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The Open Road, A Station Wagon, and a Cassette Player

The  beginning of our family vacation was when my Dad came home the purchase of a shiny gray station wagon. He beamed with pride over his investment and knew it would be the icing on the cake for our summer road trip with two spirited teenage daughters, and me. It was one of those moments I wonder what my parents were they thinking as they packed up the Belfond Bus and sent us on our cross Canada journey.

I was scrunched between my two older sisters, high on Gravol, unable to read due to car-sickness, and remembering everything in a sleepy haze.  I always looked straight ahead in the off-chance that I would lose my cookies. I instinctively knew  I would face fear of death if by chance I accidentally vomited on one of them.

We made that  long two-week journey on the open road. No we didn’t have movies  in the backseat, no Nintendo DS, and there was  no luxury of air conditioning.  Most days traveling down the long stretch of highway it was hot and when my Mom drove it was nauseating.

The only saving grace was oldest my sisters tape recorder it was there in the dusty back seat we listened to our favorite cassettes Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Footloose, and my favorite Julian Lennon.

Now looking back we always seemed to play “Too Late for Good-Byes” over and over again at the very end of the day. It seemed we may even have been testing our parents last straw of patience. We would  hit the high pitch notes with gusto seeing how high we could actually go with our screeching voices.

That is until my Mother could no longer take it!  She would look back with fierceness in her eyes and holler from the front, “Turn that bloody thing down! I can’t take it anymore!”

I guess it took my own long drives with my own children to realize how brave my parents actually were to take all three of us on a cross-country adventure. I wondered how they stood sane in some of those more hairy moments. But then again they are what family memories are made of and we will always them have for a lifetime.

Is there a song that  evokes a memory from one of your family vacations?

Categories: cassette player Creatvie Writing Cross Canada Adventure eighties music family life family travel family vacations Family, Mothers, Children, Life, Siblings fun funny Julian Lennon Life motherhood Much too Late for Good -Byes NaBloPoMo parenthood

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

23 replies

  1. The only saving grace was oldest my sisters tape recorder it was there in the dusty back seat we listened to our favorite cassettes Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Footloose, and my favorite Julian Lennon.

    You just described the soundtrack to the summer I went to Maine with my best friend and her family…we sat in the back seat listening to exactly those artists! 🙂 “…and I’m hungry like the woooooolf…”

  2. I don’t remember a song, but I do remember puking through every major city and historical site we ever visited. My brother wished he could chuck me out the window along with the can of vomit.

  3. Juice Newton, The Queen of Hearts! My mum and I would sing that song together in the front seat (with no seatbelts!) when I was 8 and she was 25. And then The Gambler (Kenny Rogers), One Tin Soldier (?), and You’re So Vain (Carly Simon). I don’t remember where we were going, but the getting there was wonderful 🙂

  4. We lived so simply in those days and we were content. Today kids have so many gadgets to keep them entertained and it makes me think that parents have it easier, but do they really? Once my family and I took a trip and “Disco Duck” kept on playing on the radio. It drove me crazy …

  5. The only thing my kids agree on is baseball. So on our BoSox trips we always listened to The Boys are Back Again. Can’t listen to it now and not think of hot nights with the brights lights of the ball field and green, green grass. (Oh, and no one arguing–except with the umps!)

  6. I almost closed the tab, thinking, “If only!” Just before I did so, I remembered a trip-specific song.

    My mom took my siblings and I to an annual, national church gathering in Montana. It was being held on a campus, so our rooms were dorms. My just-younger sister and I ended up finding the TV room and staking it out. We left it on MTV in wait of the next time they’d play “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum, and curse off anyone who thought they might talk us into doing otherwise.

    We meant business about that song! And clearly took to heart the messages of peace, etc., that were the core of the gathering. 😉

  7. Great post! I don’t think I have any songs that remind me of vacations, but there are definitely songs that remind me of certain people and moments. Like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” especially stirs up memories for me as I danced goofily to that song with my friend Brian before he moved to Colorado. The song always makes me smile and reminds me of that last day with him summer 2010. 🙂

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