Family vacation makes for lasting memories


Palms West Monthly
Posted Aug. 29, 2017

This summer, my oldest son took his family on a vacation that was not the kind of family vacation they would normally go on.

You see, it started near the beginning of the year when he got the idea that he wanted to take his family on a weeks-long camping trip, and in order to do so, he wanted to buy one of those huge SUVs and an even larger travel trailer.

Now, my son is a genius when it comes to using computers, so he used his to search for exactly what he wanted. It didn’t take long before he found the exact SUV he wanted and shortly thereafter he came across the perfect travel trailer.

It just so happened the SUV was up in North Carolina and the travel trailer was in Jacksonville. After he acquired both, it was time to start planning the big trip.

He works for the school system, and oftentimes he’ll work over summer break, but this year he decided he wanted as much time off as possible for this big family trip that he spent months planning. And from the sound of it, it definitely was going to be big.

The plan was to drive out to the West Coast, making stops in Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota and about 20 more states in between.

He especially wanted the family to visit lots of national parks. And visit them he did. I never knew this country had so many national parks, but evidently my son did.

The big family trip started just two days after summer break began. My son has three daughters and they were all looking forward to this adventure, and for weeks that’s all they would talk about.

I stopped over to visit my son before they left, and that’s when I saw the new travel trailer for the first time. As he was packing it up, I decided to go inside and see exactly where everybody was going to spend the next two months.

As I stepped inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was just like I was in someone’s home. One of the first things I noticed was a bathroom – with a shower and a bath tub! There were two beautiful bedrooms and a very nice kitchen.

If that wasn’t enough, it came equipped with a big-screen TV and a couch. It looked like a palace, but the only problem I had with the travel trailer was after being inside of it for about five minutes I started feeling a little sea sickness coming on.

It felt like I was back on the troop ship that took me to Vietnam. That trip took 22 days and I was sea sick for 21 of those days. But when we finally arrived in Vietnam, I think I was the only one on the ship happy to be there, because the second my feet touched dry land the sea sickness went away.

And that’s exactly the way I felt when I stepped off the travel trailer. The minute my feet touched the ground I felt better.

My son said the reason I felt dizzy was because the travel trailer wasn’t parked level. I said I didn’t know I needed to wear a patch to go in his travel trailer. I don’t think he liked my response.

So off they went on their great adventure. At times, it was hard to keep in touch with him because so many of the places they visited didn’t have cellular reception. At least that’s the story he told me and Sharon. Could be he just didn’t want to be bothered by his old man.

They finally arrived home one week before school started and our granddaughters still haven’t stopped talking about their adventures.

The girls will have memories of this trip for the rest of their lives and as far as I can tell all the memories will be good ones. As a bonus, the girls claim to have all gotten along fine with each other throughout the trip.

Even I have memories from this trip, because our granddaughters left behind their two guinea pigs which Sharon and I had to take care of. I never realized that these little animals needed so much attention and loving care.

My biggest fear was that the guinea pigs would die under our care and we would have a lot of explaining to do when the kids arrived back home. Lucky for us – and the guinea pigs – that didn’t happen.

If my son decides to repeat this trip next summer, I think I will join him, and of course I will remember to bring my patches with me.

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