Friday Fun Facts

06 Apr

Hi and welcome to Friday Fun Facts!  Come play along and learn something new about me, and I’ll learn something new about you.

This week was Spring Break.  I only have one child left in school so he’s been enjoying staying up later than normal and sleeping in well past 7, 8, or 9.  LOL

We never really take a vacation on Spring Break or go anywhere special.  Our vacations are usually planned in the summer.  Of course it would’ve been nice to go on a little road trip or do something fun, but with work schedules and other obligations, it wasn’t meant to be.

I’ve always loved going on vacations, short road trips, camping, touristy destinations, roadside oddities, a ride on a plane, beach, mountains, amusement parks.  There’s been some fun vacations in my past, and some not so fun.  LOL

Today, join me for a trip down memory lane as I remember a not so fun one—one that had a few highlights that I allow myself to remember 🙂

One year, when I was 8 or 9…maybe 10 or 11—I’m not really sure because I’ve tried to block it out, but bits and pieces have haunted me over the years…lol—my mom packed up her mother and my brother, sister and I and we all took a week away up north to Mackinac City and Mackinac Island.  (Loved that place then and still do…if you ever get the chance to watch the movie Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, it was filmed there…no cars and very old fashioned, it’s like you stepped back—well—somewhere in time…hehehehe)  My dad sent us away so he could have the week to himself and paint the house without all of us kids underfoot.  To this day, I think he got the better end of the bargain. 

Anyway, I loved my grandma, she was an opinionated woman who wasn’t afraid to speak up and demand her way.  Which is good and bad—especially to a pre-teen on vacation.  On the ride up grandma had this GI-NORMOUS purse that was filled with everything, I’m talking luggage here that could hold the belongings and any extras for a family of nine—and their neighbors and relatives—easily.  Anyway, my mother drove, my brother sat beside her in the roomy front seat (I still don’t know how he got this prime piece of real estate) and my sister and I were stuck in the back with grandma and her huge suitcase of a purse.  Which, for some reason, had to have a spot on the seat…which meant that my sister and I were squeezed up against one door.  LOL.  Not a fun road trip did this make.  For 4 or 5 hours we were like Siamese twins joined at the shoulders…and I have to tell you at this point in our lives, my sister and I weren’t what you’d call “friends”.  But, Grandma always had chiclets chewing gum in that piece of luggage, so I could forgive, and she did this funny thing with her false teeth.  It really impressed me 🙂

Well, once we arrived in Mackinac City we looked for hotels.  What is a feature that most kids want when looking for a hotel?  A pool.

Oh Grandma, bless her heart, she didn’t want no stinkin’ swimming pool.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love that woman, but she wanted to stay in one of those little individual cabin type rooms complete with a kitchen.  If I remember right I think the one she chose was called The Bates Motel 🙂

Yes, she wanted to go on vacation and stay in a smaller version of her house, but have it tucked in the woods with swarming herds of mosquitoes, no tv, cramped quarters and nothing to do after we returned from our day out but stare at each other until we went to bed.  Which was early because Grandma didn’t like to stay up late.  LOL…there was no letting Grandma retire before the rest of us either, because, remember, we were all packed into basically one room.  I remember playing cards and some board games, and it was fun, but as kids we wanted more—we wanted something out of the ordinary—like a pool 🙂

Sound like a vacation?  Not.  Lol.  So after a day of sightseeing and visiting all the touristy spots like Tahquamenon Falls, The Mystery Spot, playing miniature golf in Mackinac City, riding bikes and eating fudge on Mackinac Island after taking the ferry across..oh good good times.  Then we returned to our little cabin in the woods to cook our own meal, wash dishes, sweep out the kitchen—why it was like we never left home and went on a vacation.  LOL

Now I’m not sure what happened, because being a kid I wasn’t privy to all conversations, but finally on the eve of our last day of vacation—probably after my mother got sick and tired of us kids whining about wanting to go swimming—we packed up and moved down the road to stay a night in a real hotel with a pool, room service, vending machines and a small arcade.  I think we swam all day then we went out to a restaurant to eat and when we returned we swam some more.  The owner of the hotel even let us swim after normal closing hours because we were having so much fun…or maybe he just thought we were deprived and it was our first time seeing a swimming pool…I don’t know and don’t care, because it was FUN.  You know, like a real vacation.

Doesn’t a vacation mean that you do things out of the norm?  So going out to eat and swimming non-stop was definitely out of the norm.

It was the most memorable night of our trip and whenever I go up to Mackinac City—to this day—I smile a little when we pass that glorious hotel with the pool 🙂

And I do remember how my grandma was a bit silent the rest of the trip, she seemed to humpf a few times instead of comment, but her purse still had a prime spot on that long journey home.  Lol

Which brings me to today’s Friday Fun Fact question….Drum roll please…

Do you have a family trip or vacation that didn’t go as planned or wasn’t the fun you’d thought it would be?  Please share!

