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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.

Rocky Mountain National Park

(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.

Katie

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Comments

Penny
Reply

One correction. That Lake of the Ozarks is actually Lake McConaughy near Ogallala, NE. The lake that can be seen from space. I’ll have to look for Ozarks pictures for you. And can’t you take out that last one, my butt looks HUGE! Thanks for the memories! Get well!

Katie
Reply

Dammit. I couldn’t remember so I took a wild guess.

Your butt wasn’t huge — it was just the mom shorts. ;)

Katie
Reply

Pulling. Them. Off.

Matthew
Reply

Way to call your sister an alcoholic.

And give me some time…I may be able to find a picture of me wearing pink Zooba’s (remember those zebra striped pants?); or of anything…a hyper-color sweatshirt.

Katie
Reply

PLEASE find that picture. Classic.

denyse@crazy beautiful life
Reply

You made me laugh. I thought I was looking at pics from my 1980’s album. I know ALL that denim all to well. The socks and sandals are pretty “rockin”…lol

I’m a follower from SITS and now I’m off to “stalk” you on fb, twitter and pinterest. ;-)

Have a “crazy beautiful” day!

Katie
Reply

Aw, thanks Denyse! I will be sure to check you out as well! Stalkers are awesome. :)

Matt
Reply

I always cringe when my mom wants to pull out old photos. Although I particularly get a kick out of when we pull out the old home videos.

Katie
Reply

Does everyone look better in live action? :)

Stephanie
Reply

Nice! And way to be brave putting up those old photos! Ah, fashion.

My camping experiences with my dad were always a lot more rugged, so I was never a camping girl.

My mom, on the other hand, was a travel agent and would bring us on the tours she escorted. That was really more my thing. I have some fun childhood memories of monkeys breaking into our hotel room and stealing our towels in Guatemala.

Katie
Reply

I finally realized it’s time I just embrace my nerdiness.

And yes — your mom’s way of travel sounds MUCH more my style, too. I had to do the “rugged” camping a few times for school (geology minor), and peeing in the woods just isn’t my thing. But monkeys? Monkeys rule.

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