Family Vacation Gets Bugged!

There’s something with a Rupp family vacation that always turns into a quite interesting story. I wrote this in January of ’08 for a Christian Writer’s Guild assignment.

“Was that a bat?” My mom asked with terror in her voice and eyes.

“Yes, as a matter of fact it was.” the tour guide at Ohio Caverns in West Liberty Ohio answered. “You’re very lucky to see a bat in the Caverns. Not everyone gets to see one flying down here.”

My family and I stopped here on our way to Logan, Ohio to rent a cabin in the Hocking Hills area of Southern Ohio for our family vacation in November. Just as Mom’s heart rate was starting to slow to a normal beat, she caught sight of another bat flying around the corner of the intersecting tunnels in the cavern. She shrieked and grabbed onto my sister.

“Sorry,” Mom apologized to the tour guide, “I’m scared of bats.”

“That’s alright,” He replied. “You did well compared to some of the other people who’ve come into the cavern scared of bats.” Chuckling, he continued, “One man was so scared when he saw a bat that he got down and wrapped his arms around my ankles!”

A few hours after that adventure, we arrived at our cabin, a one and a half story wood house, with a loft and a basement. The owner of the cabin was waiting there already, uncovering the hot tub on the back porch, ready to show us around. He led us up the steps on the wrap around porch to the front door and stepped inside. Before us was a homey living room with an overstuffed couch and chair and a big screen TV. The stairs to a two-bed loft with a balcony, where we kids would sleep, were visible as soon as we walked in the door. Across the room from the doorway was a table for eating and a kitchen came into view as we walked around the corner. Other doorways led to a master bedroom, a bathroom, and a basement, which was home to the games, such as foosball and eight ball.

As we stood in the kitchen, the owner went over the guidelines we needed to know about living in the cabin for a few days. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a small black object buzzing in and out of the indented ceiling near a light. I whipped my head around to see a wasp buzzing right towards me!

Ducking to avoid it, I stifled a scream. I hate wasps, and I soon found out that little guy wasn’t the only one living in the house. The house was filled with little black pests! First bats, now wasps. What next?

“The pest control is coming on Friday,” The cabin owner quickly told us. Friday was the day after we would be leaving. “But they probably won’t bother you.”

Yeah, right.

“But,” The man grabbed a fly swatter and swatted the wasp who was hanging around our heads. “Here’s your weapon in case you need it.” He said, handing dad the fly swatter.

I laughed a little at his attempt to humor, but I knew this vacation was not going as I planned. Wasps were not in my plan.

My siblings, Emily and Alex, and I were originally assigned to sleep in the loft, Emily and I would sleep in one bed and Alex in the other. But when we found out the loft was where the wasps were living because they liked the natural light coming from the two picture windows on the ceiling, Alex’s eyes grew large and, hauling all his pillows and blankets with him, he decided he wanted to sleep down on the couch in the living room tonight. As soon as he left, I grabbed my things and leapt for his bed. Ahhh…my own bed.

But after a few days, my sister Emily and I ended up sleeping in the foldout futon in the basement, because there were just too many wasps up in the loft. Dad would spend hours up there swatting at them. At first, we thought they were squeezing through the doors to the balcony, but we shut it tight that night and still, we woke up to more wasps in the morning.

One night before bed, I had to go to the bathroom, so I walked confidently into the basement bathroom. I knew there wouldn’t be any wasps down here in the basement because, so far, we hadn’t seen any and there’s no possible way for them to get down there. I flipped the light switch on, and much to my surprise, a wasp began to buzz toward the brightness of the light. I slammed the door and ran upstairs.

“Dad,” I called breathlessly. “There’s a wasp in the basement bathroom.”

Dad sighed loudly and reluctantly followed me down the stairs.

He opened the bathroom door, turned on the light, and closed the door behind him. It was quiet for a while, and then Mom came down, joining him in his quest for this little insect.

Then after a while, the silence was broken, and I knew they must’ve found the wasp.

“Ahhh!!!” Mom screamed. “Get it!”

I heard a smack from dad using the fly swatter, or “the weapon.” “Take that!” he said. No wonder the cabin owner called it a weapon. “And that!” Smack! “And that one’s for all your buddies!” Dad said slapping it some more.

Later, Dad searched the basement for possible ways a wasp could get in. The door to upstairs was not a solution because we never left it open. Dad moved over to the fireplace and looked up the chimney.

“The flue’s not shut all the way,” Dad noted, pulling on the flap that lets the smoke out when a fire is burning. Once he got it shut, he went upstairs to shut the other fireplace’s flue.

The next few days, we didn’t find any more wasps. That’s probably where they were coming in, I thought to myself.

On the day we were going to leave, Mom was filling out a page of a tablet about our time at the cabin that we’d been encouraged by the cabin owner to do. After she finished filling it out, she and Emily were looking through other peoples’ comments about their time they spent at the cabin. One couple said that they woke up to an owl in their cabin one night!

Strange to say, but I sure am glad we only had wasps.


  1. My family always has wacky vacation stories, too! But thankfully I can say I've never had an experience like yours. ;)


  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one with wacky vacation stories!


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