Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hula, Girl

There's a vacation in my midst, which is why we had to shift gears from chess boards to surf boards. B and I take off for the McPhail Family Beach Abode tomorrow afternoon--sans munchkins--for a long weekend of sun, sand, surfing, and....hhmmm...now what was that other "s" word that the vacation was going to be centered around? ;)

In honor of our impending much needed break, I decided to compile a list of McCoy Family Vacations Past, for your literary entertainment.


1. Summer of 1979--My parents take me to Disney World for the first time. I ride in a stroller. I remember nothing. I would never have known this vacation took place if I had not been shown photographs.

2. Summers between 1980 and around 1984--There were trips to beaches. (I've seen photos.) I had a green bathing suit with orange fish on it. (Again, photos.) We camped some. (Photos.) Yeah. That's all I've got.

3. Summer 1985-ish--The first vacation of which I have real memories. We travel to St. Augustine, Florida, which is actually the city from which my family heralds (my Grandpa moved to Cleveland as a teenager and always wanted us all to move back to St. Augustine). My Mom spends a lot of time making fun of me for talking to the ocean. We have a beige Honda Accord. It gets stuck on the beach and a huge storm blows in with giant waves. We all nearly perish in the monsoon, as my brother and I cry, Mom yells, and Dad swears a lot and digs out the car. We visit the Alligator Farm and Marineland. My brother's obsession with sharks is born.

4. Summer 1987--Return to Disney World. My Dad wears black acid washed jeans with pleats and the airbrushed deer hat I bought him (this has been mentioned in a previous blog) despite the zillion degree heat. We eat a lot of ice cream shaped like Mickey's head. I am fascinated by Epcot's countries around the world, and the hedges cut into animal shapes. My obsession with topiaries is born.

5. Summer 1989--We plan a cross-country drive to Colorado. We load the car with suitcases, coolers, travel games, cameras, etc. We drive and drive and drive until we are all cranky and over the idea of driving, which, unfortunately came about in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We check into the nearest hotel, and proceed to spend the next week eating a lot of Subway (the nearest restaurant) and swimming in the hotel pool. We go nowhere and do nothing else. It's hotter than the ninth circle of Hell. My Dad teaches me to dive. My family's hatred of Arkansas is born.

6. Summer 1992--We end up at some random beach in Florida while Dad goes to equipment sales for work. I'm rocking a spiral perm and fill out my bikini for the first time on vacation. I spend all my time on the beach and I meet boys. Lots and lots of boys. Some cute guy named Tom who is down from upstate New York asks me out. We meet on the beach, have dinner, and make out. It's the first time my gum ends up in someone else's mouth. He tells me I'm beautiful and he wants to keep in touch. Then he finds out I'm 15. He's 22. I never hear from him again.

7. Summer 1993--The family goes to Destin. I eat alligator for the first time. My hair is back to straight, but I still meet lots and lots of boys. I have brief, hours-long flings with Jim from Louisiana. And Elliot from Texas. And Jason from North Carolina. I also meet Joey, who lives in Destin and is a pretty cool guy. We hang out. We go to the movies and see "True Lies." He is a fellow Guns N Roses fan. A long-term friendship develops.

8. Summer 1994--I spend a chunk of the summer in Europe. I travel all over Italy and France and the French Riviera. I eat lots of croissants and learn that I'm terrified of riding in Italian taxis. I see many interesting things: a man masturbating in his car at a red light, a grand piano in the McDonald's in Paris, nude beaches. It's all together a grand time.

9. November 1994--I take off with my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin to Barbados, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Martinique. I shop a lot, and see the cast of "Martin" having lunch in St. Maarten. I meet a native dude who takes me in his boat to St. John and teaches me to snorkel. I fall in love with St. John. (Looking back, I'm probably lucky I didn't pull a Natalee Holloway.) I also meet a magician who levitates me. To this date, it is my only successful levitation experience.

10. Summer 1995--Return to Destin. I call up Joey and we hang out. He kisses me and it freaks me out. Our friendship fizzles.

11. Summer 1996--My maiden voyage to New Orleans. I have my first cocktail while sitting next to a transvestite at a jazz club on Bourbon Street who tells me I have nice hair. We stay at a very quaint, very old inn in the French Quarter where I stay awake all night looking for ghosts. I never see one. I am disappointed.

After that, summers pretty much consisted of school, then vacations with various husbands I accrued along the way. Since then, there have been trips to Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Caymans, Cozumel, more Disney World, Seattle, New York, Hilton Head, (more) New Orleans, Texas, etc. But no more with the family, as a single girl, with long, lazy days to fill, and lots of boys to kiss. Oh, how I miss those days.

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