Thursday, March 29, 2007

What happened when the Dawsons went on vacation? Part one of a series

First of all, the picture on the left is NOT of my family. I just thought they looked familyish and figured I'd use it.

Next, you can blame or thank Jules for this idea. Why? Just because...

Check out the comment she left...she describes trips to Oklahoma stuffed in a station wagon with baby brother in the middle and NO AIR CONDITIONING.

My heart went out to her, but it also sparked a new essay idea for today's entry. Yea, verily, it done been sparked, so here we go.

We didn't go on vacations that much. I'm not sure why...don't know if it was dependent on $$, work schedules, or what...we just didn't. But the ones we went on (that I remember) were pretty interesting.

The very first vacation I remember was when we went to Colorado. It was Mom, Dad, my cousin Linda, Ruthi and me. We stayed in a cabin that was really nicely tricked out. It was huge, and we had a small creek running in the back. We tried panning for gold back there, and Ruthi said if I took off all my clothes it would make me luckier and I'd get gold. All I got was a spanking, and she laughed at me. Later on I found out that in some cases, taking off my clothes would make me lucky, but not as far as gold was concerned.

On that Colorado trip, I also remember doing the following:

  1. Going to a zoo and discovering that giraffes have purple tongues. I think we saw other animals too, but I know that the purple tongues of the giraffes fascinated me no end.
  2. I found out that I hated peeing outdoors. I controlled my bladder quite well for a four year old to avoid (to quote myself) "tee-teeing in the bushes".
  3. I embarrassed my parents by refusing to walk when we were at Devil's Tower. My eloquent argument was: "MY LITTLE ARMEYS HURT! MY LITTLE LEGGIES HURT!" Of course, no argument of this kind is complete without being screamed at high decibels...which I did. (Sudiegirl bows, says "Thank you...")
  4. Whilst driving through Yellowstone Park, we heard a park ranger announce over the loudspeaker, "Would the car with Iowa license plates please refrain from feeding Oreos to the bears?" (I know I discussed it in an entry last year, but it's MY blog...leave me alone). My mother then said, "Oh, there's another car from Iowa here?" My father looked in the backseat and replied, "No, Mary...those are OUR little angels." Ruthi and I were apparently giving the bears a "Yogi" complex...and we could have been mauled, but were obviously ignorant of that fact.
  5. I remember some kind of "North Pole" theme park around there...lots of igloos, candy canes, snowflakes, etc. For any Colorado-ians reading this, please tell me if it still exists.
The next vacation I remember was when I was going into the second grade and Ruthi was going into sixth grade. This time, we went to Oregon. Mom's Aunt Olah and Uncle Bill lived around the Portland area (in Oregon City) and had a little white poodle thing named Buffy. Their house had a body of water behind it too...can't remember if it was a creek or a river or what, but it was there.

Here's what I remember from that trip:
  1. My cousin Don had graduated from high school that summer, and he was also in Oregon the same time we were. He drove a motorcycle out there. I admit, I had kind of a crush on him and thought he was cool.
  2. We had fish for breakfast. I really liked fish back then (still do, but just don't eat as much of it lately...not sure why). I was thrilled when I came down to breakfast and there was a big fish on a platter. (Can't remember if it was trout or salmon...I'll have to ask Mom.) My sister was less than thrilled...I think her words were, "Aunt Olah, do you have any Frosted Flakes?"
  3. No naked gold prospecting from me, BTW...just to keep that clear.
  4. We went to the coast as part of a camping trip. I remember going to Sea Lion Caves, and I remember finding a sea onion root on the beach. It was long, with (for lack of a better term) a cuppy-thing on the end. I named it "Herbie", I drug it across six lanes of traffic, and also across Momma's chest so she could see it better. I never saw her go from a laying-down position to a full standing position so fast in my life.
  5. I threw up in the back seat of the car, and Mom yelled at Ruthi to get me something to barf in. She handed me a sun visor. I love her SOOOOOO much.
  6. I met a boy my age in our campground, and he was trying to tell me I didn't know anything about Karate. So I flipped him over my shoulder. I then attempted my dad's favorite move, "the raccoon strangle". We were busted by our parents and dragged back to our respective camp sites.
This next one deserves a little bit of tradition my mother has when going out west is to visit The Tree In The Rock. I can't remember what state it's in, nor do I care.

However, my mother apparently does care about this's a scrawny tree growing out of a rock. That's it. Oh, and there's a little fence around it and a plaque.

Well, I think Dad hated that tree as much as Ruthi and I did. When driving back to Iowa, we hit a nasty rainstorm, and Mom decided to take a nap. Her edict to Dad before she fell asleep was, "Don't forget to wake me up when we get to the Tree In The Rock, John." Then she crashed.

Once she fell asleep, Daddy turned around and said, "Do you guys want to go to the tree in the rock?" We replied, "No."

"Well, then, keep your traps shut. Otherwise we'll be stuck there."

The traps of the Dawson girls remained as locked as Fort Knox. As we drove along, there were signs proclaiming that the Tree In The Rock was not far away at all. We didn't peep at all.

Finally, we got past the "danger zone", and Mom remained asleep thanks to our vow of silence.

Mom woke up five minutes later and said, "Are we there yet?"

Dad said, "Nope." We shook our heads in affirmation. Mom seemed comforted by this and went back to sleep.

Another 20 minutes went by, and she woke up, looked at Dad and said, "You skipped it, didn't you? DIDN'T YOU!?" Dad had a mischevious yet innocent "Who, me?" look on his face and said, "It was the girls' idea." We yelled indignantly, "Nuh-UH!!! It was DADDY's IDEA! He told us to be quiet so we didn't have to go!"

So anyway...tomorrow, more family trips...