Ray and I had been planning a vacation for quite some time. We decided that we were going to go up to Ottawa to camp for a couple of days and then we were going to go to my friend Emily's wedding. Following the wedding we had plans to hop from campsite to campsite as we traveled around Algonquin park and then back home again. We had planned to take the dogs with us since they love the outdoors so much and we would put them in a Kennel just for the night of the wedding, while we stayed in a hotel.

I'm thinking that the bad luck started back when I found out (shortly after booking my favourite campground, Bon Echo) that I had to travel to Chicago to write a certification exam during the first two days of my vacation. Reluctantly I cancelled the first 2 days and booked a very early flight home on the Friday so that I would arrive in Toronto at 9am. Since it was a long weekend, and I HATE driving on long weekends, I wanted to get out early.

At 9am my flight lands and I call Ray on his cell to find out where exactly he will pick me up. He had the car all packed and the dogs in the back and was all ready to go. He answered his phone with a frustrated voice as he said that he was stuck in traffic at Dixie because there was an accident.

Since I was sooo excited to get away I told him not to worry about it, that he would get there soon enough.

I grabbed myself a seat in the arrivals section of the airport and waited. Approximately 5 minutes later my cell wrang. It was Ray again. He was stuck on the shoulder of the QEW because he brakes had seized. Now he was REALLY frustrated.

After thinking about it for a bit, we decided to call my brother to go and meet Ray to pick up the dogs. I would take a limo home and Ray would wait for a tow truck. The tow truck, which was supposed to take 45 minutes to arrive took 10 minutes and towed the dogs in the car to the dealership. We sent Tyler back home again and apologized for having woke him up in a panic.

Meanwhile, I'm still going home in the limo in order to get my car. Before getting in the limo I asked for the price and he gave it to me. However, half way home he decides to tell me he made a mistake and that it would cost me more than he previously said. I would have none of that. Eventually I got my way.

Upon arriving at home I grabbed my car and drove over to meet Ray at the dealership. The guy at the dealership said that it would take an hour or so before he could look at the car so we left for lunch. At this point we had no idea if we were going away on vacation or not. Our hope was that it would be a simple problem and that they would fix it and we would be on our way.

Nope. They called and left me a voicemail saying they had 'distressing' news. And that it was....

They needed a part and no one had this part. They even called other dealerships like Toyota, looking for the part. No one had it. So they gave us a rental car.

We unloaded everything from our car into the rental car and came home. For hours we sat there deciding whether we should go camping in a rental car or not. Ray said he was 'uncomfortable' with the thought of going camping but he couldn't determine why exactly. I really wanted to go. At 3:00pm we decided to head out.

Traffic going through the city wasn't too bad but earlier that day there had been an accident near Port Hope that backed up traffic. The accident had long been cleared but we got stuck in traffic anyway. And it started to rain....

By 9:00pm we had only made it to around Trenton. Ray looked half asleep while driving so we though we better stop. Since we had the dogs and no crates, the only thing we could do was camp. We drove down to Presque'ile provincial park and crossed our fingers. It was late and it was raining so I was hoping someone may have cancelled their reservation. On long weekends it is next to impossible to find a campsite.

Someone had cancelled their reservation so we drove out to the site, pitched the tent in the dark and went to bed. By this point it was storming out. The lightning was really bright and Watson was freaked out. He wanted out of the tent. He ran around in circles and pawed at the tent in a panic. Ray sat with him, rubbing his chest until he finally fell asleep.

At around 2:30am I would guess, I heard a loud 'BLECH' sound. I opened my eyes to find Tanner standing over me and a pile of puke in my bed. It had been so hot out that I was sleeping with my sleeping bag open...how convenient.

I grabbed a towel that I was supposed to use for my shower in the morning, cleaned up the sick and threw the towel and all outside of the tent.

Of course this woke Watson up and we started all over.....

At 6:00am we had enough and decided to take the tent down. It was still storming and everything was so wet, both inside the tent and outside. As I was telling Ray that I had never had a worse camping experience, he hit himself right in the middle of the forehead with a tent pole....we got out of there so fast....

Unfortunately, since we were in such a rush, we couldn't quite pack the car the way we had on our way up. Instead, we had to put a big rubbermaid container in the back seat with the dogs. This took up half the seat. Watson was really cranky and just wanted to sleep. Se he curled up and took up most of the space, leaving Tanner wandering around restlessly in the back seat. Every time he touched Watson he got growled at.

Who needs kids when you can have 2 dogs fighting in the back seat??

Now we were finally on the road again. I called ahead to the kennel and asked if they would take the dogs for an extra night and they agreed. THANK GOD!

