Car Trip! {Spin Cycle}

Note: I’m also guest posting today…will you do me favor and visit Esther, too, at Laugh With Us Blog? Tell her Ginny sent you! Thanks.

I didn’t fly in a plane until the summer after I graduated from college. Before then, the only trips I had taken were mostly car trips with the family.

Our family had four kids, so the six of us would pile into a wide car with bench seats. Us kids had assigned places so we wouldn’t fight each time we had to go somewhere. Dad drove. My little brother would sit between my dad and my mom in the front. In the back seat I was behind Dad, then came my little sister and my other little sister. This was mostly possible because my young siblings were not required to have car seats back then.

We always had to wear our seat belts even though that wasn’t a law yet, either. My parents always said seat belts were the best invention, because that kept kids from roaming around in the car. As if there would have been room to roam around with all six of us packed in like sardines.

Traveling before my little brother and sister came along

Our vacations revolved around visiting family: my mom’s family in Iowa, and my dad’s family scattered around the Midwest. Every summer, we went to meet my dad’s sisters and brothers and their families at “The Lake”.

“The Lake” was Lake Huron. We would drive up to the tip of the thumb of Michigan. The family rented a group of cabins by the beach for the week. The morning our trip began seemed to last forever. And we wouldn’t even be driving yet. Our cabin was very basic so my parents had to pack everything. Food, sheets, towels, clothes, even toilet paper! To equip a family of six for a week was a big job. Dad had a big old car carrier with the picture of snail on it from Sears. It certainly felt like our vacation was starting at a snail-like pace.

Finally, with the trunk and car carrier filled to capacity, we were able to hit the road. While the drive was probably only about six hours, to us it seemed interminably long. Our favorite place to stop will seem silly now, but back then eating at Wendy’s was a novelty. There weren’t any in Illinois. We loved sitting at the tables adorned with replica Victorian newspaper ads. Eating a Frosty with an almond-colored plastic spoon was like heaven on a hot July day. As a kid, I knew of no other place that could provide such a cold, delicious treat. It was only when I was an adult that I realized a Frosty was nothing but chocolate soft-serve ice cream in a cup.

Even though our car had air conditioning, it tended to get hot riding in a car with six people. When we arrived at The Lake–the glorious, wide blue lake that stretched all the way to Canada–we would jump out of the car and wish to dash off to the beach! But if wishes were horses, we’d all ride for free. We were not allowed to dash off until the entire car and the car top carrier was unloaded. And then, only then, were we allowed to greet all the cousins (who had usually arrived before us and had already unloaded their respective cars) and dip our feet into the icy cold water.

Of course, the drive home was even worse than the drive to The Lake. Saying goodbye to all our cousins was hard. We would be tired and perhaps a little sun-burned with grains of sand still between our toes. Our week at The Lake was over.

On the plus side, however, there was less toilet paper to unload once we got home.

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming Go on a Car Trip with Gretchen at Second Blooming–visit her blog for more Spins!


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6 Replies to “Car Trip! {Spin Cycle}”

  1. Sounds like so much fun!! I'd love to find a place to rent a lake cabin for a week. I bet you have amazing memories of being there as well as getting there! And I know what you mean about the Wendy's – I felt the same way about Dairy Queen – so fancy!

    You are linked!
    My recent post Spin Cycle: The Cow Story

  2. I miss the innocence of being a child and finding out all the "truths" as an adult. You know, Like Wrasslin' Fake! OMG! I died right there!!

    I miss all my cousins that used to come visit us in the summer. They don't even contact me thru facebook. I wonder why?

    You made some fabulous memories. Thanks so much for sharing them.
    My recent post The Spin Cycle…

  3. Like you–I remember car-trip family vacations as a kid. There were seven of us packed into the family station wagon with the giant cement-gray bag holding all our suitcases on top. It took *forever* for my dad and brothers to get that thing tied down before we could leave. Sometimes we'd be on the road for only a short while when my dad would pull over to the side because a flapping noise above our heads told us something wasn't tied down right.

    My first plane ride? Three years after college!
    My recent post Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

  4. Reminds me of when my parents used to drive from Chicago to Cleveland to visit their parents. I always went to sleep in the car and told my parents to wake me up when we hit Ohio. Thanks for your spin.
    My recent post Spining down to Green G

  5. Oh how I remember days w/o seatbelts and going on vacation as a kid. When I was little we had a big red van that only had a driver and passenger seat. My parents built a bed in the back and my sister and I would sit on the bed or floor. It wasn't until we went to Canada one year and they had a seatbelt law that we bought a bench seat from a salvage place to put in the van and we actually used seat belts.
    My recent post Going on One Hour of Sleep…

  6. I remember those type of trips: me in the middle and my brother and sister on either side. Which usually meant that when we weren't even halfway, both my brother and sister were asleep on me!

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