Museum of me, July edition.

This is the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. I visited the museum in about 1969 and was appalled at how tacky it was — peeling paint, scuff marks on the white walls, etc. One hopes that the caretakers of this landmark have done a better job of preservation in the 50+ years since.

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:

ES always headed some place to read where he could not be disturbed.
YS was in his element, surrounded by females of the species. This was in a barn-like coffee shop in Buffalo, Wyoming.

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:

The Christian Barnard museum in the hospital where he did the first successful human heart transplant. ES, the future doctor, wanted to visit it.
Cape Town viewed from Table Mountain. That island in the bay is Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.
At Abdo Elephant Park.
Ostriches were a common sight. They are farm-raised for their meat.
Sunset from our lodgings at Jeffreysbaai’s Bay, popular spot for surfers. Photo taken by YS.
Jacaranda trees in bloom on the campus where ES studied. Unlike me, who admired their beauty, he viewed them as a nuisance because they shed their flower petals all over the sidewalks where they rotted into a slippery mess.
Sign in the parking lot at Boulder Beach.
There were a LOT of penguins there. This is but a small sampling.
“Why don’t we d-do it in the road?” *
ES, left; YS, right. This photo captures their relationship until YS was 18.
The subway in Madrid, which not too long before was the site of a terrorist bombing.
2010: my favorite photo ever of Smoke, taken on the porch of a lodge in Glacier National Park

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.

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8 Responses to Museum of me, July edition.

  1. carol says:

    Enjoyed the stories but
    Where’s the infamous photo?,😁

  2. gayle says:

    So, he finished high school as a Legend! Woohooooo!

  3. Dee says:

    That lady baboon is looking back at the male like, “are you DONE yet????” Infamous, indeed.

    Loved taking the little memory stroll through your vacations. Smoke knows how to chill out.

  4. k says:

    You are so much cooler than me, I’m shocked you let me even comment. Also, I kinda feel YS’s pain. I’m glad things resolved. My brothers and I finally resolved into friendship too, which was a wonderful thing.

  5. Ann in NJ says:

    I have not been to the Guggenheim for several years (5ish?) but the last time I was there, there was no peeling paint and it was bright and fresh. So it seems that it was renovated sometime between your visit and mine.

  6. Kat says:

    Boy, I must be completely un-noticing… I have visited the Guggenheim a couple of times and never noted the building condition!

    I love this “panoramic view” of your travels! Great places you have been!

  7. Kym says:

    What a GREAT exhibit, Kathy! I just love the sampling of your vacations over the years. XO

  8. It looks like you have quite the selection of memorable vacation to choose from! Thanks for sharing.

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