Vacation Memories [fpq]

Portland collage
Oregon garden with Diane

Fandango continues his Provocative Question series today by asking about our favorite vacation. Warning: this will be a long, meandering post, so exit now if that isn’t your jam.

My parents took me on many vacations and most were by car ~ from NY/NJ to Ohio, Colorado, South Dakota, etc. We also flew to Florida with my grandparents when I was 13 and by ourselves to California when I was 16. There were enjoyable moments here and there, but each trip was overshadowed by my parents’ constant arguing, so overall my attitude toward vacations is negative. Note: my parents were married 50 years until my mom’s death in 2008, and they insisted they were happy, usually.

Mom & Dad, RIP

My negative attitude toward trips was not improved during my two vacations with my college boyfriend. We flew to California during Winter Break 1979 to pick up a car for him from his sister in Santa Monica, and then we drove back to Chicago via Texas. The entire experience was awkward and annoying. We also visited the Wisconsin Dells the next summer where we almost drowned because he was an idiot. So yeah… I’m pretty thumbs-down on traveling.

Then there were the vacations with my second ex-husband (didn’t take any with the first). Unfortunately, we mirrored my parents’ behavior by disagreeing about so many things, though to our credit we did not yell. Still, there are some happy memories, though most are not. It’s funny how one bad experience tends to overwhelm any mental images of good ones. At least for me that’s what happens with men. With my children, I tend to recall only the good stuff, and luckily there is a lot of it!

Collage with daughters
Clockwise from top left: Sausalito, San Francisco, Berkeley, Seattle, Alameda

Diane and I went on a couple vacations together and each time was super-great! We had a brief visit to Seattle and a longer trip to Portland, OR (collage at top). I visited the girls pretty frequently when they lived in Northern California, and Diane took me for a lovely Mother’s Day tea after we celebrated Sharon’s UCB graduation in 2015. That was probably my favorite vacation because we were all so happy.

English Rose Tea Room
The English Rose Tea Room in Pleasanton, CA

These days I hardly travel at all, and not only because of Covid. It’s just so freaking costly to go anywhere! My two days in San Diego with friends over Memorial Day weekend ended up around $500, including gas and a few books. Well, it’s not a vacation unless you buy souvenirs, right?

Powell’s Books

There I am going nuts at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. We also had designer donuts in Portland because that’s a thing, but we were too hungry after waiting in line for an hour to take pics before nomming them all up.

I anticipate that most if not all of my future vacations will be stay-cations and/or brief local trips. There’s no reason for me to visit NorCal again, since my girls are now both living in SoCal, and I highly doubt I’ll want to shell out major bucks for a serious trip to another state or country. Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful things to do within a few hours’ drive of Orange County, CA!

As an aside, I tinypng-ed all these new images before dumping them in WP media storage, and a big shoutout thank-you goes to Ashley for mentioning that we should do this to save space.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

28 responses to “Vacation Memories [fpq]

  1. I think that you look a lot like your mom.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 😊

    The English Rose Tea Room looks fun! Powell’s Books is a wonderful thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you’ve had some good and some not so good vacation experiences, but the later ones with your daughters have been the good ones.

    By the way, I use two image reduction and image compression apps on my iPhone to shrink image sizes. “Resize It” is a very easy to use app to resize the photo or image, and “Compress” does a great job of compressing the image without sacrificing quality. Both are free at the App Store and I use them BEFORE adding the images to my draft posts. Once resized and/or compressed, they download faster and take up much less space in my media folder.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I ❤️ this post. And that photo of you with the books? I adore it! It is so you. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Vacation time with kids is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So many fun pics with your family. I wish I knew what you meant by tiny ping in WP storage??

    Liked by 1 person

    • These are programs to compress images so they take up less space in media storage. Some are already small, like the ones from free sites, but your own cell phone pics can be huge! After compression, you can’t tell the difference by looking at the pics…

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I love Powell’s bookstore. I can understand the necessity to buy something there. I think vacations with kids are the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s pleasant that you has some good memories 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You gotta live your life, how you wanna =D

    Liked by 1 person

  10. confession. Burn this comment upon reading. I used to like traveling but with my S.O. it becomes over-organized, expensive, and annoying. Well, not entirely. I like driving, and just the idea of being somewhere new.
    I didn’t realize WP and picture size was a thing. I got spoiled with’s seemingly unlimited storage.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I actually think traveling together is a great test of a relationship. Until you are really ALONE together for an extended period, you don’t really find out how you are together, just the two of you. Garry and I always traveled well. We probably travel better than anything else we do because we are both of the opinion that an opportunity to be on vacation is too precious to waste with arguing. Our biggest hassle was trying to rein in our tendency to spend way too much money.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If two people were married for 50 years and insisted, they are happy together; then we should believe them..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I talked to both Melissa and Tracy last night when I, being lucky like you to have them both close by, had dinner with them and my son-in-law last night. I was kind of surprised to hear neither one of them seemed to remember much about our road trips while they were growing up. Sad, too, but c’est la vie.

    Where is Diane living now and when did they move down?

    IDK if you’re still following any of my blogs but you might be interested in this post because it sprang from one of yours. Not sure if a pingback for this was enabled or not, or even if you care.

    Liked by 1 person