Thursday, August 03, 2006

Cross Country Holiday

We didn't take vacations. We never, in our entire marriage, packed up the family and just took off for the purpose of having a holiday. Not once.* Partly it was having a reasonably sized family and no money, partly it was not having time - and partly it was because we treated every day off as a holiday anyway so why bother?

But we were nerds enough to treat a trip down the Pacific coast and then a drive across the entire width of the country as a sort-of-kind-of vacation, so we enjoyed it as thoroughly as we could. Which meant we had a fantastic time until we reached somewhere in the middle states - around Tennessee - at which point too many days on the road simply packed in on us and we set our teeth and just sprinted for Virginia. However, there were a lot of very good memories.

There was Child 1, for instance, trying fish and chips for the first time in Haines, Alaska and deciding it was Food for the Gods. Child 1 fish and chipped its way down the entire coast - three days on the ferry, one day each in Washington, Oregon, and California. I believe Child 1 is now able to look fish and chips in the face again, but it's only been in the last year.

We learned that Alaska kids get a slightly skewed perception of what constitutes an exotic animal. viz:

Me: 'Hey guys! Look! That's an ostrich ranch, can you see the ostriches?? Look how gorgeous they are...'

Van Center en masse: 'mmmm.... yeah.'

Moments later:

Child 1: 'Oh my gosh! Look! LOOK! It's a cow!!!'

Child 2: 'Where? WHERE? I don't see it!?'

Child 3: 'A real cow? Really??'

It only took a day to realize that cows are a. not rare and b. quite boring. But it was a rush while it lasted.

We looked at seals in caves, we went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we headed inland and admired the very large hole in the ground caused by a meteor.

But it's a very big country, and eventually we all did get a little grim. We were tired, and slightly grubby, and very grateful when we finally rolled into Virginia, ready for the next stage.

*edit - now I have to take that back a small bit. We did take weekend trips, camping trips and the like, going up to Denali, or heading to DC etc. But we never did the week-long or two-week thing.


child 2 said...

I still like fish and chips, and i had more than she did.

For Kirk said...

Yes... but you're nuts, aren't you?

child2 said...

well...maybe. just a little.