A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Vacation Memories

postcards (Photo credit: petit zozio)
        Most of us have some great vacation memories.   We may even have some that are not so great.  Whatever the case may be, vacation times provide out of the ordinary experiences that can transfer well to memoir topics.

           As a child I always accumulated many souvenirs on any of the trips I took with my parents.  My favorites were post cards.  I set aside a goodly portion of my vacation allowance to buy postcards that depicted places we visited and states we passed through.   Whenever they were available as freebies, I would also acquire as many postcards as I could find for the motels, restaurants, or other establishments that offered them for promotional purposes.

           In addition to the postcards, I would also collect brochures, matchbooks, soap, or whatever else would become available to me during our travels.  Road maps were often offered at gas stations for free back in those days.   I'd get maps for everything I could find so that I could look ahead to where we were going and retrace our routes after we had returned home.  I still find maps to be a wonderful resource for traveling in my imagination.

           Many of the souvenirs  are now gone after so many years have passed.  The pennants that I had displayed on my bedroom walls have long since faded and been discarded.   Most of those travel brochures were thrown away many years ago.  Maybe I still have a few of the knickknacks packed away somewhere, but most are lost to the ages to who knows where.

           When I do run across some old piece of memory my thoughts go back to when it was first acquired.  I have my postcard collection in a shoe box in my office closet.  I haven't looked at them in many years, but I know they'd revive many recollections of vacations long past.  Somewhere in my garage is a box of maps and travel guides.

             And I can't forget about photographs, videos, and 8 millimeter movies.  My mother still has many of these and I have many of my own that come from the travels my own family has done.  Photo albums are usually the biggest treasure trove for seeing ourselves and others from our lives having fun in out of the ordinary circumstances.

             What types of travel memorabilia do you have around your house?   Do you take a lot of pictures when you are traveling or on vacation?   What has been your favorite vacation experience?    What was your most unique vacation experience?

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  1. Hi Lee - I hadn't been a great recorder of my travels .. I'm sure I'd written home - but those letters and cards have gone ...

    When I went to South Africa I recorded my travel journeys .. ie trips I made by myself, or with my mother and I have those copies still ... for my mother I highlighted the route we had taken through the Namibian Skeleton Coast holiday we had .. and also similarly in Botswana and the Okavango Delta, and I did the same for a trip we made to Porto and inland Portugal .. and kept many postcards reminding me of their traits ... lovely basketware, headwear .. etc ..

    My photos are around .. how and what I hate to think .. and I have the family 8mm films .. my uncle gave me a CD of his father's travels and my other uncle to Africa, India and on to Sydney for the opening of the bridge in 1932 ... I tried to get a running commentary .. but he was deaf and it was a slight struggle! His (and my father's) sister's husband, whom I 'looked after' recently laughed as we tried to communicate with his brother in law .. but I couldn't glean much ...

    Really interesting and I'd have loved to have more .. well I have a few things tucked away ..

    Sorry - long comment .. cheers Hilary

  2. So much to respond to here!
    As kids, the family vacations were limited to camping - mostly in Baja CA - affordable and fun for all. When my kids were little, we still camped (affordable and fun) but also made a couple of road trips to BC. We would go over to Yosemite in the springtime and twice we went to Hawaii (I have a brother who lives there - that was significant). ALL of those family trips - as a kid and as a parent - were memorable and important.
    I collected few souvenirs from any of those trips -- but we would give the kids a small allowance on our family trips so that they could choose a souvenir. There really is something valuable about the tangible connection to the trip. Often they would choose a tee shirt but I know my adult daughter still cherishes a small wooden box that she got as a Yosemite souvenir.
    And, yes, we took photos on all those trips but, back in the day, photos were often expensive mistakes. trips nowadays are so much more fun and possible to record via photography.
    My more unique holidays include the six visits to Washington DC that I took with groups of 8th graders. We had a blast and I learned so much!

  3. I always record my travels with photos and I collect memorabilia like you, Lee. Photography is part of the purpose of my blog. Writing is the other.

    And, I love maps too. Always have. Must be a travel bug or something. . .

    I believe in documenting our life stories, so love these posts, Lee.

  4. Lee, there's a question to ask a Daniel fan who goes far and wide to see his concerts. Then there was the vacation in LA when we met up that was a special memory.

    I enjoyed your post and it was good to read.


  5. I also collect postcards and those go into a scrapbook along with receipts, brochures, maps, etc. I also will cut up a bag and put it in the photoalbum or scrapbook if it bears the store's name & address. I will often get 2 of the same brochure so I can cut out bits from it for the photo album where my photos go. I've made some cool photoalbums from vacations using my photos and postcards too. I also love to buy a piece of local artwork, and shot glasses are another collectible.

    Fave vacation experiences are all my trips to Vancouver Island, esp. in 2007, and the cross country trip from WA to MA in 2011.

  6. Odd what we used to collect though I admit I used to buy maps as well. Now I have digital ones on my laptop. The photo albums I had seem to have gone missing though I still have the negs.

  7. Hilary -- I'd like to have so much more. I wish I had kept some journals of some of those trips.

    Gracie -- T-shirts were my souvenirs of choice in my 20's and 30's. It was a sort of bragging rights that you could wear and I wore T-shirts a lot back then so they were practical. Now I rarely wear tees when I go out anywhere. "Expensive mistakes":) I had a lot of those. It's so easy now.

    DG -- Hope you'll keep dropping in for these posts.

    Yvonne -- Keep traveling, Yvonne. I think it's a good thing for you to do if you can afford it.

    JoJo -- You do your memories very creatively. I should be better at that. Cross country trips are so much fun if you can take the time to enjoy them.

    Bill-- Maps are becoming an odd sort of artifact with advent of GPS and internet sites. I recall when every service station had them free for the taking. They also had attendants to pump gas, check oil, and wash windshields. That's when service stations lived up to their name.


  8. Perhaps because my Daddy had already been to 48 of the continental states when he married mom, we never took the big family vacation. We did day trips and extended weekend visits to family...all of which were in Texas or Arkansas. Did go up to Oklahoma once to visit my sister & her husband. And my aunt took me out to Vegas and California when Daddy was down sick with cancer. But still lots of fond memories around these outings and get togethers. I suppose when you are a child it is not so much where you go as happy times with people you love and who love you.

  9. I'm big on taking vacation pictures and I still have most of those. Tee shirts are also a favorite (a useful souvenir), but these do wear out in time. However, I've revisited a lot vacation memories in the past few years, quite unexpectedly. Since my mom passed away, my dad has been giving me lots of her little "treasures". These include little gifts I brought home to her from wherever I traveled. A couple were from trips I'd completely forgotten. Silly little trinkets, but with memories attached.

  10. Dear Lee, it just occurred to me that the questions you ask at the end of most of your postings are the ones that help a writer create a book.

    I'm thinking that a memoir about vacations would be truly interesting. We have memoirs about time spent in Tuscany and parts of France. Why not simply about adventures or misadventures on vacations???? Peace.

  11. I have a lot of journals that trigger some memories. Sometimes I have to laugh at what I chose to note. "No bathrooms in this town that I feel safe in." I think that was somewhere in Turkey.

    Then there's the sea of slides that I should sort, but don't want to.

  12. i love collecting souvenirs whenever i travel. I buy a book everywhere I go--and some fridge magnets too.


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