Vacation Hijack

Have you ever had one of those days?


I can promise you that you’ve never had one like the five of us had.


Around 6:30 this morning, as we’re all asleep in our hotel room, there was an insistent, authoritarian-sounding knock at our hotel door. For a brief moment, I tried to recall if I asked the desk for a wake up call. And for another brief moment after that, I wondered why they’d be knocking and not calling…


I headed to the door to be greeted by a cop who informed me that there was an “emergency situation” and we needed to evacuate. I informed the family of the situation, and put on my shorts and a shirt. The family, in their pajamas, headed out before me.


We gathered with the rest of the hotel guests in the lobby and had some of the free breakfast. Shortly after my kids finished their waffles, that’s when one of the cops gave us the news: There was a hostage situation on the top floor of the hotel, and they were just waiting for transportation for us to be taken to city hall to wait it out.


Hours ticked by. We were armed only with our phones (with no chargers), 80% of the family in their pajamas, and nothing else. By mid-afternoon, we were taken to another hotel owned by the same group and given a room there. And sometime around twelve hours after the ordeal began, we were told we could gather our belongings.


Only we couldn’t. The state of Wyoming sent in some investigative group who locked down the scene. No one would be allowed to go to the site and gather their belongings until they said it was OK.


More waiting. More frustration.


You see, we were supposed to be in Salt Lake City by tonight, but the window of opportunity for that passed hours ago. And you all know how well I handle change.


We’re a couple of days into our trip, and my carefully crafted travel schedule is already in shreds. And sitting around with my phone down to a bare minimum of battery life, I couldn’t make a plan that could set my mind at ease.


So tomorrow morning, we’ll wake up early, head out on the road and see if we can push it, or go a few others further than planned so that we can break the remaining distance to San Francisco into two parts.


Stay tuned. We’ll either be in Reno or some other Nevada town by the end of the day.


See you later.






One response to “Vacation Hijack”

  1. Kristine Avatar

    Oh, Paul. Oh my gosh.