Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ROAD TRIP (vacation) (07/02/15)
- TITLE: On the Road, Again
By Lisa Hudson
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I have seen a great deal of this country that most people never will. I have been in and through just about every state, including Alaska and Hawaii. I was born in Hawaii, but we moved before I was two. Alaska, on the other hand, was a childhood oasis, with so many fun places to play and explore. Most of my childhood memories from there include activities like ice skating on the roads that were completely iced over, or pretending to be on ‘Gilligan’s Island’, on the small island that was behind our home. We had a great playground nearby, and of course, we made the most incredible snow men, snow horses, snow forts and igloos.
Although it was hard for us to have to pick up and relocate as often as we did, there were parts of the traveling that I remember fondly. One of those being how we kids were allowed to ‘stock up’ before hitting the road. Back then, each of us could buy four comic books for just one dollar, and we could choose our favorite candy and a drink. My brothers always went with the super hero comics, but my sister and I liked the Archie’s. I was the youngest, so some of my comic books might have included Casper, or Little Lulu.
Our main, cross-country vehicle was a Country Squire station wagon. You know, the kind that had the wooden panels down each side. Our station wagon was royal blue. I always sat in the way back where two seats faced each other, or they could fold down to make it flat for storage. I liked it back there because I could sit up or lay down, (this was before seat belt laws), and I could listen to my beloved Osmond Brothers on my eight-track portable player that looked like something that you use to blow up dynamite.
Some of those memories blend in to one another, because there were so many trips made like this. Our parents did use our traveling across country as a way to take little mini vacations, like going to Niagara Falls, or Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. We knew where all of the Stuckey’s exits were, where you could buy more comics and treats. My favorite stores were in Wyoming, where they carried the little plastic Indian-girl dolls, plus beaded purses and turquoise jewelry. We also got to know the Denny’s menu by heart. I was even able to obtain a chunk of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, as a souvenir from the state that my Donny was from. And yes, I still have that chunk today.
I have seen the California coast from top to bottom, and I have been out on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay. I have seen the Space Needle in Washington State, and I have witnessed the dark, tornado pending skies in Shreveport, Louisiana. I have driven through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the West, and through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East. My grandmother lived in northern California, just below Eureka. As we would drive up the highway toward Garberville, the distinct smell of the giant redwood trees was my signal that we were getting closer to Grandma’s house. Good memories.
As an adult, I continue to travel whenever possible. I do appreciate how much of our beautiful land I have witnessed firsthand, and I am thankful. I am settled now, but God has placed a desire in my heart to see more of this country and beyond. Because of my experiences while growing up, I am not afraid, and I have been so very blessed. I look forward to many more great adventures to come.
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