Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Blues Traveler

52 Comments

Photo courtesy of www.morguefile.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com

“A fool’s paradise is a wise man’s hell!” ~ Thomas Fuller

Many years ago, my friend and I traveled to a small island off the coast of Venezuela for a girls get-away. Our all-inclusive package promised pristine beaches, deluxe accommodations and five-star dining. It was the vacation from Hell.

Upon arrival we discovered our “deluxe accommodations” were a dimly lit room with cinder block walls, frequented by gargantuan sized roaches. The “pristine beach”, located across the street from our resort required mukluks, if you didn’t want to lose a foot. As far as we could see, the beach was covered in broken glass, cans and other waste. It started to rain and we wanted to cry.

Back in our room, which reminded me of a jail cell, I tried to make contact with our tour guide. We hoped the bus we took from the airport, with a grass-thatch roof, had dumped us at the wrong resort. Unfortunately the guide only spoke Spanish. He had difficulty comprehending my attempt to recall four semesters of college level Spanish many years earlier. No one on staff spoke English. We later discovered we were the only American guests, everyone else was German. We were on our own, but at least we had some five-star dining to look forward to.

We never figured out who rated this resort five-star dining, but I lost ten pounds out of fear of eating. Living with Crohn’s Disease, I have to be careful. My adventurous friend tried a little of everything and raced to the bathroom after every meal. As the week progressed, her clothes became loose and she ate less.

The first night in our room we turned on the TV hoping to find something in English, instead we found snow. Every channel was fuzzy, white static. We decided to call it a night.

As I finally drifted off to sleep, following hours of bug patrol with my Mighty Bright Book Light, I heard a loud explosion. The ceiling fan that once whirled over my bed stopped as did the air-conditioning. In the other bed, my friend, the deep sleeper, was oblivious.

I jumped from my bed and took a peek out the window. The entire complex was black. I heard voices in the distance, but they were getting close. They yelled in Spanish right outside our door. My stomach turned over as I realized, the resort was under attack.

I vaulted onto my friend’s bed to warn her of the impeding attack. I told her there was an explosion and men were right outside our room getting ready to take over the resort. Half asleep she rolled out of the bed and headed toward the door. I thought she had lost her mind when she opened the door and stepped outside.

Huddled on the floor, behind the door, I feared for my friend’s life. Within a few seconds she came inside and rolled her eyes. “You’re so paranoid. A transformer blew, it’s on the side of our building. They’re maintenance men trying to fix it.”

Back in bed, I once again went on bug patrol. Moments later, the ceiling fan began to rotate and the air-conditioning began to hum. I thought about my reaction to the blown transformer and smiled. I do have a good imagination.

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, will release in March, 2017. It's now able for pre-order on Amazon. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

52 thoughts on “Blues Traveler

  1. What an experience. Sounds like the only good thing you got out of this vacation was a good story! My husband is a globetrotting business traveler, and he’s got quite a compilation of stories as well (too bad he’s not a writer). My worst experience was a hurricane on our honeymoon 21 years ago. Nothing you can do about an act of God, so we followed the hotel’s orders and made the best of it. We came through unscathed with some unique memories and a good story to tell.

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    • You can say that again. Fortunately it was an experience I’ve yet to live again. My parents had the same experience as you on their honeymoon. They got stranded in Florida due to a hurricane and couldn’t get a flight to Bermuda. Enjoy your weekend, Gwen!

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  2. Ugh, this is grim, Jill – but very funny. You’ve given me inspiration for a future blog post. And yes, you do have a great imagination!

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    • Lol…grim it was, Jenny. I can laugh about it now and I’m thankful I made it home alive. 🙂 Yay! I’m glad this post gave you inspiration for a future post, I love when that happens to me. Loved your post today. Have a fabulous weekend!

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  3. Hell of an experience….excellent story!

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  4. Ugh!!! How disappointing and scary. You had me going thinking that something awful had happened. Glad it was just maintenance. My sister and I had a similar experience in Cancun. The room was horrible, but we did luck out in terms of the beach and the food – although I had to take the week after I got back off from work because of stomach issues. My boss was not very happy with me. 🙂 Sounds like your imagination is still active. 🙂 Enjoy your long weekend, amiga!

