Disneyland Paris. Malaysia. Sierra Nevada: the travel fails behind holiday photos

We essentially live in a fake photographic world at times, where filters brighten up a dull day, grumpy kids are bribed for that ‘perfect shot’ and the bad bits of the day: well they’re just never captured and merely filed into the depths of our memories. Sometimes negative travel experiences pop up as anecdotes at a wine-fuelled dinner party a few months later, when the dust has settled and they have made the transition from being disastrous to hilarious. So thinking about this has given me the inspiration to give a snapshot of some of the back stories behind our photos, and to share a few of the non-instagram worthy ones just for laughs…

Buffet dinner at the Hilton Doubletree, Johor

Take this photo of Owen in front of a delectable meat buffet in Johor for instance. The reality was that we had not had a decent dinner for THREE DAYS prior, due to a combination of takeaway deliveries that disappeared into a black hole, exasperatingly fussy kids and jet lag that put us out of synch with restaurant opening times. We hoofed down our buffet like a pack of hungry wolves, a vast contrast to the night before when we were grumpy, tired and lamenting our runaway pizza.

When the rain finally stopped at MGM Disneyland Paris

I love this photo of us with my parents, taken this February at Disneyland Paris. What it doesn’t tell you, is that it rained solidly for three hours, starting right from the time that we arrived at 8:30am for our magic ‘Magic Hour’ as Disney hotel guests. And that when I had frogmarched the whole family to the Ratatouille ride that I was so desperate to get on, it was shut. I can still remember how grim it was standing waiting for one of the shows, penned in like cattle with the rain lashing down. Luckily the weather and the day improved thereafter…

Sierra Nevada. The one sunny day; kids are only smiling for the photo!

We have tried to go on a skiing trip to enjoy it. Twice. And we had one day of decent weather from our two long (too long) weekends (pictured: funny that!). I still remember going up on that ski lift in what was essentially a giant fog, and believe that my crippling fear of heights (I keep trying to fight it!) did not kick in because I could only see two metres in front of me. The kids were freezing and our boots were giving us raging blisters. And yet we tried again. The actual worst memory from that trip was not the fact that it was too crowded to get on the green runs and I was too scaredy to get on the red. Our accommodation was only accessible by a single track road that ran down the edge of a cliff. There were no safety barriers, it was snowing hard and we actually got stuck on the second day. I still remember a) getting out the car and refusing to go any further and b) looking up on YouTube how to put on snow chains, whilst stuck half way up the cliff face, praying that no car came the other way. No wonder when we ask the kids if they prefer skiing or camping, the answer is always the latter!

And I’ll leave you with two classic shots of my daughter: the first when she did not get to be the princess in the lovely smiley family picture, and the second when I took her onto the Wickerman rollercoaster at Alton Towers, without realising how fast it was (don’t worry, she was fine straight afterwards!).

An unhappy pirate at Gullivar World Milton Keynes
On a rainy day on a rollercoaster that took us a little by surprise

Links to places mentioned in the article/articles of further interest: 1. Hilton Johor Buffet 2. Disneyland Paris 3. Sierra Nevada Ski Resort 4. Alton Towers 5. Gulliver Land Milton Keynes 6. Villages Nature Resort Disneyland Paris 7. Wickerman Rollercoaster Review 8. How to put on snow chains 9. The best things to do in Johor 10. 101 Disneyland Paris tips

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Adams says:

    Absolutely loved the post. The honest stories behind each photo is hilarious. Coming to think of it all my pictures too have a back story. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Manu thank you so much for taking the time to read and to comment on my blog post. Yes all pictures have a story. All people do I suppose if we were to get philosophical about it! Stay connected, Kathryn


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