What is your most memorable Holiday mishap?

Both of my tales involve food.

My Uncle loved lebanese salad dressing ( being Lebanese ) and boasted to us all that he had spent ages squeezing lemons and chopping up mint and garlic to fill up a truly massive jar to take to the bach. There was no way he was going to spend his holiday without gallons of the stuff he gloated happily.We had been invited to spend a day at the bach with him and his family who were going to be there 2 full weeks.

He only had a small car so strapped the jar along with other goods to his roof rack as he had a family of 6 and there was no room inside the car. Off we went, my family following behind at reasonable distance as we didn’t know the way to the bach. Disaster struck just as we turned into the gravel driveway of the bach. Off tumbled everything on the roof rack and smash went the jar of salad dressing. I swear I saw tears in my uncles eyes as he contemplated 2 weeks without salad dressing. We all thought it was terribly funny to be honest. We never were invited back.


One Christmas my Mum was invited out with friends on a boat fishing. She offered to bring the lunch. She spent ages packing it into a chilli bin, butter, plates and all kinds of delicious fillings so that everyone could make any kind of sandwich they desired. To make sure that the lunch was extra delicious she decided to buy fresh bread from a bakery on the way to the boat ramp.

After a brilliant afternoon of fishing everyone hungrily eyed Mum as she opened the chilly bin with a flourish. Out came all the delicious fillings and everyone’s mouths began to water. Mum got to the bottom of the chilly bin and froze. She had forgotten to buy the bread.

She said she never forgot the hurried goodbyes when they docked as her starving friends raced for their cars and headed for the nearest takeaway bar.



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  • timemagazine

    That Lebanese dressing must be sooo yummy, can it be used with lettuce? Can you post it in more detail? Please?

    • spanishbride

      Will do when I get home at airport right now

      • Monito

        Yes the Lebanese dressing does sound special would love the recipe.

  • Mad Captain

    Ah, memories of that ham steak in Hahei and the salmonella shuffle. Sun, surf, delirium and bile.

  • I.M Bach

    When the kids were little we ventured to Waikawau Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula. We were pre-warned to bring our own water or boil what we found there. For days we observed this golden rule and had a ball in the glorious weather. On the last day I mistakenly added about a cupful of tap water to the dregs of some orange juice and downed the lot. It took about an hour for both ends to be discharging voluminously and repeatedly.

  • 1951

    Probably the hardest to live through. Back before cell phone or temporary telephone booths, elder son required (my) car so as to drive to holiday job from home, leaving two younger brothers & myself at our most favourite isolated camping ground an hour&1/4 drive away. Unfortuantely it wasn’t till the supplies began to run low did we discover my wallet was still in the car. Being toooo proud to beg/borrow/steal, the three of us did all we could to spread meager supplies, dispersed with pippies, muscles and what ever we could catch, till the workers returned at the weekend. Tough doing subsistence living.

  • ex-JAFA

    This didn’t happen to me or mine, but we were highly amused bystanders. The family bach was at the same beach where Sir Paul Reeves bought a (very basic) bach on his appointment as GG. One lovely day, he was teaching his daughter to sail a simple sailing dinghy, and it tipped them out about 50m from shore. It was hilarious watching his DPS detail running back and forth along the beach in their suits, yelling into their cuffs and generally making a spectacle of themselves whilst being completely ineffective. Sir Paul just stood up in the waist-deep water and yelled at them to stop embarrassing him in front of all his new friends.

    • Momo

      I’m friends with his daughter. Will let her know about this. She will find it really funny.
      When I first met him, I couldn’t work out why he looked familiar. We were at a party so I just thought he was an old All Black. He loved it when he was told.

  • Damon Mudgway

    I thought this is what being Lebanese meant. I’m confused.


  • 28 years ago I visited and climbed Uluru. It was about this time of the year too, stinking hot. The only other people crazy enough to be up there were two other kiwis. Of course it was spectacularly beautiful, and had also rained recently, and we took alot of photos. It wasn’t till after we’d left and went to change the camera film that we realised all those photos of that extraordinary place were in black and white. That was when the roads around Kata Tjuta were unsealed, the road to Uluru wasn’t ticketed off and there was no information regarding how climbing Uluru was culturally insensitive. I’ve been back since and taken decent photos in colour, but not climbed Uluru again.

  • dgrogan

    My granddad (Pop) had made both my brother and I kites for Christmas, a life-time ago.

    He took us up Bastion Point to fly them on Boxing Day. My brother’s flew for about 60 seconds, then crashed in a heap of broken dowels and torn plastic. But, for some reason, mine wouldn’t fly at all. I recall being very upset about it – but pleased it was in one piece at least.

    Pop knew what the problem was; the tail on my kite was too short he told us knowingly. So, to fix it, he proposed taking the tail off Jim’s broken kite and adding it to the tail of mine – he was sure it would then soar like a bird.

    I was so excited about this wonderful reversal of fortune that I started jumping up and down with glee…sadly, right onto the middle of said kite, stretched out on the grass in front of us. Whoops…another heap of broken dowels and limp plastic!

    After we’d trudged home, Gran asked, “How did it go, Thom?”. “Not so good”, was his reply. Was Pop cross? He certainly didn’t show it – but I bet he was livid.

  • caochladh

    Late 70’s, on Waiheke for a two week holiday. Went to local hotel for a few pints then down to beach for a swim. Fell asleep on beach and awoke transformed into a deep fried crispy duck. Spent the two weeks medicated with drip in arm.

  • Nebman

    I have my kids part-time – every year we go away for a week’s holiday in January without fail. Usually we go somewhere that cell phones don’t work, the hunting is good and we stay in good but basic digs. I was never sure how much they enjoyed it until they started to pester me each year about the arrangements. Even my daughters looks forward to it.

    Early January 2014 the weather was not so flash and I decided to run my 4wd up some of the more tricky tracks and let the kids have a crack at the magpies from the ute.

    I engaged 4wd as the track turned dodgy (think central North Island papa clay) and my oldest son suggested I put the chains on. Long story short – he was right and I was wrong as I dismissed his suggestion as beginner’s nerves.

    FIVE hours later after I had dug my nice, shiny 4wd out of the clay and off the side of a very precarious bluff I conceded two things – my next 4wd would have a diff lock and I would listen to my son with just a little more pride and a little less hubris.

    He has of course NEVER let me forget the chains suggestion. Actually I just love him more because of it. But it’s created a shared memory between us all that I’ll never forget or the lesson it taught me.