Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Vacation Memories

My wife and I just got back from our short belated honeymoon to New Mexico. One of her mothers and her mother’s wife live in Albuquerque. She was nice enough to buy us tickets to visit them as a honeymoon present. It was an eye opening experience for me and I enjoyed a lot of it. 

I learned a lot about New Mexico that I did not know before. Some of the facts were sad — like they are close to the poorest state in the nation, and some were rad — like Microsoft was actually founded in Albuquerque. I also learned that a TV show about meth dealing spells money making opportunity for so many different ventures. Seriously we saw something called Breaking Bath Salts. A candy confectioner also made blue meth-style rock candy that was even distributed to members of the cast. Sadly, the Breaking Bad open air trolley tour only operates May through October due to the weather issues that high elevation causes. I would have jumped at the chance for a three-hour tour of Walter White’s world. This was really the first vacation Carolina and I took together. Lots of memories were made and I am happy about that.

So dear readers, tell me about your favorite vacation memory. Did you go to Paris, find a gateway to the past and meet the lovely Marion Cotillard? Seriously, I loved that movie. Did you take a three-hour tour that turned into a cast away-type situation? I really hope you didn’t end up on an island off the coast of Washington with Nic Cage and bees. That would be bad.

By Alyson

Queer Pop Culture Junkie in the Northwest. Addicted to Coffee, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fantasy Sports, The Mountain Goats, and Tottenham Hotspur.

4 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Vacation Memories”

One of my favorite vacation memories is getting on a train with my BFF in Germany, trying to get to Berlin, without having any idea if it was the right train or not. We had a rail pass, but we couldn’t understand the ticket kiosk. Normally we would have just asked the ticket attendant, but this was very early in the morning and the attendant didn’t arrive for another 3 hours. Fortunately it was the right train, but there was a solid 20 minutes of uncertainty that made for an adventure.

We had another interesting train experience later in the week, only this time in Versailles. We were using the same rail pass, but didn’t realize that we had to get a ticket for this train (it’s confusing because there are different policies for different trains- even though the pass worked for all of them). It was fine getting on the train, but you needed a ticket to exit the station. We tried going through the doors by scanning an old ticket, but that didn’t work. Fortunately a kind man took pity on us and swiped the door open for us with his rail card.

The vacation my abuser left us is probably tops? It was when I was 13-14. My 14th birthday was over that vacation actually I think? It was our first Pennsic war, Pennsic XXX, which would be reason enough in itself to be memorable. My mom sang along to Drops of Jupiter every time it came on the radio, and while we were gone her second husband finally left. At the same time, I found a place where grown ups didn’t think I was strange, and welcomed me to some degree in their midst- a place where sitting on the edge of a dusty thoroughfare reading Harry Potter brought excited, positive inquiries as to what I thought about it rather than admonitions to stop it and “enjoy [myself] like normal kids.”

There were dark spots- Rick’s parting gift was to show up in the middle of the night, rank his tunic up, and flash us kids- but over all it was probably my most memorable vacation to date.

I was so lucky that I got to travel and see the places I saw while I was teaching in South Korea. I have awesome memories of China, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and exploring South Korea. It was a privilege to do what I was able to do and it’s something I don’t take for granted.

The story that gets told quite a bit was trying to make the last ferry out of Surat Thani, Thailand to Koh Samui. The bus journey took longer than anticipated and didn’t drop us off at the ferry port. I ended up in a jeepney going 100 mph down the highway with 7 other people, thinking I was going to die before we made it to the port. Ended up missing the ferry by 10 minutes anyway. Highly stressful at the time, but I can laugh about it now.

One favorite vacation memory was during one of my trips back to the Philippines with my family. My dad was confident that he still knew how to get around his old neighborhood despite the fact that it had been almost 15 years since he had lived there. My sister, cousin and I bypassed going souvenir shopping with my mom and aunts and instead went to the beach with my dad. We got to the beach fine, spent time relaxing and playing in the clear ocean waters of Olongapo (ugh I hope it’s still clear! this was like 10 years ago). It was on the way back to the house that the real fun started. My dad clearly didn’t know the neighborhood like the back of his hand, as he previously claimed. So we drove up and down the same block for FIVE HOURS. We saw the same people, houses, shops, and street vendors. They even waved at us as they saw us drive by them multiple times. My sister, cousin and I were miserable because we forgot to bring an extra set of clothes and we had to sit with sand in our swim suits the entire time. We stopped once just to get gas and I told my dad, “we should probably ask for directions” and he adamantly refused. “I KNOW THIS TOWN!” he shouted at me. When we finally got back to the house, my dad denied that he got lost on the way back. But we all knew the real story!

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