There were so many signs leading up to our summer vacation that I wondered if some higher power was trying to tell us not to go.
Our accommodations closed the day before due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Then they almost didn’t let me on the plane because of a mistyped plane ticket. And then, when we arrived in Canada, all our luggage was still in Cleveland. Maybe the suitcases were heeding the warnings?
Lost luggage is one thing if you’ll be in civilization, but our wild family was headed to the backcountry of British Columbia for an adventurous vacation filled with hikes, alpine swims and climbing.
The sea:McAllister: A spoonful of sugar doesn’t work anymore
At least they had some of the necessities
As a peace offering, the baggage representative handed us each a small bag of travel toiletries. We had the clothes on our backs, and tiny bottles of lotion, toothpaste, and deodorant, along with matching razors and toothbrushes.
He did his best to smile and assured us they were doing their best to locate our luggage, but realistically it would be days. We had less than two hours to buy everything we needed for the week.
Some of our family loves to shop. Some of our family hates to spend full price on anything, let alone a week’s worth of technical clothing and gear. So, while some of us were having the time of our lives, others of us paced in circles through the one store that was open in this little Canadian town, mumbling about how many coupons I was going to have to clip if the airline didn’t t cover this astronomical bill.
Eventually, we made it to our destination and had a magical time in the high altitude and open air. We climbed thousands of feet and touched glaciers and saw flowers that I only imagined could be so beautiful.
Everything seemed to be going smoothly, and we were convinced that whatever voice was telling us to stay home was wrong — our perseverance was worth it to walk through snow and feel the chill of a mountain lake.
We even persevered when one child sliced his foot open and he and I got to experience our first ever international emergency room visit for seven expensive stitches.
One last hiccup for the history books
But still, we pushed on, grateful to be together.
On the last morning, I went to wash up thinking that we had made it. We had survived all the bumps and made more memories than anyone could ask for. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I was feeling like Superman until I looked down at the matching toiletries from the airline and realized all this time my husband and I were sharing the same toothbrush.
Some folks might think it’s totally fine to share toothbrushes with the one you love, but I, on the other hand, would rather not.
A little gag quickly turned into a belly laugh that continued all the way back to the airport, where our flight home was (not surprisingly) cancelled. Eventually, we made it home, and so did our luggage. Even the double-used toothbrush.
Reach Karrie McAllister at firstname.lastname@example.org.