Looking forward to reading your answers!


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39 responses to “Friday Fun Facts

  1. Tory Michaels (@ToryMichaels)

    April 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

    Definitely had one vacation not go as planned. My mom and I went camping, or sort of camping. We went to a KOA and had one of their “Kamper Kabins”. The first night or so, I ate some fruit and commented “This tastes kind of funny”, but since my taster is and had been rather unreliable, Mom didn’t take note and I ate the fruit (I was probably 9 or 10 at most).

    Yes, the fruit had gone bad. I was up all night sick as a dog. My mom read most of “Little Women” to me that night. I miss my mom.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 8:28 am

      I miss my mom too Tory! Even though it wasn’t an expected part of your trip, sounds like it still made a nice memory!

  2. margtanner

    April 6, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Hi Christine,
    Sounds like the holiday from hell, well at least from a kid’s point of view. Glad you got at least one night in a motel with a pool. I really can’t remember any holidays that stand out for either good or bad reasons. I do remember one year when we went to stay in the country with my grandmother and my brother wrote a letter home to my mother.

    Arrived safely,
    Love Ron
    p.s. I forgot my hat.



    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 8:38 am

      LOL….sounds like your brother is a man of few words. Love it!

      As for my vaca, it wasn’t any fun as a child, but I can laugh about it now.

      Thanks for coming by 🙂

  3. Ceri Hebert

    April 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Growing up we used to travel A LOT. We lived in Minnesota then New Hampshire and it seems every summer we spent some time on the road. My father was a member of the Classic Car Club of America and that meant classic car caravans all over the place (my favorite trip being to the west coast where I was introduced to oysters and Disney Land) Even though that trip ended up with a broken down Daimler and a ride home on a Greyhound, it was still a blast. Most of our trips were a part of my dad’s business (he sold mascots, emblems, nameplates etc for classic cars. He was very well known in the business, probably the best when it came to mascots-he literally wrote the book on them). We went to automobile flea markets around the country. Though they hated it, we camped all over the place (maybe it was cheaper than getting a hotel room).

    One winter we drove from New Hampshire to Atlantic City, NJ for a car show. We had a van packed full of my dad’s stuff for setting up at the car show, while my mom and I rode in her Volkswagen Rabbit. As we were leaving Atlantic City we got hit by a huge snow storm. My mom and I got separated from my dad, brother and sister as we were leaving the city. It could have been a disaster. We drove as far as we could go, but with probably a good 2 feet of snow on the road, the Rabbit just couldn’t make it. We were preparing for a wait-being stranded until someone rescued us. Rescue came in the form of a bread truck. The driver said there was no way we could stay in the car. So he gave us a ride. Luckily my father was waiting for us at the toll booth a few miles a way.

    We were forced to drive back into the city, abandon the van in a parking lot, trudge through the deep snow until we could find a hotel. It was horrible. And to add to the fun, the van was broken into after we left it. I can’t remember how many days we were stuck. Never want to deal with traveling in the winter again!

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Your dad’s business sounds like a lot of potential for fun. Lucky that you got to travel. We didn’t do a ton of it as kids, but I always enjoyed it..well, almost always! LOL

      And I’m with you about traveling in the winter…I have a hard enough time driving to work in the snow, I would be the biggest chicken traveling some place for fun.

      Glad you were all safe! Thanks for sharing your story Ceri!

  4. Callie Hutton

    April 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Funny story, Christine. Thank goodness your mom came through! We took a vacation once over the Christmas holiday when our kids were young. We went to a resort in the Poconos, all set for sledding, ice skating, horse and sled rides, etc. Except they got a record snowfall the day we arrived, and we couldn’t even get out the door, and all activities were cancelled because employees couldn’t get to work. Not a fun time with two little ones stuck in their room for two days.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      LOL…love that story! I’m sure it was horrible for you and the kids, but ironic that you go on an awesome wintery trip and get snowed out! Glad you shared Callie!

  5. sarahballance

    April 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    My parents made a point of taking me to see as many of the US states as possible (I’ve been to most), and we did a lot of traveling by car just to really see the fabric of the country. It was incredible. We were once caught in an EPIC thunderstorm in Kansas (I know, right?) and that was my first experience with hail. The day turned black and the sky tried to kill me. (Okay, so I was just a kid. Perspective!) Less nature, more blooper (only still nature, lol) was a long walk out into the Bay of Fundy in Canada. If you’re not familiar, the bay almost empties on a tidal cycle. You can walk way, way out on sand where hours before, there were several feet of water. We did that. Apparently when we stopped to marvel, we did so on a sand bar. When we turned around, water stood between us and shore. We had to get a little wet to get back, but talk about a memory!

    Your grandma ROCKS, Christine! Anyone who sounds like a character in a book is just FINE by my standards, LOL!

