Growing up as the child of Ranchers/Cow folk, I didn't go on vacation every summer. Reasons for this include:
Not having the money for a vacation
Summers are busy times with harvest, and County Fairs, and getting ready for County Fairs
Dad didn't trust anyone else to take care of the cattle
Really, the first and last ones there were the biggest reasons we didn't do vacations. Actually, the last reason is the main reason we didn't take vacations!
I can remember three vacations...one trip to Colorado Springs/Limon, Colorado for a Woodruff/Smiley reunion. I was 5 or 6. The second vacation was to Red River, New Mexico when I was 8 or 9 and the last one was when I was 15 or 16 and we went to Branson, Missouri.
On our Colorado trip, I really remember bits and pieces of being at the Family Reunion and going to the North Pole near Colorado Springs. The trip to Red River, I remember we stayed in a cabin. I remember it got cold at night and Steve and I loved playing in the creek--which was COLD! I also remember watching hummingbirds.
I do remember more of the Branson trip. I remember we packed a lunch and ate it in a park in Winfield, Kansas. I remember Mom worrying about us being able to find a hotel room in Branson and Dad telling her to not worry, they'd have plenty of rooms. I remember Mom also being worried that we wouldn't be able to find our way out to Silver Dollar City, and Dad telling her that he'd bet all we'd have to do was follow the traffic. (Dad's more fly by the seat of his pants, and Mom's more of a planner. On this trip, we tended to "fly" which caused Mom some stress, but she did really well!) I remember the traffic crawling all the way out to Silver Dollar City, and thinking we'd N.E.V.E.R. get there!
I remember loving the "Fire in the Hole" ride. I remember Mom picking out a mirrored picture with dried flowers behind glass. It hung in our living room for years and years. (Do you still have it Mom? Because I think I could find a spot for it at my house!) I remember being fascinated by the craft demonstrations. And I remember that on the next day, we went to a water park and had a blast.
It's interesting...like my family, Kevin's family didn't do many "real" vacations. They spent most of their vacations back in Ohio, visiting family. So neither Kev nor I have a real tradition of taking vacations. We neither one feel neglected, or feel like we've missed out on anything.
We always intended to go on vacations. We went to Ohio three times to visit family and one summer, we, with Kev's folks, drove to Niagara Falls. We vacationed once in Corpus Christi. We spent several summers camping with friends and family up near Steamboat Springs. But there have also been several summers when we've not taken a vacation. And the only vacation where it was "just" we four was the trip to Corpus Christi!
Our family vacations have been at the forefront of my mind these past couple of weeks because Kev and I "planned" a rather spontaneous vacation to Branson for our family this past week.
Andy graduated from college last month. He earned his Fire Science/EMT degree, passed his National exams and found a job. In three weeks, he'll begin his career as a Firefighter/EMT for the City of Liberal Kansas. For some reason, it hit Kevin and I that this could be our last chance for a family vacation that would consist of "just we four."
So, Kev told me to figure out a place we could go that was relatively close and somewhere we'd never gone before. I picked Branson--probably because it was the last vacation destination that my family had gone on, I have fond memories of it, and it was somewhere new for Kev and the kids. So, unlike my folks, and thanks to the Web, I booked a room in advance, bought tickets to Silver Dollar City in advance, and we went on vacation.
We had a great time!