Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Family Vacations

Over the last couple of years, Cory and I have made it a priority to have a family vacation at least once a year. Although it is a sacrifice to save up the money for a vacation and then to spend it all in a matter of days, I think it is absolutely worth every cent spent. For me, family vacations are a must!

Some of my greatest childhood memories are from family vacations. My parents took us on a vacation every single summer. We drove and traveled all over the U.S. and even flew to some islands. I remember throwing up on a subway in Washington D.C, swimming with sting rays on our trip to the Cayman Islands, whale watching off the coast of California, and snorkeling in the Bahamas. We saw the arch in St. Louis, the sunrise in Key West, the aquifers of Yellowstone, the lakes of Michigan, the trinkets of Mexico, and the swamps of Louisiana, but even more than that...we saw each other. Andrea and I learned how to create imaginary "do not cross or you'll die" lines on the back seat. My mom learned how to make us all happy with her "bird seed" trail mix. My dad brain washed me for life into thinking that, no matter what, you do not stop on a road trip unless you need gas. My dad often repeated the following phrases, "your thirsty? Swallow your spit", "You need to go to the bathroom? Pee in a cup". Yes, there were some moments and memories that are only funny in retrospect, but those are not the memories that stick out the most in my mind. The memories that I savor are the moments of laughter when my mom, Katie, and I almost peed in our pants because of the phrase, "oh no, I don't know what is going to happen next", the moments of bonding that I shared with my dad as we walked along the beach in the Bahamas picking up sea shells, the moments of gratitude and solace as, together, we entered the walls of Carthage Jail, and the moments of realization as I began to see my sisters as my best friends.

As an adult, I now see family vacations through different eyes. I am humbled at the time and sacrifice that my parents put into our trips. As a child, I had no idea the hours of planning and the months of saving that must have taken place beforehand. I wish I could go back in time and tell my Dad on that beach how much that moment was going to mean to me 10 years down the road or that I could go back to those moments in the car and tell Andrea that she could cross any line that she wanted because she is and always will be one of my best friends who lives WAY TOO far away. But I can't. So instead, I just hope and pray that the memories that my children are making will be ones that will last a lifetime because I know that the ones I made as a child have, and will continue to be, some of the best times of my life.





4 comments:

The Allphins said...

We had such good times! I'm glad you remember that funny robot that said "I don't know about this!" I still think and laugh about that. I can't wait to take my own kids on family vacations! I guess I technically did take my baby on vacation to California...

Ryan and Tonya said...

What a fantastic post. Sometimes it is the nostalgia that keeps us going and doing the seemingly difficult things for our family - because we remember how much it meant and continues to mean to us. Thank you, Melissa.

Mandy said...

What great memories! I'm sitting here trying to remember some of mine, now. Thanks. It's wonderful that you and Cory have made such a tradition work in your family.

Carrie said...

I LOVE your pictures! The one of Corey and the big girls by the water is priceless! You are so right. Last year were only able to vacation for 2 nights camping but even that has given us lasting memories. What a great family tradition you are passing along to your sweet girls. Jake could hardly recognize your girls when he saw these pictures. Some how we have got to get together!

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