Just Passin Through: Miserable vacation teaches traveler lesson in trust

By Angela Peacock

Cross-country traveling has taught Kelly Thomas a huge lesson about the trustworthiness of strangers.

Thomas and her family of Pittsburg, Texas had been saving for countless months to take a family vacation to Florida so their daughter Kimberly could go to the amusement parks but more importantly so the family could create some priceless memories. An unforgettable nightmare was what they received instead.

Thomas said she and her husband were traveling with an estimated $700 in cash plus their credit cards. They had stopped for the night in Mobile, Ala. and were playing in the pool when all their money and credit cards disappeared from the hotel room.

“We had about six dollars to our name and an old credit card I hadn’t used in years,” said Thomas, beginning to cry as she recalled the experience. “You don’t know how bad it feels not to be able to feed your child when she’s hungry.”

Thomas stopped at Loves Country Store on her way home from visiting her father in Albuquerque after he recently had both knees replaced, and she said considering the demolished dream vacation three summers ago road trips since then haven’t even compared to it as unpleasant.

“I enjoy New Mexico. I’ve visited Ruidoso, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Farmington. This trip hasn’t been bad. The only thing is the speed limits in Albuquerque are too high. It’s too congested for people to be traveling so fast,” Thomas said.

Having added a new addition to her family since her “vacation from hell,” Thomas said she can hardly wait to arrive home to her children, especially since the youngest’s birthday is Christmas Eve.

“I’m a housewife and I think this is the longest I’ve ever been away from home. It will be really nice to finish the 14-hour trip back to Texas,” Thomas said.