Fond Family Vacation Memories
I remember it like it was yesterday, pulling onto Cedar Point Parkway, roller coasters in sight, seagulls swooping by, lake air blowing and my uncles taunting me “Demon Drop, Demon Drop, Demon Drop.” That was nearly 20 years ago.
Each year, from the time I was 2 until the time I was 18 my mother’s family got together for a week’s worth of camping at East Harbor State Park and together we traveled a short distance to Cedar Point on that Friday. In total, by the time I was in my teen years this entourage would include 2 grandparents, 2 parents, 3 siblings, 10 aunts and uncles and 11 cousins.
We would arrive at the park at 9 am, an hour before the official opening. I believe the gates opened at 9:30 and we would enter and order french fries. Yes, for breakfast. (Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). The rides wouldn’t officially open until 10 am so we would hit the restrooms and divide into our various groups.
There was the “stroller crew” – all the little ones in strollers and one of their respective parents would make up this group. Next there was the “roller coaster crew”. This was usually all the uncles, and those that were tall enough to pass the height requirements. Didn’t like roller coasters but you were tall enough? Too bad. You were probably going to be dragged along; otherwise, you would spend the rest of the year trying to live that down. And then there were the “spin-and-pukers”. You can probably imagine that this would be the crew that was not tall enough for the roller coasters and liked to have their insides scrambled a bit before lunch.
I could probably spend pages and pages telling you our whole routine throughout the day, and after 16 years of doing this each and every year, I promise we had it down to a science. My husband jokes that you could blindfold me at the front of the park and I could lead you anywhere into the park you wanted to go. I know it that well. And I do.
And even though I could walk you around the park blindfolded, the most memorable aspects of the park are the memories I made with my extended family on each of those trips. The matching shirts we wore, the places we met, my first roller coaster, getting stuck on roller coasters, the food, the fun, and the laughter. Those vacations are some of my most treasured childhood memories and I am incredibly thankful to my grandparents for seeing they got created.
Do you have a summer vacation that was memorable from your childhood? A traditional place you visited? I would love to hear about yours too.