Sunday, July 27, 2014

Calista's Diary Entry - Summer Travels

Dear Diary,

My parents are really cheap.  Sometimes for our "vacations", we all travel with my dad on one of his business trips.  I remember a previous summer where we "vacationed" in Huntsville, AL.  There was not much to do.  My dad worked the whole time.  I went swimming, shopping, and hung out in the hotel room a lot.  There was a concert taking place on the grounds outside of our hotel one night, but my parents did not want to go out and they would not let me go alone.  Luckily, I could hear the music (it was really loud) and I could see the bands from my patio.

This year, my dad's company sent him to Denver, CO.  I was not thrilled at first, but my parents promised me that we would have a good time.  I got to thinking, I'm a little older now, so maybe I'll have more freedom and be able to do more things than in the past.  While waiting on our flight at the airport, I started to feel excited.

I didn't bring my camera with me on the trip, but I took a lot of photos with my cell phone.  They are not my best photos.

Our room in Denver was really nice.  It was like a little apartment. 

It had a living area and a full kitchen.

I had my own bedroom.

On our first night there, we went to the mall.  They have an American Girl store!  I wanted to go in, but my dad didn't want to.  "You're not going to buy one of those dolls, so why do you want to go there?"  I told him that I just wanted to see a huge store full of dolls.  I just had to look at them through the window, though, because we did not stop there.  I asked "When are we going to do something that I will enjoy???"  My parents told me that they had a surprise for me.

My parents told me that they were taking me to the Breckenridge Fun Park.  They said that there is a rollercoaster that goes down the side of a mountain!  And Segway tours!  And a SuperBungee Trampoline!  And a bunch of other fun stuff!  Ok, this has the potential to be the BEST VACATION EVER!

It was a long car ride from Denver to Breckenridge.  We made a quick stop in Idaho Springs.

It was such a beautiful day, and the views were spectacular! 

We finally arrived in Breckenridge, and it was breathtakingly beautiful!

My dad had started feeling sick in the car on the way there.  We stopped for lunch, and he was so out of breath just walking into the restaurant.  We thought he would be fine after he had something to eat, but he just kept feeling worse.  We tried walking around a bit and he started to feel faint.  Luckily, there was an oxygen bar nearby.

After talking with the workers there, my dad got the maximum amount of oxygen - 45 minutes.  While he did that, me and my mom went shopping in Breckenridge.

There were so many little shops within walking distance, and beautiful scenery all around. 

The weather was wonderful.  The high was 72 that day.  I talked to some other girls my age, and they told me that they had just come back from the fun park.  They said that there was still a little snow up there.  Snow in the summertime?  I couldn't wait to see!  They said that we would have to ride gondolas up to the peak.  I couldn't wait!

After about an hour, me and my mom met my dad back at the oxygen bar.  My dad told me that he was sorry, but we had to leave.  He just was not getting enough oxygen, and he felt sick.  He said that we would have to go back to Denver right away.  WHAT?  BOOOOOOO!

I mean don't get me wrong, I felt bad that my dad was sick.  I could tell that he really did not feel well, but this was the thing that I was looking forward to the most.  We spent all that time driving here just for this.  I was just really disappointed, and I had a hard time hiding it.

All the way back to the car, I kept asking questions.  "Can't Dad just stay at the oxygen bar while we go to the fun park?"  "Can you just leave me here and I'll go to the fun park alone, and Mom can drive Dad back to Denver and pick me up later?"  "Can't Dad just drive back to Denver alone, and Mom can rent a car and drive us back to Denver after we go to the fun park?"  These sounded like reasonable questions to me.  Every question I asked, I was told "No!"  I was so disgusted.

My mom drove us back to Denver.  So I knew it had to be really bad, because my dad always drives when the 2 of them are in a car together.  As we were driving away, I said "I don't see why we ALL have to suffer just because Dad is sick!"  My mother pulled the car over and turned around and looked at me and said "Calista Clementine Knight,!"  Well, I still had stuff to say!  I said "But..." and my mom said "Not another word!"  The way that she looked at me when she said it, I knew that I would be in big trouble if I kept talking.  I plugged my earbuds into my phone and listened to music all the way back to Denver.

The next day, on the way to the airport, we stopped by my Dad's job.  You can see the mountains from there.  If I had an office with this view, I would spend my days gazing at the mountains.

Then it was off to the airport, where we rode the train to our terminal.

