Friday, August 3, 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

What I Did On My Summer Vacation
By Laura Bradford

Well, we're into the final month of summer and I find myself well aware of the fact that the lazy days are coming to an end. Before long, the kids will be back in school, the after school actitivies will start, and there will be a general "rush" feel added to the evenings that we just don't have right now.

If you can't tell by that paragraph, I love summer. Always have. I love knowing the kids can sleep in if they want. I love knowing we can sit outside in the evening and not keep an eye on the time. I love ice cream (it's just better in the summer, don't you think?). I love little outings--we went to a water park last week and the famed Playland last night. I love looking out my front window and seeing my daughter's chalked masterpieces on the driveway. I love watching that same daughter chasing friends around with water balloons. And the list goes on.

But perhaps the best part of summer is "summer vacation."

When I was a kid, my family spent one week each summer at the Jersey Shore--Ocean Beach, to be exact. The cottage we stayed in was never the same from year to year, but it was always in the same three or four block radius and located on a street with a cute ocean-y name (Dolphin Way, Seashell Drive, etc). Outside of that, each year was a veritable carbon copy of the one before. We played on the same beach, ate at the same pizza place, tried our hands at the same mini golf course each and every summer. I remember my mom always made spaghetti at some point during the week (easy when traveling) and when I imagine those cottages (they all looked exactly the same), I can always smell spaghetti.

Going there every year was a comfort. It was like "home"...only somewhere else. I loved the tradition of that trip. I loved doing things I remembered from the year (or even years) before, while knowing we were making new memories, too.

After I went off to college, it was years before I went back to that area. And by years, I mean at least ten or more. But when I did (with my own kids in tow), I was excited. Excited to share something that had been such an important part of my childhood with my own kids.

I mean, how neat to say, I played mini-golf on this same course when I was little...or...this place has the best milkshakes, ever. :)

You just can't beat summer vacation in my book.

So here's my question for you--when it comes to summer vacation, do you like to try new places each year or do you have a certain spot that will always say "summer" to you?


  1. Our summer vacation usually consist of 1 place we havent gone before and then we goand do things locally!Love the post by the way!

  2. My family has always been into camping. So with both husbands, vacation usually meant a trip up the mountains. You can get a lot of reading down while waiting for a fish to bite. LOL

    And being raised on the farm, summer was work time, not vacation. But I loved the feel of a summer night, sitting on a rock, watching the tadpoles swimming along in the pond.

  3. Nice images, Lynn. And yes, waiting for a fish is a great time to read!

  4. Lovely post, Laura! I could practically taste that summer vacation spaghetti.

    I never really went on vacation as a kid or during my first marriage. In this marriage (20 years this Dec.), though, it's been a tradition. I think my favorite one was the year we spent the first two weeks of July in Oxford, UK. Ben was keynoting an international Yiddish drama conference, and my youngest son (the only one left at home) and I spent the whole time sightseeing. Glorious!

  5. Linda, your trip to the UK sounds wonderful!!! It's those kind of memories that are fun to revisit, isn't it?

  6. As a kid, Bass Lake, CA camping,water skiing, swimming.
    Now, mystery cons and book fairs.

  7. Marilyn, I hope you sneak in a few fun ones even now! :)