"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, June 04, 2007

Vacations of Summer Past

During the late 60's and early 70's our family summer vacations included trips east to visit my dad's parents and extended family in Illinois. I don't recall whether or not we had air conditioning in the car, but I do remember leaving in the wee hours of the morning after only a few hours sleep. Albuquerque by dinner time was the first leg of the trip (along historic Route 66) approximately 900 miles from home ... quite a stretch of road to travel ... and the early departure meant we would cross the desert in the cool of the night. Some summers the back seat contained three youngin's ... my two brothers and myself. Of course there were the usual squabbles about the window seats, and "he's touching me", "I've gotta go potty", and oh, "I'm so thirsty." Dad would often find us (including Mom) fast asleep before we even got out of town. This was a sore subject with him. He thought we should stay awake and enjoy the stars. On would come his 8-track tape player and between that softly humming and the rushing air alongside the car, one would find it nearly impossible to stay awake. By morning we were hungry and in need of a potty stop. By afternoon, we were thirsty again ... and soon in need of another rest stop. Only in my dreams though, for more often than not, the only stop we'd make would be for ethyl (gas for you youngsters). Once in a while we'd stop at a "Stuckey's" and get a cold cola ... and oh, sure, we'd pass all sorts of signs claiming the best lemonade was just ahead at Aunt Fanny's Orchard ... or some mystery cave that sounded intriguing. Thirst or no thirst we had miles to put behind us. Albuquerque by dinner was our mantra. ...to be continued


Pat said...

Mine was the car right behind you on Route 66. I do remember we DID NOT have air conditioning! We made the trip from Ca. to Mi. Did you have roadside picnics?

Tammy and Parker said...

Stuckey's! You know Stuckey's? Hope ya got a pecan log along with that soda! =)

Terry said...

Oh this is going to be so interesting to travel memory lane with you Mrs. Mac!
It even brings back sweet memories that I have!
Oh those were the good old days, eh, when pop came in glass bottles and it tasted so good!!..Love Terry