Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Summer Vacations

My facebook feed is filled with beautiful photos of everyone on their family summer vacations.

Down East.

Out West.


Niagara Falls.

So, so lovely.

I don't take my kids on vacations.

Because some of my worst childhood memories are of my family vacations.  We had the absolute worst vacations.  I have 4 siblings....I'm in the middle.  We usually went on a vacation every summer. wasn't really a was a 'weekend'.  And now thinking back....I'm so glad that it was just a weekend away and not an entire week.

My all time favourite was the year that my Dad decided that we would take the truck.  He borrowed a cap to put over the back of the it was enclosed.  He put a mattress in the back of the truck and put all of us kids in the back.  It was much safer than just letting us all drive in the back without the cap....right?  He and Mom sat up front while the rest of us wrote notes and banged on the glass in between us....things like "I NEED TO PEE" or "I'M GOING TO PUKE" or "HOW MUCH LONGER?"  They didn't actually have to 'listen' to us complain or fight.  We were driving down the 401 in the back of truck...enclosed.  It was brutally hot.  You would probably get charged for doing this to your dog now-a-days....but it was the was all good.  We had every truck driver on the 401 honking their horn at us.  We went all the way to Kitchener...which was about a 6 hour drive....OF HELL.

We usually always went to Kitchener.  Dad's cousin lived there and we would stay the weekend at his place...with his wife and kids.  I don't even know if my Dad gave them any warning that we were coming....but they always seemed happy to see us.  They took us across the border a few times.  I think the place was called 'Water Fun Village'.  It was a place with water slides and it was all fun...until one of my brothers became missing.  We looked in the bottom of the pools and out in the parking lot.  My mom was starting to get frantic when we finally found him.  I think he was about 3....I was sure that he had been kidnapped and we would never see him again.

One year we went to the African Lion Safari.  I honestly don't remember seeing any lions.  I remember sitting in the back seat of the tour bus.  It was a brutally hot day and there was a steel bar across the bottom of the seat...right where your knees bend and as I sat down my legs pressed against the steel bar and burned.  I was too feet didn't touch the floor when I sat down so I couldn't lift my legs up so they wouldn't touch the bar.  I was in so much pain.

One year we went to Toronto and visited my Great Aunt and Uncle.  We went to Canada's Wonderland and it poured rain.  POURED.  The rides weren't even going and we were the only ones there.  We had the entire place to ourselves....but really WHY WOULD WE WANT TO BE THERE?

They took us to the zoo in Toronto once too.  I remember it was really really hot that day.  It seemed to always be really hot when we went on our weekend away.  A seagull swooped over my head and shit on me.  Right at the zoo.  Then my Mom wanted to get a photo of us all together.  So we sat on a picnic table in the park and everyone walking by was laughing at us.  Then we noticed that there was a sign on the table....WET PAINT.  Luckily the table had dried.  I actually couldn't believe our luck.

They took us to Santa's Village once.  There was a big sign when we arrived.  CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS.  We took photos outside.  Yes...we were there.  It was memorable.

The farthest we ever went was to Nova Scotia.  My Aunt and Uncle were living there at the time and we decided to visit them.  We had just bought a new car.  Only there was seven of us....and by this time we were getting big.  I was heading into grade 9 that summer.  My sister and I sat cross legged all the way to Nova Scotia so our younger brothers could sit on the floor of the car.  That was comfy.  I remember my brother closing the window without warning....the car had power windows....and I got my finger jammed. 

We visited Peggy's Cove and while we were there a boy fell over into the ocean.  They got him out but I remember thinking that it could have been my brother....because he had been standing in the exact same place about 10 minutes before.  It was all a miracle...that the boy survived and that it wasn't my brother.  And I just felt sick.

We also went to a lovely restaurant....known for it's amazing lobster.  Only we all ordered chicken fingers.  I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.  I just ordered them because that's what everyone else at my table was getting.  And we stared at the people beside us with these huge bibs on as they cracked open their lobsters.

We stayed two nights and came straight home....I don't even remember stopping.  But I do remember driving thru Montreal.  Traffic was crazy and I was sure that we were going to die and then we were in the tunnel and someone said that the St. Lawrence River was actually above us....and I thought we would die.  I also remember that it rained heavily for a bit and we passed a lady that was not using her windshield wipers and I couldn't figure out how in the world she could even see where she was going.  And I was sitting cross legged with no feeling in my legs or feet.

Those were my family vacations.

So I married a farmer.  He told me that we would probably never go on vacations.

That suited me perfect.


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