As summer has ended and Fall is creeping in I was thinking of my favorite summer vacations. Almost every summer as a child we would take a summer vacation to West Virginia to visit with all of our extended family. It was so much fun. We would be gone for two full weeks and time would fly by.
Mom would start packing a week before the trip – all the clothes would be folded on the guest bed…I always got a couple new outfits & a new bathing suit, the cooler would be pulled out and cleaned, and Mom would buy the best snacks for the road! We would get up by 5am to be on the road before the sun came up. It was so hard to sleep the night before – it was like Christmas!
We usually took the same route every time. I like remembering how Mom would make me be real quite when we would go through the big cites like Dallas, Memphis, and Little Rock. Dad would always have to AC on high and freeze me and Mom to death…and he would always get lost - every year in Elizabeth Town, Kentucky! We would stop at Stuckey’s and starve ourselves until we found a Shoney’s…ohh…and I would get the fudge ice cream cake - yummy!! We would play road games, sing, and pick all the good nuts out of the can – only the peanuts were left. I wanna go back…one more time….just one more time. I want Dad to drive, me in the backseat, & Mom telling Dad he was going the wrong way….just one more time.
We would always make it to Nashville, Tennessee the first night and stay at the Opryland Hotel and my folks would take me to Opryland Amusement park. I have the best memories ya’ll! I wish I could just let you take a peek…I am laughing & crying right now!! There was this one hotel Dad got us…the Fiddlers Inn…and it was bunk beds…Mom was not thrilled – we ended up driving until we found a Holiday inn.
Once we would get to Seth, West Virginia – the next afternoon it was non-stop. I would usually stay with my cousin Donna – her kids were my age…her daughter Lisa is 2 days younger than me. Donna makes the BEST homemade biscuits & sausage gravy! (No wonder I have a weight issue…btw I gained 0.8 of a pound this week. grrrr!!!!) I would bounce from house to house…I would have to check in with Mom once a day but other than that I was free! There was a river, wild blackberries, the mountains, 4wheelers, fishing, lots of cousins for lots of games, the swinging bridges…and the Racine community pool. I lived at that pool for two weeks – it was the place to be!!
The point to my F.F.F. – sorry ya’ll…I was just going down Tina-lane and forgot to get on with the getting on!
One summer my family decided to pitch in money and RENT the pool for the day. It was so awesome! We had a huge picnic – tons of food (there I go again!!), games, swimming, laughing, and my Daddy.
I thought I was going to die when I seen my Daddy get out of the car! There he was…with his farmer’s tan…in his swimming trunks, cowboy boots, and a hat! Everyone laughed – it was the best. That was my Daddy. The life of the party…the jokester…the crazy one! I cherish this picture and the memories. Thanks Mom & Dad…there is no amount of money or material things in this world that could replace my wonderful childhood memories!