Friday, July 16, 2010

Giveaway Winner & Vacation Memories

The winner of the Scape Sunblock giveaway was #121 Patti L! Congrats, Patti. Email me at with your address and I’ll send it right out to you!

Now onto the good stuff. I am so glad to be out of the traveling turd RV. Don’t get me wrong. I love my family. But, I could have been in that RV with Jesus and would have gotten sick of him. If my children are close enough to me at night that I can throw a shoe and hit them, it’s too tight of quarters.

P107002625 feet gets really small really fast 

We did make lots of memories, however.

Number of times I walked across this suspension bridge at the Royal Gorge: 1


Number of times I looked down between the slats at the river 1,200 ft. below wondering if that day was the day the bridge would finally collapse: 49


Number of times Ken ran into a tree and took off the passenger side mirror: 1


Number of dollars to fix the mirror: $600

Number of times I crapped in the RV: 3

Number of times we emptied the sewage and felt the warm contents moving through the hose (at least I have my Life is Good shirt on. Oh, the irony): 4


Number of miles I ran: 12


Number of mountain passes I drove over in the traveling turd (guardrails optional): 3


Number of times I threatened to put my nine year old in a time out in a camping chair with no food or water or books: 1

Number of times I actually did it: 0

Number of bottles of wine I drank: 2

Number of times I counted my blessings: 5,234


Some of my clearest and most fond memories growing up involve family vacations. My parents loved to rough it. Once we did a cross country road trip from Maryland to Montana for a month and slept in a tent the whole way. That was the trip my sleeping bag caught on fire with me in it. 

I have found that the best memories are not made when everything is perfect. They are created when things don’t go quite right, when there is some challenge involved, when we move outside of our comfort zone. Our senses hold on to those experiences with an intensity that lasts throughout the decades.

Two weeks ago a friend’s mom found out she had cancer. She died this morning. I am reminded about the brevity and preciousness of life. I am reminded to hold on and to make it a wild and memorable ride. I am reminded to never let fear stop me from doing anything. And mostly I am reminded to love.

What’s your favorite/funniest childhood vacation memory?


  1. great pics, thanks for sharing!

  2. Best childhood trip was actually when I was a teenager (although there were tons of dad always insisted on bringing me, my sister and my mom on his business trips with him so we went everywhere) and my family went to Hawaii. It was a perfect week when my sister and I (as teenagers) actually got along, we did a million cool tours (small airplane ride to several islands, Pearl Harbor, etc.) and my sister and I had our own hotel room (adjoining my parents...but still). A perfect moment in time when I remember that all of us were happy, completely present, and enjoying life to the fullest. Thanks for having me remember that. Glad you had a nice trip.

  3. I have found that the best memories are not made when everything is perfect.

    I agree. Some of my best memories from family vacations live on in inside jokes with my siblings from comments one of us made to piss off the other one.

  4. riding with Jesus would be tough. With his "Holy'r than thou" attitude.

    Adventures are really cool. Nobody remembers the regular stuff, but they remember the camping adventure when....

  5. You're far braver than me--I don't think I could have walked across the bridge! I'll bet your kids will treasure this trip. I was lucky in that my parents loved to travel and we did a ton of it growing up. My favorites were with my family and grandparents in a good 'ole airstream--all six of us!

  6. A lot of my memories are of my parents and I camping, me wrecking my bike and bringing a suitcase full of nothing but books. Clean underwear? Who needs it? I need something to DO!

    I remember one time we were camping with a bunch of family at Fort Robinson, NE. My cousin and I waded thru this little stream and came out covered in leaches. I haven't swam in a stream since...

  7. My fav memory is sleeping in the back of my parent's Blazer, speeding down I5 on our way to California. I remember thinking how COOL it was that I was sleeping where I usually sit! Such a nerd.

    But, I agree, the best family memories come out of situations where things haven't worked out perfectly - me and the hubs' best trips happen when we just roll with the punches and laugh a ton.

  8. How sweet to be given those 2 weeks. It may sound odd and you may want to delete my comment but I had 9 months with my daddy after we knew he had cancer that would take his life. As bad as it was seeing him become someone who needed help when he'd spent a lifetime giving it was a challenge but knowing that we said things that before we left unsaid was a priceless gift! My prayers to your friend's family!

  9. Your exactly right, the memories that seem to stand out the most are when things didn't go right. Like, whe our family took a trip to Chicago and thought it wasn't such a long walk to the park. We walked there, watched the movie in the part and before it was over it started to torential down pour. My new cool canvas shoes were ruined by the time we walked back. Why we didn't get a cab, I don't know.

    Looks like you had a good time overall... and everyone lived to tell about it!

  10. My best childhood memories are going raspberry or mushroom picking, or hiking with my family. Glad you had fun...and the bridge held on:)

  11. I love this. You said exactly how I feel about family vacations. When my siblings and I were kids, we chose to go to our cousins' house instead of Disneyland every summer. I sometimes wonder if we were crazy, but I also know I wouldn't trade those memories.

