About two weeks ago, my youngest daughter left on an extended, out of state trip with her best friend’s family. She took the same trip with them a couple of years ago. As band members, my two girls have been given the great privilege of travelling to Disneyworld and to Washington D.C. to perform with the Wildcat band. Over the years, my parents have blessed my kids with the gift of travel many times. They have taken them on trips all over the country. As a Scout, my son was able to attend camps and camp outs all over the place, gaining great life experiences in all sorts of locations.
When I was a kid, one of my dad’s greatest offerings to my sisters and me was travel. While we lived frugally and my father always had more than one job, that was primarily so that we could pay things off early and enjoy an annual vacation. Every summer, we went somewhere. I remember loads of mountain views, tons of cabins, a lot of hotels and motels. I remember being excited about getting to swim in a hotel pool because we only went to the lake at home. I remember getting fired up when we found out that there was cable television in our room. (At home, we lived too far into the country to have cable.)
But aside from the wonders of staying in a hotel (which, I might add is still one of my favorite parts of any trip!) my parents gave me the joy of experiencing a lot of different places as a child. I may have not appreciated it much at the time, but looking back as an adult, I can remember a lot of really interesting things about those trips. I saw live volcanoes erupting and running across the street in Hawaii. I walked through the halls of the Smithsonian museums in Washington. I have seen the beauty in nature from a thousand scenic overlooks. I sat on top of cannons and had my picture taken with my sisters at a Civil War battleground. I camped out in Florida with my grandparents before hitting the Disney parks. I watched a movie on a giant screen that wrapped around the building. I went on hikes and nature walks. I watched the Shepherd of the Hills and the Passion Play. I’ve toured quite a few underground caverns and caves.
On those childhood summer trips, I learned the value of equal backseat space for all siblings. I learned not to squeak toys after my dad issued the “not one more time” warning. I learned about car sickness and how to lie across the back dash by the rear window, or across the floor board of the back seat for naps. (Remember, I’m old. Back in those days, seat belts and car seats weren’t really a thing like they are now.) I learned about pointing at my sisters and how to dodge my parents’ hands when they reached over the seat to swat the first thing they could come in contact with.
You see, travelling is such a special part of my life. I’m so glad my kids are having similar experiences through various avenues. While we’ve never really had the cash on hand to take our kids on tons of trips, I am so happy that they’ve had the chance to travel with friends, family and organizations they’re part of. What we your favorite childhood vacation?