Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer Vacations

by Diane Burton

When I was a kid, we didn’t take very many vacations. Not enough money and Dad often worked two jobs so he didn’t have time off. During my high school years, Dad decided a great vacation would be to drive up into the wilds of Canada—way north of the Soo—and camp. Eight of us (the youngest was either not born yet or left with Gram) in a canvas tent and not even an outhouse nearby. At least the lake was clean enough to swim in and no poison ivy in the bushes. Even worse, we went back the next year.

I have to say camping was never high on my bucket list after that. When I was a Girl Scout leader, I had to suck it up, put on my this-will-be-fun face, and take my troop camping. I did enjoy those trips even though Hubs always said my idea of roughing it was no room service.

According to my kids when they were in middle and high school, we took “encyclopedia” vacations—Washington, DC, Gettysburg, Mount Rushmore, Pikes Peak. I would research the places and share that info during the long car rides. With no handheld games, no video screens, no iPods (you know, back in the Dark Ages), they had to listen. Though they groaned and complained, some of it did sink in. As adults, they now say they appreciated the trips.

When they were little, one vacation was everyone’s favorite. A 4-hour drive to a cottage on a lake where Hubs (a very early riser) would go out fishing while the kiddies and I slept. We were just getting up when he returned and we all had breakfast. Then we went exploring. While I sat in the shade and read, he taught the kiddies how to fish on the dock—often grabbing the line as daughter got so excited when she got a nibble she let go of the pole. While she and I have never been avid fishermen (fisherwomen?), Hubs and Son are. This past March, they fished in Lake Pleasant north of Phoenix. They didn’t keep what they caught. The relaxation of a day on the water had more appeal. That and some father-son bonding.

I got a mani-pedi.

I blog here on the 8th and 30th of each month and Mondays on my own blogsite


Jannine Gallant said...

Ooh, as a history major, I would love those educational trips (especially if I could talk at a captive audience!) But my husband's idea of a vacation is going someplace he can be active - surfing, biking, hiking, skiing, whatever. No historic monuments in sight. Fishing doesn't count as active, so I haven't been forced into that! LOL Thanks for sharing.

Diane Burton said...

I really like it that Hubs shares my interest in history, etc. My policy on fishing is if you catch it, you clean it. Since I don't want to clean fish (yuck!), I don't catch them. :)

Margo Hoornstra said...

Sounds like you and your family did have some great times. Even traveling in the Dark Ages. We're going to try the historic monuments next summer. I'm not a tent camper, though. I need a floor under me at all times.

Diane Burton said...

With your new camper, Margo, you'll have that floor. I'm sure you'll have a great time.

Leah St. James said...

We didn't do vacations when I was a kid either, Diane. But I'd be with you on the mani-pedi...and the no-room-service version of "roughing it"! I remember being terrified at Girl Scout camp of spiders suspended over me in the tents...and having to trudge to the latrine in the pitch dark! Yeah...give me the local Embassy Suites and its breakfast buffet, please!