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Friday, July 23, 2010

Field Trip Friday: "Can we go on a fun vacation next year?"

So this week's Field Trip Friday "assignment" was to find out if your favorite and least favorite childhood vacation memories matched up with those of your parents.

The kids and I are visiting my parents in Ohio this week so it was pretty easy for me to compare vacation memories with my mom and dad.

Our favorite family vacation spot ever was unanimous . . . Sea Island, Georgia. For three years, my family traveled with with three other families to spend a week at The Cloister, an all-inclusive family resort. Yes, it is pretty stinking hot and humid there in July, but we have the absolute best memories despite the sweat. We'd get up semi-early and have big, friendly, round robin tennis tournaments in the mornings with the family friends we traveled with. The rest of the day was pool and beach, pool and beach, pool and beach. All the meals were included, and I recall that at the pool snack bar, you got to choose an ice cream treat or candy bar with your lunch every day, which seemed like heaven to me at the time (still does, as a matter of fact). You dress up for dinner every night there, which sounds like a pain, but was really kind of nice. There was Bingo one night, a concert another. Our dads drank beer on the beach, and we played lots of cards. Fantastic memories. I know my parents dream that sometime we can all go back together for a week with the grandkids. Maybe for their fiftieth wedding anniversary (12 years from now), but hopefully before . . . better start saving now!

Our least favorite family vacation was a toss up. My mom's first answer matched up with mine: Washington D.C. and Colonial Williamsburg. I think it was just a case of trying to do too much, trying to cram too much history and government into one week. I was around 12 for the trip, which means my siblings were 10, 8, 6, and 1. I remember that my youngest brother's stroller broke and that my parents bought a new one, which ended up being defective. He was pushed all over the city in a cheap umbrella stroller with a wonky wheel. There was a breakdown outside the United States Mint where my mom may or may not have done some frustrated screaming. There was an authentic colonial lunch in Williamsburg that no one would eat. After lunch, my mom and I continued experiencing colonial history while my dad took everyone else back to the hotel to the awesome two-game arcade they had been pining for all morning. On the way home to Ohio, one of us apparently asked, "Can we go on a fun vacation next year?"

Just what every parents who has worked hard to plan a trip wants to hear. I wonder if I'll hear some version of that question myself one day . . .

My dad's least favorite vacation is one that I had forgotten all about. I think I blocked it out. I won't name the place, but basically on the advice of an associate of his, we drove eight hours to the middle of nowhere to stay in a condo in what ended up being a semi run-down retirement community. Did I mention it was in the middle of nowhere? No restaurants within thirty minutes. No kids anywhere except the five in our condo. There was water aerobics at the pool though. We left after three days and tried to salvage the vacation by stopping in the Smoky Mountains on the way home.

So, what were your favorite and least favorite childhood vacations? Share in the comments or link up your post below.


  1. The Georgia vacations sound awesome!

    I didn't know you were coming to Ohio! Hope you have a great visit with your parents...I'm sure they will be loving seeing all the grandbabies!

    We didn't take a lot of vacations when I was young, but I do remember having a lot of fun on a trip to Louisiana, visiting old plantations (Oak Alley) and eating frog legs (they really did taste like chicken).

  2. I enjoyed car trips with the family and with friends. It was like one huge family with 3/4 sets of parents!

  3. When I was little, we'd go up to Canada every year. It was always fun. Have fun in 'my part of the world'! It's very hot in Ohio this week.