There are several things about writing about travel that I enjoy. It is enjoyable to do research about sites that you have visited or intend to visit. I like to look at the photos I plan to use and think about the places and the times when I have visited that spot. Another thing is just the fact that some forgotten travel memories resurface as you relive those long ago trips.
That is one thing about being an adult – making decisions about where you go and where you will stay along the way and when you get there. I’m sure we all have some wonderful memories from our childhood of the trips we have taken. I’m also sure there may be a few nightmares hidden among those travel memories.
Did you ever travel by car before the days of the interstate highway? Were your parents the ones who drove at night because it was so much cooler and your car did not have air conditioning? Did you stay with relatives once you reached that destination? Are you the one that stayed in the dusty spare room at grandma’s house? Did you have to share a bed with baby brother, the one who rolled and tumbled?
I remember a trip to Tybee Island when I was about 10 years old. We stayed in what was referred to as a guest house. This was before the days of the bed and breakfast or at least before that name was common. I have asthma, and at the time there were no such things as rescue inhalers. If you had an attack, you pretty much just held on until it went away. I will never forget the taste of the nasty red liquid I had to take to relieve the symptoms. Anyway the combination of the dusty guest house and the night air on Tybee Island converged to make me the sickest I think I have ever been. My folks actually cut the vacation short that year.
On a more positive note, I remember as a youth we took many vacation trips to Lake Winfield Scott in the north Georgia mountains. Lake Winfield Scott had campsites as well as some cabins for vacationers. Our family was one of the camping families. I remember the little sand beach and having fun swimming in the lake. At that time they had a jukebox in the large picnic pavilion, and we would go down there to listen to some of our favorite songs. I must have played the songs “Walking to New Orleans” and “I Want to Walk You Home” by Fats Domino at least a million times. Okay perhaps not that many times!
I’ve never been the great outdoorsman, and I do remember having trouble falling asleep with all the noises you hear when camping in a tent. I do look back with fond memories though at the experiences we had as a family on those trips.
My senior year in high school, my father was offered the opportunity to stay in a friend’s beach house in Flagler Beach, Florida. I don’t remember anything about the trip down or back, but I do remember the lazy days in a small beach town miles away from hectic Daytona Beach. Now it seems like such a short drive down A1A to reach Daytona Beach. Back then, for a teenager without the use of his daddy’s car, it must have seemed to be hundreds of miles away.
I remember a trip my wife and I took to New Smyrna Beach, Florida when our oldest son was just a baby. We stayed in a friend’s parents’ beach house just a block or two from the beach. We took a nephew and niece with us on that trip, and I think one of the things we probably all remember the most is having our first experience with an outdoor shower. If I remember correctly, not only was the shower outdoors but it was the only shower. And it was totally open to the tangled greenery all around.
I remember an overnight stop we used to make between Jacksonville and Daytona Beach. We really enjoyed stopping overnight at Marineland. There was a motel and restaurant across from the Marineland Dolphin Park and it was reasonably priced with a nice swimming pool and public beach. I try to forget the time there were big biting flies around the pool though. The motel and restaurant are gone now, but Marineland still makes a pleasant stop traveling north or south on A1A. The original dolphin show is long gone, but Marineland is now owned by the Georgia Aquarium, and you can purchase tickets for a “swim with the dolphins” adventure or other educational events.
I’m sure as I sit back working on ideas for our little spot on the internet, a lot more memories of times well spent traveling will come back to me. Hopefully all this reminiscing will help me keep those memories as time goes forward. After all, while we all should enjoy the present and look forward to the future, we should look back with fondness on those memories of travels in the past.