Vacationing with Jigger

Posted: May 21, 2016 in Humor
Tags: ,

Not us, but you get the vibe.

It was 21-years ago today when we lost him . . .

I’ve written about Jigger before, but he did so many crazy things there’s no way they’d fit into one story. So with summer coming, I’d thought I’d relate of few vacation stories to brighten your day.

Jigger used to decide to go on vacation at the drop of a hat. A phone call like this at 11:00 in the morning wasn’t uncommon:


“Hey, let’s go to New York City.”

“Uh, OK. When?”

“We’ll pick you up at 3:00.”

“Wait . . .”


I’m being completely serious here. You can ask my sister Karen. We’d just throw some stuff in a suitcase and roll on out.

That particular New York City trip was interesting, to say the least. Besides myself and my first wife, there was Jigger and Karen, their 3-kids at the time and one of their friends, whose mother apparently had no problem trusting us with her daughter on a 5-day trip to one of the largest cities the world on a couple hour’s notice.

For some reason, I assume a financial one, we decided that we’d all stay in one room during our first night outside the city. Let’s count heads again – Me, my wife, Jigger, Karen, Sasha, Josh, Canon, and Sasha’s friend Lisa. That’s a grand total of eight.

Eight. In one room.

I’ll never forget when we checked in. Perhaps because it was a cheap hotel, the ownership had zero problems with all of us staying in one room. However, the person at the front desk was a bit incredulous:

Front Desk: “You do realize there are only two beds in this room, correct?”

Jigger: “We don’t give a damn about the number of beds. We’re just looking for floor space.”

He actually said that. I have witnesses. Mercy.

Once we got closer to The Big Apple (with no prior plans, reservations or course of action), we hopped on a train and made our way downtown. I distinctly remember, for the first time in my life, experiencing vertigo at the top of the Empire State Building. I also remember standing at the foot of the World Trade Center, looking straight up. Damn, it was tall. I can’t imagine watching it come down some 13-years later.

Later on, around dusk, we were in Macy’s and decided to make our way back to Grand Central Station to catch a train out of town. We had no idea which way to go, so Jigger called a NYC cop over and asked for directions. Here’s the conversation that transpired:

Jigger: “How do we get to Grand Central Station?”

Cop: “It’s getting dark and you have kids with you. Do you want the quickest way or the safest way?”

Jigger, after 3-seconds of contemplation and without taking a vote: “Screw it, give me the quickest way. We want to taste some of the local flavor.”

Well, we tasted the local flavor alright. Let’s just say we walked through a parade of winos, beggars, prostitutes, gang bangers and other assorted ne’er-do-wells. My nieces and nephews, to their credit, marched on bravely as Jigger occasionally stopped to point out random homeless folk living in cardboard boxes or men performing lewd acts with assorted fruits and/or sewer rats.

Hey, it was an educational trip after all.  Somehow, we made it back to our hotel and, eventually, home. Come to think of  it, I believe it was during this trip that we swung by Hershey, Pennsylvania on the way home and toured the chocolate factory. See, we experienced wholesome entertainment too!

Speaking of educational trips, one summer Jigger thought this would be a great 3-day itinerary for a family excursion:

Monday: Budweiser Plant Tour, Lexington, NC.

Tuesday: R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Tour, Winston-Salem, NC. This was a cigarette factory, as it were.

Wednesday: Maker’s Mark Distillery Tour, Loretto, KY.


Not exactly COSI, but whatever.

Seriously, this was the trip on which we took the children. In all honesty, all three tours were really cool, at least for the adults. On a related note, I wonder if they still give those tours of the cigarette factory? Seems sort of politically incorrect for some reason.

We also used to go to Las Vegas or Atlantic City at the drop of a hat. The phone would ring and the next thing you’d know we’d be headed to the airport.

And money never seemed to be a consideration. I remember once telling him that I couldn’t afford to go to the beach over Easter Break, and after listening to his spiel for 5-minutes he had me utterly convinced that I’d actually lose money if I stayed home. Not even kidding. What can I say? Jigger was a persuasive guy.

I don’t go on impromptu trips like that much anymore. They sort of died with Jigger. It seems as if I have to plan everything out in advance now, with complicated preparations and reservations and all that kind of stuff.

And you know what?

It’s not nearly as much fun.


Gimme a holler.

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