Maggie, at From Cave Walls, and Lauren, at LSS Attitude of Gratitude, alternate hosting Throwback Thursday. The idea of the prompt is for them to give us a topic and for us to write a post in which we share our own memories or experiences about the given topic. This week, Lauren chose the topic of “vacations and holidays.” She wants to know…
Did you and your family have regular vacations/holidays?
When I was a kid, we never went on vacations. Both of my parents worked, my father six days a week, 12 hours a day, my mother five days a week, eight hours a day. So vacations were something my family didn’t take. As far as school holidays, like Christmas and Easter (now known as Winter Break and Spring Break, respectively), for me, they were staycations.
Once I grew up and had my own family, we made a point of taking at least two or three major family vacations a year.
Were they like most people I knew, tied to school holidays?
Yes, when my kids were in school and still living at home, our vacations were tied to school holidays. But once they became adults and moved out of our house, my wife and I would take vacations any damn time we felt like it. Until 2020, that is. We haven’t had a real vacation since the pandemic began.
Were vacations a big deal or just time to get away?
Our family vacations were pretty big deals and required a lot of planning, from destinations to itineraries to accommodations and to reservations.
Did the whole family always travel together or did the kids go away for their own time?
When the kids were still at home, we mostly traveled as a family. Now our adult kids do their own thing.
Can you think back to a wonderful vacation memory that you treasure? Were their any fiasco vacation memories you wish never happened? Were there some that you can laugh about now, but at the time were horrible?
We loved to visit America’s national parks as a family and we all have wonderful memories from those trips. As to fiasco memories, we had one trip that was kind of a comedy of errors…at least for me. We drove to South Dakota from Chicago to visit The Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore National Monument, and Wind Cave National Park.
It was a camping trip and we stayed at various campgrounds. Several things happened during this vacation that I wished never happened.
- I backed our car into a tree
- I drove for about 100 miles with the emergency brake on
- I almost set our campsite on fire when I was frying a some trout we caught that day over a campfire
- I tore my Achilles’ tendon playing basketball at a KOA campground one day and the next day I went horseback riding and almost fell off my horse at full gallop because I couldn’t use my right ankle in the stirrup
- I had to go to the ER in Rapid City (and when I finally got back to Chicago, had to have surgery to repair my torn Achilles’ tendon)
- On the drive back home, my wife had to drive because I was sick as a dog and was throwing up most of the trip
And yes, we can laugh about it now, but at the time, it was pretty horrible for me. Honesty, that was like a National Lampoon’s Vacation movie and I was Chevy Chase.
Were your vacations times to go, go, go, or were they time to relax and refresh?
Some, like when we went to the beach for a week, were more relaxing. Others were more go, go, go.