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 fakeÂ 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.