Readers' anecdotes prove once again that travel is definitely stranger, funnier, and more heartwarming than fiction.
Next Prize: All-Inclusive Jamaica
The best response that we receive between November 1 and November 30, 2007, wins a four-night trip for two to Jamaica from Air Jamaica (800/523-5585, airjamaica.com), the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort (800/465-4329, montegobayjam.sunspreeresorts.com), and the Jamaica Tourist Board (800/233-4582, visitjamaica.com). The prize includes round-trip air from the Air Jamaica gateway closest to the winner's home and four nights at the all-inclusive Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Montego Bay.
How to Enter
Send your story to: TrueStories@BudgetTravel.com or True Stories, Budget Travel, 530 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10018. To view the full contest guidelines, visit BudgetTravel.com/truestories.
This Month's Winner!
The winner of this month's contest is Lucy Zamary of North Lima, Ohio. Her prize: a seven-night Caribbean cruise from Royal Caribbean International.
In Rome, my son was entertained by a boy playing the violin in Campo de' Fiori. Rather than finish his dinner, he joined the violinist, dancing happily in front of him. As a joke, my husband put a hat near the boys. Onlookers were so entertained that they began to drop euros into the hat. My son earned more than €20 during his 20 minutes of dancing! We gave the money to the young violinist and treated both of the kids to gelato.
Always a Bridesmaid...
My dream wedding began on the deck of a Windjammer ship off the coast of Nevis. I was ready, complete with flowers in my hair, but also apprehensive since I had no maid of honor. Ready to go it alone, I walked down the deck--only to spot a hysterical surprise. Next to my fiancé was a lovely attendant--the fun-loving captain, in a yellow silk dress. My fiancé had convinced him to join our wedding. My bouquet was a perfect match for his dress! Mary Falcon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
Making Out With the Thing
Utah's Arches National Park is full of really incredible sights, so I was confused when my husband asked me to stop along a hiking trail, turn my head, and stick out my tongue. I soon realized why--the rock next to us had its "tongue" sticking out too! Allison Castano, Westminster, Colo.
My sister and I were cruising on the Mexican Riviera when I mentioned that I could use a new hairstyle. Not knowing what I wanted, I started looking at other women on board. Almost immediately I spotted a lady with the perfect hairdo. The final day of the cruise, I approached her, and I told her how much I liked her hair. Her companions seemed to be stifling laughter, but I gushed on. "Is it easy to maintain?" I asked. "Do you have a natural curl?" Very gently she smiled and said, "Honey, it's a wig." Maggie Zeibak, San Clemente, Calif.
But if He Cuts It Off, How's He Going to Return the Coat?
My husband, Ken, is a construction worker with few reasons to wear a suit. Before our Caribbean cruise, he bought a new one for formal night. It was a wonderful cruise made even better by friends we made on board. They had a similar sense of humor and especially enjoyed our Jeff Foxworthy–type jokes (as in, "You might be a redneck if..."). On formal night, one of our new friends said, "I got one! You might be a redneck if you buy a sport coat for your cruise and forget to take off the tag!" Sure enough, a big tag saying 42 SHORT was still on Ken's sleeve. Kim Kelly, Signal Mountain, Tenn.
Last December, Danette Oein won a vacation rental courtesy of Rentalo.com, for her story about a nude bicyclist in San Francisco. She recently returned from Reykjavik, Iceland, where she spent five nights. "The apartment was perfect: great size, immaculately clean, centrally located," she says. "My friend and I visited the Blue Lagoon, rode Icelandic horses, and saw amazing natural sites such as volcanoes and waterfalls."