, where we buy…
…yet another yellow mustard.
We have about 7 bottles of mustard in our fridge at any given time.
Like yellow mustard,
we probably have more spatulas than we know what to do with.
Yet, they never seem to make it into the cooking tote.
Ok, no harm, no foul. It’s become a joke now.
You can buy utensils just as cheap as you can buy mustard.
you are in the middle of the Green Mountains,
and don’t realize until after 10pm that you have ZERO utensils.
Not even a plastic fork.
And, unfortunately, you have already put the food on the grill.
Like a dunce.
The closest store is 11 miles away and it’s closed.
If you, like us, ARE of a sound enough mind to carry tools,
a tie rod end separator from the tool box in the trunk
makes a decent spatula in a pinch!
We route plan, jot things down,
and take map screen shots.
We go to the same places more than once, even!
Still, for some reason, we find ourselves, at times,
not knowing what road we are on,
or where our destination is.
1.There was the time we were going to a motel in the Poconos,
arriving late, as usual,
and while I believe we drove by it several times,
we couldn’t find it for the life of us!
2.Then the time we were looking for
and walked by it multiple times, almost leaving
because we thought we were in the wrong place.
3.Once, in very early spring, we researched a waterfall,
situated in the Berkshires, which was supposedly
a huge, gushing, unmissable monstrosity of a waterfall.
We drove up and down the supposed road
approximately 5 times, and in the end,
we never found the waterfall.
4.On our honeymoon in Vermont, we headed to the NEK
hoping to see some moose.
We wound up on some questionable forest roads,
eventually coming out near Maidstone Lake,
miles from our original route,
after hoping we wouldn’t get lost further,
as the sun was steadily setting!
We didn’t see any moose.
I have countless moments and locations that we have
taken wrong turns, missed turns, etc.
Moving right along.
We’ve never been early risers, even with kids.
Additionally, with kids, trips take longer,
and when we travel anywhere significant,
it’s usually several hours travel without stops.
That being said, our most memorable times of “arriving late”,
occurred WITHOUT the kids in tow!
1. The Poconos
We arrived at aforementioned hotel in the Poconos at approx midnight,
and proceeded to spend the next half an hour,
ringing the bell.
We had previously told the night auditor that we would be arriving late,
yet it seems he had chosen that time to run out for snacks.
He had told us that he may be asleep and to call and wail on the buzzer
until he woke up.
In the meantime, we were slightly panicked,
as we had reservations and there wasn’t another motel in sight.
Upon his return, he was quite friendly,
yet we discovered that his elderly mother was in the motel apartment,
probably clutching the sheets in fear,
wondering why someone was terrorizing her.
We arrived at maybe 8pm.
The office was closed, but the park was still bustling.
We were informed that the firewood bin, which was usually open after hours,
was promptly closed at the same time the office closed.
The rangers would not budge on this, and suggested we go “into town” for firewood.
“Into Town” was several miles away,
with little guarantee that anything was open.
This is why we didn’t bring firewood in, because the park always had it available.
So, we decided to forge ahead to the campsite, tired and cranky,
with food that needed to be cooked.
We (barely) managed to get a fire started,
after scavenging some twigs from around the campground
and burning mail and Dunkin Donut bags.
Once we got to the point of burning our tiki torches,
Eric decided to take a walk towards the office for firewood.
I was burning anything I could find, just to keep the fire going,
when I heard gunshots.
I chewed my nails, wondering what was happening to Eric,
and about to abandon the fire, when he came strolling up,
But with little wood.
the rangers were scaring a bear out of the campground,
and still refused to give up any wood.
So then, we face the fun task of setting up our truck bed tent.
For the first time.
In the dark.
It was also one of our first arguments! 😀
Finally, after more than likely pissing off our neighbors,
and damn near strangling one another one our honeymoon,
we had the tent set up,
and had managed to cook some incredible burgers and mashed potatoes!
That was the first night I ever slept in a tent,
and I will never forget how it felt to lay under the stars in the mountains of Vermont!
We seem to drive ourselves into positions that aren’t easy to get out of.
Sometimes, these are out of our control,
like when the vehicle breaks down.
Sometimes they are in our control,
“…Let’s go down that road anyway.”
So, maybe we didn’t immediately realize the potential danger for one reason or another,
maybe we did and thought we could swing it.
Maybe we always like to grab the bull by the horns.
There was the time we …
1. …got stuck in the sand at Grinnell’s Beach in Tiverton, RI,
and I swear, the people across the street at Cumbies were laughing about
“another one got stuck”.
The beach has since been outfitted with boulders that separate the beach from the parking lot,
and in our defense, they were once indistinguishable from one another.
2. …were on Rt.3 North in New Hampshire, very close to the Canadian border,
in “Moose Alley”, again – looking for Moose that we never found,
when the tire on the Hyundai went flat.
3. …were in Mexico, Maine (yes, there is such a place),
when the water pump went on the truck.
My life flashed before my eyes as I realized
that (this ONE time) we had neither tools, nor a water pump on hand.
was directly across the street,
and had it fixed in about an hour and I HIGHLY endorse them!
4. …had the TPS sensor go on the truck in Putnam, CT, and by the grace of God,
we had a spare in the truck!
We were able to fix it on the side of the road,
fingers crossed that it would work,
given that the closest gas was at least a 30 minute DRIVE away.
