Happy Friday! I hope it has been a good week. Has it been hot where you are? For us Northern Hemisphere folks…summer seems to be in full swing! I don’t complain about summer’s temperatures but I will admit the low 90s are about my “comfortable” limit! I know many around the United States are having much higher temps and difficult situations due to the heat – and I feel for them. I pray they get a break soon.
With summer at its peak, so many thoughts (and the family wagons) are turned towards vacation! These days, my husband and I typically enjoy off-season vacations but, like many, when the kids were school-age, summer meant time for vacation! It was the same when my brother and I were young. We always vacationed right in the middle of summer….right alongside just about every other middle-class Suburban family of four:)
We always drove. I do not remember every flying together as a family. Vacation or for any other reason. And we always drove….south! To Florida. Always. My dad loved (read that, LOVED) Florida. Loved the palm trees. The fresh squeezed orange juice at the welcome center. Loved the beach and, yes, loved Disney. He loved it all.
I do remember my mom – once or twice – vaguely trying to suggest an alternate destination for summer. But, who was she kidding? Our family wagon knew only one vacation route. Interstate 95S….and Florida bound!! My dad would create a travel retreat in our green family station wagon. Seats folded down and several layers of quilts or blankets created a backseat sweeter than any RV! One year (WAY before technology had made it into vehicles), my dad rigged a small, portable black and white tv to some type of moon-shaped antenna on top of the car and, just like that, we were famous. The whole neighborhood came by to see the amazing invention! Were we really going to watch tv in a car??
We visited Disney World the first summer that it was open. Any idea what year that was? 1971….yes, I was not even ten so my brother and I both qualified for a child’s ticket. The cost for a full day at Disney that year? ONE DOLLAR. I’m not even kidding. The adult ticket was $3.50. I don’t remember a lot about Disney in those first years but I do have a lot of fun memories from visits made when I was in my teens. One year we took my grandparents along. We did not often vacation with them (as a lot of families do) so having them with us was super fun. It was also a “once in a lifetime” type vacation for the two of them. It was a great time for everyone!!
In the years before there was Disney, our vacations were always at Daytona Beach. Again, I do not remember much about those vacations; however, I do remember my dad’s friend (a family friend actually) would often travel with us. He was a bachelor and we all enjoyed it when we would vacation together. One year was especially memorable. The first night of our trip (whether going to Orlando or Daytona), we always stopped in Savannah. Occasionally the Howard Johnsons but usually The Holiday Inn. Hotels were often “motel” style with one-story buildings and rooms that faced a courtyard or opened to the pool area through sliding glass doors. One morning, we discovered several rooms had been broken into during the night. Occupied rooms! No one was injured or even disturbed…they were just robbed of their wallets and watches while they slept. Including our friend! So creepy!! By the way, we carried on with our vacation!!:)
One thing the adults liked to do while on vacation was go to the dog races. Don’t ask (and please don’t hate) but they really enjoyed it. The three of them would make a night of it. But what about us two kiddos? Mom would call down to the lobby and the hotel would send over a babysitter!! No joke. Some random stranger would arrive at our hotel room and stay the evening with us while all the responsible adults left. Well, it seemed completely reasonable at the time!
This post originally began (in my thoughts) as favorite memories with my own children. Oh but what fun memories of vacations with Mom, Dad and my brother. Don’t even ask him about the quiet game!! Too funny! However, I think vacation memories will have to continue next week. Until then, have a great weekend ahead! Let me know where you used to go on vacation. I’d loved to know!!