Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Vacations: Heaven or Heck!

Summertime brings thoughts of going on vacation. Tilly and I have had some really good times on vacation, but we've had a few "rough spots" too.
The first trip we ever took was our honeymoon. It was great. All that one could hope for, once we got used to being with each other 24/7. The only glitch was that we decided to go to a "drive-in" movie in a strange state, in a strange city. Don't ask why we decided this, it wouldn't make sense to any of you, but we did. As I remember, "The Wild Bunch" was the movie playing. It was so bad that we decided to leave mid-movie. But... we couldn't find our way out of the theater, so we parked again, and slept until the movie was over, then followed the crowd out of the place!
Traveling with children was and is still an experience in itself. The first trip we took with Professor, at age 3 months, was to eastern Kentucky for Christmas with Tilly's family. She was a good rider then, and the only drawback on this excursion was getting tangled up in traffic in Cincinnati. For 2 hours, we moved ahead one car-length at a time. Prof got hungry, so Mom whips out the baby food jars and feeds her as we are trying to merge. Needless to say, she got her tummy full, and slept the entire last 2 hour leg of the trip, then kept us up most of the night, after we had traveled 9 hours, after working a full day.
The next trip we took was with two children. We went to "Holiday World." No glitches, but we found this quaint Italian restaurant, where the people who ran the place loved the kids. We went back there for every meal while we were there, and were treated like royalty.
The summer we went to Bear Lake near Traverse City, Michigan was a blast. We loaded up the old 9 passenger station wagon with a week's worth of clothes, toys, food, 4 people and a dog. In Grand Rapids we suddenly were besieged with a horrible racket. I pulled over along the freeway and got out and looked under the car. The muffler and entire tailpipe from manifold to rear end was dragging from one bracket. We exited at the next possible place. Lo and behold, there was a muffler shop. I pulled in, went in and poured out my tale of woe to the guy who ran the place. He was ready to close, but agreed to stay open and fix us up. About an hour later, we were on our way, good as new, but $80.00 poorer. I warned him in advance that I would have to write him a check. He took it in good faith, knowing that he would never see us again. We had a blast that week. We rented a friend's small cabin for the week, swam, boated, and ate. Oh yes, when we left the cabin, Tilly accidently left a Wick's sugar cream pie in the freezer. The kids have NEVER let her forget it.
Then there was the trip home from Kentucky where we took a different route than usual, and would be shorter by 15 miles according to Uncle Jay, and I kept missing my exit. Three times we went across the bridge from Ohio back into Kentucky and had to turn around and come back. The forth time was a charm. Both kids were young adults this time, and not only did they laugh their asses off at Dad, they still remind me about it. We got into a snow storm on that trip back in our home state, pulled of at an IHOP, where we belly-laughed thru dinner at the waitress's expense. She spent the entire time we were in the restaurant, with a glob of cole slaw on her face. Had this woman never heard of a mirror?
Since the kids have left home, Tilly and I have vacationed in Michigan at Ludington three or four times. It's a grand little town. It is located on the beautiful coastline of Lake Michigan. It has a wonderful beach and quaint shops and the most beautiful sunsets in the world. The last time we went, I videotaped 45 minutes of sunset, then made Prof and Lil Bro sit and watch it. We wanted to share our vacation with them. Still photos just wouldn't work. The last time I got out that video to watch it, it had been taped over with episodes of "Friends." Who would have done that? I wonder!!!


Lilith said...

You're vacations sound wonderful. I honestly can't say I remember taking anything like that when I was younger. I think the only thing we did as a family was go to Cedar Point one year. Other than that, there were no vacations.

Amaranth said...

I recently returned from a vacation that was part heaven, part heck...I can relate. I enjoy keeping up with your blog, keep it coming!