  12. ok even amidst all the crap [literal], $600 mirrors, threats, threats that weren't acted on & wine ---- you have sooooo motivated me to do this.

    next year, of course. ;)

  13. I absolutely love family outings. When things don't go to plan, I always try to remember that once a few months has passed we will laugh about it!

  14. I am terrified of bridges; I would have been shaking, crying, and doing other SUAR things trying to get over.

    Great pictures. My favorite family trips were the ones with family - going to visit cousins, going to visit grandparents. That way, we got to know each other and explore our country.

  15. My best memories are with my family - doing simple things - time at the river, fishing with my dad under the railroad tresses. Love it.

    Bet the kids will remember the rearview mirror - and your hubbie might wish that they didn't.

    I found the picture of you emptying the sewage quite funny , , , especially with the beautiful stream in the background. Looks like it might just be diverted right into the stream. ;-)

  16. "I am reminded to never let fear stop me from doing anything." I needed this today. I'm planning on going to Sydney in September to run the 1/2 with one of my sons but my nervous stomach keeps making me want to back out. We will have a ball if only I can overcome my fear. If only I could work out what I was actually afraid of.

  17. Oh yes you made me remember many a camping trip as a child. Many good times! Thanks for the bringing back the memories.

  18. I am new to your blog and just had to say "Thanks"! Great posts! You don't take life or yourself too seriously and I am one of those people that need to be reminded about what's really important! Hope you have a fantastic vacation! ~ Steph

  19. I have a lot of fond memories as a kid and camping, we had no cashola for an RV but we had some great tent times. And when my kiddos were smaller, like yours, we did a lot of camping, too. I no longer wish to camp, but I'm more than happy to get a nice, hotel room :). Glad you had a nice time, and nothing more memoriable than emptying that toilet, eh?? :)

  20. we did not vacation much when i was young. didn't have the money. our first time we did vacation was to disney and i was already in junior high. my younger sis had the chicken pox - poor thing.
    - the next trip was a house boat up lake champlain - oh how i did not want to go b/c i would miss my friends, what a BRAT i was, my older sis got to stay home b/c she had a JOB - she was in high school. life was so unfair. i loved that trip - it was different, and sleeping on a boat is the best sleep ever.
    our last vacation was an RV with my family and my grandmother to ohio to see distant cousins. oh and our crazy dog was with us. one time while we ate in a restaraunt the dog got out of the rv and came in the rest. that was very funny. and my dad was super strict and we the kids would DARE never talk back, but my grandma (his mom) was with us and one night he yelled and she started laughing and so we felt ok laughing, and we couldn't stop. now i want to go plan some crazy vacation

  21. I am so sorry about your friend's mom. I cannot even imagine what that must have been like. It really helps to put things in perspective about what really matters in life.

    I'm glad you had a good trip! We still go camping with our boys, but I'm sure there will be a time when we think about RVing. My favorite family trip memory was actually when I was in grade school. We lived in KS, but we took a trip to CO and stayed in a cabin. We hiked, fished, and just enjoyed the mountains. It was great! I think that's one of the reasons I was so drawn to living here.

  22. We used to go to the oregon coast in our vw van. There was a sand building contest. My dad and I built a toilet! We won the award for most functional. You agree, right? :) I still have the piece of driftwood with "MOST FUNCTIONAL" carved on it!

  23. most recently i did the skycoaster with my nephew at the royal gorge. would have never done it if he wasn't there. he would have called me chicken the rest of the vaca if i didn't do it so - it was so much fun! did you see them?

  24. very sorry to hear about your friend's mom..
    i am glad you had a nice vacation though... even if you were too close for comfort in the RV the way, are you running boston this year or next?

  25. I'd loooove to take my kids on some adventure trip. My hub & I are not at all outdoorsy though, so I'm thinking that trip could be quite disasterous.

    Then again, it would make for some really memorable times, should we survive each other in such close quarters :)

  26. Fun times, fun times. Our very best memories with our kids are the family vacays where we got lost, giddy and started giving each other rock massages, marker tatoos and licking the cheese off of Doritos. Yep, good times.
    Thanks for the reminder to love and LIVE life to it's fullest. We need this reminder every day. Sorry for your loss.

  27. loved the vacay recap!!! your post ideas always make me laugh!!! :) my best memories from my child hood involve family vacations! i wish we took more now that im older! i cant wait to have my own family someday when i can do this stuff too!

  28. i'm sorry about your friends loss. but you're right, we have to not be scared and live life to the fullest.

    glad you made fun memories with your family, the kids will neve forget them!

  29. Whenever my family and I (when I was about 8 or so) would go hiking, I'd ask my dad how much further. He'd always up the next hill and over the next ridge. EVERY single time. I'll never forget that.

  30. So sorry about friend-mom.
    Glad you had a great trip. Your kids are very gorgeous. I know your 9 year old pain though.
    Hmmm child-hood vacation memory...swimming with my brother in Wonder Woman underoos (me) at a hotel pool in Durango. We really lived it up!

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