Saturday, May 2, 2009

Take Me There...

Summer Vacation. The phrase sounds just like a little piece of heaven! My family & I went on vacations each summer when I was a little girl. I've been to many of the states in the US. I remember bits & pieces, but wish I remembered more... Here are some of my accounts from past vacations, which I have touched on in recent posts.

One of my more vivid vacation experiences is when my family went out west when I was around 7 years old. We took a 3-week trip and saw several states. I can clearly remember my dad, while pulling a travel trailer, driving on excruciatingly scary curvy roads. The 'curves' were much more like sharp turns, and most of the time, there were no guard rails to be seen.

I remember Dad having to honk the horn while going around these 'curves' and the horns still honking in my head long after we stopped driving.

I have 2 very clear memories from this trip... the first being absolutely amazing, in my opinion...

We were going around one of those sharp turn-curves I mentioned, and when we looked down, hundreds of feet, there were old cars piled at the bottom of this huge drop. I could not believe it! This was in Arizona. I believe there should be a name for this spot, and it should definitely be a tourist attraction to promote better driving. Those people that sped over the huge cliff learned their lesson... but they learned it a bit too late to change their ways. I like to think that the people survived, but there was no possible way of pulling the cars out of the pile-up hundreds of feet down. This was educational for me, and I still think about it. It was awful and amazing at the same time.

The second memory I enjoy recalling also took place in Arizona and has to do with my father, who can be extremely funny and impulsive! My brother wanted a cactus. He wanted a cactus really bad. My dad finally got so tired of hearing about the cactus, he pulled over on the side of the road in Arizona, walked right out to a small cactus and tried to rip it out of the ground. Dad's hands were covered in spines and I knew, although he had very rough and tough hands from years of work, he had hurt himself. It was an experience... I promise you that! And I still bring it up to my dad! Impulse cacti-picking is not for the weak or faint of heart. :0) We did not come home with a cactus. My poor brother. My poor dad's hands.

Now, I would like to share with you a wonderful memory from a summer vacation with my family when I was in the 4th grade. Our family went to Hocking Hills to camp in Ohio (a couple of hours from home). There were many activities going on at the shelter house, and when we camped, I tended to get involved in the activities taking place, and liked to make lots of friends (and boyfriends)...

I heard through the campground grapevine that there was going to be a singing contest! My love for singing pushed me to enter. I sang "Somewhere out There" from The American Tale. I won! I remember being so excited! My prize consisted of riding on a golf cart to the campground store, and picking out any t-shirt of my choice, on the house! I chose a pink Garfield shirt. I wore it to bed for YEARS! I'm sure it still resides in my parents' attic. I may even see it again one day! I remember Garfield was half gone last time I saw it, from repeated wash & wear. I was extremely proud of that t-shirt!

The following story is my first real vacation memory with my husband... and I still ache to go back:

Last November, my husband and I went to Atlantic City, New Jersey for our 10 year wedding anniversary. It was amazing! We budgeted and planned, and it was 4 days and 3 nights of bliss! Although it hovered between 50 & 60 degrees while we were there, and the sun didn't come out until the last day we were there, it was magical!

Joel, my husband, is very laid back... so laid back that I often get discouraged, because he is perfectly content to sit at home and stick to the routine of life. I am not this way. I like to experience things! To be impulsive (thanks Dad!) and try new, fun things! Vacations have always been on the top of my list of things to do, but Joel has always been nonchalant about vacationing, so I have pretty much let it sit on the back burner, just keeping it warm enough to know that one day I'd fire it up, and we'd finally escape Ohio!

When we started planning our trip, I was so extrmely excited! Joel didn't seem so excited. He had never seen the ocean. That shocked me! I couldn't wait to show it to him, and although he was not doing cartwheels at the thought of seeing a hugely beautiful body of water, I knew he'd be impressed once we got there.

I was right. Joel loved the vacation experience just as much as I did. I remember one night we had returned to our hotel room after walking on the boardwalk, having a homeless man yell at us (and others) to "GO DIE", eating pizza on the beach and checking out the strip of casinos. Once we got back to our room, I washed my face, got ready for bed and settled in. Joel looked at me and said, "you wanna go down to the casino?" I was in heaven! Such a shock for me! Joel was finally doing something on a whim! Atlantic City was bringing out the best in my husband. I liked it! I loved it!

We did a lot of things the 4 days we were there. I was so happy. I missed the kids, but knowing they were safe, I was able to truly enjoy myself and relax... and so was Joel. I can't wait to go back... whether it be Atlantic City or another city... I am looking forward to a WARM trip to the beach!

My dream vacation is to rent a house right on the beach... to watch the kids playing in the sand, building sandcastles and screaming with joy! My husband will write "Joel Loves Kelly" in the sand big enough for passing airplanes to see. I will sit on the beach with my collection of books, my notebook for future blogs, my babies surrounding me and my husband staring out at the ocean, that he once didn't care about, in awe... I want to start making our own vacation memories... ones the kids can laugh about and blog about one day...

I hope to be there soon...

1 comment:

  1. I always enjoy your posts -- esp this one. I love the cactus story and the recount of atlantic city. I can't speak for the west coast but I think I can honestly say that of all the eastern states (not fl) new jersey's beaches are the most expansive and beautiful. can't wait to go back :)