I can't say I have ever had a bad vacation in my life and despite the title of this piece, that remains true.
My daughter-in-law Michelle, unfortunately, has a horror story to tell about our latest get-together.
She should have arrived from New York at 10pm on Boxing Day night 2018, at the
Denver International airport, so we could all drive to a warm-water resort in Colorado Springs the next day.
|US Air force Academy and sections of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains are clear from the resort's balcony.|
The entire night we monitored the phone for word of her progress. We eventually heard early next morning that she was at the New Orleans, airport but all the restaurants were closed, so she was tired and hungry and would be transported to a hotel in New Orleans shortly,
You see, she was unfortunate enough to have been one of the hundreds of passengers who had flown on Spirit airline, the airline notorious for providing nothing or as little as possible for its passengers despite the over five hours they had been held hostage inside the plane.
At the early hour of the morning when they were transported to a hotel, they had nowhere open to feed the guests but a helpful worker told her, there was an all-night gas station across the road where she could get a snack.
Desperate for something to eat, she went out, only to find that it was quite far, not "across the road" at all and the only food they had was junk food.
Having no choice, she bought something.
That was when her stomach started to rebel.
Worse was yet to come for at the hotel where Spirit put her up, she was told she had to check out at 11am the next day, despite the fact that Southwest flight they booked her on to fly to Denver, was not departing until 6pm.
To make a long story short, she never arrived at Denver Airport after midnight on the 27th December.
Since by then, we had already departed to Colorado Springs (we left out on the morning of the 27th) she made a reservation with Uber to transport her to join us.
When the driver arrived however, he declared ominously; "If you are going to the mountains, forget it."
Clearly when he accepted the job he had no idea where Great Wolf Lodge was!
Fortunately, after consulting his GPS and discovering it was in Colorado Springs, just under fifty miles away and not in the mountains as he had initially assumed, he decided to respect his contract.
She arrived at the lodge just after 1.30 am on the 28th, tired and unwell.
We were relieved and happy to have her finally arrive safely to join us, but for the next two days, it was torture for her, as she had bouts of vomiting, diarrhea and no appetite, naturally resulting in spells of weakness.
That's no way to spend a vacation, no matter how cold it is outside and how wonderful the resort is, but she put up a good front anyway, as the holiday was really one for us to bond with my young granddaughter, in a place designed to give children ultimate pleasure.
|One of the "kid-friendly" magic stations.|
|A huge shower of warm water pours over a section of the water park|
This regime had the kids enthralled for many hours and even days, it being far more well-thought-out and actually magical, than the offerings at Disney World.
|A simulated tidal wave in one pool.|
Then there was the pool that even simulated tidal waves.
This appeared to be the most
popular attraction among the kids even surpassing the large gaming arcade and the mining site where the kids learned to wash out sandy ore to recover actual semi-precious gems.
|High wire challenges overhead for adults|
Anyway, since it is really supposed to be a family resort, I give them nine out of ten for creativity.
Naturally, as it was still the Christmas holidays, the place was teeming with adults who accompanied their kids to ensure that they had the maximum enjoyment.
However, for those of us not having that role to keep us occupied, the only adult activities were miniature golf and some high wire challenges which really only seemed to attract "macho" men.
But it was surely wonderful to be able to wear a swimsuit while all outdoor was freezing.
But I did learn an important lesson during this period and it is that I should avoid flying during the busy holiday season, especially when the flight involves traveling into areas where the weather is notoriously unstable.
Most importantly, one should avoid Spirit Airlines, unless taking short direct flights!