As always, head over to Sprite's Keeper if you want more spinning: http://www.spriteskeeper.com/my_weblog/2009/07/spin-cycle-so-i-guess-were-calling-this-a-working-vacation.html
If I read the original post correctly, this week was supposed to be a break from the Spin Cycle. Sprite's Keeper is headed to the windy city for a blogging thingy, and was giving us all the week off. However, the over-achievers in the group can't accept a hiatus. So they blogged. And now, as usual, I feel the need to follow like a freaking lemming. I'd better get extra credit for this...
I guess people have chosen the topic of "Vacation" to spin on, too. And I'm going to choose to steal Maureen (over at Island Roar)'s idea and blog about my favorite vacations past (again, lemming here people).
As a kid we always took two vacations. One was the "real" vacation. During this week, my parents would load us up into the station wagon and usually drive us to a southern beach. Florida, Virginia Beach, Ocean City Maryland, Myrtle Beach, you name it, we tried it. This was my Dad's ocean week. He'd try to squeek in something educational, but mostly this week was about getting a tan, building a castle in the sand, and letting the kids take sips from my Mom's fancy drink with the umbrella. Extra points for the hotels with a swim up cabana bar, as I recall.
There are a few things I can remember most about these trips. On the way down, I always got to sit all the way in the back, with the luggage. I'd stretch out and nap, or make faces at the drivers behind us. These days you'd be pulled over faster than you can say "car seat" for letting a kid ride back there.
I also remember having to wear a life jacket my Dad called a "Mae West" if I wanted to go into the ocean. (I'm not even sure they make these for public use anymore, what with all the "vest" type preservers out there). I was a tiny kid, and he was always concerned that I'd get caught in the undertow and drown before he could get to me. I was probably about 10 before let me stop wearing it. I now completely understand his paranoia. LG will wear his life jacket into the ocean long after he can swim well in the pool. I don't care if you can do the butterfly across the Olympic at the rec center, a kid under 75 lbs is no match for a roaring ocean.
For our second vacation, we always went up to Lake George. To the same place every year (http://www.scottysmotel.com/ - we'll throw them a little advertising...) And that's where my Mom really relaxed. It's in the middle of the Adirondacks, with the mountains and trees all around. It was close to home, and really quite a bit like the area we lived in. But she could go to the craft shops, and just hang out by the pool. There is a large amusement park up there, as well as a bunch of other little tourist attractions (think Last of the Mohicans). It's really kind of a nice place (and when I moved further upstate to go to college, I visited Lake George pretty regularly). I think Mom like this vacation more because we did less and spent more time together doing nothing (it was an outing to head into the village and partake of the local A&W drive in!). Oh, and she had really curly hair that the ocean air used to wreak havoc on...
I have to admit, I was quite sad the year my brother went off to college and for the first time in my life couldn't come on vacation with us. It was the end of an era. Together, the four us us had seen all 48 continental United States (my father took great pride in this, he would only count a state when we had done something memorable there). We'd seen great monuments, and visited little towns. Eaten all manner of critter, and come home with the sand in our shoes.
I don't think we ever ended up going on vacation all together after that. My Mom grew quite ill the year after, and she couldn't travel. My brother and Dad took a trip to Florida the year she passed away, and I now kick myself for deciding to stay home and hang out with my friends. It would have been my last trip to the beach with him. He, too, passed away shortly after that trip.
When LG gets another year or so under his belt, I'm hoping PB and I can make these kinds of memories for him. The kind that make you say, no matter their failings, or things they did that pissed me off, my parents were great. They were fun, and adventurous and really loved us kids.
Here's hoping that Sprite's Keeper has a safe and fun trip to the windy city, and you all are enjoying your summer! See you next week on The Spin Cycle.