International Lampoon’s Pressner Family Vacation

Air, Asia, Family & Kid Travel, Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Myanmar, Planning, Thailand — By on April 23, 2007 at 9:42 am

When my father first suggested that he, his new wife Nadine, my sister Jennifer, my cousin Cerise and my Aunt Joy meet up with The Lost Girls in Southeast Asia I was thrilled-and mildly shocked. For almost as long as I can remember, I’d pleaded with Dad to arrange a family vacation somewhere beyond US borders, but he’d always come back with the same response.

“There’s so many incredible things to do in our own country, why go somewhere else?”

At this, I would roll my eyes (in the way that only youngest daughters can) and assumed my dad was just as clueless as the all those other Baby Boomers who made it this far in life without a passport. It wasn’t until I’d gotten a little older-and had a few adult conversations with Papa Pressner-that I came to understand how many obscure corners of the globe my Dad had already visited. As a second Lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineers he was stationed in Iran for almost two years (then did the “Europe on $5 per Day” thing). As a husband, he went to to Bogata, Columbia and Puerta Villarta, Mexico. And as a businessman, he traveled to Venezuela, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, France, Germany,Spain and Portugal.

Holy Cow!


After spending twenty years collecting colorful stamps and oddball stories from exotic countries around the globe, it made sense that Dad wanted to spend his 50s and 60s hangin’ in the US.

It was just as I was beginning to accept and understand Dad’s domestic travel policy that he threw me the “let’s meet up in Thailand” curveball. As excited as I was about the prospect of seeing my family, I was incredibly nervous that something would go wrong. That everything would go wrong. I mean, if we could manage to get irritated over a Thanksgiving turkey at my aunt’s place in New York, what would happen once we were all armed with chopsticks and gobbling mystery street meat in Bangkok?

Fortunately, my family decided to visit in stages, rather than arriving all on the same day.

Dad and Nadine would get there first, joining Holly and me for a seven-day river cruise in Myanmar. Once we returned to Bangkok, my sister Jennifer, Aunt Joy and Cerise would meet us there and together, we’d spend the week sightseeing, shopping and nibbling out way through the city.

As the days ‘til arrival ticked down, my Dad fired off email after email in my direction trying to nail down the details to minimize the possibility that something would go wrong.

Unfortunately, as The Lost Girls have learned even the best laid travel plans are subject to the whim of Murphy’s Law. If something can go wrong, it will-and in this case it did.

While my Dad and Nadine arrived safely and in Bangkok, their luggage wasn’t so lucky.

“It never made it on the connection between Las Vegas and Seoul,” Nadine shared as I handed her a fresh set of clothes to change into for the night.

“The airline thinks they can get it to the boat in Myanmar before we set sail, so we’re not going to worry about it,” my Dad chimed in.

For two people who’d gotten no sleep in the previous 48 hours and found out that their bags had been waylaid somewhere across the Pacific, they were both acting pretty pulled together and upbeat.

I pretended that I wouldn’t be losing my shit, hugged them both goodnight and stumbled off to bed. It was 2:00am and we had just a few precious hours to sleep before getting up to catch our plane to Yangon, Myanmar.

I’m not the praying type, but I threw up a call the guy upstairs and asked him for deliverance….of the luggage, that is.

Surely this stroke of bad luck wasn’t an omen of things to come.

Was it?

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    1 Comment

  • Desert Songbird says:

    Your dad is at an age when he figures there’s nothing they can do but go with the flow and enjoy the ride. Good lesson for all us.

    He’s right though. As much beauty as there is in the world to see, we have some pretty incredible views right here in the US. I know because I live in a corner of the world that we like to call “God’s Country.”