I'm still a little disappointed that my trip did not go exactly the way that I wanted it to, but I'm appreciative of the things that I did get to do and see.  I had never been to Denver or Breckenridge, so it was all new to me.  I feel bad that I made my dad feel worse than he already did about not being able to take me to the fun park as planned.  I know that it wasn't his fault that he got sick.  He was so apologetic and he told me that he would make it up to me one of these days.


  1. I feel sorry for Calista- I totally understand that she was reprimanded for her behaviour in a car (but why they didn't try to look for a doctor's help? Grown up man almost fainting is a thing that need to be checked by a professional health care!), but these were really lame vacation. Why can't she stay in a America Girls' store for at least ten minutes? Why couldnt they go and see those concerts last year TOGETHER, for at least half an hour? That wouldnt kill her parents and would be something to remember for her.
    I mean... when we went for vacation we tried to compromised, her parents seem to detest that idea- they plan for her something, but anything extra (last minute ideas of her) are a big no. I cannot help to feel sorry for her- she is spending those vacation without her friends, without her crush, she was kick out from team, vacation kinda... well, weren't that great- anything good waiting for her? She is a rather nice kid, not too much spoiled and I wish her best.

    1. Hi MajorMistakes! Thanks so much for your comments! I haven't updated the Calista's Diary Entries page on this blog yet, but we are now in a new chapter of her diary called "Challenges and Triumphs". I hate to say it, but Calista is about to face an extremely challenging time in her young life. Up until now, she has tried her best to avoid conflict, but she's going to have to learn to face it head on. But rest assured, she has a lot of joy coming, as well. :) I hope that doesn't spoil too much!

      As for her parents, yes they really do need to try harder. They should have at least gone to the American Girl store. I can tell you that they regret having not gone there, since they had to cut out their Breckenridge Fun Park plans. They really did have good intentions to take Calista for a day of fun, but did not anticipate the affects that the high altitude would have on Calista's dad. Calista's family lives in a city that is 700 feet above sea level, and Breckenridge is 9,600 feet above sea level. Many people go there and experience altitude sickness due to lack of oxygen. That's why the oxygen bar stays busy! Calista's dad felt that once he got back to Denver (5,280 feet above sea level), he would feel much better again, and he did. Had they gone to the Fun Park, the elevation would have been close to 12,000 feet above sea level (if they had done the jeep tour as planned). Calista's dad had to accept his own physical limitations and do what he had to do to make sure that he was safe. He feels extremely guilty about it, though, and does plan to make it up to Calista.

  2. Time away from home would count as a vacation - if I were into leaving Philly ever, lol.

    Shame about missing out on the American Girl store. Ten minutes would have been fun.

    The Fun Park is my idea of un-fun. I would have danced to get away from there. Rollercoasters going down the side of a mountain - were they (parents) crazy? Trying to kill me?! The altitude wouldn't have had a chance to work because my nerves and complaints would have halted the trip. And no, this isn't Old Dana; Young Dana would have been worse about it, lol.

    I'm glad to hear that you had fun though. Not as much as you'd have liked, but hey, you got to experience it. And your Dad seems to be recovering. He could have been ill - there'll be other vacations, other trips.

    Still have another month of vacation time. Hope you enjoy it.

    1. Thank you, Miss D7ana. I guess it does count as a vacation, and I did have some fun. It was nice to have something different to do every day. There's probably a lot of fun stuff to do in Philly, but I live in a small city and there's not much going on. So yes, it was nice to get away. My dad is feeling much better now. We may be taking another trip in September - a REAL vacation. My parents are not talking about it much right now because they don't want to disappoint me if it doesn't happen.

  3. I felt bad for Calista. First Bob leaves without giving her enough notice to cope with the idea of losing contact with him during the summer and now this. It seems no one has her best interest at heart. I hope things brighten up for her soon.


    1. Hi Debbie! I feel bad for Calista too! I wanted her to go to the Breckenridge Fun Park so much, and I just imagined what kinds of photos that she'd come back with. I could literally feel her pain because I was... I mean she was so looking forward to a day at the Fun Park. But, even when someone has the best intentions, sometimes things go wrong. People get sick, and that really sucks.

  4. They went to Huntsville, AL and did not visit the Space Center. Are they are old school parents? It's our way or the high way little girl type mentality. How can I find Calista's updated diary blog?

    1. Hi AG Lanc! Ah yes, the Space Center was another missed opportunity for sure. First just let me say that while her parents are a little old school, they love their daughter very much and they do their best.