I could go on, but the worst time actually happened in my favorite state:
We were looking at a piece of landlocked property,
which turned out to be on a mountain,
though the exact property boundaries were hard to map.
There seemed to be access, which is what we were actually investigating.
Before we realized what was happening,
we found ourselves, going up, up, gaining elevation.
We reached the top of a very steep incline, and by this point, it was snowing–
with several inches already on the ground.
I’ll have you know,
it was NOT snowing on the main road that we came in on.
Then Things Got…slightly weird…
I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone, especially when we ended up with
someone’s driveway on our right and a junkyard (?) on our left.
Through the softly falling snow, I noticed that the “access” was not access at all.
At least Mister Vermont Mountaineer DID NOT have a weapon in hand
when we showed up at the end of his driveway,
Due to road conditions and space,
We had to back down the incline.
I thought this was insane to do, but in retrospect, I do believe it saved us.
We were almost at the bottom of the hill, when the car started to slide.
Then, as if the ironic hilarity of the situation wasn’t poignant enough;
“I’m going off the road.”
My eyes darted to Eric, in our Honda in the snowy cocoon on that slippery road,
and he was not joking this time.
I imagined the ravine directly to the right of us, dotted with trees that would stop the car,
but a deep, mountainous ravine nonetheless,
and my heart was in my throat.
The world slowed to a crawl, and went silent.
I closed my eyes, and envisioned the car NOT going off the mountain…
thinking that maybe I could WILL the car to right itself?!
and I prayed my ass off, while Eric the BadAss got us back on the road,
with four iffy tires in a 95 Accord Vtech- the better two being on the front.
We actually DID NOT get stuck that time, but it scared the blazing bejesus outta me
and thus ended our land search in Vermont.
One of our first big trips was to Gettysburg, PA and this time,
we were kid free!
We arrived late (naturally), in Gettysburg square, after midnight
and caught the remnants of the festivities.
We managed to land a room at the Gettysburg Hotel.
As I stepped out of the shower that night, I had my first taste of
The mirror was fogged, and in the very corner was a nice, big
Naturally, I took a photo, but haven’t included it, as I only wanted one photo on this post.
Convinced Eric had done it, I hounded him about it, but he maintained his innocence.
I let it go, and figured there had to be a logical explanation.
That’s what they all say.
we headed to the battlefield.
We spent the next several hours taking photos
and taking in the amazing gravity of Gettysburg and all that happened there in 1863.
We were pulled over on Doubleday, browsing the internet for accommodations,
when a guy in a minivan showed up out of nowhere,
and suggested we stay at the Quality Inn,
the General Lee’s Headquarters.
We thought it semi strange that this guy -with Mass Plates, no less –
just happened to guess that we needed a place to stay,
but no matter!
We shrugged and decided to check it out.
When does random off-the-wall s**t NOT happen to us??
We got a room, and learned that it did seem to, indeed,
have been the sight of General Lee’s headquarters!
How cool, we thought, as we also observed its proximity to the battlefield.
It was, in fact, TOUCHING the battlefield.
So, we explored more of Gettysburg that evening.
and eventually decided to head back to the hotel.
We tried to get the heat going but it simply didn’t work.
We tried to upload photos of the day to the laptop, but it simply wouldn’t work.
Finally, we decided to try to sleep, but it simply didn’t work.
The room was freezing.
I fell into that weird place between being awake and being asleep…
and the noises started.
*The tapping in the wall.
*Then periodically, a heavy door would open and shut,
followed by heavy footsteps going upstairs, and walking through the room above.
*Then…the canon fire began.
*And the fife and drum. YES. The fife and drum.
These noises played on through my dreams like a soundtrack,
on repeat until dawn.
In The Morning
I thought I was going mad, thought I was dreaming,
determined that someone was screwing with us
until Eric and I both woke up fully, turned to each other and asked,
“Did you hear that??”
Our eyes widened in unison at the realization that it hadn’t been imagined,
and bolted out of bed.
“We’re leaving NOW.” Eric said, hastily stuffing our suitcases.
“Yes. Yes we are.” I replied, following his lead.
We hauled ass to the car, and he went to the desk to check out.
“How was your stay?” the hotel manager asked cheerfully.
“Not so good.” Eric answered, and when the guy looked perplexed and concerned,
Eric explained the noises.
“That’s interesting.” the manager said.
“Most of the “occurrences” happen in the rooms on the farther wing, never this one.”
As we got into the car, we looked at the roof, and noted, in shock and stunned amazement,
that there was no second floor, and no attic.
No floors and no stairs and no door that could explain the noises I heard.
There were also no battlefield reenactments at 4 o’clock in the morning!!
We drove home, and for the next several weeks, we were…
I felt psychologically jarred, and so did Eric.
We discussed it at length,
There was no way around it.
That motel has since been torn down,
much to our dismay.
We were able to return on the last night they were in operation,
yet were unable to stay in the same room.
We had ZERO incident during this second stay,
even though we set up cameras,
and took photos and everything.
Gettysburg is an amazing place – an incredible piece of history
which is heavy and sad, and deep and beautiful.
The energy there is very real.
So, when someone tells you that Gettysburg, PA
is one of the most haunted places in America…
What About You?
Share Your Funny/Crazy/Wacky Travel Stories Below!
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