Archives for posts with tag: travel

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For my youngest, this is her last week of school before the school breaks for summer. This morning, she turned to me and said, “Momma, it’s my LAST week of school. I just realized I have the whole summer ahead of me.”

And you know what, she’s right. What a delicious time of year that was when you were a kid…those last few days of school before the start of summer vacation. Where you did next to nothing in class other than watch movies and talk with friends. Recess would be 2 hours long.

The summer seemed almost endless. Long days spent at the pool, riding my bike up to the corner store to buy candy or ice cream, afternoons filled with bottles of diet Pepsi and bags of Doritos while watching Match Game.

And then, vacation would come. Like real vacation – packing up the family and heading to Martha’s Vineyard for 2-3 weeks of gloriously good times. We never went to the Jersey Shore growing up. My dad hated it. I don’t think I had ever been to the Jersey shore until I was in college. Who needed it when you could romp in the surf of South Beach.

Every aspect of our trips to the Vineyard were magical. We would always have an early ferry, so we would leave our house in the middle of the night. I remember as a child going to bed that night in giddy anticipation of being woken up at 1 or 2 am, piling into the back of our station wagon fixed up with pillows and blankets, and heading north towards Cape Cod.

Dad would usually stop at the Howard Johnsons at the Mystic Seaport exit, where we would get muffins and hot chocolate. And those next few hours in the car were blissful…the cool night air and the anticipation of the ferry ride that began the official start to vacation.

We are heading up there again this year to spread my father’s ashes. It’s really where he belongs. While this trip will be the highlight of our summer, I’m hoping there are many other trips that my daughters will cherish over the course of those short summer months.

Things like visits to Kings Dominion, hiking and swimming at Blue Hole, and a trip to DC to take part in the Truth March. Yeah, I think the summer of 2017 might turn out okay.

Oh wait…I still have to buy a bathing suit. Groan.

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1The weekend when “he who shall not be named” took the oath, my girls and I were in Richmond to see yet another performance of Disney on Ice. When Dad drives the Zamboni, and the tickets are free, you just go, despite the fact that you’ve seen it a hundred times. Plus, we get a free weekend at a hotel in Richmond!

The morning before the show, we decided to take a walk. The Capitol building was right down the street, so we headed over to poke around.

20170121_092142The Poe statue? It’s just okay. Not very dramatic.

2Steps looking up towards the George Washington Statue

3.jpgSteps leading up to the Capitol. The couple at the top were flying a drone. It was cool

4.jpgDaughter #2 mugging for the camera. I was a tad panicky because she was up so high.

5.jpgMy girls In front of the Governor’s Mansion. There was lots of sporting equipment in the yard. FYI.

6.jpgThe Washington Statue…what is that little door for?

Our stroll was really nice…Just me and my girls soaking the the architecture, the statuary, and history that is downtown Richmond.

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Today a co-worker of mine sat with me to go over a few last minute items before she “left town” for the holidays. As we were wrapping things up, I casually asked where she was going. Her answer?

“I’ll be gone for six weeks.” She then rattled off a triad of envy-inducing destinations that left me wondering, how the hell is that possible for a working woman? I mean, the last time I had six weeks off I was unemployed…and there was no money for travelin’ at that time my friends.

But man, that must be nice.

I envy anyone who gets to travel – for business or for pleasure – it’s just so cool to be able to go somewhere new; to explore a new city or a part of the country you’ve never been to; and then come back home to all that is familiar.

Even something as simple as a road trip has always excited me. I drove by myself down to Florida once to visit my sister. Another time I drove to Mississippi to visit a boyfriend who was in the Air Force. Both trips were absolutely thrilling for me.

My dad would check out my car, and set me up with a AAA triptik map. As I drove down the road I’d look forward to flipping each new page of my map, and I could stop and do anything I wanted at any time. Cool water tower? I’d stop and take a photo. I remember stopping in Atlanta just to see the infamous Peachtree Street.

With the exception of my week long summer vacation each year, I almost never get to travel. The last time I was on a plane was when my dad was in a car crash back in 1999, and I had to fly out to Colorado. Other than that my family and I stick to car travel, mainly because it’s economical.

There are times I think of exploring my state of Virginia, but then I remember that my car has over 250,000 miles on it, and settle for something local…and familiar.

