This year I signed up to take part in the 20SB Blog Swap again, as I did last year. I was paired with Jenna from Unencumbered Words, a lovely blog that has now found its way into my Google Reader subscriptions! Have a read of her post here, and then check out her blog! If you would like to read my post, you can find it here.
We’ve been given the assignment of writing about our favorite childhood vacation in this post. I honestly can’t pick a favorite, though. See, every summer when I was a child my family would pile into our minivan and drive. That’s really most of what I remember of my childhood vacations. Driving. My dad always at the wheel; my mom in the passenger seat, looking at a large roadmap, trying to guide my dad to our destination. And six kids in the back, causing chaos as six kids inevitably do.
The destination was different every summer: the Oregon Coast, Yellowstone National Park, Disneyland, Mount Rushmore, Zions Canyon. Each place meant hours and hours of driving. This meant us kids had to find new and creative ways to entertain ourselves. My mom tried to provide us with solitary, quiet activities: reading, coloring, road sign bingo, crocheting yarn into nothing. But sooner or later, we always tired of these activities and came up with our own entertainment.
On the way to Yellowstone, my two older brothers taught my younger brother to fear the professional wrestler/governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, and convinced him that Ventura was in the car behind us at all times. This prompted my two-year-old brother to yell at my dad every so often to “Drive faster! Jesse Ventura is after us!” In Seattle, Washington, my oldest brother pulled the lever on the side of my seat, causing the seat to lurch forward, effectively sending me flying into the back of my mother’s seat. This has since been known as the time my brother “launched” me. One road trip my little brother decided it was the funniest thing in the world to lick his hands, wipe them on whomever was sitting next to him, and say “lotion!” We all just enjoyed annoying one another, really. But that’s what siblings are for.
Luckily there were always the random disasters on the road to distract us from trying to make one another scream. In Oceanside, California, the airline that we had flown out on went out of business in the week we were on vacation and we had to drive our rental car back to Utah. In Mesquite, Nevada, the car started leaking antifreeze, delaying us an entire day in sweltering desert heat. In Southern Utah we stayed in a hotel straight out of the Twilight Zone. They’d filled up a room in the basement to make a pool. Literally.
It’s kind of funny to me now that these are the things I remember. I’m sure my parents forked out a lot of money for us to experience all the must-see tourist sites. I’m glad they did, though. It taught me to enjoy the journey… and to love spending long hours sitting in a car. My husband and I are always going out on drives now. I just love looking out the window, discovering new things about the world around me. And random, unexpected adventures (like when Josh decides it’s a good idea to back off the side of a mountain) are always a welcome thrill. I look forward to the years when Josh and I will be able to pile our own kids into the backseat and head out on family vacations. Maybe our children will grow to love the road as much as I do.