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'Last Resort' for a reason?

October 03, 2008|By JACKIE DROOGER, 50, Waynesboro, Pa.

We should have know it was an omen when our car pulled up to the beach house named Last Resort. Already, we had struggled to even make this vacation possible. Doug (my husband) had pinched a nerve in his back, and he wasn't able to drive. A few days before our trip, interestingly, Doug had hurt his back bending over to pick up the laundry basket. (When we saw the doctor at the ER because Doug was in so much pain, the doctor's advice was to not ever help with laundry again. I didn't think that advice was very funny.) So, we had to split the driving between our 16-year-old daughter, who had just gotten her learner's permit, and myself. Talk about stress!

Also, just to be nice to my mom, we had asked her to join us on this trip. She had just fallen and broken her arm and was in a cast. We all thought it would be a nice way to get her away from home and the chores that needed done. She could relax and allow her arm to heal!

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When we pulled up to the Last Resort, we were all excited. We had arrived ... safely. We unpacked, picked bedrooms, and planned activities. This was going to be the best vacation ever. Little did we know ...

The first morning, we packed up beach chairs, food, beach towels, umbrellas, and games for the beach. One of the assets of this beach house was that we could walk to the beach. We were all loaded down, in a sweat, and as we walked down the boardwalk, we made a not so good realization. At the end of the boardwalk, there was a 6-foot drop-off to the beach. The ocean had eroded away all the sand from the steps, and there was no way that my mom with a broken arm and my husband with a pinched nerve would be able to drop off that far into the sand. We ended up walking quite a distance to the next beach access, and we unpacked for the day.

The sun never quite realized we were at the beach. In fact, the wind picked up. It was quite cold. We were determined to stick it out, but I have great pictures of my husband, my mom and my two beautiful daughters all wrapped up trying to stay warm ... not just that day, but for the next four July days that we were at the beach.

After a few days at the beach, I decided to do some laundry. It was after dark, and surprise, surprise ... all the outside lights of our Last Resort were burnt out. I skipped down two flights of outdoor steps. As I was nearing the bottom, my one foot turned and I fell down the last five stairs. I landed at the bottom of the stairs in a heap, and I had never felt such pain. (Remember, I am the mom of two girls. I have gone through childbirth!)

I laid in this position crying and trying to catch my breath. There was no way my family would ever hear my calling them from two flights up. I tried to stand ... the pain was unbearable. I pulled myself up the stairs ... all two flights of them. I crawled into the living room where everyone was watching TV. Everyone yelled, "What happened to you?" I relayed the story, and we decided I needed to go to the ER.

Luckily this beach had a hospital. We drove to the ER, waited a very long time, took X-rays, faxed the X-rays to the mainland because there was no doctor on site to read the X-rays, waited for his response, and then were informed that it was only a very bad sprain. I had my ankle wrapped and was given crutches and pain medication. We left the ER ... my mom with her broken arm, me on crutches and woozy, and my husband bent over and holding his back. We were quite the sight.

The next day, still kind of groggy from pain meds, I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. Our toilet was not flushing real well, and I called the Realtor and asked to have them look at it. They said they should be there that day or the next. We used another bathroom for the day, and we didn't think it was a problem. The maintenance man never came to look at it, and we just assumed he would be there the next day.

Well, later that night, (My girls were sleeping in a bunk bed in a room below our bathroom), my youngest daughter felt something dripping on her in her sleep. She got up and just crawled in bed with her older sister. They slept that way and told us about their "leakage" problem in the morning. Doug went to check it out in the morning, and he discovered that the upstairs toilet was leaking down onto Haven's bed.

This was the last straw! We called the Realtor and told them we were leaving. We packed up toilet-soiled sheets and checked out. Needless to say, the drive home was almost just as much fun as the drive to ... thank goodness my 16-year-old had her learner's permit. Her dad couldn't get comfortable with his back, my mom was just sitting pretty with her broken arm, and I was clueless because those pain medications can make your brain pretty foggy.

We have always since advised our friends, and even our enemies ... never stay at Last Resort.

We all have joked! That vacation was TRULY THE WORST VACATION EVER!

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