Getting To Disney World – Through Hell and High Water

Over a year ago, Lisa and I started planning for a family trip to Disney World. The last time we vacationed there was in November 2013 for our son and daughter-in-laws wedding. Over the past two years much has taken place in our lives including Lisa’s diagnosis and eventual defeat of breast cancer. So, needless to say, we have been looking forward to this trip for some time.

Lisa and I left Cambridge, Ohio this past Friday afternoon and headed south toward Columbia, South Carolina – the halfway point of the 940 mile trek. Our family left around the same time from Kentucky. I have concluded that we never travel unless rain of biblical proportion is not encountered somewhere along the way.  In this case, it hit as we entered the mountains of West Virginia. I’m talking deluge rain – blinding rain – the kind of rain that makes you wish you were back in Cambridge, Ohio. I am certain the vistas through the mountains were breath taking. We have no idea. The truth is, my only memory of that part of the trip was gripping the steering wheel and praying I did not lose sight of the tailights in front of me. Nerves shot.  Lisa has a way of being as cool as a cucumber in a bag of ice during these events. She could sleep through a tornado. Trust me, we off-set each other. God, get us to Disney and a hot tub.

We finally arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, but could not find a room available. The recent flooding in that area had brought relief workers to inhabit every hotel room for miles. Our luck could not get any worse. So we drove on.

Along with our battle with the rain, exhaustion and the thought of sleeping in our car was our car itself. It seemed to be losing power and my fear was a major break down on a major highway during this major rain storm. This trip was starting to feel like a major pain in the.. , nevermind – on with the story.

We had no choice but to drive further south and pray for a hotel vacancy somewhere – anywhere. Funny how your hotel room standards start dropping the later in the evening it becomes. In the previous two hours we went from a four star to a room at the YMCA.

In Columbia we found a Residence Inn and stopped to beg, pray, sell a kidney – whatever – for a room. Thank God! – they had one. I don’t even remember the clerk telling me the cost. All I heard was, “Yes, we have a vacancy”.

Saturday morning rose with a forecast of more rain, something South Carolina did not need. We headed out hopeful to be at Disney by early afternoon and looking forward to seeing our family for the first time in a month. And then the rain came.  I’m not even sure “rain” is the right term for what we went through. This was “open heaven’s hydrant and turn it full blast onto that black, 2002 Trailblazer carrying those two idiots from Kentucky by way of Ohio”.  It was during that deluge that our vehicle decided to quit running.  Well, son of a .. , nevermind.

We finally realized our vehicle was losing power due to a clog – somewhere and mercifully must have blown a chunk of something out of the tailpipe and probably across the window of the driver behind us. For it was after that it ran great. Sorry about that fella! But, we are out of here.

You know? Sunshine looks much better after a rainstorm. By the Florida line our spirits were soaring as we neared our destination and with Lisa driving the final two hundred miles (another story for another day) I finally felt my sphincter relax. What a trip.

It was quite a reunion for us when our family arrived at Saratoga Springs Resort. Seeing our grandson, Conner Jack, was worth all the stress of the previous two days.  We are now all together here at Disney World and…,

there is no rain in sight.


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