Sigh.

I hope one day I am able to get out there and explore again. Even driving down a road I’ve never travelled on before holds a bit of excitement for me. Where will it lead to? What will I find a long the way?

I can’t wait to find out.

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From You to You.”

Right now it’s 1979 and you’re in highschool – most likely 10th grade. I know it sucks right now. I know you get bullied by those horrible, souless girls from Edgewater. But you have your best buds John, and Joe, and a family who loves you, so hang in there. And while we’re back in ’79, here’s a few things to think about…

I know you think you have a fat ass, but you don’t. The 50 year old version of you would LOVE to have the ass you have now. So when Brendan D. makes that joke in history class about you needing to wear a “Caution – Wide Load” sign, smile at him sweetly and ask him how it feels to be the product of so many years of inbreeding.

Don’t ever cut your own bangs. You are going to make a horrible, horrible mistake and cut them ridiculously short.

When you stay home from dress rehearsal to watch the episode of “Little House on the Praire” where Almanzo kisses Laura for the first time, you are making the right move. After all, those school plays directed by Mrs. Marshall are always going to star the same kids she favors, and you will always, only be cast in the chorus.

You’re going to quit the volleyball team. I know it’s no fun because the girls who are supposed to be your team mates barely give you the time of day, let alone a pat on the back. I know that they get to go to fancy sleep-away volleyball camp and learn all sorts of intricate plays. But when Mary M., who knows full well that you were NOT one of her fellow campers, complains that you don’t know anything and are dragging the team down, maybe you should do something besides stomp off to the locker room and quit.

Instead, maybe you should ask her if she earned her bitch merit badge at camp on the very first day.

If you haven’t already, forget about Leif Garrett. He sucks. Tear down the 996 photos you have haning in your room and repaint. But don’t let Judy and John have access to the paint. They are going to paint a huge cock on the wall that you can still see, even though you feverishly painted over it, when the light is just right.

Keep seeing Rocky Horror. Throw rice, shoot water pistols, hurl rolls of Scott toilet paper. But don’t idolize Janet as much, and don’t bore your chorus class with your Janet “quote of the day” on the blackboard. You were a dork for doing that.

Right now you are staunchly opposed to smoking, but believe me, you are going to start, and you will smoke for a very long time. Don’t grub cigarettes from people at college parties – don’t even start. It is going to be very hard to quit, but if you don’t heed my warning, FYI – you do manage to kick the habit in your 40s.

When you are in NYC with John and Dave W., and a man hands you a flyer for a sex club, don’t read it and ask if oral sex is when you just talk about it.

You are going to Czechoslovakia this summer. When you are walking around a spa town, I think Piešťany, a man is going to walk up to you and grab your boob. Cock block that asshole. Aside from that, remember everything about this trip – keep a diary so you know what you did everyday. Later on, you will have slides of this adventure to look back on, but it won’t seem like enough.

You are going to contract an ovarian cyst. This will require surgery, and after that surgery a popular boy will hit you in the stomach during a game of ultimate frisbee in gym class. You will hate him, and rightly so, for a very long time. But here’s a news flash. He winds up being your brother-in-law.

When your sister throws a party, and lets you join in, a very cute boy, on a dare, is going to pick you up and tell you how cute you are. Try to keep a straight face…because you have a nose full of snot that is going to spray out all over your mouth and chin when you laugh.

That creepy neighbor Wayne, who watches you and your sisters while you sunbathe, is going to forceably kiss you against your will in a few years. So when he asks you inside his home under the guise of helping him and his wife move, politely refuse.

You will be in the New Jersey Miss Teenager Pageant. Learn the words for “Good Morning” in Slovak, because during your interview, you are going to get the one judge who speaks Slovak, and muttering out “Dobre noc” (good night) doesn’t fool anyone. Oh, and while you are in the front row on stage singing the obligatory lame pageant song directly in front of the judges? While you remember the dance moves, the words to the song are going to fly slap out of your head. You will smile lamely and continue dancing.

That being said, when they call out the name “Tracy” during the top 10? It ain’t you.


There you go, mini-me – a handfull of useful advice to get you through some of the tough times during your 14th year and beyond. I hope this makes life a bit easier for you than it was for me.