Family Vacation 2011 – The Eyesight Escapade

This year was a “big” family vacation (we alternate “big” and “little” vacations each year). Because I’ve been in school for the past two years, including straight through two summers, I promised the kids that once I graduated we could take a vacation to Disneyland. In our opinion October is the best time to visit Disneyland because it’s not crowded and not too hot. We usually plan it around UEA weekend and just make sure we don’t go on that Friday because it’s filled with Utahns who also had the same brilliant idea.

The first day of vacation we went to the beach in Huntington Beach. The kids like this beach better than the Crystal Cove State Park beach that’s right near the hotel. Huntington Beach has more sand and is more what the kids think a beach should be although I do enjoy walking the bluffs and exploring the tide pools at the Crystal Cove beach.

A one-legged pigeon at the beach.
A one-legged pigeon at the beach.

Unfortunately, I enjoyed the beach a bit too much and waded into the water with my glasses on. I thought, “I won’t go out very far” but a few seconds later a big wave caught me up and swept me off my feet. When I spluttered up I was missing my glasses. A few seconds of scrounging around for them in the roiling sand and froth proved futile and I realized they were toast. What do to? I’m blind as a bat, it’s late in the day, and tomorrow is our first day at Disneyland. There was no way I was going to spend the whole day at Disneyland squinting and not being able to see. My stupid episode with the wave was about to spoil the whole trip.

At the beach
At the beach

I started working the cell phone immediately to see if I could find a place that would make me new glasses. I found a place that was open until 5:30 (it was 4:30 in the afternoon at the time) and would be happy to make me some new glasses – could I tell them my prescription? Uhh, nope. I don’t have a clue what my prescription is. I haven’t had my prescription updated in years. “Let me call you back”, I said. I spent the next 10 minutes in more frantic cell-phone dialing and I finally found a place not too far from the beach with a doctor that had an opening at 4:45 – could I get there in 15 minutes? You bet I could!

We all piled into the car, much to the chagrin of the kids and the annoyance of Nancy, and set off to see the eye doctor. I also called back the optical shop and told them I couldn’t get there any earlier than 5:30. “No problem,” they said, “Have the doc fax over the prescription and we’ll stay open late and make the glasses for you.” Wohoo!

Cold but fun...
Cold but fun…

At the doctor’s office, the kids had to wait in the car in all their beachiness while I took my beachiness into the office and got my exam. About 30 minutes later we dashed out of the doctor’s office with prescription in hand (my eyes have definitely gotten worse over the years) and barreled over to the optical shop where I picked out a new set of frames and waited while he cut the lenses for me. Ahh, the blessings of modern plastic lenses that don’t have to be ground but can be simply cut and framed on the spot. By 6:30 I was the proud new owner of a pair of glasses and we were on our way back to the hotel.

Thanks to Nancy and the kids for being pretty good sports with the whole process when they were all tired and hungry and wet and would have rather just gone back to the hotel. Thanks also to Dr. Joseph Powell for squeezing me in on short notice and Mo at Main Street Eyewear for staying open late for us and saving the vacation!

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