Tuesday, July 19, 2011
What was the best vacation you ever took as a child?
Hmmm, this is a tough one. We didn't really take many vacations when we were kids. I mentioned the other day that the first time my mom took us to Italy, I was about 4, my sister was about a year and half, and we went there for the summer, mainly to attend my uncle's wedding. He married a girl from Italy, so they had one wedding there, then came here and had another wedding.
I went to Italy again when I was 8. This time I went with my aunt. Shocking, right? An 8 year old willing to be away from her family for 3 whole months!? The real story is this. My grandparents (my mother's parents) used to go to Italy every year from about May-October, just like my mother does now. We were always sad to see them go. This was back in the day, when EVERYONE could go right to the gate and wait until boarding time. Actually, those are some of my best memories- sitting at O'Hare Airport with my entire family, either saying good bye to my grandparents, or welcoming them back home.
Anyway, that year, I apparently threw a bit of a tantrum at the airport because I didn't want my grandparents to leave, so my grandpa said, "Let her come stay with us!" My aunt was going that summer with my two little cousins, and so my mother actually let me go. I still can't believe it.
As far as vacations with my family, I can really only remember a couple. One year, we went to The Wisconsin Dells. I just remember that our motel room was beyond scummy, and that my mother was PISSED. I vaguely remember being at the Tommy Bartlett water show. The one thing I REALLY remember about that is that when we came out of the show, my dad went BALLISTIC because they had put a Tommy Bartlett bumper sticker on his car. I seriously thought he was going to kill someone.
We took another trip once to Springfield, IL. I have scattered memories of seeing all kinds of Lincoln things. But, the best/weirdest part of that trip is that we got our dog, Oreo, on that trip. One of the hotel maids had a dog that had puppies, and her husband had brought them up to the hotel. (Maybe to show her coworkers? I don't know) He had this cardboard box full of puppies in his truck, and we happened to be walking out to our car when my dad saw them. He's always been a sucker for dogs, so naturally he stopped to look at and play with the puppies. There was one, little tiny fluff of black fur in the corner of the box that caught our eyes. He was the runt of the litter, and could not possibly be cuter! He was pitch black, with stark white paws, and a white patch on his chest. Hard to see how we arrived at his name, right?
My mother carried Oreo around in her purse the rest of that trip. We have some hilarious pictures of that, as well as pictures of Oreo in the grass, sitting between my sister's feet, which were bigger than him. We used the hotel ashtrays (gah! Remember the day when hotel rooms had freakin' ashtrays! YUK!) as his food and water dishes, that's how tiny he was.
As tempted as I am to bore you with memories from more of our vacations, I'm going to stop there. I need to figure out how to open the front door and get my mail without melting. They just announced an excessive heat watch for us here in ChiTown. Good times, good times....