Trip Planning for Tourist Traps

What a novel idea Walt Disney had when he chose to have every ride at Disney World exit through a gift shop. Walt Disney World is the ultimate tourist trap. And, being located in the state with the highest population of senior citizens, it’s likely the most dangerous driving excursion you’ll ever make. Even when my daughter and I took a trip to Atlantis in the Bahamas, the Dolphin Encounter exit filtered through a gift shop. Inside the souvenir shop, there was also a photo counter where you could purchase pictures of yourself, posed with a large, smiling dolphin. We thought we were going to swim with dolphins, but come to find out, it was just a photo opportunity. Before they allow you to participate in the Dolphin Encounter, they first make you sign a waiver saying that you won’t touch the dolphins around the eyes, the blowhole or the private area. I told the dolphin trainer that “I would try to control myself…but I drink…so I can’t make any promises.”

Talk about trip planning, when I was about nine years old, my sisters and I took a trip from St. Louis to Los Angeles with my great aunt and two other very old women. That trip was just under 2,000 miles, each way. With six arguing females in one car, it’s extraordinary that we even came back alive. I remember we went to Arizona, where there was a roadside attraction to “See A Baby Rattler.” We stopped, paid the admittance fee and saw it…just lying there in a large wooden box, a pink plastic baby rattle. I’m sure we got a picture with it, I can’t remember.  I bought some suede moccasins and an Indian doll that had a beaded costume that smelled like fresh airplane glue and sniffing it seemed to help ease the pain of the trip. We passed through New Mexico, Las Vegas where you had to be 21 to even use the toilets and the highlight of the trip was when we went to the Grand Canyon.  By then, everyone was tempted to push each other into the abyss.

The point of our trip was to drive most of it on Route 66, which crosses America through 8 states giving travelers a chance to see Americana that hasn’t evolved since the 1920’s. Or, as most tourist traps put it “to recapture the past.” It does have the most majestic scenery and the best tourist traps west of the Mississippi, as the road twists and turns at over 2,288 miles.

I found some old postcards we had sent to my parents from that trip. Most of my writing was incoherent, likely due to the airplane glue from the Indian doll. One, telling my parents that the best part of the entire trip was the Barney Rubble house in Valle, Arizona. Yes, it must have been the glue.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist / Glue Sniffer

Trip Planning for Tourist Traps – Comedy Defensive Driving