Navigating The Vacation

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - April 30, 2008
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Ron Nagasawa is on leave. This column was originally published on June 30, 2001.

Did you ever have one of those kinds of vacations that sometimes seems more like work than rest and relaxation? I just got back from a two-week family vacation. And when I say family, I mean my wife’s family.

The first leg of our journey was to Washington state. My wife’s older brother lives there and his son was graduating from high school and his daughter from college. Coming from Hawaii were my wife, our two kids, my father- and mother-in-law and me.

My wife’s sister and husband came in from California. Since it was all family, no one would have us stay in a hotel, meaning we literally had giant sleep-overs where everyone would bed down wherever there was room. It was actually a lot of fun, but there were some caveats.

Transportation for the clan was an issue. We managed to get everyone into two vehicles. My brother-in-law has a Ford Expedition, which can seat a small church congregation. I drove his girlfriend’s car and we traveled everywhere in caravan formation; I followed him.

This was an OK arrangement until we started driving around at night. Two problems there - first of all, I don’t see too well at night and, second, I had to keep his vehicle in my range of vision in order to keep from getting lost.

Sounds pretty easy, except when you realize that the state of Washington probably has the highest quota of silver-green Ford Expedition SUVs in the country. One night while on the freeway, I followed what I thought was the lead car to an off-ramp.

Out of cell phone range, it was 20 minutes before I realized it was the wrong SUV. I then had to navigate my own way back to the freeway. The only reason I saved face was because everyone else in my car was sleeping. Had they been awake, I would’ve had to explain what we were doing in Idaho.

 

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