The Law of Guge Family Vacations

By Sarah Duggan on June 8, 2017

When I was seven-years-old, my parents took my younger sister, Holly, and I on our first summer family vacation. The destination was San Antonio, Texas and there are two things I remember well from that trip. I can recall our day at Sea World where I sat in the splash zone to watch the Shamu show and I was disgusted when the salt water from the tank was splashed into my mouth. My smile that had been wide, and apparently agape, faded and I looked up at my dad in horror as he laughed saying, “Then keep your mouth shut!”

The second thing from our San Antonio trip that I remember is being pooped on by a bird (or was it a bat…?) while riding a boat down the San Antonio River Walk. This may seem minor to you, and when looked at as an isolated event, it is insignificant. However, in retrospect this was the moment that set the tone for our Guge Family vacations for the coming years.

The next summer my parents loaded us up for a trip to Colorado Springs—sounds lovely right? Not if you are an eight-year-old with a violent case of altitude sickness.

In South Dakota, we overstayed our welcome when the truck broke down on the way home because the gas gauge said we had plenty of fuel and in fact, there was none. We stayed in our pop-up camper at a tent site behind a Super 8 motel for two extra nights. Holly and I swam all afternoon in the heat of the sun without a lick of sunscreen on—mom was doing laundry and dad was likely exhausted from the set back—and the two of us ended up with our worst sunburn to date.

In Arkansas we camped at Beaver Lake where it rained every day except one. When I was 14-years-old we found ourselves back in Texas on the beach in Corpus Chrisit and dad backed mom’s new Jeep Liberty into a trash can on a pole right there in the sand. Oh, and that hotel had an ant problem. Most recently the clan headed to Omaha and it didn’t take long for the Law of Guge Family Vacations to catch up to us in the form of a flat tire.

Its not for lack of planning; when it comes to trips we are one of the most planful families I know. I really have no explanation for why our trips inevitably have some crisis, tiny or large, that find us. That’s just life. In spite of it all, summer was always my favorite season and I still look forward to road trips, because despite the hiccups, some of my favorite memories were created on Guge Family Vacations. I look forward to traveling with my own family and taking the opportunity to teach the girls lean into the unexpected.

See you next week and thanks for stopping by!