Have you ever wished you could travel back in time? Back to a simpler way of life, to a slower pace, and to your childhood? While I look forward to the future with anticipation and I can get nostalgic about the past, I love my life and being in the ‘here and now’ best of all. That said, I think that one reason I love my Sassy Sister road trips so much is that they allow me that little peek into road trips of the past and the memories they evoke.
Road trips with Mom and Dad have provided my sister and me hours of laughs. Every time we travel together, we re-enact some of the things that happened on our family trips and outings. We giggle ourselves silly! See, our mom loved flowers and plants and flower arranging and wreath making and dried flowers and weeds and (I could go on and on….) We never traveled without clippers and gloves and containers that could hold living things. We’d be flying down the highway, windows down (no AC, you know…), unbelted (no seatbelts), and Mom would spy some Queen Anne’s lace, or cattails, or teasel, or Joe Pye weed and she would say, “Dave! Stop! Look at that beautiful ________!” And no matter where we were, how busy the traffic was, how narrow the road was, how many big trucks or slow cars we had FINALLY passed, Daddy would pull over, backing up on the shoulder, until he was close enough to clamber out of the car, scramble down the hill, and let Mom direct him to the specimens she wanted. Then he would dutifully cut as much as she wanted and bring his prize back to the car. Of course, it went in the back seat with us, or later, in the back back of the station wagon. Given that I am the one who is allergic to every kind of grass, tree, plant, etc., it was sometimes agony. I have distinct memories of two horrible trips, one involving cattails and one with goldenrod. Aa-choo! I can’t even write about it without sneezing…
On our most memorable car trip ever, we traveled from our home in Paducah to Idaho Falls, Idaho, over a two week period in October 1968. I was in the 8th grade, and it was unheard of for parents to take their kids out of junior high school for TWO FULL WEEKS. Heck, today I reckon they would call Social Services for that. We went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons; we saw Dinosaur National Monument; we visited the state capitols of Utah and Colorado; we spent the night in a cabin on the side of a mountain; we visited the Eisenhower Library; we hiked in Craters of the Moon National Park; we saw the Mormon Temple and Tabernacle and the Great Salt Lake; we spent a few idyllic days in a dude ranch in Wyoming; and we brought home more pine cones, seed pods, pinon nuts, weeds, and “interesting” plants than we had luggage. There was barely room for Kim and me by the time we got home! (I am not exaggerating!)
Anyway, you can see how our Sassy Sister trips came to be – they were in-bred! In case you are a new reader, these trips that my sister and I make involve highways (not interstates), local restaurants (no chains), visits to state capitols, museums, and off-beat attractions, stays at motels with real keys, and LOTS of activities crammed into our days. We typically have a theme but no real destination. We start somewhere and end there, making sort of a loop along the way. Our most recent trip last month was our “Old Florida” trip. We wanted to see the Florida we remembered from our childhood – not the Disney/Universal Studios Florida that appeases most people, but the one that offered us that glimpse back to a simpler time. And we found it!
We stayed in places that had toilet seats and water glasses that had been sanitized for our protection. We stayed in places where we could sleep with our windows open and where we could hear and smell the ocean. We walked along trolley routes and watched the seemingly brain-dead people on the trolleys. We sniffed out restaurants that would have food we didn’t expect and were never disappointed. We passed billboards advertising some random attractions and turned around to go see what was there. Always a gem! We went to “hokey” places like Weeki Wachee and Speedy’s Air Boat rides and loved every minute. We saw more cool animals, both in the wild and in captivity, than you can imagine. We walked on beaches where the sand looked like sugar and the water was emerald and turquoise and teal. We stayed in a Florida cracker house and we took a boat to Key West. We felt what is was like to blast off on the space shuttle and we wandered through the streets of the oldest city in America. We saw friends who welcomed us and kept us and fed us and joined us for part of our adventure. We had our own monogrammed towels in our guest suite at Camp Naples. We met people from all over the world as well as native Floridians. We had dinner with Pixie Penny and her mom and went to Pixie Anne’s home town. We even stayed at two different places where the owners weren’t home but let us stay there anyway! All in all, we not only found what we were looking for, we got bonuses!
Because I took a good number of photos and I wrote about our adventures, I’ll be able to put together a book that will let Kim and me relive our fun times. I can make it as simple or as creatively crafted as I want, using my favorite FOREVER Artisan software and pixels2Pages Blueprints. In fact, I can do some really fast pages (like the ones I’m sharing here) and I can do some more intricate, complex pages in the same book. I love it that I have that kind of flexibility! If only I had more time….