Travel,Water Adventures

Travel Mishaps: 5 Times I Failed at Being a Mermaid

Snorkel Devil's Den

Summer is here and for me that means let’s do all the water things! All of  ’em! In my mind, I’m a black mermaid.

I love to go tubing in the springs, snorkel, go to waterparks, and play in the waves at the beach. I was just reminiscing with my mom and my son about the time we took her snorkeling for the first time and it made me chuckle and start to think about how many other travel mishaps I have had in the water.

Gather around kids; it’s story time!! Here’s the first installment of my travel mishaps series.  I’m going to tell you about 5 times I failed at being a mermaid.

5. We lost my mother in the Caribbean Sea.

St. Thomas Photo Credit: Lauren Gay


In 2014 I took my mom and son on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate her 60th birthday. Me, being the adventurous spirit that I am, thought doing a snorkeling tour would be a great bucket list activity for my mom to check off. I didn’t force her. She wanted to do it (at least I think she wanted to).

We were in St. Thomas and we went out on a catamaran. The seas were calm so I thought this would be a nice easy day. After getting fitted with our snorkel gear it was time to jump in the water. My mom got in with her noodle floaty and I thought everything was fine.

We had a guide in the water with us to show us the reefs and dive down and bring up conch and starfish to let us touch them.  My son and I are just swimming and snorkeling along and then my son asked, “Where’s Mimi?”

She literally had just been right next to me. We’re calling for her and searching all around and we can’t find her. Now I’m panicking. She’s wearing an air vest and using a noodle and she can swim so her chances of drowning are pretty slim but things happen.

My son spots her about 40 yards away from us in the opposite direction of our group. He swam out to get her and bring her with us but she had enough. She just wanted to get back on the boat and drink her rum.

It was her first time in open water like that and she panicked and then got lost and ended up with another tour group. Clearly I didn’t get my mermaid gene from her. Bless her heart.

4. Beach wardrobe malfunction.


I’m not normally a 2 piece kind of girl and that’s when I think losing your top in the water is a far higher risk. I was wearing a cute halter tie one-piece on the beach  during a weekend getaway with my boyfriend at the time.

We were having a great time playing and jumping in the waves. The waves were a bit stronger than usual because a storm had recently passed.

I remember jumping through a really big wave and it knocked me down. I stood up and my boyfriend literally jumped in front of me like he was catching a bullet!

He’s like “Babe!!!!!” I’m completely unaware that the wave had hit me so hard my boobs popped completely out of the top of the swimsuit!



Talk about embarrassing. The good thing is the beach is small and private and it was super early in the morning so there weren’t hundreds of people there. Just a few old leathery people who honestly didn’t seem to notice.

3. My rope swing was an epic fail.

We love going on the Weeki Wachee River. It’s crystal clear turquoise water with a white sandy bottom. Along the river there are places where you can jump from a tree or swing from a rope and jump into the water.

My son and my friend decided they would climb the tree and jump. I wanted to do the rope swing instead.

I took the rope and inched toward the edge of the bank. What I thought would be a glorious Tarzan style swing with a graceful plop into the water did not end that way at all.  I looked like an awkward flailing chicken.

I didn’t get any height or momentum so it was like I just clumsily walked/fell into the water. My son has still not let me live that down. I brought shame to the family name, our cows (which we don’t have), and our ancestors. I’m a disgrace.

Yes, there’s video. No I’m not posting it. Y’all not gonna make a GIF outta me. No sir.

I wasn’t quite this bad. I mean I did at least land in the water. Curse you rope swing!

2. Wave pools are the devil.


Kalahari Resort Wave Pool


I love waterparks. However I have a love hate relationship with the wave pool. At Disney Typhoon Lagoon, the wave pool produces a literal tsunami. You hear a loud boom and then you know the mother of all waves is coming for you. On one of our visits there, that big ass wave caught me slipping.

I was way out in at least 5ft of water when the wave came and it pushed me all the way into the shallowest part. I couldn’t get my balance and my elbows scraped the bottom.

Nothing like 2 bloody elbows to ruin your day at the waterpark. After that I swore off wave pools for a while.

A couple of years later we were there again and I decided I would give it another chance. What a terrible idea.

Wave pool – 2 ;  Lauren – 0

I still have the scars to remind me.

1. Outdoory Diva and the vanishing camera.

We went swimming with manatees last year which is still one of the best experiences I have ever had. They were so friendly and curious and interacted with us.

As you can imagine I would not wait to get home and look at all of the video and pics I took with my underwater action camera. I was devastated when I climbed up on the boat and realized the camera had come unhinged from my selfie stick!

I was literally on the verge of tears. The instructor swam back out to the spring to search for it but he couldn’t find it and visibility in that area was pretty poor due to all of the sediment being churned up.

Many many months later, a stranger contacted a church in Atlanta where my best friend and her family attend and said he had come across some pictures of one of their members. One of the pics was from a baby dedication and he could see the name of the parents on the certificate.  It was my best friend’s son’s baby dedication!

The church contacted my best friend and she called me because he said there were also pics of underwater stuff.    OH MY GAWD!

This was my camera that I lost in the spring!! But how????

The church put me in touch with the guy and I called him. He and his family were visiting Crystal River and they were on a snorkel tour. One of his kids found the camera in the spring.

When he got it home and opened up the waterproof case he was able to charge it with a phone charger and see the pics.

What a good Samaritan because he could have just erased the memory card and gone on about his business! He mailed the camera to me a few days later.

At least this was a misadventure with a happy ending!



Now it’s your turn!  Tell me about one of your  hilarious or embarrassing travel mishaps! It can be in the water or just during vacation in general. Don’t leave me hanging.


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  • Reply
    Evelyn Reese
    June 25, 2017 at 1:46 am

    This was an entertaining post. I loved it and the pictures and video clips were very appropriate.

  • Reply
    Elle (CleverlyChanging)
    June 26, 2017 at 7:02 am

    “Just a few old leathery people.” OMG this was so hilarious. I think I see the same old leathery people when I go to the beach.

  • Reply
    Mimi Green
    June 26, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Oh these are good. That rope swing though, I’m not going to do it. My biggest travel fail was when I blacked out on the plan coming home from Puerto Rico.

    It wasn’t cute and I was pregnant. I freaked out the flight crew so bad I had all free everything my entire flight back.

    • Reply
      June 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      On NO! I’ve never passed out on a plane but I’ve come darn close to it!

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