I never went to DisneyWorld as a kid. Our family vacations were usually to the Gulf Coast around Destin or Gulf Shores. The redneck Riviera as some call it.
Those were awesome. My mom and dad would wake us up around 5 in the morning to crawl in the car and head off down Highway 231. Back then, McDonalds would have these really cool giveaways with their burgers. They were in flat boxes and filled with travel games. My sister and I would do our best not to peek inside until the day we travelled so we’d be even more excited about it.
By the time we had passed through Montgomery, we would have played the license plate game, the ABC game and all of the word searches inside. Then we’d probably fight over who dared to scooch over the invisible line that we drew to divide the back seat.
At the beach, we’d swim in the pool, the gulf and then my parents would take us to the ski-ball and go-cart tracks.
My kids have never had one of those vacations. We have flown nearly every where we’ve ever travelled. In fact, I don’t remember a long car-trip since our kids have been born that didn’t end at a relatives house.
So tomorrow, since the kids have a few days of fall break (we didn’t have those either when I was a kid) we’re going for a real hillbilly vacation. We’re going to Gatlinburg!
There will probably be a go-cart track on our stop, maybe a wax museum too. I’m sure we’ll have a funnel cake and taffy and fudge.
On Saturday we’re going to head over to Carson Newman College, my alma mater, for homecoming. There’ll be a parade, they’ll hear some of those stories from my classmates that I’m sure we’ll tell over and over again. There’s a football game too.
My kids are in for a fun trip. Hopefully it’ll be one they’ll remember as much as the ones I took with my folks.