As a child and teenager, I remember the promise of summer and the adventure of a vacation. I was never excited to spend that much time with my family locked in a car for a week, but the places that we went to was more than worth it. If it was a short trip to the mountains of Colorado or to the caverns of Carlsbad in New Mexico, I was thrilled to get there and soak in the sights. Nothing would ever take that way or replace it with something better. I was eager to absorb more and more.
The greatest trip that we ever took during those lazy days of summer was a three week trip across to California to visit San Diego and Los Angeles then north to Washington State and into Canada. I had a chance to see some of the Pacific Ocean, which was the largest amount of water that this landlocked person had ever dreamed about. It was immense and somewhat overwhelming.
Our visit to SeaWorld in San Diego and trip to Disneyland were all memories locked in place. What marks the time the most was that the 1984 Olympics were about to take place in Los Angeles, so the excitement in the air impressed on me the pride of those games. It was all a grand time for the impressible, young mind.
The trip ended with a stop in the cool Northwest and a short trip into Canada. I just hated to leave, but it had to end. So, the long journey back home to the Great Plains began. I found during that trip one of my greatest loves of life. It was the reading of fantasy novels. The fever grabbed me when I bought a paperback on the return trip. It passed the hours away and I was lost in the pages. Vacations became something that I was even more eager to go on from that point forward.
As a parent, I have been unable to find those times. When I was working for someone else, I rarely had the chance to take a vacation or the money for such expenses. I find that it is one of the regrets in my life, but it is not something that my children have entirely missed out on. This summer, all three have made the airplane trip to see my father in Michigan. It will be three weeks of great enjoyment for them. I almost envy them.
I am very happy that they are going to find the joy of vacations and hope that they form a great love while on their trip.