The funny thing about vacations…..

Everyone loves a vacation.  Right?

I do.  I love visiting new places and seeing things that are different from your everyday life.  Yes it takes a lot of planning and researching to find a place to stay and the best travel route but I don’t mind.  I’ve had both hits and misses on places to stay and routes to go.  Some of my epic errors include the hotel in St Louis on my honeymoon (don’t mind the armed security guard – he’s just there as a precaution) and trying to get to Key West from Fort Lauderdale after Hurricane Wilma had blown down at least 1/2 of Miami’s street signs (Little Havana is nice in November).  I look at vacations as an adventure.  In my family we still talk about the vacations we’ve shared and the crazy, silly, scary things that have happened.  One of the first times we ever travelled together as a family was a camping trip down to Dale Hollow to meet with some of my brother-in-laws family to ride horses.  A tornado ripped through the park taking out the dock just past out campsite – the only thing that saved us was that we were in a valley and the tornado “skipped” around us.  It probably should’ve served as a warning that we shouldn’t travel together  – but we still do.

We made that Dale Hollow trip in 1996.  In the 18 years since then we’ve travelled to Florida, Alabama and South Carolina with most members present, as well as San Diego, Georgia and North Carolina with some family members.  Tomorrow we’re heading back to South Carolina and I’m sure the adventures and memories will be epic.  We’re travelling with a few of our vacation staples.   The “Grumpy Gill Jar” — if you have a complaint or grouch you write it down and put it in the grumpy gill jar to be discussed at the end of the vacation.  The “King Julian lei” — there is a daily process or contest to decide who is “King Julian” for the day – winner gets to pick activities and food for the day.  Yes “grumpy gill” is from Finding Nemo and “King Julian” is from Madagascar – never under-estimate the power of an animated movie.

Check out this picture:

5jump

It’s awesome right…. everyone is happy and smiling and having fun.

The funny thing, when I see this picture is that I don’t see the happy and fun, I remember the near death experience of getting everyone ready for the pictures and to the beach to take them.  My sister and I learned an important lesson that day.  Not everyone likes a “surprise we’re taking family pictures on the beach” day.  But as bad as the getting ready was, the smiles and fun we had that night on the beach was real.  And we all ate at a hole in the wall restaurant with really good pub food later that night which was better than some of the expensive restaurants we had been to all week.  Lesson’s learned. Memories made.

Next blog from the road………….  Memories here we come!!

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