Wednesday, September 10, 2008

getting there is half the fun

i have very fond memories of childhood family vacations. someday i want to be able to take trips with our kids...when mr. husband has a job that doesn't require him to work seven days a week & when we actually have money to spend on taking a vacation. until then, i'll just pine away and day dream about the times we spent getting to our vacation destinations when i was a child.

i can remember planning and packing for days...wanting to have just the right clothes, toys, and snacks in the car with us. usually the day before our trip started, we would make a special trip to the grocery and my sisters and i would each be able to pick out our favorite snack to take with us. i could probably guess right and say that i picked chicken in a biscuit crackers (i loved those!). but i would bet money on the fact that my baby sister chose funyuns. she LOVED those things. picture it -- driving in a van with 5 people. windows up. shoes off. open mouth breathing. baby sister opens a bag of funyuns. the stinch was practically unbearable. after their first appearance, dad declared them contraband for any and all future car trips...along with corn nuts, anything that was cool ranch flavored, and blue suckers*.

my dad has family in florida and when we were younger we visited them a few times. one year my mom's family traveled with us caravan-style. my parents had borrowed a friend's van (which by the way had carpeted walls and a refrigerator) for the trip. my sisters and i, my parents, my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousin all rode in the van. my mom's sister and her husband followed us. we had CBs. we were so rad. (i're jealous.)

anyway, my dad worked an overnight shift and when he came home in the morning, we left. he drove first. he drove for hours without incident. we stopped for gas, got out and stretched then when we were ready to leave, my mom's brother took over driving. we hadn't gone five miles when our dad started yelling at our uncle. he had fallen asleep. while he was driving. on an interstate. going 80 miles per hour. with our entire family in the van.

i have no memory of my uncle driving on anymore family vacations...until a few years ago when my family went to new york for a wedding. again, my dad started the drive and when my uncle took over, my sister looked up from her magazine just in time to see his eyes drooping and his head bobbing. he is no longer aloud to drive anyone in our family to any destination whatsoever.

most of the vacation memories i have follow this same pattern...preparation, fiasco after fiasco during the trip, and vague-ish memories of the actual vacation. you know what, though? i wouldn't change it for anything. i loved our trips together. even with crazy half-awake drivers, stinky food, us (kids) against them (adults) warfare. it was fun. it was the only thing we knew. i can't wait to have the same kind of vacations with our kids.


*as we were driving (over a bridge if memory serves), my dad happened to look in the rear view mirror and almost wrecked the van. "oh my God, she's cyanotic!" we were all like, "what?! who's cyanotic?!" well, it turns out that baby sister's blue raspberry sucker had turned her entire mouth (including her lips) BLUE. he thought she was choking. and, thus, the "no blue sucker rule" was born.


Debbie Yost said...

So many similarities in that post it's scary. My mom has a sister who lives in Florida we visited a couple times. Most of the trips I don't really remember because I was so young. We had a van, too, but it was bare bones. My dad could move the bench so there were holes in the floor for where he could bolt it down. I would lay on the floor and watch the highway go by through those holes. I don't remember the trips being fun though. They were so long!