Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fond Memories of First Vacations

My First Vacations

My family took the road less traveled by; as we explored campgrounds and natural wonders not plotted on any map. I don't recall every single trip that we took growing up, but I do fondly recall the long car rides when reading was my only companion to stave away car sickness. The views that passed by my window were like scenes in a movie. Where else do people get to see mountains or fields of wildflowers bloom before them each summer. God blessed me with a passion to learn and appreciate the special qualities in things. Without my travel experiences I wouldn't be the well-educated, eclectic college student I am today. My personality is a melting pot of my tastes and interests. Every trip we took seemed to have a specific soundtrack to it as we rolled down the roads. Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline on some, The Beatles, Queen, and ZZ Top on others; no matter the songs we rocked and Dad taught me to jam early on even when you're driving. I also remembering the most interesting discussions between my parents and myself occurred on long car rides.
Mom and I (me rocking pink bibs)

Luckily I have all of our travel journals saved from each of our vacations for reference but my earliest memory of a long vacation is my family trip to Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Our first stop was at Indiana Dunes National Seashore at their campground. I recall going to the beach there and my father got pooped on by a seagull. It was also at this campground, that our trailer was parked near a sand dune. Coincidently I had the grand idea that sand would taste like salt, since it appeared to look like table salt. I was playing around with a spoon, digging in the sand and curiously took a bite. It was an awful idea and I never again intentionally tasted sand.
Young Sarah digging in the sand
We took the train from Indiana into Chicago a few times that trip, and I recall being stuck on the train for two extra hours on one trip in due to another train being derailed. In Chicago we visited Navy Pier, the Shedd Aquarium, the planetarium, as well as the Museum of Science and Industry. On to Milwaukee to more adventures at the Miller Brewing Company where I got all jacked up on root beer. We moved on to Oshkosh, to my very first plane ride on a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor and then when I through with that one I hopped into a two passenger plane, taking my Young Eagle Flight with a complete stranger, soaring into the skies. In Minnesota we went to the Split Rock lighthouse which I recall was absolutely beautiful. We stayed in Toledo on our way home and of course stopped at the delicious Tony Packo’s for what I believe was the very first time. Tony Packo’s then became our Mecca on trips north and made every long car ride worth it. Home wasn’t far when we were there and I knew that upon return I would be with the rest of my loving family.

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
-Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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