I’ve been on many vacation trips, and created a lot of memories.  Richard’s recent blog posts about our home town, Cuba, and Dale’s stories about his hikes on the North Country Trail with Karen have made me reminisce about some of the great getaways I have taken. Here’s a list of 10, and the reason each one is memorable.

  1. Disneyland 1960. Our very first trip to Disneyland, and Walt Disney was there, riding in the Main Street parade! I remember I wore a dress, and got a bad sunburn on my shoulders.
  2. Yellowstone 196?. Our first family trip to the most popular National Park in the country was dampened by round-the-clock rainfall. But the most memorable moment was as Richard was directing Dad into the camp space and a big black bear ambled up behind him. He didn’t believe us when we told him it was there, but he sure scrambled when he realized we weren’t kidding.
  3. Zion 196?. On one of our camping trips to Zion National Park, Donnie fell into a deep hole in the river, and I tried to grab him. Since neither of us could swim (duh!), we both would have drowned if Dick and Dale had not swum over to us and rescued us. Funny, but I can still remember that feeling of going under the water and not being able to stand up and get a breath of air. Thanks big brothers, I never thought about it, but I guess I owe you my life!
  4. Michigan/New York Road Trip 1973. When Brian was a baby, Roland & I drove back east for Christmas. On the way home, we encountered the worst ice storm Arkansas had ever seen, and we slid off the road into the ditch. Luckily, tow trucks were trolling, looking for business by setting folks back on that ice rink called a road, and so we were rescued and moved s-l-o-w-l-y on down the road.
  5. Lake Powell 1980. Our first house boating vacation was definitely a blast, but I will never forget 7 year old Brian falling off that top bunk the first night.
  6. Hawaii 1983. Even though Roland and I had the biggest fight of our lives over that nude beach, we still had a wonderful time seeing all the sights and relaxing in the sun.
  7. Alaska 1997. On my very first trip to Alaska, my purse was stolen along with my airline ticket home, all my credit cards, my Social Security card (I’ll never carry THAT around again!) and $230 in cash. It was quite an ordeal getting everything taken care of in order to fly home. None of my belongings ever turned up, but neither did my identity on someone else’s mortgage, so all’s well that ends well.
  8. Walt Disney World 2002. I got to experience Mickey, and especially the Winnie the Pooh ride, through 3 year old Megan’s eyes.
  9. Walt Disney World 2003. WDW two years in a row, but the second time I saw it with 3 year old Lauren and 6 month old Nathan. Nathan gave us a terrible scare by passing out (he had sleep apnea) during the Epcot fireworks, but he doesn’t seem to have suffered any permanent effects.
  10. New England/East Coast Road Trip 2005. Glenda and I earned a reputation as the “Lost Girls” as we continually got on the wrong route while driving through every state in New England and down the Atlantic coast, stopping in NYC, Philadelphia, Washington D.C, and finally Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida. An extra bonus on memory lane was experiencing the tail end of Hurricane Wilma.

If I were writing this in December, I’m sure I would have to make room for my November trip to New York City with Robin to see three Broadway shows. But that’s a future memory waiting to be made.

What are some of your memorable vacations? And by the way, does anyone know the dates of those 196? trips?


  1. I wish I could help but I was younger than you then. I bet Mom will be able to fill it in.

    The first 3 are definitely on my list too. I too still remember being under water and not being able to get up. I think I learned how to swim shortly after that. I also owe my life to big brothers. Thanks from me too.

    For me one of my favorite trips was driving back to New York with Dennis Reno. The few weeks we were all there was one of my best vacations. The next year when I spent the summer with Dale was absolutely my favorite summer ever. I was 16 or 17 and I was allowed to drive Dale’s Charger wherever I went. How much more could a kid ask?

    Funny thing but this last week was also on my list of best vacations. Betty and I have never taken a whole week to ourselves and stayed in hotels for 6 of the 7 nights. It would have been much better if Betty hadn’t hurt herself and of course Eric and Joce having the accident didn’t help but I’m separating them from the rest of the trip.

  2. Lots of fun memories! Especially as Ken and I are wrapping up a great trip to DC. We leave first thing in the morning to go back home. I can’t wait for our next adventure this fall in NYC!