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Great story Sarah…and lucky you that your parents made sure to bring you up traveling!

      As for my grandma….she was quite the character all right. She did some things in her day that women just didn’t do…loved her strength!

  6. Brenda

    April 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    LOL, sorry to laugh, but it does sound like the holiday from hell.
    A memory hit me when i read that your grandma always had Chiclets in her purse. My gran had these purple gums that looked like Chiclets, but oh they so were not. I think they were called Thrills–not 100% sure. Anyway, they tasted like soap, I kid you not. They were disgusting. But for some stupid reason, my sister and I would always ask her for one. Why? I don’t know. Maybe we hoped the taste would change? Maybe we hoped they’d one day taste like a purple Chiclet?

    Anyway, the only vacations we took when I was younger was camping. And my dad couldn’t camp in a camp ground–noooooo way. We had to camp in the middle of butt–who know what–nowhere.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      LMBO…so your dad was a wilderness camper! Did he bring Grandma Thrills with you? LOL…love your story Brenda! I’m picturing your face all wrenching up as you sit by the campfire chewing on Thrills.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Sheri Fredricks

    April 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    My dad never had time to take a vacation because he owned his own business. If we did go anywhere, we usually flew. One summer he decided to take us all camping and it was a beautiful spot. My mom, who is NOT a dirt-in-the-house person, wasn’t very happy. And less so when we found out….dad left the tent poles at home.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      HAHAHA….those are the things that always make for the best memories! Loved that story Sheri!

  8. Lynne Marshall

    April 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Christine! when I was 16 my family decided to drive across country to visit our Ohio and West Virginia relatives. My Dad also wanted to stop in places like Dallas, Washington DC, New York City. etc. It sounded like a great adventure to a 16 y/o. But, man! it takes a lot of miles to go across country, and we had allowed ourselves 6 wks. We went driving the wrong way down one-way streets in Washington DC, got lost in a really bad part of town, Dad got bedbug bites. etc. When we finally made it to WV I got food poisoning from eating my aunts home canned creamed corn. I’ll never eat creamed corn again! I was skinny for 16 and got so sick, I just wanted someone to shoot me whenever the pain (like knives cutting through my intestines) started. I was so sick, I didn’t care which cousin was who. Well, we’d had enough of this “wonderful” trip and managed to get home in 3 wks, and that wasn’t nearly soon enough, in my opinion!

    Gee – thanks for reminding me. 🙂

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Oh no Lynne…that ranks right up there as worst vacations ever! You poor girl. How miserable..and now I feel bad that I reminded you. UGH!

      But glad you got a pool in your vaca….they really should be a requirement and i know that when we took the kids on vacations, we always had a pool at the hotel. I wonder if I did that subconsciously???LOL

  9. Lynne Marshall

    April 6, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Oh – forgot to say – my favorite part of the trip? That first night in Pheonix AZ, when it was a hundred degrees at night and we swam in the hotel pool until midnight. 🙂

    Yes – vacations should have pools in them.

  10. D'Ann Lindun

    April 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    OH, Lord. How much time do you have? My family didn’t go on vacays because 1. we owned a tourist-based business, and going anywhere whole there was money to be made was out of the question, and 2. we couldn’t afford it on down time. But every winter we packed up 30+ horses and went to Arizona. Every single trip included broken motors, Indians who didn’t like us on the rez, horses getting loose…it was an adventure

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      And all of this gave you great material for your future career as a writer! So glad you came by D’Ann!

  11. Ally Broadfield

    April 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Most of our travel was to horse shows. We were too tired to watch TV or swim, LOL. We stayed in some pretty cheap, icky hotels, like the Knights Inn, which I remember for its purple & red decor. I love MaKinac Island, but I had to laugh when you mentioned getting fudge. I grew up in a small town near Traverse City, and we always called the tournists Fudgies because they all bought fudge.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Oh yeah, they call the tourists Fudgies on the island too….and a few other things I won’t mention. LOL I love the island and my daughter even pinkie swore with me eons ago that when she became rich and famous she’d buy me a home on the island…and I’m holding her to it!

      Thanks for coming by Ally 🙂

  12. Robin

    April 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Christine! Loved this story! Thanks for sharing it. I think your grandma and mine would have really liked each other.

    Gosh, coming up with a bad family vacation story is tough because I really only have very fond memories of all our trips. I do remember being scared out of my wits on one trip when we went to New Jersey and there was a roller coaster that went out over the ocean. I was terrified – and I love roller coasters! Oh, I think I might have gotten car sick on that trip, too. But luckily, most of our trips involved pools (and water slides!) and the ocean. 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Oh Robin, you are lucky! I can’t even begin to think how we would’ve handled a water slide…and I didn’t visit the ocean until I was in my late teens. I’m glad you didn’t have any bad family vacay stories….but I’m glad that now I can look back at them with a smile and fond memories.

