Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer Vacation Angst

When I was a kid the first school assignment each fall was to write about my summer vacation. The only problem was my family didn't go on summer vacations, not as a rule. We didn't have the extra money and it just wasn't something my parents were accustomed to doing. I come from a long line of people who work forty to sixty hours a week and the only vacations they took involved baling hay or the odd hunting/fishing trip. My summer vacation essays were short and generally avoided the assigned topic as much as possible.

Last year I combined three library events in Missouri with my vacation. My brother and I played tourist in the St. Louis area and despite the heat, had a great time. We went in the Arch and viewed the exhibits. My brother actually took the tram/elevator up to the top. I confess, I'm not crazy about heights or small cramped spaces. We were there the week after the tram had gotten stuck and riders had been stranded for a few hours. Just the thought of that was enough to keep me on the ground. I was perfectly happy sitting on a bench, reading, and waiting for my brother to return with photographs.

I've been thinking about where I want to go this year during my time off from my day job. Usually I just stay home and catch up on all the things I never get to during the rest of the year. You know – painting, cleaning out closets, cleaning out gutters, well, just cleaning in general. Nothing too exciting.

In July of 2001, my brother and I took a big trip. We flew to North Carolina, rented a car and spent a week on the Outer Banks. We saw all there was to see and then some – the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, Ocracoke Island and the Blackbeard Museum, the reenactment play of the Missing Colony of Roanoke, and the beach at Nags Head. A nervous flyer, it was my brother's first and probably last airplane flight. We came home sunburned and happy, then less than six weeks later planes were crashed into buildings and life in the United States – especially travel – changed forever.

This year I don't have a new book to promote (yet), so I won't be planning my vacation around libraries and bookstores. If gas prices don't hit $5 a gallon before the end of the month, I may drive to Branson, Missouri for a few days. Branson is a country music boomtown and home of the Silver Dollar City theme park. It's a fun place if you don't mind the heat and the summer crowds. I figure I can last about two days, maybe three, before I'm dying to come home.

I don't know – it wouldn't take much to talk me into staying home in the first place, investing in some new patio furniture, and reading a few dozen mysteries. Might even work on the next Evelyn David book! Okay, I'd probably have to do some painting and yard work too.

What about you? What was your best summer vacation? I promise you don't have to write an essay about it if you don't want to. There will be no grades assigned.

The Southern Half of Evelyn David


  1. We didn't take too many family vacations either when I was a kid--short of cash, lots of kids, etc.--but a memorable one included a trip to a camp grounds over the July 4th weekend. The temps hit 104 degrees in rural Pennsylvania, and the electric hookups weren't working at the camp grounds for some reason. We had no water, no "comfort" facilities (as they are quaintly called in those types of places), and a host of other problems. My mother and grandmother sat in a stream to get relief from the heat and promptly ended up with poison ivy all over. No more camping after that. Maggie

  2. Every year we went to Bass Lake CA and camped for three weeks. We took three boats (all made by my dad), stacked on upon another on a homemade trailer, the boats filled with tents and all our gear and food.

    We had a glorious time, swimming, skiing, boating and making friends.


  3. Summer season is the best time to me for beach holidays. This year also I had got a lovely vacation package to Hawaii beaches.