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It's Raining...Now What?

Traveleidoscope:  Photo courtesy of Erik Witsoe and Unsplash

We’ve all been on vacations that depended on a certain kind of weather – beach vacations need sun, ski vacations need snow, etc. And we’ve probably all been on vacations when the weather gods were not particularly cooperative. I know I’ve been there. Even though the weather gods have smiled upon me the majority of the time, occasionally they throw tantrums and wreak havoc with my carefully planned itinerary. So what’s a girl (or guy) to do? Here are four suggestions for salvaging your vacation when the weather isn't cooperating.

1. Find a museum

On a cycling trip to Lake Placid, NY, it poured buckets for three straight days. Lucky for us, Lake Placid is such a quaint little village. It’s hard to imagine that it actually hosted the Olympic games – twice! So, instead of cycling, we visited the Olympic Museum. We learned that in the wake of the 1972 tragedy at the Munich Olympics, the athletes' quarters for the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid were built in the style of a prison for extra security – and now it’s actually used as a prison!

On a cycling trip through Belgium, it rained constantly for a week (notice a theme?). By day 4, our bike shoes had gotten so waterlogged that they weren’t drying out overnight. Instead of cycling and being cold, wet and miserable, we decided to visit, among other places, the Museum Dr. Guislain in Ghent. It’s housed on the site of a former psychiatric hospital and chronicles how mental illness has been treated over the centuries. Ok, so it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but it was actually really interesting!

On a dive trip in North Carolina, the seas were so rough that the dive shop called off all diving for two days! Even though the ocean was too rough for diving, the weather was still great for sightseeing. We drove around the historic area of Beaufort and also visited Fort Macon State Park, in Atlantic Beach. It ended up being a great day.

2. Do the trip in a different way

Our Belgium cycling trip could have been a complete washout – no pun intended. But, we figured out other ways to save our vacation. For example, one day we were scheduled to ride from Bruges to Den Haan, a seaside resort. So, instead of cycling the route, we got in our car and drove it, with obvious changes since we were driving not cycling. True, it was still raining when we got to Den Haan, but it was much nicer enjoying the ocean view over a cup of coffee from the comfort of a café, rather than feeling like a half drowned, shivering rat, cranking it out on the slippery wet cobbles in the driving rain.

3. Go to the movies or bowling

Maybe going to the movies isn’t your idea of a vacation, but it’s indoors and it’s entertaining. Plus you can get popcorn! Bowling is also a fun activity to consider!

4. Drink and eat

For such a compact town, Bruges, Belgium certainly packs in a ton of things to do, so we had no problem finding activities to occupy our time even though we couldn't cycle. Among them was doing a tour of the De Halve Maan, or Half Moon, Brewery. If you’ve been on brewery tours before, this one is a great addition. It’s less than an hour so it keeps your attention and really goes into the history of the brewing process. Be forewarned though, you’ll have to climb some narrow stairs along the way. The tour ends on the roof of the brewery which has fantastic views of Bruges. Oh, and a complimentary beer is included in your tour! Cheers!

Ok, this probably goes under number 1, but besides doing the brewery tour when we were in Bruges, we also went to the French Fry Museum - really - it exists! It was fascinating to learn that food truck vendors go into a lottery for a chance to win a lucrative french fry vendor license. But here’s why I put this under the “Eat” heading - the best part - at the end of the museum tour you can eat fries! And not too far from the French Fry Museum is the Choco-story Chocolate Museum, where you can learn about the history of chocolate making in Belgium. Disclaimer: We skipped the Choco-story Chocolate Museum and headed directly to several chocolate shops ….

What have you done when the weather isn't cooperating? I'd love to hear about them on Facebook or in Traveleidoscope's comment section!

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