Let’s Go for a Ride!

I started writing this blog because I’ve taken a few “big” trips—to places I never imagined I would see in person back when I was a single mom trying to keep things together—and my friends have asked me about them. What did I do and see? What did I like best?

Let me tell you …

My father was in the air force, so our family moved a lot—but my folks also took driving vacations every summer, particularly to visit Mom’s sister in Denver, her family in Yorkville, Illinois, and Dad’s parents—his father and stepmother in Owensville, Missouri, and his mother in St. Louis.

They’d been doing this long before we kids came along, but when we did (there were three of us), they made sure to stop at every point of interest along the way. And there are a lot of points of interest in this country. 🙂 For example, I can tell you for sure I’ve seen …

• most of the state parks in California

• many of the California missions

• San Francisco

• Yosemite National Park

Forest Park in St. Louis, with the Jewel Box conservatory and the St. Louis Zoo

• the Arch in St. Louis

• Disneyland in Anaheim, California

• Disney World, in Orlando, Florida

• Lake Tahoe—both sides

• the Great Salt Lake

• Chicago

• the San Diego Zoo

• the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas

• the island of Newfoundland, Canada

• the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Columbia, South Carolina

• the Rockies, especially in and around Denver, Colorado

• Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center

Meramec Caverns, in Missouri

• just about every monument and museum in Washington, DC

• the Everglades, in Florida

… and many other places I can’t even begin to remember at this late hour. Every conceivable museum in every little town. We didn’t drive there, of course, but I spent a couple weeks in Honolulu, Hawaii, when I was fifteen and my father was on R&R from Vietnam.

Daddy had been a history major in college, so we saw a lot of places of historic interest. He was also a master gardener, and he loved to build things (furniture, decks, extra rooms on houses). My mother went to art college, and she played piano and flute, so she was interested in making sure we saw things of cultural interest. They both had an abiding interest in art and design (witness the ’60s-era Danish modern furniture we grew up with). Our parents had records and books and magazines in the house. We talked history at the dinner table. And politics, God help us. My mother was an avid reader.

I learned to swim in lakes, not pools. I have photos of family picnics out in the middle of nowhere. “Let’s go for a ride” was a common refrain in our house. My parents threw great parties, and they both cooked, joyfully.

These things—history, literature, art, music, gardening, good food, travel—the beauty of our world—are the things I was taught to value, and I am interested in them still. When I travel now, these are the things I seek out; old habits die hard. So while I’ve called this my travel blog, you will have started to see my interests reflected here, particularly in the short posts in between trips. I hope that works for you. 🙂

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