Friday 4 January 2013

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Our Worst Travel Plays of 2012

If you read yesterday's post about our best travel plays of 2012, you might think that, as a team, we had a pretty good season. Truth be told, it was a good year, but even good years have their missteps. One minute you're cruising along, looking at an undefeated season,  the next minute something unexpected sneaks up on you and blasts you from behind. Something that you had no way to avoid. Something you could never have seen coming...unless your wife with the camera warned you....

Florida standing in waves surf beach

Needless to say, it wasn't a perfect year. We made some good plans but some terrible choices, and we ended up with more than our share of "Why in the world did we do that?" moments. It's all a part of travel though, so as promised, here's our top five worst travel plays of 2012:

Leap Day at Disneyland

This goes under "great plan - terrible execution". Staying up late to see the re-release of Star Wars Episode 1 the night before trying to spend 24 hours in Disneyland was not our best plan. Not drinking enough was an even worse idea. Visiting California Adventure though, was the real downfall of this concept. If we'd stayed at Disneyland the whole time, I probably would have been too lazy to walk back to the hotel, but getting caught out of Disneyland when it was at capacity made throwing in the towel a very easy option. Of all the things we did this year, this is the one that I'd love to have a "do-over" on. 

Disney 24 hours all night leap day

Not Pre-Ordering at Carlo's Bakery

How a New Jersey bakery ended up on our must see list at all is beyond me, but I've visited stranger places for the benefit of my girls. Of course most of those other places, I've actually gotten to go inside. The line to get in to Carlo's Bakery was over two blocks long, and the multiple hour wait time was more than even my Cake Boss fan wife was willing to endure. We learned later though that if we had pre-ordered some baked goods online, we could have just strolled into the shop to pick them up. Lesson learned, and believe me, any lesson that ends with me not getting a Cannoli is not likely to be repeated.

The Bacon Sundae

Yeah...we should have known better. Bacon and ice cream just don't go together.

Not Knowing There Are Two Air & Space Museums

I promised my kids space shuttles, rockets, and tons of airplanes. What we found was no space shuttle, one rocket, and a couple of smaller planes suspended from the ceiling. Realistically, I'm not sure how I figured the Smithsonian would keep everything in their one Air & Space museum on the National Mall, but somehow that concept escaped me prior to our arrival. Now that I know where they keep the other stuff (It's out by Dulles airport at the second Air & Space museum location), I'd love to go back. I just have to convince my kids that I actually know what I'm talking about this time.

Asking About the Second Room

The Hyatt Regency Bonaventure (which has now left the Hyatt brand) gave us a 2 bedroom suite instead of the 1 bedroom that we reserved, but when we asked about it, they took it back. Originally I was a little torn about what to do, but the more I look back on it the more I realize that I should have just put the chain and deadbolt on the outside door and kept my mouth shut. I tried to use it as a "It's best to be honest" lesson for my kids, but I think it came across as more of a "Dad's not that bright" kind of moment. Like I need more of those in my day.

Written by Steve Pratt