      Glad you came by!

  13. Robin Bielman

    April 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    It’s Robin again. My log in is being weird, so hope you don’t mind me trying this again with my full name – I want you to know it was me. 🙂

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Don’t mind at all! Hey, love the cake on your blog…very cool!

  14. Rita

    April 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Great story! I remember one vacation when my whole family (six kids plus my parents) were squished in the car headed to a week at the beach on Cape Cod. About thirty minutes from home, heading down a stretch of I95 we came across a puppy stranded in the middle of the road, dodging traffic. My mother demanded that my father stop the car so she could get out on the highway and rescue the little thing. Oh, my poor father. He was afraid to say no and afraid to let her get out of the car. Long story short — we ended up adopting that puppy when no owner stepped forward. She was the funnest, smartest, most affectionate dog we ever owned.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Oh Rita, I love that story! I’m so glad your family saved the dog! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  15. Martha Ramirez

    April 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    What a lovely memory and lovely visual of your granny doing funny thing with her false teeth and Chiclets! 🙂

    As I kid we would go to a local high school and spend summers swimming in their pool. Till this day the smell of chlorine takes me back to those moments. It’s funny how certain scents trigger memories.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      I so know what you mean Mart! There are times I’ll get a certain scent from who knows where that’ll remind me of something…they go too quickly!

      Glad you came by!

  16. Jennifer Probst (@jenniferprobst)

    April 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    GREAT story!! Family vacations are always the ones you remember, for lots of reasons, usually the crazy stuff that happens – lol! Thanks for sharing with us – love it!

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Thanks for coming by Jennifer! You’re so right, there are tons of great memories to laugh at from our pasts…they make for some good conversations when I’m with my brother and sister and when the kids and I are chatting about old times too!

  17. Tereasa Bellew

    April 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I remember camping on our way to Montana, at KOA’s, and the radio announced some unfortunate camper had been attacked by a bear. No one was to wonder off alone or too far. Come dark time, Vynette still wasn’t back. We strolled up and around the whole camping area and finally found her hanging out with the manger’s teenage son. Ugh! She was in trouble and told she couldn’t even use the restroom without an escort. LOL. Looking back on it now, it’s was funny, but not at the time.

    Loved your vacation memories, Christine, and your mom was the greatest to get you kids a pool. How nice!

    • ChristineWarner

      April 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Hey Tere, that’s the best part about these memories…they might not be funny at the time, but later on they are.

      And you’re right! My mom was awesome. She didn’t like to argue, but I think she also wanted all of us kids to have a nice time too.

      Glad you stopped by and commented!

  18. Calisa Rhose

    April 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Well it’s not Friday, but here I am reading another great post! 🙂 I have so many vacay stories I don’t even know where to begin. I don’t think ANY of our trips went as planned as a kid or a grownup–ask me about our trip back to Oklahoma a few years before we moved back here sometime! But I’ll share one summer we took the girls camping. We did this every year in tents but we finally graduated to RVs when our oldest was a teen– or maybe that was when we started getting to old to sleep on the hard ground! lol. We had a lake we enjoyed so much one year (youngest dd has asthma so you can imagine that ‘nice’ bike ride UP to the top of the biggest hill! NOT) that we decided to return for the next two summers. Our last trip to that lake was the most memorable one, unfortunately. It had a fairly large swimming lagoon that we let the girls play at all day and on our last evening that year hubby and I went swimming with them as we usually did. There was nobody else there, I mean not one soul, we had it to ourselves. Hubby decided to swim across the lagoon. No biggie, it wasn’t ‘that’ large and he’s a strong swimmer. Until he got mid way and cramped, then panicked and nearly drowned! I can smile now (barely), but at the time dd’s and I were running around that dang water hole trying to encourage him to shore like a wayward puppy! We went to the closest spot to him and was still 25 feet away but I waded out as far as my 5 feet would allow, without being under water, and he finally made it to me so I could help him out of the deep water. Needless to say, he doesn’t swim, ever, anymore.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      That’s a scary vacay story Calisa! I’m glad your hubs was okay. I don’t blame him for not going swimming again after that. Years ago I had a ride on a horse that scared me to death and at the end of it I was bucked off and broke my arm. Now I’ve gotten on a few horses since, but they know I’m not comfortable and I don’t enjoy riding at all anymore.

      Thanks for coming by!

  19. Sharon Cullen

    April 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Loved all the stories. They all made my laugh. I’ve been thinking and thinking but I can’t think of a bad vacation. Which is good, I guess.

    • ChristineWarner

      April 16, 2012 at 7:09 am

      Even the bad vacations were good…in the long run. Thanks for coming by Sharon!

  20. Barb

    April 16, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Thank heavens for moms. Even the best plans turn to soup. Moms add the flavor.


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