Oct 10, 2010

When is a vacation not a vacation?

A few nights ago, Jeff said, "Let's get away for an overnight -- where should we go?" Since I've been on a personal quest to be more "spontaneous", I agreed to just take off for the weekend.

I've wanted to go back to Heini's Cheese Chalet and Jeff thought it was a great idea. We'll get up and leave Saturday morning, drive to Berlin, OH visit Heini's, find a place to stay overnight, and then find "something" to do the next day.

So, I get up at 7am on Saturday and make a list of everything we need to bring (I cling to my organization at all times), pack up a bare minimum of items, and Jeff gets up around 9am and we head out around 10:30.

First, we hit STOPPED highway traffic about 20 miles north on Interstate 71. I don't know what was going on up there but we were delayed by about an hour. My husband is not the most patient driver in the world (cough), so this aggravates him to no end, which aggravates ME because I know there isn't anything we can do about it, so why get aggravated? A no-win situation, for sure.

We stop and have a TERRIFIC lunch at Smokey Bones (I highly recommend their brisket), but that was another hour added on to what we thought was going to be a 3 hour trip.

We decide to get off the highway and take some back roads - and admittedly, we do travel some pretty roads and actually see some Fall foliage - so that slows us down more, but we're enjoying ourselves.

We arrive in Millersberg, OH and it is Antique Fair Day, so the streets are packed with both slow moving cars and slow moving walkers, and Jeff is DYING to stop, but it's 3:30, Heini's is still 30 minutes away, and they close at 5pm. So - and here comes the spontaneousness! - we decide we'll head to Heini's, stay over nearby, and come back to the fair the next day.

From Millersberg to Berlin is another 30 minutes - except it takes much, much longer because apparently Berlin, OH has become the tourist attraction of the world since we were here last, and it's like trying to drive through Grand Central Station. MOBS of people, LINES of cars, traffic lights without arrows for the directions we want to go...

Apparently, Columbus Day weekend in Ohio is like Labor Day weekend in New England - the last holiday of the summer with nice weather. Hey, I've only been here 23 years - who knew?

We finally arrive at Heini's - both now a bit cranky and really tired of our 3 hr drive that took us 6 hours - and walk into the sample building - to a line of people that extends not only around the huge room, but out that room's door, to wind around a second huge room. As we looked around to find the end of the line, someone nearby said, "They say it's a two to two and a half hour wait"....

Poop - I know what that means. My husband won't stand in a 3 people line to go to the movies or pay at the grocery store without grumbling... I turn and look at him and sure enough, there's THE look... and I know there is no way we're going to be gnoshing on Heini's delectable cheeses today. I know we just made a six hour drive for no good reason other than to make a six hour drive.

And just to seal the deal, someone opened the door to the men's restroom.... and out rolled this ghastly (or gas-tly) STENCH across the room packed with folks already not happy about having to stand in line for two hours. I'm pretty sure if the "culprit" was found at that single moment, he would have been stoned to death with cheese cubes and sausage nibbles.

The moment was what it was and there wasn't anything I was going to be able to do to change the look on my husband's face (get me out of here) or the stench OR the line... so I said, "You want to go, right?" and, of course, he did. Now, I know a lot of women would have had a perfectly legitimate argument for why I should have stood my ground and insisted we get in the line -- but to me there was just no point because it is NOT my goal in life to be confined in a small space (the car) with a grumpy husband. We leave.

And then we learn two new facts, just to make the day complete.

There are no available hotel rooms anywhere.

The antique show Jeff wanted to stop at is a one day event - and we just missed it.

It just doesn't pay to be spontaneous. From now on, it's planning, reservations, and research before we head out again for a "spontaneous" weekend of fun!


Karen said...

oh Poor Joan! and Jeff! I hate to say it but I'm just like Jeff...you couldn't have paid me enough money to wait in that line. It's crazy up here this weekend too....apparently people are willing to sit in hours of traffic and pay exhorbitant hotel room prices just to see some colored leaves. Crazy people.

Froogalers said...

Seriously, that was the best story ever! I am all about spur of the moment except when it comes to trips lasting longer than a day. I guess I have the planner bug too. I hope your next trip will go smoother.

wonderinthewoods said...

Oh my goodness! Our 15th anniversary is next week and the most we could get away is one night. I guess I need to make better plans before we head to the coast. We'd want it to be economical so I can see us getting stuck with a really expensive place to stay. Bummer. hmmm, maybe not so bad though. LOL

jasi said...

We've had adventures like that also. Sometimes it works but our planned adventures nearly always win out. Even if one area of the outing fails there's usually a back up. Hmm.. Fantastic story though.