As the July 4th weekend approaches and with the kids finally out of school, summer really does seem to be upon us. Which means vacation! Typically that's a good thing, but sometimes it can go horribly, horribly awry.

You know how it goes. The family is all packed together in the car to go somewhere relaxing with nice breezes and cool water when the car breaks down and is towed to the gas station which then gets held up by masked robbers while one of the kids pees himself. Between being in a strange place, trapped with the family, and traveling on the road, it's a situation rife with drama.

I have a vacation horror story of my own from the summer when I was about 12. The family made the long trek down to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and after many long hours fighting restlessly in the car and roaming around lost looking for the hotel where we were staying (a familiar theme on these trips thanks to my father), we finally reach our destination. As we walk into the lobby, it starts to rain, so there's no way we can go to the beach. To say that our accommodations looked a lot worse than the pamphlet would be an understatement. The piles of sand were almost excusable given it was on the beach, but the broken beds, horrible decor, and non-functioning television (on a rainy day at the beach!) were inexcusable. But I had to forget all that. After all that time cramped in the car, my little bladder was ready to explode. I rushed into the bathroom and lifted the toilet seat cover and was greeted by the most enormous floating turd I had ever seen in my young life. I tried to flush it but the toilet was broken and repeatedly pushing the handle resulted in nothing but more dull thuds as the floater aimlessly roamed about the bowl. It was almost enough to make me cry. We checked out immediately, waded through shin-high puddles that formed in the gutter thanks to the downpour, and found another hotel. I'm not sure where I peed. Probably right on the building on the way out.

We know you have even worse tales to share about your worse summer vacation ever. Let us know about the lake house that was falling apart, the time your brother puked on you in the back seat, how you got trapped at the airport and missed your trip to Aruba. Anything that's horrible and vacation-related, we want to hear. You not only get points for the atrocity of your tale, but also how well it's told. The winner will get the admiration of all the commenters on Gawker, a real live star (if you don't have one already), and a brand new beach towel to take with you on what we hope will be a wonderful and incident-free vacation.

Get to the comments and do your best by telling us your worst. (While I love hearing from you, please don't email your stories. Leave them in the comments so everyone can share in your misery!) And if you don't have a commenter account this will tell you how to get one.) Bon Voyage!

[Photo by Christopher Parypa/]