My family and I have vacationed to many different places over the years. Some of our travels kept us close to home, while some led us farther away to new places. No matter the distance, the most rewarding part of vacations is time spent focused on family.
As a child, my family traveled all throughout our home state of Alabama. From museums to the beach to everywhere in between, our vacations never had a dull moment. We always loved piling in the car and embarking on another round of summer travels.
One of my favorite memories of our family vacations came during a stop we made for lunch in Prattville, Alabama. We were craving burgers and fries and found ourselves as the only patrons in the restaurant. As you can imagine, we were ravenous after hours spent in the car. My dad was especially hungry. To this day I’m still convinced that he ordered everything on the menu.
When our order was ready, rather than simply saying “Order up,” our waitress proceeded to yell out each individual item on our order. I can still hear her Southern drawl as she recited “Two double cheeseburgers, three strawberry milkshakes (hold the cherry on one!), a large onion ring, a kid’s chicken finger plate…” By the time Dad made it to the counter to claim our food she had almost reached the end of our lengthy order. As the last item was called out, my mother got her signature twinkle in her eye and, in her best sing-song voice, ended the list with “…And a partridge in a pear tree!” Everyone burst into hysterical laughter and Dad was totally embarrassed. It was a signature move of my mom’s.
The reason that moment is so precious to me is that we didn’t have to travel around the world to find it. We were simply a few hours from home, eating burgers as a family. All it took was Mom’s seamless incorporation of a favorite Christmas song to make that lunch unforgettable.
I hope that no matter where your travels take you this summer that you are surrounded by those you love. It can be the smallest moments that make the biggest impact. May your summer days be full of laughter…and lots of burgers and fries!
What is one of your favorite summer vacation memories?
Oh, I just LOVE that story, Phyllis! Thanks for sharing it and for the great chuckle. LOL Wishing you and everyone at Hoffman Media a beautiful summer & tons of happy memories…
The New Jersey shore was our summer vacation when I was a child. My grandparents rented the same house for the month of August for over 50 years! My mother and her siblings (she was one of eleven) would all rent houses in Lavalette as well. It was a wonderful time to see everyone no matter where they had moved. I would catchup with many of my 64 cousins. Since most of us were red heads- everyone knew us on the beach.
One summer my dad purchased a very old school bus that had been outfitted like a motor home and slept eight. We loved everything about this bus, except maybe for the cantankerous engine that would sputter and stop and start and necessitate lots of stops to cool down. On our first trip in it, Dad had gotten the tools out to fix the engine one too many times for him to be in a good mood. In order to get to the tools, we kids would scramble out of the bus, open the back door, and remove all the suitcases so that Dad could get to the tools. On one occasion, we accidentally left one of the suitcases sitting by the side of the road and drove miles before one of us realized that we were missing a suitcase. None of us six kids wanted to be the one to tell Dad, so we whispered the news to our mom who then reluctantly relayed it to Dad. If this had been a cartoon, we would have seen Dad’s head explode. As soon as possible, Dad turned the bus around and we headed back in search of our missing suitcase. After several miles, we were all thrilled to see the suitcase sitting on the opposite side of the road. It was retrieved and welcomed back as if it were a long lost friend. The bus was pretty quiet for awhile, and then we started retelling the story to each other and laughing so hard that we could barely get the words out. Over the years we have told our children and grandchildren this story. None of us tires of telling or hearing it!
Thank you for sharing that wonderful family moment with us, Phyllis. And yes, sometimes it’s the simplest of trips that bring back the best memories. For me, it was my annual two weeks at a resort with my grandparents, just north of Toronto. It wasn’t a fancy place but it had a swimming pool, a lake, and the farmers would bring around their ponies for the children to ride. But for me, one year, I got to feed an orphaned lamb. I named it “bazyoo” and when I called, it would run from the field to me and I would feed it milk from a bottle. My mom captured it on film so I still have home movies I can watch and remember these most special moments from childhood summers.
My grandmother lived with us, so our two-week summer vacation was the only time that Dad, Mom and I were together, just the 3 of us, as a family. My dad loved to travel so the first two weeks in June we would set off. Travelers did not make motel reservations back then; we just stopped in the next town when night arrived and found a motel. In 1960 we went to California (on a 3-week vacation this time) to bring my aunt home. When we were on the way back, we were so tired and could not find a motel. It seemed like it took hours, but we finally found one. Dad went to look at the room and came back trying to tell mom she might need to check it out, but she was just too tired to bother. Well…that room had beds with vibrators, and the bathroom had the shower head in the center of the room. It was impossible to have your clothes in there with you! Needless to say, we never let dad forget that room, and we had a lot of laughs over it. I loved, and still love, travelling, even when the hotel rooms my husband and I book are not as nice as we hoped. This fall we are looking forward to having our children and grandchildren with us in the mountains. This will be our first trip for the 8 of us together. We can hardly wait!
I Loved reading your story. It made me laugh out loud! Lots of times, I associate memories when they are triggered by a particular smell. I know that sounds funny, but it is true. We were kayaking yesterday down the the very river I used to play in. My Mom and Dad werent very wealthy, so we really didnt get away too often. But we spent our Summers splashing and playing in that river then, and my Dad pulling us around in a raft making funny noises, and my mom would pack a picnic lunch with bologna sandwiches and oatmeal cookies. When we would eat, my hands would smell like that fishy water and as I ate those oatmeal cookies I could also taste a little bit of river water mixed in. (At least that is what I thought) Yesterday when I was rowing down the river, I smelled that fishy water and immediately thought of those yummy oatmeal cookies my Mom had packed for us to enjoy. It made me Smile!
I cannot imagine anyone topping this story. I do want to thank you for reminding us to remember such precious moments. My brother and I as adult children made some beach trips with my aging parents. My Dad was quite the story teller and they were told over and over. They seemed to get funnier over time. By the time we reached our destination we had already had the time of our lives.
They are both in Heaven now. I have an amazing brother to thank for always making this happen. Make memories everyone! As my best friend would say: “Sometimes REMEMBERING might be the best praying we can do.”
That photo is like my childhood summers on a plate. Just need a wedge of watermelon and pink lemonade (with lots of pulp).
We are having a big burger bash this weekend–our French friends have been dropping hints that they miss our all-American burgers. I’m thinking about which sides (no decent corn on the cob around here, sniff!) and desserts to dazzle them with. Your USA-all-the-way food ambassador at work.