As we continue to quarantine and stay safe at home, we’re back again this week with more hilarious, cringe-worthy and embarrassing travel moments from Texas Lifestyle Magazine contributors. As we said last time, laughter is the best medicine!
Plus, what better way to celebrate National Tourism and Travel Week…
Tasting it All in Austria
Celebrating everything and nothing in Vienna, Austria, we decided to have a fancy evening out. We made reservations at an upscale restaurant and purchased tickets for a symphony performance. We arrived for dinner dressed to the nines and a formally-attired maître d’ seated us at an elaborate table adorned with fresh flowers and beautiful place settings with many forks, spoons and knives.
We tried to communicate in German with the sophisticated waiter who was patient and pleased with our attempts to speak the local language. We read the menu and started the evening with a cocktail. A different waiter arrived with a fancy tray and placed the drinks and an elaborate dish of greens on the table. We nodded and said “Danke.” As he walked away we toasted to our evening, enjoyed our drinks and ate the greens.
As we finished the last of our drinks our waiter appeared with our appetizer – looked at our table and then at us with a puzzled expression. We tried to understand in vain—until he finally said to us in English, “the dish of greenery was for decoration.” The three of us erupted into laughter. Sitting there in our fancy clothes in a formal Viennese restaurant, we had eaten the table garnish. ~ Haven Lindsey
Amiss on The Bliss
After a late night of packing and sleeping a few short hours, my travel pal and I were up before dawn to board a plane to Miami where we would embark on the Norwegian Bliss, for our first major cruise on the Caribbean sea. Did we study anyone’s official guide to cruising? Of course not. Where’s the spontaneity in that? We had been traveling for years, so surely we could figure out life on a boat without too much preparation.
Press trips are fast and furious, so we hit the ground running. An abbreviated version of a traditional cruise, this one packed as much as possible into just over 48 hours. We had some serious ground to cover. No time to waste. After the safety drill, welcome reception, dinner, drinks, and a front seat on the struggle bus to keep our eyes open through a late-night show, we were officially spent. Done. Lights out. Devices down. In the frenzy of it all, we must have missed the lesson on how to properly power your cabin.
“Don’t forget to plug in your phone and set the alarm!” We each reminded the other in a sleep-deprived stupor to cover our bases. With iPhones plugged in and curtains drawn tightly, we were off to the Bahamas. And Dreamland.
Then, what felt like very suddenly, our eyes flew open, and both phones were dead. Blank screens. No alarms. Just the sound of ocean waves and sea breezes. What? No way. Our level of panic matched Kevin’s famous moment on Home Alone. Noooooooooo! After speed showering, dressing, and jetting out the door, we quickly learned our rookie mistake—-failing to leave the room key in the light switch, to keep power supplied to the room. Phones charge best in outlets with power, and alarms don’t work on dead phones.
The joke was on us. Now, we know, and we won’t ever make that cruising error ever again. Remember: Leave the keycard in your power outlet at the door, and no one has to get FOMO on day one at sea.
Tip: Use any type of key card, credit card, frequent flyer card if you don’t want to risk leaving your cabin key in the portal.
Along with laughing at our mistake, recharging our own batteries was actually the best medicine for a blissful evening of bar hopping, dancing, and creating priceless travel memories. The next time (or first time) you cruise, just remember: Your room key holds the power to the morning hour! ~ Dana Maass
An Unusual Souvenir: Bitten by Animals in Other Countries
“Wait what? He BIT me! Stupid horse.” Those were the words I yelled out in the middle of a quiet area of Iceland where my friends and I had stopped to pet some very cute Icelandic horses on the side of the road. After realizing I was okay, my friends and I both died laughing. I did panic momentarily from small amounts of blood from the broken skin. Also, before the horse loosened his grip, I couldn’t help but wonder where the nearest hospital would be – and if he was going to bite off my entire finger. Fortunately, I was okay. I had teeth marks for a couple of hours, but after Googling Icelandic horses and disease, I learned that Icelandic horses are some of the healthiest in the world, because they’ve pretty much been isolated from all other horses. Good news for me.
We also hoped the other nearby tourists were also Americans. After all, we didn’t want to be stereotyped or play a role in any uncomfortable stereotypes … or to represent Texas poorly. The thing is – this Texas girl doesn’t know livestock. The horse wouldn’t have bit me, had I known how to properly hold my hand out to the sweet creature. Overall, I learned a valuable lesson in livestock that day. I just had to travel to Iceland to learn it! ~ Britni Rachal
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