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    • Yes, it was a major disappointment, especially because my prior vacation was in St. Lucia and everything was perfect. LOL…yeah, most bosses aren’t going to be too happy when their employee calls in sick after being off for vacation. 🙂 I’m glad you had a nice beach at least. You enjoy your weekend too, Maria! Say hi to Kit Cat! 🙂

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  5. Vacation from hell is right!! I’m sorry you had such a horrible vacation. Perhaps that provided fodder for a novel! 🙂 I hope that travel agency or whoever booked your into the resort is out of business for being so misleading.

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    • Thanks, L. Marie. It’s too bad I don’t write horror stories, this would have been a perfect setting. 🙂 I don’t know whether or not the travel agency is out of business, but I would take a guess they probably are. They did give me a discount on my bill, but it didn’t cover the pain and suffering. 🙂 Obviously this was nothing like your recent trip. I’m glad you had a great time! Enjoy your weekend!

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  6. I went to an island once that was advertised as not “yet discovered by the masses.” There was a good reason for that. It wasn’t as bad as your experience but it wasn’t paradise either. There were midday long siestas from 11 to 3 when everything including lunch places were closed. We bought wine to take us through until they opened. It was the only way to survive!

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  7. Wow, great story Jill! I’m sorry for your harrowing experience (sounds more like a prison camp sentence), but at least you got a good tale out of it. Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

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    • LOL…unfortunately it was a prison camp sentence that I had to pay for. There were more horrid details that I didn’t mention. I might take L. Marie’s advice and turn it into a novel. 🙂 You have a great weekend as well, Phillip! I hope you’re feeling better.

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  8. And this is why you are such a great writer Jill! You had me totally hooked from start to finish, I didn’t know if it had really happened or if you were going to say it was a dream! So sorry for the ‘holiday from hell’ but thank goodness you weren’ caught up in a revolution or something! I hope that you and your friend were able to at least change rooms or something and maybe enjoy your vacation just a little? Bet you didn’t go there again!

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    • Aww, thank you, Sherri. It was like a dream, a very bad dream that lasted for 7 days. LOL…thanks, I’m happy I made it out alive that night. I laugh about it now, but I really was scared when the lights went out and men were running all around. I wish I could say we were moved to another room, but we weren’t…we stay with the giant roaches. Honestly, I think I slept about 20 hours the entire week and that was by the pool. Have a fantastic weekend, Sherri!

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      • I can well imagine how scared you were..you must have been so happy to return home just to get some sleep! Thanks Jill, hope you too are having a great weekend 🙂

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  9. Oh my! What a horrible holiday! Great story! By the way, you are one of at least 3 Crohn’s bloggers I read. That’s either a coincidence or it’s on the rise.

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    • Thanks, Luanne! I wish I could say this story was fiction, but that trip was like being on a bad reality show. I think more people are talking about Crohn’s Disease and that’s a good thing. I’ve never mentioned it on my blog before, but I love to hear that you follow some other bloggers with Crohn’s. I’d love to read their blogs. If you have time to email their links, that would be great.

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  10. Oh, Jill, what an awful vacation…but a WONDERFUL story. Usually 5-Star restaurants not only accommodate Crohn’s and other special diets, but they actually have gourmet creations that are amazing. Are you sure your restaurants and hotel didn’t receive a -5 Star rating?

    But remember, that which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger…and good writers!
    Well done, Jill.

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    • Thanks, Marylin! I did have fun recalling the trip and telling the story. I’m not sure the people on this island had ever heard of Crohn’s Disease and I didn’t know how to say it in Spanish. 🙂 The travel agency falsely represented the resort. It was not 5-Star by American standards, perhaps it was by Venezuela’s rating system. It was bad at the time, but now a funny memory for me and my friend. Enjoy your weekend, Marylin!

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  11. That sounds like the first 20 minutes of a horror movie. And I know horror movies.

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  12. Great story, Jill. It reminds me to ALWAYS take marketing copy with a grain of salt. When I sold real estate many moons ago, I learn linguistic tricks like “incredible potential” (which meant it was an absolute PIT!), and I’ve found that knowledge has served me well in booking “resorts” over the years. This one sounds like the perfect setting for a novel, which I hope we’ll all get to read one day soon.

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    • Thanks, Candace! If I start dabbling in writing horror stories, yes, this would be a perfect setting. I never knew you sold real estate. You probably could write some scary stories about places you sold. Have a great weekend!

