This month’s prompt is a favorite family vacation. When I was growing up, my family — which was just my mom and dad and me — always went to Grand Marais on the North Shore of Lake Superior for a week (or two?) every summer until I was about ten or twelve. We stayed in a cabin in town; my dad went fly fishing every day and my mom read a ton of murder mysteries. It was a very big deal the year my mom allowed me to walk downtown by myself.
But I am not going to write about those vacations. In fact, I am not going to write about any specific, favorite vacation because I do not have one. What I do have are favorite moments from many vacations.
Black Hills and Wyoming, sometime in the mid-aughts. Space was a bit limited in the van and camping trailer, so Smokey told the boys — Elder Son, ~17, Younger Son, ~13 — they could each take one plastic Rubbermaid tote. Whatever they could fit in it is was what they could bring. Sadly, I cannot find the photo I took of the two totes side by side: Younger’s was full of clothes, and Elder’s was full of books. Here is what they did on that vacation:
Another memorable vacation was not really a family trip because Smokey didn’t want to go. In 2005 YS and I flew from Minneapolis to New York to Madrid to Cape Town, where we met up with ES, who had flown from Pietermaritzburg and where he had just finished his semester abroad, to Cape Town. It still amazes me that coming from such distant places we managed to find each other with no problem. Some of my favorite sites in South Africa:
A couple college-graduation trips:
From left: 2007 graduation from NYU, where he graciously held my sock-in-progress; 2014 graduation from UMich, where he got his masters in epidemiology; right, 2014 graduation from med school.
* YS was in the middle of his high school junior year when we went on this trip. His teachers agreed that his absence would be excused on the condition that he report on the trip when he returned. iirc, he used many of the photographs we had taken in a PowerPoint presentation. A year and a half later during the graduation ceremony one of the teachers — who was offering one-sentence tributes to each of the graduates — said something to the effect that no one would ever forget that one photo in his presentation. This is the infamous photo.