When I was a kid, my Dad would take us on an annual summer vacation to my aunt and uncle's house. It was a 7 hour car ride that he would drive overnight so we could sleep then wake up at our destination. I would try to stay up really late, thinking I could beat sleep by think child like existential thoughts like, "Are we moving or is someone turning a crank and the road is moving underneath us?" "Are there dinosaurs under those mountains?" "Who turned on the cloud machine?" I used to make my own seismographs by holding my pen lightly and letting the bumps of the drive make lines on my paper. I never could stay awake for the whole drive.
We usually got into town at about 6:30 am, sometimes earlier. I remember waking up as we pulled into the Donut Hole. Sometimes we'd have donuts and milk or hot chocolate in the parking lot because Dad thought it was too early to pull up to my aunt's house. I would be so excited, bouncing around in my seat because I knew we were minutes away from seeing some of the most wonderfully kind and fun people.
During our week long trip, we usually went to the happiest place on earth which is kind of no fun when you're too afraid to ride anything and who wants to stand in line all day? The best part was spending time with my family. My uncle made sure we had fun while we were there. We played games, ran around, heard scary stories, ate happily, all things kids needed. I remember my uncle gathered all of us kids and we played hide and go seek in the outside in the dark. He jumped out and scared me....like almost peed my pants scared.....crying scared. He instantly stopped being "scary" and hugged me...with a little chuckle.
In a few years after that experience, my parents got divorced and our annual trip had been cancelled indefinitely during my remaining childhood.
I'm so happy/sad to say that I've just made it back home from visiting my lovely SoCal family. I had seen them before a few years back but not for long periods of time, not for 5 days in a row. This vacation was very much needed. My husband needed a break and we needed to get out to cooler temperatures.
More to come tomorrow.