My Christmas Travel Misadventures…”Planes Hot Pockets And Automobiles!”

How’s Your Holiday So Far?

I’m just hanging around with a vintage totem pole in a park near Akron, Ohio. How did I get here?

Well, my wife Alex captured it well with her instagram!

You see, our holiday travels to visit her family just outside Cleveland was a comedy of errors, beginning with a 4 hour delay at LAX due to no Co-Pilot for the plane, then a Detroit rental car with a flat tire that we frantically raced to fill with enough air to get us back to the rental counter for a new car – which led to a late night drive from Detroit which ended so late that nothing was open except for our hotel “emergency food” shop, which led to this dinner:

Nothing beats a midnight hot pocket!

At least the next day we got to dig into a classic Cleveland deep dish pizza:

We had a great family Christmas celebration thanks to Sister-In-Law Cherie, who cooked up an amazing feast including a gorgeous Beef Wellington!

Alex’s brother Derek took us all on a great hike to walk off the calories, which led us past our Totem friend:

I forgot to write down the name of this great Native American, but the park had a nice writeup on his history and impact on the region.

After all of the fun times, it was a nice easy drive back to Detroit to fly home…or was it?

These planes look ready to go, but none of them moved, and neither did we!

It was a very unplanned night in the Detroit Airport Hilton – the shot of these planes was our actual view from our hotel room – but the place had great room service and a fun atrium:

And in a very nice end to this trip, they had a private security entrance from the hotel that drops you right at your gate – the entire thing took under 5 minutes!

It was a memorable adventure to be sure – and as we were driving on the Ohio turnpike pate at night in the dark Alex had the perfect way to capture it:

If Del Griffith could overcome holiday travel mishaps, so could we – but if you haven’t seen what Del went through, you are missing the great Thanksgiving film ever – click here to see why:

While this film was all about Thanksgiving, the travel nightmares are just as real at Christmas!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, don’t forget I was the one who took this taste test so you wouldn’t have to:

Yes, it’s Thanksgiving dinner in a bag! I ate them all and lived to write about it!

Click here to see how many of them were edible:

And let’s not forget: it’s the season for holiday memes:

Here is a collection of my favorites – click for more:

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Leave me a comment and let me know if you have any “Planes Trains & Automobiles” disasters this holiday season!

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Categories: Exotic Travel, Food, Food Review, Funny Pictures, Great Films, Memoirs, Travel, Travel Adventures, Wacky Food

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15 replies

  1. Happy holidays John! Wow pretty exciting Christmas trip… being stuck at LAX for 4 hrs sounds like OUCH!! This year Japan closes the gates to all people without Japanese passport so I gave up the idea of going home this year(again) feeling guilty for my husband. So did you see many people at the airport? Did ticket price stay as usual?👀

    Liked by 1 person

    • LA’s airport was packed…Detroit wasn’t bad at all…everyone masked but the midwest isn’t very serious about doing that outside of mandated areas, so better to get back to LA and stay safe – can’t wait for Japan to open up again as my wife and I are planning another trip there in the next 18-24 months.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Really enjoyed the post, even if I am glad it was not me. Hope you had a good Christmas


  3. Many people were stranded at the airport, so you came out pretty good despite the delay.


  4. “All’s well that ended well” as we say…A lovely family Christmas, a delicious Beef Wellington, John and an invigorating walk…Happy New Year x


  5. What a Christmas adventure! It does sound like Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (yes one of the funniest movies.) Glad you survived the adventure and had a great family visit. Aren’t you glad you’re not headed to Lake Tahoe?


  6. You are a hoot, John. So many would be frustrated and aggravated with a journey like this – but you made it a comedy routine! Love it!!


  7. John, that hotel room is what I call CLOSE to the airport!
    Glad to hear it all worked out in the end, and the beef wellington looks delicious!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete, that hotel was a godsend…luckily I reserved it as soon as our flight was cancelled as by the time we arrived at the airport it was completely sold out! We were able to get a good night’s sleep and walk to our gate in under ten minutes, including security! An upbeat end to a bit of a wild adventure…seeing low tire on the car with a 130 mile drive had in the pitch dark of night wasn’t a good start! Have a celebratory New Years and here’s to a better 2022!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like a memorable Christmas for both of you. It would have made a very boring blog post if everything went smoothly. Happy New year!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, John! I had to laugh at your travel ordeal but, honestly what else could have gone wrong? Glad you stayed positive and still enjoyed a happy family holiday! And with wonderful food to wipe out memories of the Hot Pockets! 😄



  1. L.A. Staycation: Hiking The Hollywood Sign! Dry Cleaner Sushi! A Plug For “Coda” Too! – johnrieber
  2. A “Sky High” Hike With Will Rogers! A Spectacular New Years Day “Good Luck” View! – johnrieber

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