My Facebook feed is filling up with pictures of beach views, because both Knox County public and Catholic schools are on break this week. Were I to post a picture of my view, it would be the same one everyone has seen before: my back yard. I’m not complaining, though, because I do have some future travel plans to look forward to (more on that later!) and a week at the beach would bore me to tears anyway.
The Spring Break that’s been on my mind took place last week, when both Jake and Teddy were frolicking at Panama City Beach. Now that they are back safely (well, Jake is back safely; Teddy was here briefly and is driving back to Notre Dame today) I can let out that breath I was holding and get back to thoughts of my own “vacation”–a break, at least, from getting up before dark and spending hours driving kids around.
Teddy went to Panama City last year, and seemed surprised and irritated this year when I texted the boys occasionally to make sure they were okay (I did not hear from Teddy ONE SINGLE TIME last year). “Stop texting Jake,” he said. “You are killing his vibe. I didn’t die last year and I won’t die this year.” Jake, on the other hand, called of his own accord a couple of times to tell me how much fun they were having and ask how I was doing, and to assure me that they were being safe.
Now there was never any question of my going on a trip alone with my friends sans parents while I was still in high school. I remember begging my mother to let me and a friend drive to Coalfield to watch a basketball tournament, returning the same evening, and she wouldn’t even allow that. (My sister got to go on Spring Break with friends HER Senior year. Go figure.)
My first year of college, I came home for break, bringing my roommate, who was from Seattle, eager to share Tennessee with her. We spent one day in Gatlinburg (which back then was more or less shut down that early in the season) and one exploring the mountains. I don’t remember what else we did. Sophomore year we decided we wanted to go to Daytona Beach. Even as a sophomore in college, I had to beg to be allowed to go, and promise to stop and call my mother every two hours while driving to let her know we were okay.
From what Jake told me when they got home last night, the scene at Panama City sounds something like what Daytona Beach was like back in the day. Not that I would know firsthand or anything, because my roommate and I and our friend STAYED WITH THE FRIEND’S GRANDMOTHER. We took a day trip to St. Augustine, and another to Disney World. Oh, we were such good little Catholic girls (typed completely without irony).
The next year we went to Charleston, and John came along. I was the only one who’d been there–it was the last vacation I ever took with my family, the summer before I left for college–and I was excited to go back and to show them the beautiful and historic sites. Charleston remains a place I want to get back to. Senior year I was busily planning an August wedding and I think I went home for Spring Break to conduct wedding-related business. Since having kids, Spring Breaks have usually been Easter Breaks and occasionally included a few days in a hotel in Gatlinburg with an indoor pool.
Below are some pictures from a couple of those college trips. Please excuse their condition, remembering they’ve been through fire and flood and that I have them at all is a minor miracle.
What about you? Are you going somewhere special for Spring Break this year? Do you have any memorable trips from your past you’d care to share?