Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 28, 2013

HOPKINS: A couple of horror travel stories

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — My wife Colleen and I are entertaining guests from out of town this weekend. Yesterday we brought them to Lockport to take a look around.

During the course of their visit, we talked about some travel experiences — bad travel experiences — we’ve had over the years. These stories made us laugh but one thing we kept saying: It wasn’t funny at the time.

The following is a lightly-edited column I wrote in June 2009. It includes a couple of these stories... including one involving an airline for which we will never — ever — have a kind word to say:

I’ve had a rash of bad vacations or road trips recently. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If so, then I’ll soon be invincible whenever I leave Western New York.

Take last weekend, for starters. A group of us went to Cleveland to see the Yankees play the Indians, and we were including a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Trying to save a few dollars, we planned to use a AAA discount for the rock hall. The catch was, we had to visit a AAA site in northeast Ohio to get the discount. I contacted the office in Mentor and a woman there gave me directions. It was five minutes off I-90, she told me. Unbeknown to me, my wife Colleen also got directions off the Internet.

We decided to use the Internet directions, and off we went, the women leading the way and the guys in a second car. The women had the directions to the AAA office. We turned off Interstate 90 at the correct spot, but I watched the women zip by a turn-off I remembered from the phone directions.

A few miles farther north on Ohio-44, we finally turned off. We called the girls, and were assured this was on the directions they obtained from the Net. As we continued on our trek to seemingly nowhere, my friend Chris tried the GPS device on his cell phone.

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