July 15, 2008

Ten on Tuesday: Vacation!

This week's Ten on Tuesday theme is memorable vacation moments. Although my dad was no Clark Griswold, we had our share of childhood road trip disasters. Here are ten of my memories.

  1. My first trip to Disneyland
    I was nine years old, and it was my first trip west to visit my mom since she'd moved to Las Vegas. We took a few days and drove to Disneyland, and I will never forget staying at the Disneyland Hotel, riding the monorail and the People Mover and the Matterhorn. It rained on us one day, but we didn't care. Magical. This was way before Space Mountain.
  2. Salzburg at Christmas
    My sister went to Austria for a year in college, and we visited over Christmas break. I was perhaps thirteen. We walked across a frozen lake and toured the very cool fortress, and I got laughed at by Austrian kids on the ski slopes. My dad spoke almost no German, and he left a note for the B&B lady that said something like, "Sorry we left before breakfast. We went shitting." He meant to write "skiing."
  3. Block Island
    Looking for jellyfish over the ferry's rail. Riding bikes around the island and climbing down the clay bluffs. Getting sandwiches and salt water taffy and tacky souvenirs at Old Harbor. Eating fresh, raw honey from the little farm. I wonder if it still has any of the same charm that it did thirty years ago, or if it's built up beyond recognition now?
  4. Walking Mt. Katahdin's Knife Edge
    My dad: deathly afraid of heights. Me: A nine year old kid more interested in cartoons than hiking. A mountain trail known as "Knife Edge." Add in a little rain, and you've got a typical Dudley childhood vacation. I loved it.
  5. Were the Vikings really this tacky?
    In the year before kids, we drove around England. One stop was York, which I loved, but not because of the Jorvik Viking Museum. I am a huge fan of medieval history, particularly the English period around the time of Alfred. But Jorvik seemed a surreal Disneyland treatment, complete with barnyard smells, when I was hoping for something more... museumlike.
  6. Flooding and Pestilence
    I can never remember whether it was South Carolina or some similar state, but I woke up in my little tent in four inches of water during what was likely a hurricane. We slept the rest of the night in the car. This was not an uncommon part of our vacations.
  7. Kejimkujik
    We took the Blue Nose Ferry to Nova Scotia and spent a few days at this gorgeous Canadian national park. The rangers ran a wonderful nature program in the evenings. I'll never, ever forget the stargazing we did one night.
  8. Lunch at the Louvre
    When our oldest was only four months old, I went on a business trip to Paris. Round trip fare was just $500, so my wife joined me for the weekend prior to the conference, leaving the tot with grandma. It was a cold December, but it was a great trip. The Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees.
  9. The old MGM Grand Hotel
    I spent summers in Las Vegas, and my favorite hangout was the old MGM Grand. Their back section held the jai-alai fronton, the video arcade, a Swensen's ice cream shop, and the movie theater which showed old, MGM classics and had big, puffy seats like recliners and servers who would bring you food and drinks. Too bad it burned down.
  10. Most recent trip to Disneyland
    We took our boys to Disneyland last December, and it was again magical. After nearly a whole week there, when it was time to leave, my oldest (eleven) teared up and asked when we could come back. He's not sentimental, not in the least. But the magic had gotten into his bones, and it broke my heart to have to leave. (Here he is in the Jedi Training Academy.)
Have you been to these places? Have any great suggestions? Now take a break from your day and visit other T10 lists.


Ello - Ellen Oh said...

What a cool list! My family vacations were anywhere we could get to with a car. Which meant we went up and down the Eastern shoreline from Main to the keys. I've been to disneyworld in Florida but never to disneyland (or is the other way around? I'm always confused). I'd love to take the kids to legoland. If I can ever suck up the courage to take 3 kids on a long ass plane ride, I just might do it. But with 3 whiners I mean lovely children, a 2 hour plane ride is all I can handle, if that.

Unknown said...

You have certainly had some interesting - and colorful - vacations. Thanks for sharing them.

I actually miss the PeopleMover at Disney. It was a nice way to get acclimated to Tomorrowland. Summers in Vegas? Thank goodness for air conditioning :-).

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Sam said...

Nice vacation list!!
Made me want to go on vacation, lol!

Me said...

Love the B&B note! We had similar language problems during our family Europe trip.

My stepsister and I thought it would be great fun to freely talk about everyone around us, making fun of them, since we were in Germany and stupidly assumed no one could understand English. That only lasted until a couple of German men chewed us out in heavily accented English.

Robin S. said...

Wow, Pete -this is great, seeing your past through your vacations, and seeing the pictures.

From Salzburg to York to summers in Vegas, what a wild ride! I love that for you.

Mike said...

You've had some interesting trips. The Knife Edge looks terrifying. I'm also afraid of heights.

That's a good story about the B&B. I could see myself doing something like that.

Dawn said...

You have been to some fun places. Great list! I don't know what I would think if I woke up in that much water. Yikes!

Teena in Toronto said...

Nice to see you made it to my home province of Nova Scotia!

Thanks for stopping by :)

cjm said...

Ok, ello's dancing pig is ridiculously cute up there.

And great vacations and pics. It's been awhile since I've stopped by. Hi.

Joyce said...

I'm not much of a traveler (as you will see if you visit my blog) but I think I would enjoy visiting Austria with my husband someday.

Isn't Disneyland magical for children? Our children haven't been there yet, but it is a favorite memory for me from my childhood.

Sarah Laurenson said...

The first time I went to Disneyland, I was 14. What I remember most was the trip to the moon (or was it Mars). And the jungle cruise which was an E ticket ride and the guy made a bad joke about E being for Euripedes tickets out of your book.

When I was a kid, we did a lot of camping - very close to home (NJ). It wasn't until we moved to Louisiana that we ventured farther than 2 states away from Jersey.

My favorite vacation spot so far is Victoria, BC, Canada. Bermuda is very nice and has a cool lighthouse that overlooks everything.

JCB said...

I Love love love disneyland.

Your dad's note made me laugh out loud.

ShannonW said...

I like your vacations better than mine! I need to go West in the USA and visit places outside the USA.

Always Faith said...

Wow....cool vacations. Flooding and pestilence was rather humorous...I'm sure that wasn't high up on the favorite moments. LOL. Your childhood family vacations sound a lot like mine. *grin*

Anonymous said...

I love all your stories and the pictures that go with them! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa G said...

ooooooo, Salzburg at Christmas. I'd love to do that. Thanks for your comment about NO on my blog--I *should* go back, you're right :)

JaneyV said...

I LOVE your list! I had a couple of camping holidays as a kid which were visited by the very worst of Irish weather. On the first one my mother woke up floating on her air bed and on the second I woke up in an empty tent because everyone was outside standing o it to keep it from blowing away!

Aside from these we tended to go to the same seaside town every year. it wasn't til I had my own kids that I saw a bit of the world. top of list Pacific NorthWest of the US. 2) New England/ NewYork in Fall, 3) Virginia /DC, 4) Wales, 5) Devon, 6) Dorset, 7) SW Ireland , 8) Cumbria, 9) Clare/ Burren, 10) Cornwall.

PJD said...

Thanks to all y'all for stopping by. It was fun reading other people's stories, and many of them reminded me of other vacations that certainly were memorable. Yano comes up with some pretty good prompts.