      What Calista perceives as her parents "being cheap" is actually them trying to recover from a devastating financial crises that began years prior. Calista's parents would never want her to know that their investments, retirement plans, Calista's college fund, and most of their savings had been wiped out. They would rather have Calista think that they are cheap than have their daughter know that they came very close to losing their home. They want their daughter to feel secure and enjoy her childhood, and they will do everything to keep adult worries off of her shoulders.

      When Calista's dad has to travel for business, the family goes along because that is an opportunity for them to travel together while keeping costs low. The problem with that, though, is that Calista's dad has to work while they are on "vacation". When they went to Huntsville, Calista's parents had planned to take her to the Space Center, but it didn't happen. They never told Calista these plans, though, so Calista does not know (her parents feel that they've saved her this disappointment). Calista's dad worked longer hours than expected while in Huntsville, and returned to the hotel night after night physically exhausted. He took the rental car to get back and forth to work every day because Calista's mom does not like to drive in unfamiliar cities. Their hotel was within a cluster of hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, stores, etc., so Calista's mom felt that there would be plenty to keep them busy while Calista's dad worked during the day.

      There is a Calista's Diary Entries tab at the very top of this blog. That page lists the diary entries in order, divided into chapters. It's my goal to keep that page updated, but I am a little behind. Here's the page address:

    2. Thanks for the back story and the link.

  5. Although she had what I consider typical teenage reactions, I didn't like Calista's attitude at all. If I read it right, this was a business trip so the dad did have some other priorities and maybe he needed a break and an adult break can just be sitting around doing nothing instead of going down to a concert. I also get about not going into a store that you aren't going to buy something from. You know how kids are, soon as you are inside, "But why cant you get this for me?" Just don't go in and save the hassle.

    Then her dad gets sick and all she cares about is herself and what that means to her having fun. What a selfish miss.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Muff! I could understand that Calista was upset and extremely disappointed, but I do think that she crossed the line with her final comment - "I don't see why we ALL have to suffer just because Dad is sick!" That did sound extremely selfish and dismissive of what her dad was going through. And yes, this was a business trip for Calista's dad, but he made sure that they would have a day where they could do something fun together, so that it would not be a repeat of the Huntsville business trip. Calista's dad still feels bad that plans for their fun day together fell through.

  6. First I have to address Muff.....American Doll stores are an experience and there are so few of those stores around, a girl should be allowed to go in, even if she's not going to buy anything.

    I do agree Calista overstepped with her rude comments. I'm surprised her mother's comment didn't come with a slap. It had that tone to it.

    Parents shouldn't hide financial issues from the kids. They don't have to give the full explanation. but it's okay to say they have to cutback. Kids aren't stupid. They can usually pick up on things like that.

    1. Hi Vanessa! Thanks for your comments. Regarding the financial issues, Calista's dad has mentioned the economy in the past and stated that they all had to cut back and make sacrifices (The Swap), but Calista is unaware of the more major aspects.

      Calista's parents have never struck her. They were both raised by parents who whooped them with belts, switches, and whatever was handy at the time. They wanted to try a different approach. Calista was a well-behaved and obedient child, so their patience with trying other forms of discipline worked well. Calista was also extremely sensitive, so sometimes all it took was for them to tell her that they were disappointed with her, and she would break down in tears and apologize.

      Lately, Calista has been trying their patience quite a bit. They feel that she has been detached and moody with a bit of an attitude. They hope that this is a phase that will soon pass. As much as Calista's mom has a desire to make different parenting decisions than her own mother, she sounded exactly like her mother when she lost her patience with Calista in the car. Calista's dad teased her later, saying "For a minute there, I thought Mama Watson was in the car with us!" Calista's mom sighed and said "You noticed that too, huh?"

  7. You are a very good writer. You had me going. I thought this really happened.

    1. Thank you Robotica! Calista's diary entries are fiction, but sometimes they have elements of reality. For the entry above, I really did take Calista the doll to Huntsville, Denver, and Breckenridge. Those are actual photos that I took with my cell phone.

      I had planned on going to the Breckenridge Fun Park, but I got sick and instead spent my time there at the oxygen bar. I was so disappointed and so pissed off. It was a little cathartic to write about it from a teen's perspective.

    2. Thats an excellent idea. Sorry your trip didn't go as planned.

    3. Thanks again, Robotica! I am grateful for the things that I did get to see and experience.