Monday, August 13, 2012

Where Were You In April 1993? I Was On Vacation!

When I was cleaning out the garage this weekend, I came across a very large tote of photos and photo albums. Because digital photography has become such a big part of my life, I rarely go back and glance at the thousands of photos I have been hoarding over the years.

As I started to snoop, my heart literally skipped a beat when I came across some black and white photos of our very first family vacation. The twins were ten months old and Jamie was about three and a half. Man, I remember how hard we saved for that trip. Seems like a lifetime ago.

David and I in the Lazy River
Originally, it was planned as a couple’s vacation. My father lived across the street, and all winter long pressed “they’re too little to leave, they’re too little to leave, they are too little to leave.” 

So, with less than a month before our departure, an executive decision was made. We were taking the kids. 

With a flip of a switch, my father's message immediately became much louder and had more conviction; “They’re too little to take…THEY'RE too little to take... THEY ARE TOO LITTLE TO TAKE!” God’s honest truth of the matter was my dad didn’t want us to go. He didn't want us to go, and I have never been afraid of a challenge. Long story short? We went!

I recall the car was strategically packed. Folding strollers, walkers, and enough crap to choke an elephant. The plan was eight hours a day on the road with six of those driving. (A couple of three hour stints, with a two hour break in between to wear the youngsters out.) Our destination was Myrtle Beach South Carolina.
Staci started walking in Myrtle Beach

We stayed in an excellent  three story family hotel (that has since been torn down) and we were on the second floor. We had an oceanfront room so that when the kids napped we could have the nursery monitor with us by the pool.

I remember on the third day I was reading in the sun and I heard the maid go into the room unannounced.  I have never bolted out of a lawn chaise so fast in my life.  The only thing going through my head as I ran the stairs two at at time was “wake ‘em up and I’ll freaking kill ya!”

Seriously, as you can imagine, from the time of our arrival we were quite the circus side show. On our second day, we met a couple from Hamilton Ontario; Don & Pearl Vernon. With a grown daughter of their own, they had empathy for the work we went through that first day,  to say the least they were extremely helpful. 

With a main floor oceanfront room, Don & Pearl would make a make shift playpen with lounge chairs to make it easier for us. Don would stay with Jamie in the kiddie pool so we didn't have to leave the twins when they were awake. I also remember that on our second last day, they watched the kids as they had their nap so we could enjoy a quiet walk on the beach. It was a great vacation all around.

Yesterday, I also came across the card I received with the photos dated May 23rd that year. Opening that hand written note from Pearl took me back in time. 

Jamie  & his Kiddie Pool Lifeguard Don.
We did manage to keep in touch after that trip. Christmas cards, phone calls, more photos exchanged for about the next three years. Like a lot of things in life, day to day brings change.

No matter how much time passes. I will never minimize the dear memories I have.

Reflecting, they were amazing people that taught me to always to give back and pay it forward.

....Forever thankful is all I can say.