Saturday, June 28, 2014

SNGF - Summer Vacation As A Kid

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) It's summertime in the Northern hemisphere, and time for summer vacations for many people.

2)  Tell us about a memorable summer vacation when you were a child.  What are your memories of summer vacations with your family?  Did you travel?  How?  Did you visit extended family?  Who?

3)  Share your memories in your own blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

Here's mine:

I remember a number of summertime vacations.  Several were to visit family in other states, most notably the family in Louisiana.  They were so far away it took a major trip to visit.  Others were closer in South Dakota, so we visited them more than just summertimes. 

We visited Louisiana several times, but there are only two I recall, once when I was about 8 years old, and the other when I was just about 14.  As my birthday is in the summer, those would have been the ages I was advancing to.  When I was eight, I remember staying with my Aunt Eva in New Orleans.  It’s the only time I’ve ever visited the French Quarter.  I have very vague memories of some of the architecture and signage.  At that age, I didn’t get to really experience the whole New Orleans vibe.  No jazz, no Mardi Gras, etc.  I do recall one other thing, however, from that trip.  We went outside to the lake right across from my aunt’s place to look at the moon and stars.   Someone there had a telescope, and he let us look through it.  I don’t remember what we looked at specifically, but I was a space nut when I was a boy, and that fed right into it.  That trip was memorable for one other reason: my cousin Sharon Paulette McLin married Michael Andre.  I was supposed to be in the wedding, but at the last minute the little girl I was to be walking up with got cold feet or something and dropped out, so they dropped me out, too.  Michael and Sharon left for their honeymoon a couple of days later (we went home in the meantime) on their way to Michael’s duty station in Germany with the Army.  We found out shortly after arriving at home that their plane crashed in New York City (Flight 66) and killed both of them.

The trip to Washington, D.C. was when I was about 11 years old.  My uncle and his wife were both deaf, and both worked at Gallaudet College there.  We visited the campus one day, and saw some sights while driving, but spent most of the time at their house, playing in the pool and catching fireflies at night.  I remember getting stung by a bee on my finger while splashing in the pool.  My cousin Maria was 12, my cousin Ricky was about six months older than me, and my cousins Ray and Kathy were both a few years younger.  As my brother Mitch was about two and a half years younger than me, we had a couple of small groups we naturally formed.  This trip was memorable for another thing – we took the train.  My father, brother and I all three went, while mom did something else (I don’t remember what, maybe she went back to Louisiana to visit).  We rode the Amtrak Empire Builder out of St. Paul, MN all the way to Washington, D.C. where my uncle picked us up.  The trip took the majority of two days each way, and was interesting for a while as we explored the length of the train several times, but then got very boring.

One other vacation I remember was to the Black Hills area in South Dakota.  I don’t remember how old I was, probably 13.  We drove out, which took about 10 hours or so of driving time.  We stayed in a campground in the hills overlooking Rapid City.  It had a pool in which we spent a lot of time, and a net view of the city lights at night.  Last time I was out there with my family, we drove past that campground.  It’s still in operation, or was as of about 2007.  We didn’t go to a huge number of attractions, but we did go to Mount Rushmore and a couple of other attractions in the area.  This trip was one reason I wanted to take my own kids out there when I got my own family.  Maybe it will be a tradition they will continue when they also have families of their own.

This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2014 by Daniel G. Dillman

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