When I was a kid, especially the early teens, we would go camping a lot. I guess it started when I was 10 and we borrowed someone’s camper and spent a week on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Being a boy, I probably enjoyed it much more than my sisters, but since we were pretty poor, it was a good way to take a vacation with four kids. Anyway, I grew up camping, and when I was in college, some of my best friends and my Dad and Granddad would go camping up in Unicoi State Park. By then it just was an excuse for us to just get away in the woods, hang out and drink a lot of beer. Burt we enjoyed it and had a good time.
Naturally when I got married I figured that we would go camping on weekends and take trips. Well, Julia’s idea of camping was a night at the Marriott. She didn’t want to be out in the woods in a tent. She especially didn’t want to sleep on the ground or go without showering. Using a latrine was definitely way out of her comfort zone. So, we didn’t go camping in our early years. After we had two girls, the idea of taking a camping trip was put to rest forever. Jennifer and Lisa didn’t want to go anywhere but the beach. So, it seemed every year we would go to the beach, somewhere. We went to Mazatlan Mexico one year, but most of the beaches were in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina. It was fun, and I finally forgot the “call of the wild”.
But then one year after Jennifer was engaged, I thank she was in summer school and Lisa wanted to do something different. So we went to Vail Colorado for a week. We were staying in a Marriot vacation resort, but we were in the woods and we all loved it. We went hiking every day. The girls loved it and so did I. I ran every morning down by a mountain stream. One day we went rafting down the Colorado River. There were mostly class two and three rapids. It was scary and so enjoyable. None of us fell out of the raft, and we all loved it. We all knew that we would come back.
The next day we decided to go horseback riding. Lisa and I were excited, but Julia was apprehensive. We told her it would be OK and brushed it off, but I could tell that she was worried. Well, the horse could tell she was worried too. That’s not a good thing, The first problem is that she is so short and the horse was so wide that her legs instead of going around the sides of the horse just sort of stuch straight out. I don’t think I ever told her how funny she looked. I didn’t dare that day. I was afraid that she would have just gotten off the horse and left. Well, she probably should have. After almost being bitten by the horse ( she claims that she was, but I couldn’t find any marks) she had a hard time guiding the horse. The horse didn’t want to go where we were going, and he knew that she was scared, so he just did what he wanted. If she hadn’t been so upset it would have been funny. The horse started going down this sttp hill and she didn’t want it to go there. The people in charge were yelling instructions to her byt she still couldn’t make the horse do anything. I didn’t think that ride would ever be over. As we left, she looked at me with fire in her eyes and declared that she would never get on a horse again, And she never did. When Lisa and I wanted to ride the next year, she let us go, but there was no way to coax her to go with us.
But we had such a good time on that vacation. Another time, Jennifer had just graduated from High School and we took her to New York. I think it was Julia’s first time in New York too, I had been there many times with Delta, but never with the family. We went to a play, ate in little Italian resteraunts and walked and walked around. We saw Times Square, Rockerfeller Center and all the other sights. I even got her to go up to the top of the Empire State Building one night. Looking over at the city lights in NY City from the top of the Empire State building was a lot of fun. We both went back to NYC in 2004 when I ran the New York Marathon, That year we saw the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. We bout fell in love with New York and really enjoyed our time together there.
On our 25th wedding anniversary I surprised her. I had just gotten my first Miatia and I packed had her pack some clothes and we left with the top down for a drive in the mountains. But I didn’t tell her we were going to the Greystone Inn in North Carolina. It was a great sunny day, perfect for a drive in the mountains with a a sports car. We stayed the whole weekend in a little cabin by ourselves. We rode around the mountains, paddled a conoe on the lake and ate fabulous dinners in their dining room at night. It was a perfect weekend.
That’s all for tonight, but I there are some more to share tomorrow. It’s fun thingking about the good times. Now I think I will enjoy the fire a little longer.