After approximately 3 hours we arrived in Ottawa and went straight to the kennel. It was out in the middle of nowhere on a farm. All we could see was a rickety old shack where the dogs would stay. We had a very uneasy feeling but we went in anyway. The place was a dump. It had not been changed, or cleaned for that matter, since the 60s. The guy who would be looking after the dogs came in and tried to put a choke coller on them, which we refused. He then started asking us all sorts of questions about their hunting abilities. We became very nervous because he seemed a bit TOO intrigued by this. We had visions of him taking the dogs out hunting and loosing them. Or worse...taking them out hunting and keeping them, telling us he lost them.

At this point he said that we would have to leave and he would take the dogs over to the kennel. I refused to leave and said that I wouldn't leave until I saw where they were staying. He told me he couldn't show me because of 'insurance' reasons. I couldn't believe it, so I took the dogs back to the car and we left.

Now we are panicking because it is 2:00pm and we don't have a kennel for the dogs or a hotel for us and all of our stuff is soaking wet and we have a wedding to go to the next day.

I called my parents and asked them to call around to see if there were any kennels available anywhere in the ottawa area. They called and called....there were none to be found. Everyone was booked up for the long weekend.

Since we were actually just outside of Ottawa, we stopped in this small town to see if we could find a phone book and a pay phone. The town had no pay phone. At this point in our trip, this was not very surprising.

Finally we found a Super Pet off the side of the highway. We went in there to see if they had any recommendations for kennels. They of course didn't but they did have a phone book and a phone. We started calling around and finally found a place that had had a cancellation. They were located on the other side of Ottawa, so off we went.

This place turned out to be great. It was very clean and the owner was very friendly. He had different places for the dogs to run and Tanner and Watson got to stay together.

We were finally happy. Now it was time for us to find a place to stay.

We started with the hotel that we had booked for the next night but they had no space available. Next we stopped in at the Holiday Inn. They had 1 room left and it was on the executive floor. We took it. I am glad we did because there was a little kids baseball tournament going on and there was hundreds of kids running around.

The next day was the wedding and we booked ourself into the other hotel that we had reserved. It was the country Inn and Suites, and it was really nice. The wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch. We had a great time and I loved seeing Emily again. I would post pictures of the wedding but I can't.......the saga continues.

Earlier in the day, we found that every time we went to our car at the back of the hotel, it rained. Every time we went out of the front of the hotel it was sunny. This must have happened about 4 times. We decided not to take the car to the outdoor wedding, so we took a cab.

The morning after the wedding we woke up and it was sunny. We were relaxed and finally happy to go home. We decided that we would go to the restaurant next door for brunch with all of the out of town guests. This was a bonus since we originally thought we wouldn't be able to make it because we had planned to go camping that day. We gave up on that idea.

Ray went to get the camera to take it to the brunch but it was no there. Apparently I had left it in the back seat of the cab the night before. It was gone.....

We spent all day calling around looking for it but we couldn't find it.

We packed up all of the stuff into the car and went to check out. I looked down at my room key and started laughing. I just could not stop laughing. On my card was a little advertisement for 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' by Lemony Snicket. I was cursed....

I showed the card to the girl at the front desk, who at this point knew all about our bad luck. She let me keep the card. She told me she was going to print off the receipt and then I was free to go. What a relief!

The bill was supposed to total $0 because we booked it using Ray's TD travel points...but it didn't. Since it was a holiday we couldn't even call the rewards centre to sort it out. We just paid it and left. We picked up the dogs and headed home.

As were were driving on the 401 Ray decided that he needed a vacation. We started calling around looking for cheap last minute deals to anywhere. There were none. Apparently in the summer most charter flights leave on weekends and we wanted to leave on a Tuesday. We weren't ready to give up yet. We were going to use my Aeroplan points to go somewhere. What better place to go when you have bad luck than VEGAS!!

We arrived home and went straight over to our neighbours' house. They travel to Vegas every year so we had a beer and they advised us on where to stay. I even had the guts to call Air Canada and try to book a free flight for the next day....you know they have radio commercials making fun of people like me! They didn't have a flight for the next day but they had one for the Thursday, coming back on the following Tuesday. I booked it!

We then decided to stay at the Stardust because it was very reasonable and Ray even managed to find a promo code so we got it really cheap!

Vegas was great. We had so much fun. It really is like Disney world for adults. We gambled a couple of nights, I think we broke even, which is good. We saw a magic show and we even got tickets to see Rita Rudner who is one of the few great comediennes. It was a wonderfully, relaxing trip! The perfect end to a really bad week!