  3. Can I just say that I am sooooo jealous of your Disneyland trip and seeing Walt himself?! I LOOOOVE Disneyland. It is my favorite place on the planet (granted, I haven’t been to many places).

    Peter and I went to Disneyworld in 2003 as well, while Jeremiah stayed with Peter’s parents. It was memorable because it our first time away from Jeremiah (he was about 20 months old) and it was when we decided it was time for a second child (even though it took another 7 months before I would actually get pregnant). We were there in August. It was incredibly muggy and miserable but we still had a great time.

    Some other memorable trips for me:

    *Winter trip to Lake Tahoe in 1985. We were there for New Year’s. It was my first snow experience.

    *2 weeks every summer at my Grandma’s cabin in Big Bear, CA. Fishing, waterskiing, hiking, and lots more outdoor stuff. We went every year from the time I was 9 till I was 20. My Grandma sold the cabin to a friend in 1997, but I was still able to go back for a visit with Peter in 2000. Love it there!

    *My first trip to San Francisco in 1994. I fell in love with that city. Decided then that I would go to college in the area. (I was a junior in H.S. at the time. I ended up going to UC Santa Cruz, about an hour south of the city.) And, it was my first trip without my parents.

    *Lake Mammoth, CA in February 1997. First time snow boarding. Broke my tailbone. Haven’t been snowboarding since! But, had a great time with friends!

    *Drive down PCH from Santa Cruz to Malibu in 1999. Solo trip. It was awesome!

    *Honeymoon in Maui in 2001.

    *Portland, OR in 2008. It was a girl’s weekend; just Alayna and I to visit my sister Jill. Fell in love with the area and have been wanting to move there ever since!

    *Vegas trip in 2009 for my Grandma’s 75th birthday. There was a huge family reunion, and it was Peter’s first trip there. We had some great family time!

    *We used to do yearly trips to San Diego and Las Vegas because we have family there. We actually went a few times a year throughout my entire childhood/adolescence.

  4. Sara, thanks for stopping by my blog and for leaving your comment. You have had some great and memorable vacation experiences, too!

    One of my brothers, Daryl, went to UCSC for his post graduate degree in Physics. He loved it, and the Banana Slugs! LOL! My husband and I visited him and his wife while they were living in married housing on campus.

    I’m sure you have found that I stole your list idea. Hope you don’t mind. 😉

  5. I got a big laugh about you and Roland fighting over the nude beach.

    I’m trying to figure out if he wanted you both to participate physically, or if he just wanted to participate voyeuristically.

    Or maybe YOU wanted to participate and he wouldn’t let you…?

  6. My list is the same as Donna’s, in all the ones involving the family. Plus, I had the time in England. I wish that I could go there for about six months, and go on north, farther than we went, and visit Scotland and Ireland. Maybe it would take a year, and Daryl has balked at pushing my wheel chair in a foreign country for that length of time. So, I’ll stay in Mesa, and dream.

  7. Daryl, the Hawaii story is that we ran into some A.L. Williams co-workers there, and in the words of Elaine Benes, “He took … it out.” (The other guy, not Roland.) Knowing I would see him again on the mainland after that was just too much for me. I started crying, we left, and Roland got furious at me for embarrassing him.

  8. I’m sorry I don’t have any nude beach stories to tell, but otherwise my list is not a lot different. I can’t include our Alaska trip because it was not a vacation. We took that trip after our retirement. Same goes for our cruise through the Panama Canal. It seems unfair but it’s either no vacation now or all vacation now.

    Somewhere on my list of vacations before retirement would be some of the trips we took to the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, the Canadian Rockies, the Florida Keys and the Everglades, the Mexican Cruise, the week we spent in Negril, Jamacia, the three weeks Dianna and I drove all over Europe, the retreat weeks in the Alps…… I guess I better stop somewhere. Since we’ve both been in all 50 states, most of Canada, much of Mexico, most of the islands in the Caribbean, and much of Europe it is hard to pick out only ten. When people find out we have been so many places they often ask me what place I like the best. I always answer that my favorite place is the one we haven’t been to yet.

  9. High on my list of favorite vacations are when Gisele and I took both boys to Australia and New Zealand, especially the latter. We rented a motor home and drove around the islands for three or four weeks. We had a wonderful time.

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