Childhood Summer Vacations

A couple of weeks ago I took part in the 20SB Blog Swap. I did it last year, and unfortunately, the blog I swapped with has become private, so I have no way of linking to the post I wrote back then. This year, I can no longer find my post on my partner’s blog. Since I really enjoyed writing it, and I wanted people (especially my family) to be able to see it, I decided to repost it here. 

The brief for this blog post is to pick a favourite summer vacation (or holiday,as we Brits prefer to call them). I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and for me, it’s fairly difficult to pick one. When I was younger, my family didn’t go on foreign holidays. It just wasn’t something we did. We didn’t even travel that extensively in the UK; we found an area of the country that we liked, and we tended to stick to it. If this sounds like I am unhappy that this was the case, I’m not. We had one foreign holiday; when I was eleven I went to Germany with my parents and two of my brothers, to visit family who live there. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad we went, but I enjoyed our caravan holidays into East Anglia as much, if not more.

However, when it comes to picking a favourite childhood holiday, it’s hard. Not least because, in my old age, the memories have become somewhat merged into one big lump, and it’s hard to pick out what happened when. But it is also because (and again, this is not a complaint), we did similar things on each of these holidays. To illustrate my point, I decided to share some photographs with you. They come from three holidays specifically, one in Felixstowe in (I think) 1990, when I was eight, another from Hunstanton in 1991, and another from Hunstanton, I assume from 1992.

Caravan  - F_phixr

Caravan - H91_phixr

We always stayed in a static caravan. My love for a caravan holiday is now deeply embedded, and I want to own one eventually.

Beach - F_phixr

Beach - H91_phixr

Beach - H_phixr

The beach was a big fixture in our holidays, lots of free fun to be had and we always loved digging a big hole and then filling it with water. It was always a disappointment when the tide was out. One anomaly in these photos – the little boy in the middle of the bottom photo is a stranger we met there. We didn’t often play with other children on holiday – maybe it was unsociable, but often there were four of us and my mum and dad. We didn’t need anyone else!

Animal - Felixstowe Animal - H_phixr

As well as the beach, we also explored the local attractions – one year my dad took us to a fort that we all hated and it has passed into family folklore as the most boring trip ever. A zoo or farm was a lot more likely – although the bird that my brother stood in front of in the top photo scared me so I couldn’t have a photo with it! To be honest, I’m clearly not that much keener on the horse!

Group - F_phixr

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A photograph in front of the caravan is a recurring theme. My little brother Michael was usually messing around, as you can see by the look on his face in both photos.

Michael - F_phixr

Michael - H_phixr

Talking of Michael, he always managed to hurt himself on our walks along the beach in the evening. We took our shoes off so we could walk in the sand, but didn’t necessarily put them back on when back on the path, and Michael always stubbed his toe and cried!

So as you can see, it’s hard for me to pick just one holiday, because they were all such fun. I’m so lucky that I grew up with lots of brothers and sisters (there two more in addition to the four of us you see in these photos), and that my parents were able to take us away for a week each year. The holidays might not have been in exotic locations, but I loved them!

Blog Swap – Childhood Summer Vacation

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.

Miscellany

Sorry for the radio silence recently; I’ve been rather busy and wasn’t organised enough to schedule any posts except for last week’s Tuesday Treat! So this is just a quick post to say hello, and hopefully normal order will be restored this week.

I went away on holiday last week with two of my friends, Anna and Jenny. We’ve enjoyed a few caravan breaks over the last few years; we’ve always taken advantage of the £9.50 deals that The Sun offer, but this year we’re lucky enough to know someone with a caravan of their own in Camber in East Sussex, so we went for a few days last week. Unfortunately our other friend Vicky couldn’t make it; organising anything where all four of us can been in the same room for one day is hard enough, but an extended period of time is almost impossible. So V had to miss out this time, but hopefully we’ll all get away together at some point this year!

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Me and Anna at the caravan, being goons. For some reason I didn’t take many photos while we were away, and hardly any of Jen, because she notoriously hates almost every photo taken of her, even though they are all lovely because she’s beautiful.

Prior to my holiday, I went to a gig at my local pub, which was a lot of fun, and even better because I got to see Vicky, and it wasn’t something that was arranged months in advance. Jen wasn’t there (see what I mean), but we had good fun and managed to get rather drunk on white wine spritzers!

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~ Photo by David Lambert ~

The band we saw were Skinny Machines. My dad, sister and brother-in-law, along with a few of their friends from the pub have recently become Skinny Machines groupies, following them around all over the place, so I’ve heard a lot about them but this was the first opportunity I had to actually hear them play. And very good they were too. They even played Superstition, which is my favourite song at the moment, so I was won over!

By the way, I am clearly wearing the same denim shirt in both of these photos. They were taken four days apart, and I can confirm that a) other clothes were worn in those four days, and b) the denim shirt is the only thing that is the same in the two photos. Just in case you were wondering. (I can also confirm that I love my denim shirt, and find it the perfect thing to wear over tops/dresses to finish off my outfit, and I have to resist the temptation to wear it almost every day.)

I also managed to have a very busy weekend, because my brother, sister-in-law and niece came to stay, and then it was Father’s Day, so most of my family were at my house yesterday to see my dad. It was actually the first time that all my siblings were together in a while, probably since Christmas, so we took the opportunity to get a photo. We don’t often have a photo of just the six of us, we’re usually only all together at Christmas (sad but true), and there’s just too much going on. But yesterday we were all sitting around in the garden, and so it was the perfect chance.

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This is one of the shots, though not an ‘official’ one that my dad took – I haven’t seen that one yet. This is just one of the snapshots. I don’t love myself in it, but that’s a story for another day! I gave it a retro filter in Phixr, because I was trying to match it to this…

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…which was taken in the same garden but only include four of us (my oldest and youngest siblings are missing!). It doesn’t quite match, but never mind!

Anyway, that’s what I have been up to recently, I’m hoping to post lots more this week, so stay tuned!

Project 366 – Week 15

Hello all

I can’t believe that we’re fifteen weeks into the year. It’s just ridiculous! I missed another day last week, everything just seemed to blur into one, and it slipped my mind to try and take a photo. A couple of the photos this week are from my phone, because I am using Evertale, and the photos on my phone are set to automatically upload to it. I’m trying to make sure I take at least one photo a day with my phone, so that there is some content for each day on Evertale, and it’s handy because if I forget to take a proper Project 366 photograph, there is always one on there.

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~ Day 93 ~

My brother and his little girl by the lake at Marston Vale.

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~ Day 94 ~

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~ Day 96 ~

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~ Day 97 ~

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~ Day 98 ~

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~ Day 99 ~

Easter Sunday at my sister’s house; after a yummy roast dinner, we played The Logo Game. My team won.

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