The Van Ride No One Will Forget

Man in pain holding hands on his head

A few years ago we took the family on vacation.  Brian and I thought we had our day all planned out.  We do extra detailed planning when we are away from home. We try our best to avoid any disasters while we are out in public with Tristan.

We booked a room at Key Lime Cove in Gurnee, IL.  Then we got tickets to Great America.  It was a really good package deal. The hotel even offered van service from the hotel to Six Flags Great America. We did not have to pay for parking, and we got dropped off and picked up at the entrance gate.  What a deal!

My brother, Mike, joined us for the day.  He met us at Great America.  He helped with taking Jacob on rides and assisted us with Tristan.   We had some great memories from the day.

After a full day of rides we all decided it was time to leave.   Our family was going back to the hotel and Mike was heading back to his home.

We headed to the parking lot to use the shuttle service.  We waited a few minutes all together with Mike.  Then Mike started heading to his vehicle. Out of nowhere Tristan starts melting down saying, “Uncle Mike  UNCLE MIKE  UNCLE MIKE!.”  Of course Mike heard Tristan, so he walked back and sat with us at the curb.  Even with Mike’s presence Tristan was not easily consoled.  After what seemed like eternity, a hotel van pulled up.  Everyone waiting motioned for us to go first.  Then several other people joined us.

As soon as everyone got situated, Tristan realized Uncle Mike was not in the van with us.  Then in a piercing loud voice Tristan screamed, “UNCLE MIKE, UNCLE MIKE, I WANT UNCLE MIKE!”  As the van continued to drive the volume and intensity of the screamed grew.  We could NOT console Tristan.  There was nothing we could do.  Uncle Mike was gone.  The visit with him was over.  I felt bad for the hotel guests that climbed in THIS van with us.  They had no idea the ride would be so memorable.  Everyone was uncomfortable.  The other guest in the van smiled politely, and tried to not stare  Our oldest son pretended he didn’t know us.  Brian, and I wanted to crawl under the seat with embarrassment.  The two minute ride seemed like an eternity.

Finally we reached the hotel.  We climbed out of the van first.  I could feel the stares.  I did not look at any of the people coming off the shuttle service with us.  I did not want to make eye contact with anyone from this van–ever.

I think we ran to our hotel room to hide.  I cringe every time I think of this.

Don’t worry we will never use this shuttle van again.  We will not be repeat this mistake.  We will gladly pay the parking fee.

Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!


4 thoughts on “The Van Ride No One Will Forget

  1. Does everyone reading this realize how remarkable it was that Tristan spoke? Probably the van occupants did not realize they were witnessing a near miracle.
    Yes, things can be embarrassing. Whenever I see a child acting out in public I remember how I felt. My rosy red cheeks, my desire to be magically transported somewhere else…


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