Note: I’m also guest posting today…will you do me favor and visit Esther, too, at Laugh With Us Blog? Tell her Ginny sent you! Thanks.
I didn’t fly in a plane until the summer after I graduated from college. Before then, the only trips I had taken were mostly car trips with the family.
Our family had four kids, so the six of us would pile into a wide car with bench seats. Us kids had assigned places so we wouldn’t fight each time we had to go somewhere. Dad drove. My little brother would sit between my dad and my mom in the front. In the back seat I was behind Dad, then came my little sister and my other little sister. This was mostly possible because my young siblings were not required to have car seats back then.
We always had to wear our seat belts even though that wasn’t a law yet, either. My parents always said seat belts were the best invention, because that kept kids from roaming around in the car. As if there would have been room to roam around with all six of us packed in like sardines.
Our vacations revolved around visiting family: my mom’s family in Iowa, and my dad’s family scattered around the Midwest. Every summer, we went to meet my dad’s sisters and brothers and their families at “The Lake”.
“The Lake” was Lake Huron. We would drive up to the tip of the thumb of Michigan. The family rented a group of cabins by the beach for the week. The morning our trip began seemed to last forever. And we wouldn’t even be driving yet. Our cabin was very basic so my parents had to pack everything. Food, sheets, towels, clothes, even toilet paper! To equip a family of six for a week was a big job. Dad had a big old car carrier with the picture of snail on it from Sears. It certainly felt like our vacation was starting at a snail-like pace.
Finally, with the trunk and car carrier filled to capacity, we were able to hit the road. While the drive was probably only about six hours, to us it seemed interminably long. Our favorite place to stop will seem silly now, but back then eating at Wendy’s was a novelty. There weren’t any in Illinois. We loved sitting at the tables adorned with replica Victorian newspaper ads. Eating a Frosty with an almond-colored plastic spoon was like heaven on a hot July day. As a kid, I knew of no other place that could provide such a cold, delicious treat. It was only when I was an adult that I realized a Frosty was nothing but chocolate soft-serve ice cream in a cup.
Even though our car had air conditioning, it tended to get hot riding in a car with six people. When we arrived at The Lake–the glorious, wide blue lake that stretched all the way to Canada–we would jump out of the car and wish to dash off to the beach! But if wishes were horses, we’d all ride for free. We were not allowed to dash off until the entire car and the car top carrier was unloaded. And then, only then, were we allowed to greet all the cousins (who had usually arrived before us and had already unloaded their respective cars) and dip our feet into the icy cold water.
Of course, the drive home was even worse than the drive to The Lake. Saying goodbye to all our cousins was hard. We would be tired and perhaps a little sun-burned with grains of sand still between our toes. Our week at The Lake was over.
On the plus side, however, there was less toilet paper to unload once we got home.
Go on a Car Trip with Gretchen at Second Blooming–visit her blog for more Spins!