Saturday, April 25, 2009

FAMILY VACATION


When I was a kid we went on vacation every year to my Grandparents house. We left every year about the middle of June and didn't come back until about the middle of August. Dad could never take that much time off work, so Mom would drive us out by herself and Dad would come out the last 2 weeks of our vacation and then he'd drive back with us. I don't know how Mom did it - especially after two days in a row. I can remember mom actually having blisters on her hands from gripping the steering wheel. I'll save blogging about our actual vacation for another time, but right now I'd like to blog about getting there.

Every year, my mom would let us each buy 2 or 3 comic books. As we got older, my sister and I used to get the True Love comic books, although I liked the Archie ones too. We also had the Car Bingo games and we'd play the License Plate game where you watched for car license plates and tried to get all 50 states. We had an old station wagon, and my favorite place to be was the very back where my mom would make a bed. We had most of our luggage on top of our station wagon, but we always had one suitcase with our overnight stuff in it since it took us two days to get there.

Before cars had air conditioning, I remember we had a window air conditioner. No, it's not like you think. It was a metal thing that went in the passenger window. You filled it with water, rolled the window down, stuck it in and rolled the window back up. Then the wind would blow through the water and come out cool inside the car. There was one problem with this, it always leaked on whoever sat in the passenger seat, so you had to sit there with a diaper or towel on your shoulder, but even then your shoulder got wet.

We never stopped for lunch and went inside to eat. At least not that I remember. We always ate in our car. My very favorite place to eat was an A&W Root Beer stand. Usually mom would eat hers and then she would start driving again while the slower eaters would finish. When everyone was through with their hamburgers, we would gather up all the trash and put it in the bag it came in and then - are you ready for this? - we threw it out the window! I'm not kidding. Everyone did back then. I can also remember throwing leftover drinks out the window. Mom would never let my brothers throw their drinks out because they would just toss it out and then the drink would go all over the car. I used to think I was a pro at throwing the drinks out because not one drop would go on the car. Thank goodness people don't do this anymore.

We always had stations wagons when I was a kid. One station wagon we had was a Buick Vista Cruiser. This was a cool car. It had long narrow sun-roof type windows that went around the luggage carrier on the roof. This was especially cool at night when you could look up and see the stars. When my parents traded this car in, they got a Dodge station wagon that had a third seat in it that faced the rear. This was a cool place to sit also, although sometimes you got tired of looking at the people behind you if they followed you for very long. This was also not a place for the weak of stomach.

If anyone got car sick, mom always had her trusty bottle of Coke syrup. Coke syrup settled your stomach and helped you feel better. I never got car sick, but one day I wised up. After mom would give whoever was feeling car sick a spoonful of syrup, she would ask if anyone else felt queasy. I finally decided that maybe my stomach might feel queasy too, so I would tell her this and then I could get a taste of coke syrup too. See, mom is the one that got us addicted to Coke!

We were never allowed to argue in the car. If anyone started it, they'd better stop ASAP or mom would warn us that if we didn't stop that she was going to pull over. If anyone was brave enough, or ornery enough to keep it up, then she would throw on the brakes and pull over to the side of the road, and there we'd sit. Oh, and if you started arguing about who started it first, then she'd just turn off the car and sit. Not only would it get pretty hot real fast, but my sister and I were anxious to get there. We couldn't wait to get there to see our cousins!

8 comments:

Delirious said...

Because I was the youngest and smallest for a long time, I had to sit in the way back most of the time. I hated it though because I got carsick very easy, and it was hotter back there. Even today, if I don't sit in the front seat I can get carsick sometimes.

I remember one year (actually it may have been several years) that Inklings made a travel box for our family. She had little packages wrapped, I think in comics, with the names of towns labeled on them. When we came to that town, we could open that package. Sometimes it was a game, or some jokes we could read. I have continued this tradition in my own family, and have often made travel boxes.

Dee Ice Hole said...

I can hardly wait to read about the vacations - I thought you were a rich family because you were the only family I knew that could take a six week vacation. ;-)

Inklings said...

Nene, comic books back then were only a dime apiece, so Mom would give you and I each a dollar and have us pick out ten comic books each,with the stipulation that half the comic books had to be something the boys would like. This was fair...they weren't that old and were slower readers than us. :0)We read all 20 and they took the same time to read their ten. :0)
We only took two days to get there when we had babies that Mom had to stop and nurse. Most years she drove straight through. I remember once she forgot to fill up with gas and there was a long stretch before the next gas station, so she would turn off the car and coast down all the long hills. we made it. Barely.

Bullet for Babs said...

I thought I had posted on this but I guess not...that is really crazy about the trash...the sad thing is the people who do it nowadays though...yeah it might have been bad to do back then but if you do it now then thats just downright irresponsible...

Native Minnow said...

I remember going on vacation to Bear Lake with my other grandma, and she did the same thing with the trash left from our KFC. I was shocked. I'm glad most people have come around, although the highways outside of Vegas suggest otherwise.

Amber said...

That's really cool that they had window air conditioners back then, I wondered how people survived without air conditioning! I'm going to have to remember that trick for not fighting in the car LOL.

Twist's Tales said...

I actually found an auto window swamp cooler online. I was debating getting one before we had rear A/C for the kids. Also when the A/C went out on several cars. Funniest thing about all of that is I love to travel by car. I enjoy the really long trips best especially when we can stop at the sights along the way.

Inklings said...

One more thing - the person who had to sit right by the window Ac always got a head cold from it. So you might not want one after all, Twist.

By the way, my verification word was dueablew. Hmmm....