It was right after Christmas of 2014 and I went to a popular conference near Phoenix, AZ. My father enjoyed it the year before and wanted me to come this time. The day before he was suppose to leave, he got the flu so I was to go alone. My mother stepped in but drove with her nephews and brother from Los Angeles while I flew. I spent my time alone at the gym, watching TV, relaxing. Despite this last minute change and that we had to cancel our pit stop to the Grand Canyon because Dad and I promised to see it together, things didn’t seem so bad.
But after the four tortuous days, my first day was going to be one of the very few good things to happen. I did end up seeing friends from New Zealand who were visiting the States. Then the conference began, one boring session after another. After a dozen sessions, only two were interesting and noteworthy. This conference has been going on for some 30 odd years so most people used it to be reunited with friends and family. Since my mom and I came for the first time, we had a hard time finding anyone who wanted to meet up for coffee or a meal. They were all busy meeting with family they only see at the conference. Understandably, we went on our own but after a full day together stuck in a secluded hotel, we had nothing left to see or talk about. Enter boredom, on vacation. This is virtually impossible for me, I love vacations and explore everything I can. Well after two days, I had seen everything I could with no car or public transportation near us.
By the end of the second day, we gave up and just stayed in our room catching up on Homeland. When the highlight of your vacation is one dinner and then catching up on a television show, it’s proof that it was a bust.
On our third day, the hotel called us during an afternoon nap break from our Homeland watching. My father and I were suppose to go to the Grand Canyon but we forgot to let the hotel know that we cancelled the plans. Graciously, they found us another room for the same discounted price but we had to scramble and leave the current room because they needed it to prepare for a new family. We dumped everything into our suitcases and dashed downstairs to the new room, our bags barely closed, we were lucky nothing got lost!
Then my cousin was suppose to drive us all back to Los Angeles but he wanted to stay longer, possibly. I spent the rest of the time calling rental car companies, airlines, train tickets, etc to find another way to get back but nothing was cheaper than $300 per person. My cousin then said he would drive us only to change his mind the next hour, so I dashed off to get cell reception and wifi but the price went up another 100 or so. Finally, we got a straight answer where we made sure he couldn’t back out of it, my cousin would indeed drive us back.
What’s a family vacation without a fight? Our last day, my mother and I had a huge fight and didn’t speak for the entire drive. Other than finishing a fantastic season of Homeland and seeing friends from New Zealand, this awful trip was nothing but heartache and a big massive headache. Boring conference, no one to talk to, nothing to do, then to top it off, so many mishaps with reservations and travel.
Needless to say I am only going to Arizona for the Grand Canyon, not for that horrible conference.