Last week, we took a family vacay down to Florida’s Gulf Coast and wouldn’t you know it, my family’s notorious bad luck on trips showed up in a few different forms. On the way home, I wondered how I would tell the story of our vacation. Some people would tell the story of all the bad things. We all know some of those negative people, they can make a trip to pick up lottery winnings sound like a disaster.
So I decided to tell it two different ways: A negative way and an optimistic way. I like to think of it as a lesson about the importance of your perspective on life. The following two stories are about the exact same trip with the exact same people and are both entirely true.
The Negative Approach
As we arrived in Destin to our hotel, we immediately realized why we got such a great deal: This place was a dump. No AC and it was barely the size of our bedroom at home. five people are supposed to coexist here for the next six days peacefully? Never gonna happen. We found out later that there was an attempted suicide-by-cop (that’s apparently a thing) at this hotel a couple months earlier.
Travel tip: Don’t skimp on the hotel room. Ever.
After getting to our new hotel, I scratched my cornea as I was taking out my contacts. This means I was basically half blind for the next three days. The wife found it hilarious when she brought me a pirate patch from the beach store. Add to this three sunburns, broken store merchandise that we had to buy, a football lost at sea, expensive sunglasses lost in the surf and a fidget spinner that was “accidentally” stolen, and the trip was a virtual nightmare.
The day we departed the beach, two things happened: 1. The clouds parted and it was the most beautiful day we’d seen all week. 2. I got violently ill. As the rest of the fam perused the amazing deals at the outlet mall, I spent most of the day admiring the art pieces in the bathroom.
After a seven-hour drive, we finally arrived home at around 12:30 am. We opened the door to what looked like a crime scene. Our dogs did not appreciate being left with sitters all week and they were sure to let us know. Half the house was ripped apart and they obviously had trouble finding the restroom. After a massive cleaning of the house, unpacking the car and a shower, I finally climb into bed still clutching my stomach. The nightmare was finally over.
The Optimistic Approach
Just as we arrive in Destin, we discovered a great deal on a room and decided to upgrade to a nicer hotel. We quickly get checked in and go out to enjoy what I had looked forward to all year: delicious seafood, a margarita, the four people I love most in this world and a gorgeous gulf coast sunset.
Although the forecast called for clouds and rain the entire week, we got in several good days at the beach. Coupled with some local shopping, fireworks, more seafood and more margaritas, this was just what the doctor ordered. What can I say? My doctor is much cooler than yours… and he just may not be an actual actor, I’m afraid to ask.
Our last night in town led us to a local hole-in-the wall restaurant. Just as we arrived, we heard live beach music being played on the deck and unexpected fireworks started popping in the Florida sky. This meal ended up being the best meal of the week by a landslide. Our server was suspiciously charismatic and over-the-top amazing. It was the perfect end to the perfect vacay.
On the way out, we knocked out the kids’ back-to-school shopping early and at a big discount at the outlet mall. Then we high-tailed it home to our dogs who very clearly missed us as much as we missed them. It was the best vacation our family has taken in a long time.
I prefer the second version. How will you tell your next story? I expect your answers in essay form by the end of class.