Vacation, Please?

Some of my most cherished memories are my family vacations. Back then, we called it camping (my husband said it was RVing). We went everywhere up and down the eastern part of the country from Wisconsin to Florida.

Every year we went to Florida, sometimes in the winter and sometimes after school let out. I can’t tell you how many times I visited Disney World (I really need to dig out those photos….), Sea World (we saw the first Shamu there!), Busch Gardens…and the numerous other places we went.

Let’s not forget about the other places we visited…Great Smoky Mountains, the Pennsylvania Dutch and Hershey, PA (chocolate heaven!), Kentucky, Michigan and the UP, and Indiana. We put on many miles over the years in a variety, yes I will admit it, RV’s. To my parents…that was camping! We used sleeping bags, but we didn’t have to be on the ground. Thank goodness for that! But, we stayed in lots of different campgrounds over the years.All really nice…because that is the way my Dad wanted it.,

I should also put it a note about the countless times we went to the Indianapolis 500 over the years. My Dad and brother were big race fans. Mom and I never went inside the track, save for one time. To be honest, we did not have a good time as we couldn’t see much of the action except when they went around the turn where we were sitting. Afterwards, we went back to staying back at the camp and listening to the race on the radio. Mom and I enjoyed that much better.

Vacations for my husband were spent a little differently than mine. Instead of traveling to the heavily populated places that I went to as a child, he and his family went to places like The Black Hills and Yellowstone National Park. They were not into the “come see the varmint” attractions. 

©Edward Dusterhoft 2011

Since my marriage, my husband has introduced me to the real way to camp…in a tent. I think we have been everywhere west of the Mississippi River. At least it feels like it anyway, but I know that we haven’t. After our wedding, we moved to Arizona and spent six years there. We camped all over that state from Flagstaff to Tombstone to the Blue Range in the eastern part of the state to the traditional deserts.

The funniest remembrance I have was when we camped out for the first time at Black Canyon Ridge. It was my indoctrination to the world of camping with my husband. We had all the gear, right down to the camp stove, kitchen fly, air mattress and tent. What was so funny about the trip? Well, the one thing you have to remember is that rainstorms in Arizona can happen suddenly. While we were setting up camp, I was preparing the site, with rake in hand, when all of a sudden it started to get very windy. Then the rain came down, followed shortly by hail.

My husband high-tailed it to the car leaving me stranded under the kitchen fly that was barely standing up. Thinking back on it now it was really funny because here I was, standing on top of the picnic table, trying to  hold onto the kitchen fly with all my might to keep it from blowing away. All the while, the wind is whipping around, the rain is coming down and the hail pounding everything. My husband just sat in the car and laughed at me. I was furious. Needless to say, he finished setting up the rest of the campsite.

Black Canyon Rim,

©Edward Dusterhoft 2011

My husband and I have had many wonderful vacations since then. We’ve visited Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, and various other national and state parks all over Arizona. We’ve traveled up and down the state of California (Have you ever seen multiple city fireworks happen all at the same time? Try going to the central coast of California during the 4th of July…truly magical!) We’ve stopped at just about every lighthouse along the coast of Oregon, fished at the Rogue River, been on a Caribbean Cruise, and have relaxed on the sandy beaches of Kauai.

This past August we finally took a vacation after three plus years. We went back to visit an old favorite…Pismo Beach, CA. I just love this place!

Next year, who knows? I’ve always wanted to go to Australia, and we do have our passports…

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This post is written for The Writer’s Post Blog Hop# 22: Vacation. Interested in learning more, please check out the link below!