Welcome back to our Travel Funnies Series!
We got a great response on our first round of travel funnies. Hopefully, you get a good chuckle out of some of our mishaps as we travel the world with five kids.
Just a gentle reminder: writing these travel funnies requires a lot of vulnerability on my part. I feel like I’m opening myself up for some major judgment. Be kind!
1. Grace on Daddy Watch. If you follow is on social media, you may know that I, Leslie, went back to the USA on my own in August to attend BYU Education Week. It is a many-year tradition to attend for me and I was so thrilled when Chris suggested strongly that I should still go from Portugal. After a lot of debate and worry, I did decide to go. Little did I know the crazy travel funnies that would come while I was gone!
The morning of my departure, we had to drive an hour just to get to the airport in Porto, Portugal. We woke late (because, of course, we stayed up too late also) and had to rush out the door. We were ill-prepared and I noticed that no one had even changed Grace’s diaper after waking her. However, I figured Chris was dropping me off and heading back, so it would be fine.
I found out later that Chris decided to stop at the McDonald’s about 25 in from our home to let the kids play. As he settled in and was letting the kids play, Grace walks across the restaurant to him with a very full, poopy diaper IN HER HANDS. She was bringing to to dad… good girl!! Our boys would have just left it where it fell off and kept playing, smearing poop all down the slide I’m sure. Like any parent in such a horrific moment, Chris quickly grabbed her and made a run for the bathroom. He sent Lucy to the car to get our back-up diaper supply.
Sadly, there were no back-up diapers. No wipes. Nada. Poor Chris.
He had to do his best to clean up a very nasty backside in the McDonald’s bathroom with paper towels and pack the kids up to go home. Probably not something he considered one of our travel funnies in the moment. Thankfully, she was wearing a long jersey dress which covered her now naked bum. What an initiation to 10 days alone with five kids!
2. Bali Spa Day. Oh friends… this one is really taking a lot for me to share. It brings heat to my cheeks every time I think about it and took me a few days to even tell Chris about it. Now he jokes about it often and I can finally share it in the open. Here is one of the most embarrassing of my personal travel funnies.
First, some background: Bali is known for many things, one of them being the super inexpensive massages. We could get a 1-hour full-body massages for around $7 USD each. It was wonderful and we got as many as we could. We spent our first week in the southern part of Bali and started slow into the massages, trying first some foot massages. The ladies were always trying to get us to do more, like full-body massages. However, the rule in Bali is that you still wear your underwear. Chris first used the excuse he didn’t have the right underwear for a massage, to which the woman said “No problem, we have sexy underwear for you!”. Haha. Meaning disposable underwear. I can’t even imagine!
One day, Chris was sleeping after a night of work and I was able to drop the kids off to the kids club (which we had just the first week of our five weeks there). I decided to schedule a spa day! The prices were great and I could get four treatments for about $250 USD. I went in and first had a full body wrap. The women just stood there while I stripped down and put my clothes in the locker. It’s really no big deal to these sweet women, but man, I was already feeling embarrassed. Soon I was laying on the table, wrapped in some kind of lotion and Saran Wrap. After falling asleep a few times (and probably snoring a good amount), I was asked to go to the “shower room”. Uh oh. This put me on alert right away.
There was a shower in the massage room, so why did we need to go somewhere else? They wrapped me in a sheet and down the hall we went. The next few minutes I wish I could block out, but alas, I am here sharing it with the world instead. I was marched to a wall with a handle across it. After being unwrapped from the plastic wrap, my “helper” backed up to the other wall behind me and picked up what seemed like a lightweight firehose. She then proceeded to spray me off with strong water pressure from across the room! This was absolutely mortifying. I felt like a cow in a cattle shoot, getting ready for show. Oh.my.goodness. I just had to stand there and slowly turn around while the water pelted my naked body. This poor, tiny Balinese woman nearly fell over with the force of the hose.
After this terrible experience (which I suppose is meant to be some form of relaxation??) I was taken back for the 60 min massage. Pretty sure I spent most of those 60 min calming the flush across my face and wondering how in the world I would tell Chris about this experience. To think I signed up for it voluntarily!
3.Kyoto Shrine Explorations. If you’ve seen pictures of Kyoto, Japan on social media, chances are good you are looking at the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Think beautiful red gates with stunning green backdrop.
