I'd finally gotten my mom psyched up enough to try a short cruise (SoCal to Mexico, 3 day trip) and the itinerary was changed due to swine flu, so she decided to postpone the cruise (actually, a family cruise involving my stepdad and little brother too) until later. But that left a gaping hole in the 'something to look forward to' calendar, so mom decided that everyone could do with a nice little weekend getaway to Mammoth. She invited me and Ryan, but we declined (too far for my taste -- it's ~8 hour drive each way and they were only staying one night).
What we missed was this: on the way out, Darrell (my stepdad) forgot his fishing license, so they had to drive 40 miles back to the house to retrieve it. Once back on the freeway, they pulled into the toll-only lane, only to get pulled over by a cop for 'evading a tollbooth' and even though they showed him the FastTrack transponder in the car (it automatically collects your tolls so you don't have to stop at the booth), he didn't believe them for some reason, so they got some monstrous ticket. Traffic was a nightmare and they stopped at some random exit just before the 'end of the road' for a quick snack, where the only restaurant was Burger King. Arrived Mammoth just 4 minutes before the cabin rental office was closing for the weekend and picked up their keys, only to realize that there was not a single restaurant or grocery store still open (they'd been in the car for something like 10 hours at this point). Mom woke up in the middle of the night, horribly sick with food poisoning. The next day, they spent all day fishing and only mom (who doesn't care about fishing) was catching anything, which sent the two dudes into a huff. After dinner in town that night, they went out to find the car battery dead. AAA said that they couldn't respond to battery emergencies after 9pm (it was now 9:15pm) and mom had to beg and plead and bribe the guy to come out and help them, because there was NO WHERE left in town that was still open and they were 15 miles away from their cabin. He came out and she had to pay him a ridiculous amount of money to switch out her battery (this is normally covered by AAA at no cost, BTW). Sunday they checked out of the cabin and went to do a little more fishing, where once again mom's was the only line touched and the dudes pouted and got crazy sunburned. Then they got back in the car and sat in 10 hours of traffic to get home.
I feel bad for my poor mom, who always has everyone's best intentions at heart. But all the same, I'll pass on any High Sierras fishing adventures. Hopefully someday Swine Flu Mania will die down and the cruise lines can offer trips to Mexico again so that mom can experience a real weekend vacation.