At its heart, The Cottagers is the story of a vacation gone terribly, terribly wrong. Two couples set out for a peaceful spot, to recharge and unwind, but they've picked the wrong town and the wrong week and they run into the wrong local kid. It's just these little things, these random decisions that taken together turn the good vacation bad.
In many ways, vacations are a fragile thing, prone to being ruined. It takes so little to wreck the best laid plans. And while, thankfully, few of us have had vacations as bad as the cottagers', most of us have likely had a vacation run off the rails. A wayward sip of tap water can send the whole thing down the drain. An impolitic or drunken tour guide can leave one, quite literally, stranded. Broken down rental cars, monorails, theme park rides, and golf carts can jar one out of blissful relaxation. Sticky fingered hotel staff and roving pickpockets can turn you into one of those poor saps from the credit card commercials making desperate phone calls to get hard-earned funds replenished. Missed trains, missed planes, and luggage fiascoes have been the bane of many a holiday. On some vacations, one's haggling skills are put to the test, on others, you just shell out the dough for the "all inclusive" package and hope for the best. Poorly timed vacations can lead to run ins with Spring Breakers or overwhelming crowds at the Louvre. Sometimes, something as minor as a steady, persistent rain can throw off the delicate balance of fun and relaxation that all vacations seek out.
Funny thing about bad vacations, though, they make for really good stories, whether in book-length form, as in The Cottagers or just as a tale to tell to friends upon returning home, as memorable as Big Ben or the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China. And so, as part of Cottagers week, we'd like you to share your bad vacation stories in the comments of this post. A lucky winner will be randomly selected from among the entrants to win their very own copy of The Cottagers.
And look out for "bad vacation" stories from LBC members coming throughout the day.