May 6 10

We vacationed a lot as kids. I didn’t realize at the time that going away every winter vacation and spring break wasn’t what everybody else did. I took for granted all the times we went to Myrtle Beach, Disney Land, Disney World, New York, Boston, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, Canada, Israel, The Bahamas.

It seemed like we were always going somewhere to make horrific flying neon-shaped backgrounded 80s music videos. Oh yes. We, as a family, covered The Beach Boys, the song from Mannequin, Madonna’s Borderline, and the entire Dirty Dancing soundtrack while rocking out to fake saxophones wearing altogether too much spandex. My sister always told me to “be like Billy from the roof.” In sister-speak that meant this…

…and if you still don’t get the reference, well, then I really don’t know how you live.

It seemed like we were always going somewhere to put our faces through some embarrassing piece of cardboard.

It seemed like we were always going somewhere to take old-time photos.

Those trips were nothing short of the best times I had as a kid. We got kicked out of the Beverly Hills Hotel for dancing the Roger Rabbit in the lobby. We followed a green range rover around LA for, um, about 4 hours because we heard that Tom Cruise drove one of those puppies. I got locked in a rental car. My brother and I got kicked out of several restaurants and we ate many a meal outside in the car. My cousin put her dinner roll under her chin while she reached for the butter as a super classy restaurant. We feared for our lives in the Boston cab whose driver was, um, three seven sheets to the wind. I watched someone eat a lobster for the very first time. We got our hair braided on the beach. We whined our way down the entire freedom trail. We had our picture taken by some random Mexican in Tijuana. I met the best pen pal I ever had while swimming in a pool on Captiva Island. I learned to ski at Heavenly.

I worry a lot that my kids are missing out. I mean, we haven’t really been on a vacation with them. Sure, we’ve taken them for a (free) night in Niagara Falls and they’ve been to visit their grandparents more times than they have fingers to count on. But they have never seen the ocean. And they have never gone skiing. They have never made a cheesy music video. They have never ridden the ET bicycle. They have never been on a cruise.

But then I think that maybe it doesn’t matter.

Maybe they don’t need to see the ocean to appreciate the beach.

Maybe they don’t need to leave the city to stick their heads through some cardboard.

and maybe if they live their lives without ever having to participate in an old-time photo…well, maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.

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  1. Hahaha! Sweaty Billy! I don’t think I would have remembered that had we not just watched that!

    We didn’t go on vacations at all as kids. We were poor. Our vacations were spending a week with Grandma and Grandpa, getting spoiled, 40 miles from home.

    As we got older, we visited our other grandparents in Door County Wisconsin. I was never on an airplane until I was 17.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kristabella on May 6, 2010
  2. I think of this too. By my son’s age (7), I’d been on an airplane from the Philippines to Canada (although I probably shouldn’t count immigration), been on a train from Winnipeg to Vancouver, gone on numerous fishing trips, and driven to LA with stops at Mount Rushmore, Lake Tahoe, and Vegas with Barry Manilow blaring from the station wagon speakers.

    But then my son *has* had more old-time photos taken than me. I don’t know what to think of that.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Nenette on May 6, 2010
  3. I hate that Atlanta is 4.5-5 hrs away from the beach! So unfair!!

    PS I actually really love old-time photos :P

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    Comment by Katherine on May 6, 2010
  4. Go to the ocean before you move back to Canada if it’s a drive under 7 hours.
    .-= Tammi Marie´s last blog ..Spring Flings =-.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Tammi Marie on May 6, 2010
  5. The only vacations we went on when I was a kid was camping. Which is NOT a vacation.

    This summer will be the first time we take our kids on a week-long vacation, but we have just as much fun hanging out here. :)

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    Comment by Angella on May 6, 2010
  6. Old time photos should be on everyone’s list!

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    Comment by Avitable on May 6, 2010
  7. I’ve been to more national monuments than one should ever be forced to see; been to every KOA Kampground from California to Ohio; been dragged to more art gallery’s and museums than I could name; seen more theme parks than most people. It was all fun too. (Somewhere I even have a collection of smashed pennies that rivals most peoples CD collections.)

    My favorite vacations? Were spent at my grandparents lake house. On a man made lake. In North Texas.

    I think as long as you make the fun memories with your kids, it doesn’t really matter where you take them.

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    Comment by Issa on May 6, 2010
  8. As kids, we never left the province, except for one of my brother’s hockey tournaments across the border in Buffalo. Although there were lots of amazing daytrips and overnighters within Ontario, I did feel like we missed out a bit. Not that all of my friends went farther, but isn’t Disney World a childhood requirement?

    By the way, as empty-nesters, my parents have done the East Coast, West Coast, and have now booked a Meditteranean Cruise!

    My girls are only four and two, but our plan is to at least leave the province with them every couple of years.

    It’s so true that it’s the memories and togetherness that have the greatest impact, but there is still a certain value to the worldliness of being well-travelled, whether as a child or an adult.

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    Comment by Kate (This Mom) on May 6, 2010
  9. the only vacations we ever went on when I was a kid was to relatives. Yes, Connecticut is lovely, but it’s not really where us kids would have chosen. Nevertheless, we have no shortage of great memories of childhood. But wanderlust must be satisfied, so we made it up in spades travelling on Dead Tour. And I did spend months at a time on the West Coast plus a year in the Middle East. Hmm, maybe you should take the kids somewhere.

    [Reply]

    Comment by kgirl on May 6, 2010
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