We made out way to this shrine on a rainy afternoon ready to tackle the day. We had our trusty wagon, our umbrellas and lots of energy. Chris was so excited for the pictures and using his new ability to ghost pictures (which is setting up a tripod and letting the camera expose for the long time. The result is anything moving, like the people, are “ghosted” out of the photo). Read: Chris is in full camera mode and the kids are NOT. I ended up taking the kids ahead most of the time. Poor Harrison was feeling some major social anxiety during this experience and eventually, out of sheer exasperation, we stuck him I the wagon with the phone watching shows.
Chris kept him close by while I went ahead with the other four kids (Grace in the carrier on my back). We kept walking up and up, more and more stairs. It was getting to be quite the workout. After probably an hour of climbing, we came to a map, only to see that we were about halfway up to the top of the shrine. What?! That some serious work! Already the kids were done, the mosquitos were bitting and we were hungry. I sent Chris a quick text that we were turning around and heading back down.
We quickly made it down to the bottom and got some food samples while waiting. We waited and waited and still no Chris! Finally he showed up, totally exasperated. His poor legs were SO mosquito bitten that you could see the drops of blood in all the leg hair. It was nutty! He had carried Harrison IN the wagon up to our turning around point, not long after us, and upon seeing the map and figured we had made it to the top. So off he went! Poor Chris carried all his camera gear AND a toddler in a wagon up hundreds of flights of stairs in search of the rest of us. The mosquitos were devouring his poor legs. Eventually, he made it about 90% up the mountain before he saw my text that we had given up. So, he made Harrison walk down and clipped the wagon to his backpack with his giant carabiner. Needless to say, he was NOT a happy camper when we reunited. He also spent weeks nearly peeling off his skin on his legs from those horrible mosquitos.
4. Harrison in China. Take note now my friends, if you have social anxiety, China is NOT the place for you! This applies even more so to young, blonde children. They LOVE children and love to see golden hair. Gold is a major symbol of wealth and is very loved by the Chinese tourists. Harrison was over having his hair touched, his body touched, people smiling at him, women trying to pick him up or kiss him, on and on. He turned into a rabid, wild animal somewhere in China and would scream at all the tourists. Surprisingly, this did little to deter the attention he still continued to gather!
Already at our wit’s end with Harrison, we headed off to see the Great Wall. We had our wonderful staff with us and were struggling to keep up with our fabulous guide, William. We finally trucked up a big hill, through the touristy shopping street, through the gates, up another hill and into the line for the ski lift up to the Great Wall. Our guide was visibly relieved to finally get in line and had hurried us quickly before another large tour group got in line before us. We start relaxing for a moment and even started to play some Heads Up, our favorite game while waiting in lines.
Suddenly, Harrison states, totally matter of fact, “Hey dad? I pooped my pants.” Chris and I just look at each other in horror. Our looks say to each other, “Did he really just say that? Did you hear it too?” After asking Harrison to repeat himself, the worst in confirmed. He really did lose control and pooped his pants. Many of our staff have heard this exchange by now and are chuckling or just totally grossed out. Chris stepped up as super dad and offers to run him to the toilet. Problem is, we have to all board the chair lift together and the ONLY bathroom (read: squatty potty) is back at the gates. Our sweet guide William is really stressed now and offers to go with Chris and Harrison to speed things up. Good news: they made it back just as we were starting to load! Bad news: poor Chris had to deal with diarrhea in a squatty potty in a country where toilet paper is no where to be found.
I shudder to think about this experience and asked only minimal questions, to which Chris responded, ”I can’t talk about it.”.
The underwear did not make it out of the bathroom with them. We hoped this was all behind us only to have poor Harrison have another accident ON the Great Wall. Thankfully, it was very minimal and he was wearing jeans, so it was contained. Poor buddy!!
To find out what ended up happening that night, you can read our other post. That was NOT funny or anything we laugh about. However, the irony of timing on this day was just too much. How many times is your kid going to poop their pants and you head up to the Great Wall of China?
Oh the adventures of traveling with kids! I am certain we will never run out of travel funnies to share! Poor Chris got the majority of the poop mess in these stories, but make no mistake, it’s a regular part of our life that we all deal with it. Chris wins dad of the year for these stories and I’m working on getting his engraved plaque for our future wall. 🙂
Feel free to share some of your own travel funnies with us, I would love to hear them!