And Our Last Name Isn’t Even Griswold.
*WARNING* The following post contains poorly scanned family vacation photos circa the 1990’s. I have a cold and find comfort in rummaging through old photos and posting them on the internet for the world to see. No one is safe. You have been warned.
My family took a lot of road trips when I was a kid.
Apart from the nylon track suit debacle of 1990, airplanes just weren’t our thing.
Our thing, apparently, was packing up a pop-up tent camper complete with water tank, air conditioning, and flushable port-o-potty, reclining in the relative luxury of our ultra high-roofed conversion van with television and 6-disk CD changer (such an upgrade from our old wood-paneled Dodge caravan), and traversing across these vast United States to acquaint ourselves with nature.
(Oh, yes. We were roughing it.)
Or at least to recline on our queen and full-sized pop-out beds with a zippered nylon film between us and nature.
(What was it with the ’90s and nylon, by the way? Was that the material of the Future?)
And I have to say.
Lying there next to my sister — listening to the rain patter above our heads and occasionally giving a swift kick with my legs to clear the water pooling overhead — is one of my favorite memories.
(The good thing about big hair is that it can hide your awkward teenaged face.)
We saw the Badlands this way. A rainbow rockscape that looked like the moon.
Or at least how I imagined the moon should look.
(Me, my dad, my sister. If you’re good at what you do, big hair can be achieved anywhere.)
And Lake of the Ozarks. A fat, winding snake lake and the “Midwest’s Premiere Vacation Destination,” according to the online Missouri Vacation Guide.
(This is about the time my little sister became cool while I was going through my brace-faced-extreme-layered-hair-pants-pulled-to-waist-denim-goes-with-EVERYTHING awkward phase. Fun times.)
And Rocky Mountain National Park, where we hiked through miles of mountain paths in our brand new boots — the glass-still lakes and deafeningly quiet mountain valleys enough to distract from sore feet and raw ankles.
(Me, my dad, my sister. Flannel was IN. And apparently it’s back. I wish I still had that shirt.)
And the flat, barren wealth of Texas, all the way to Corpus Christie, where relentless storm clouds seethed and angry Gulf waves crashed upon the pier, spraying salty sea mist like a viper’s venom.
(I have no photo of the stormy day at the pier, but I do have a photo that displays our utmost enthusiasm for Selena. See, before the days of social networking and Facebook tagging, it was cool to not smile for pictures. And to wear giant strappy sandals.)
(Also, this is where my mom got attacked by a flock of seagulls.)
We even saw the exotic state of Iowa and sat in its largest solid walnut rocker.
(My sister, mom, me, and mom’s purse. We really knew how to frame up a solid photo.)
And while it’s fun to reminisce on (mostly) happy times, it’s even more fun to gawk at our fashion faux pas —
— and the photos where you can tell we’d probably been spending a little too much time together —
(Note the excitement. This is probably where my love for travel was born.)
— and the season that birthed my young sister’s drinking problem.
(Me, my sister, my brother, my mama.)
Hey. There were 5 of us stubbing our toes and peeing within earshot.
What did you think would happen?
How about you? What are your favorite and/or embarrassing family vacation memories? I bet you can’t top my almost-entire outfit made of denim.