Sometimes the family vacation isn't a tropical island with dazzling white sand and an aqua blue ocean. But almost always it's visiting relatives.

The Big Guys mother is 93 and spry as anything. We are blessed she's still with us so we can visit her. She's a Champion go-kart racer who could beat the whole family hands down and managed to sneak into the Marshalltown, Iowa fairgrounds to see if her car would go 100 miles per hour. You get the picture. She's a hoot!

So, off we go -- happy to get away for a week no matter where it is. Our flight out of Dallas is very early in the morning, so we go the night before. Save money on the flight to spend it at the hotel. How smart is that? At the airport , our gate gets changed but we don't hear the announcement and miss our flight. After a few choice words -- and a couple Bloody Marys -- we finally boarded another plane some five hours later. And that's just day one of an eight-day vacation!

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