Thursday, August 23, 2012
My Favorite Vacation
A while back, Dave and I were talking about what our favorite vacations were growing up. Naturally, his all involved camping under the vast African sky and fighting off monkeys and lions and such (ok, maybe not so much wild animal fighting, but there could have been!!).
My family never went on elaborate get-aways, but I do remember going on a number of vacations with my family. Often, they involved unbearably long car rides and sharing rooms with cousins. I always had fun, and while the van certainly felt cramped after 12 hours, I never dreaded spending that time with my family. We'd listen to Hank the Cowdog or Adventures in Odyssey. We'd play the licence plate state game and the alphabet game 1,000,000 times (till mom made us stop because she was going nuts). But my favorite vacation wasn't at my Aunt's condo or touring new and exciting cities, but at my uncle's lake cottage about 40 minutes away from our house.
We'd been there a million times, so there was nothing "new and exciting" about the trip. The lake wasn't even that big. There wasn't a ton of sand to play in or fancy touristy things to visit. There was just a comfortable old cottage by a comfortable old lake with a comfortable old tree swing. In the summer of 2007 my parents decided that we would borrow the cottage for a week of vacation.
I was 17 and naturally couldn't handle a whole week away from "civilization" (aka my best friend and my boyfriend), so my parents let me bring Emily along. The four of us girls (Em and me and Sarah and Hannah) stayed in the ginormous upstairs loft/bedroom area all squished together, and Jake stayed downstairs in the "real" second bedroom. We didn't go anywhere the entire week. I'm pretty sure that the TV didn't work and all the music we listened to was on a record player (which honestly is retro and awesome. I hope that thing is still there). We spent the entire week swimming, canoeing over to the "island" just across the lake, laying out on the dock (and getting royally sunburned!) and reading. Seriously, at any given point there were probably three people sprawled across various pieces of furniture in the most uncomfortable-looking positions reading adventure novels and mysteries and westerns.
We ate a lot of food and roasted marshmallows over the fire. We relaxed and played and had a great time. We read and chatted and slept when (and where) we felt like it. To me, it was the perfect vacation. I was surrounded by people I loved. I wasn't expected to go anywhere or do anything or even make small talk if I didn't feel like it.
I was reminded of this vacation when my cousin posted pictures of her little daughter enjoying time at "Grandpa's cottage." I've seen pictures of me and my siblings playing there at about the same age. She'll grow up to have wonderful memories of a relaxing place with people who love her. I know I do.