Long gone are the days of getting a big old map and a highlighter and marking your vacation route! What a way to plan a vacation-with all those dotted towns and cities. Remember reading the key (legend) and trying to make sense of what all those little marking stood for? The only trouble with the highlighted route is missing all those wonderful pitstops along the way!
My mother used to say whenever she saw that sign, all her troubles would melt away. There is something about seeing the sign for the Adirondack Park that makes everything just better! Food tastes better, we sleep better, birds get a notice- everything just seems more special if it happens inside the Adirondack Park.
Cramming the four kids in the station wagon was always an adventure. Claiming your spot in the car was paramount. “I get the window!” “Called it!” and “You get the middle.” -these were just a few of the phrases we would yell while climbing into the car. I wouldn’t really know where we were going, but I was just happy to be going anywhere. Seeing the exit to Lake George meant fun! Hope we pull off here…..
My father kept our camping log all the years we camped. This page has the story of the day I won the “floating mattress!”
It was July 16, 1971. The perfect summer day as I recall. My father was hosting the annual work picnic. I won a green raft that day for my athletic ability in the egg race! It was my biggest claim to fame as a 9 year old. I remember reaching into a tub of iced cold soda with what seemed like every variety ever invented. It was sheer heaven- all the FREE SODA I could drink! Pull the ring tab- wear it on your finger for a bit before carelessly dropping it somewhere in the grass. Take that long first sip…..ahhhhhhhhhh. Life was good.
We didn’t have water bottles- there was no sippy box, pouch or fancy energy drink. If you were outside playing, and you were thirsty, you would simply turn on the spigot, bend down a bit, wait for about 10 seconds until the cold water reached the end of the hose, then take a long, long gulp swallowing, swallowing and swallowing. Of course, you would then offer the hose to the next sweaty, out of breath neighborhood friend. If you were on your game that day, you might remember to turn off the hose. Or, your father might step in huge puddle and yell out ” Who left the dam hose on?”
Remember Saratoga Vichy Water? Well, they also made Saratoga Ginger Ale! Of course, everyone had the Vichy water. My mother had it for every “adult” party. Each time there was a spill, it was “Grab the Vichy water!!” Not gonna lie, we usually had Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I resurrected this bottle from the Round Lake Antique Fest and thought I’d put the little sister of Vichy in the spotlight. What is Vichy water, anyway?
It happens every year, but as soon as I see that first green leaf turn to red, I’m always a bit in shock. Already? Seems like summer has just started. As a kid, I don’t think I was terribly aware of summer ending by the changing foliage. I think the crickets chirping a bit slower and it getting dark earlier made more of an impression on me. And going back to school shopping. I remember sitting in the Colonie Center parking lot with my brothers and sister while my parents went shopping in Sears for Toughskins. I would stare at the Macy’s and Sears signs and try to picture how big those letters really were. With my two new outfits, and my red Tartan plaid bookbag, I was ready to start school…in Summer as it Was…