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  13. I imagine the resort proprietor or the tour guide wrote the 5-star review. Glad you survived then to write about it now 🙂

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    • I think you’re right, Marie. There’s no way the ratings were done by anyone who stayed at the resort. I’m thankful I survived, especially given the fact that we ventured outside the resort one evening for dinner. It wasn’t the smartest thing for two single girls to do in a third world country. Unfortunately, that restaurant was where the rat ran across the room that I referenced in my comment to Eric. Oh the stories from that trip. Enjoy your weekend!

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  14. I love reading about other people’s travel experiences, both good and bad. Me, I’m staying firmly at home – no wish to travel. Jill that was horrible – maybe you’ll tell us a good holiday experience next?

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    • You might have the right idea, Roy. We always know we’ll be comfortable and safe at home. I too enjoy reading about people’s travel experiences, especially when actual photos accompany the story. Have a great weekend!

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  15. OMG. Jill you are such a fine person and what a nightmare to go through. I love the quotation. But forgive me for laughing while reading about the ordeal. You are such a great story teller that I got totally engrossed in it and the humorous way you have told the real time story is excellent. I love this post, from the beginning to the end it is so interesting that when it finished I wanted more of it. Great post. Forgive me but I enjoyed reading every detail as if it was not a real ordeal but a great story. Take care my friend and have a lovely weekend. Yes you do have a great imagination which makes you a great writer.

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    • Thank you, Samina! I’m happy the story made you laugh, that was my intent. Obviously when I went through this experience, I didn’t find it comical, but with the passage of time, I can think about it and laugh. I always appreciate your kind words, Samina. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  16. Wow Jill – awesome story. Too bad it really happened to you 🙂 Sorry you hand to endure such an awful vacation. I hope I never have to go through one of those. Have a great weekend!

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    • Thanks, Dave! LOL…I wish I could say it was fiction. 🙂 I hope you never experience a vacation like this either. These days, I go by word of mouth from friends and coworkers, it seem safer that way. You enjoy your weekend as well!

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  17. Been close but likely not as bad as your experience… You’re not allowed anymore of those!!! 🙂

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  18. Wow–you’re brave! What a nightmare! I think I would develop PTSD from an experience like that.

    This adventure deserves more writing! Have you written the rest of the story?

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    • I think my friend was more brave than I was, Tracy. I was cowering behind the door. 🙂 After reading your post today, I might have to consult you the next time I make travel plans. No, I haven’t written the rest of the story, but after the feedback I’ve received, I may do that. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  19. I really need to loose some weight – but I’m just not willing to get a divorce, get sick, or take a luxury trip to Venezuela to accomplish my goal! That was a heck of a way to practice your Spanish!

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    • I wouldn’t recommend any of those routes for weight loss, especially traveling to Venezuela. I guess my friend and I would have been better off if I’d taken German in college. Have a great Sunday, Shel!

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  20. Didn’t know you had Crohn’s, Jill. Must make life difficult at times.
    This is definitely a better yarn to tell than to experience. Hope you got some money back 😦

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    • Living with Crohn’s can be challenging at times, but I’ve learned to live with it and not let it define who I am. You’re right, Jo, it was much more fun to write this story than it was to experience. Yes, I did get some money back, so that eased some of the misery. 🙂 Have a great week!

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  21. HAHA I think you just described many of the places I voluntarily traveled to in my early twenties 😉 My international tastes have definitely changed since then but hey– it’s all aobut the adventure!

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  22. Oh no! I’m glad you made it home safely! My in-laws always call questionable adventures/bad situations “valid experiences.” So now if something is really rough, I just say, “what a valid experience,” and somehow that makes it seem a little better. Sometimes. Although, I’ve never lost weight for fear of eating the food – I don’t think there’s any viewpoint that could improve that situation! 🙂

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    • LOL! I have a feeling you would have lost weight at this resort. That’s a good way to look at a bad situation, as a “valid experience”, I like that. Since that trip, I try to chose my experiences a little more carefully. Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. Oh man I would have thought the same thing. Doesn’t sound like a great trip, but now you have the memories. of course it probably took years to recover.

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  24. What a horrible trip! I’m glad you got a story out of it though. Love your reaction. I think I’d have done something along the same lines. Maybe it’s a writer’s mind. 😉

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  25. LOL…I have paranoid tendencies myself. 🙂

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  26. What a nightmare! I’ve stayed in a few places I wished I hadn’t, but this one sounds really bad. Glad you lived to tell the tale, Jill!

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