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Our all-time most epic vacation fail

If you travel enough, it’s inevitable that things will go wrong. I count myself very fortunate that, so far, I’ve managed to avoid any extreme crises while traveling (knock on wood).

We’ve had a few hiccups – a couple flat tires, almost running out of gas once (this one was 100% my dad’s fault), forgetting something (this has happened more than once, we now own 3 hammers…), and I remember as a kid I once left one of my favorite books on the plane. But these are all minor inconveniences.

The time we drove 2 hours out of our way to visit Four Corners and arrived to find it closed certainly wasn’t one of our best moments.

But in all honestly, our biggest vacation fail didn’t really involve our vacation at all. In fact, we didn’t even realize what we’d done until we arrived back at home.

(FYI, if you’re easily grossed out, I don’t recommend eating while reading this…)

Anyway, a few years ago my mom, sister, and I spent about 10 days visiting Mount Rainier and Crater Lake, which I’ve recently written all about. We were, of course, packing and preparing up until the last minute, including doing our laundry. Well, my mom has a front-loading washing machine with a light inside. When the door is open, the light is on. We didn’t want to close a wet washing machine and let all kinds of gross things grow in it, but we also didn’t want to leave the light on for 10 days.

(In retrospect, we should have just left the stupid light on.)

Plan A was to unplug the machine, but the location of the shelving units in our laundry room makes it impossible to get behind the washer without completely moving both it and the dryer and probably some other stuff too.

So we went with Plan B, which was to flip the circuit breaker labeled “washer and dryer.” Both machines turned off. The light in the laundry room stayed on. Success!

Yeah, not so much.

Fast forward 10 days and we returned home from our trip. With no food in the fridge, my mom went to see what we had in our large chest freezer.

Which is also in the laundry room.

You can see where this is going….

If you guessed that our “washer and dryer” circuit breaker also controls the other outlets in the laundry room, you are correct!

What ensued is – to this day – the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen, smelled, or experienced. Our freezer was basically a giant container of liquefied ice cream, foul-smelling leftovers, and spoiled raw meat, all bathed in rotting meat juices.

To say it was gross is a colossal understatement.

And so instead of unpacking from our trip, we spent the evening cleaning out the world’s most disgusting freezer. We threw everything into giant garbage bags, which promptly went out to the dumpster. I don’t actually remember how my mom got all the fluid out of the freezer.

It took 3 weeks and every trick in the books (baking soda, bleach, vinegar, etc.) to get the horrible smell out.

Definitely a mistake we will never, EVER make again.


Have any stories of your own vacation fails? I’d love to hear them!

1 thought on “Our all-time most epic vacation fail”

  1. Euw!!

    I had my first cancelled flight ever when travelling in Australia last year. Getting back from Brisbane to Melbourne took a lot longer than necessary due to typhoon winds which had swept a set of moving stairs into the side of a plane and caused chaos! The airline had to put us up in a hotel overnight, which turned out to be just over the river from where we’d been AirBnB’ing, but my friend didn’t have time to find a shop selling nappies so her 1 year old had to make do with 2 nappies in 14 hours. Not great, but the little one managed it okay.

    Liked by 1 person

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