Sunday, February 28, 2010

Nostalgia: With a Twist

So, based off of that title, how many of you believe this will be a post about twister? all of you? well, you'd be wrong. WRONG!

No, what I will ruminate on tonight will be about habits when on vacation. Are you more of a lay low and enjoy room service type of person? or how about the need to see everything in this town to the point where I have everything planned down to the minute of what we will do type of person? Or maybe even the Eh, we'll figure it out when we get there type?

I fall somewhere between person B and person C. Shawn is more of a person A and C. And he won't even order room service. It's just more that he never wants to do the touristy thing. He finds it...what's the word?..Touristy.

Anyhow, I digress from the real point of this. Things you do while on vacation (sounds like a Family Feud theme doesn't it?).

Growing up, my mom would have these lists of things to complete every time we went on vacation. My dad had lists of every historical thing we were going to see (which is why our trip through Texas took longer than expected--he did not expect Historical markers every 10 miles), and my mom had lists of both things we were going to see/do and things that SHE had to see/do/eat. So like when we were in the south, she had to get her picture taken with a Magnolia tree, eat grits, and buy a doll dressed as Mamie from Gone with the Wind. Though to be fair, my dad will get in on the food some extent (a la when in New Orleans, you have to eat at Arnaud's and Cafe du Monde). But my mom seems to take it to extremes. Like she wanted to drink a mint julep when we were in New Orleans, and I'm sure if she could have figured a way to sit on a balcony with wrought iron at the same time, she would have. Ultimately, she ended up having a hurricane instead of a julep because she didn't realize that a julep is whiskey with muddled mint while I think a hurricane has delicious, delicious rum instead.

Somewhere along the line she stopped buying knick-knacky things and instead started buying Christmas Tree ornaments to commemorate the trip. And this is what has stayed with me. When I got older (college), she started buying Christmas Tree ornaments for me and my sister on each of our family trips. This made some sense since my sister and I each got an ornament from our aunt every year with the theory that by the time we moved out, we'd at least have 22 ornaments of our own to decorate a tree. And so, when I moved out, I continued buying ornaments on our vacations. In some cases, I've had to turn some very non-ornament things into ornaments (like the keychain from Las Vegas), but there is an ornament on the tree from every vacation. At some point after getting married, I also decided that I'd like to have a shirt from each vacation...which of course was busted in the first east coast vacation because I forgot my strapless bra at home and had to buy a freaking expensive one in Manchester, Vermont, so I have three shirts and one bra. I would normally have also started Shawn on this, but he says buying shirts is stupid. I don't know why he says that as he wears shirts he had when he was in high school which are threadbare, but whatever.

So, do any of you have things that you just HAVE to do or buy while on vacation?


bond said...

I have to buy magnets for my co-workers. :)

I like to have candy if it is a road trip. I require seafood if the trip is within 50 miles of the coast. I want to do stuff outside no matter what the weather or location or reason for trip. I prefer not bring any clothes other than jeans\REI pants and casual shirts unless I absolutely have to.

I seldom take vacation pictures even though I love vacation pictures (both mine and other peoples) because I feel like a tourist when I'm snapping shots. In foreign countries or large US metropolitan areas I generally avoid carrying a camera or map on the street as that just screams "victim here". At historic sites, national/state parks, or on a cruise, I don't care because everyone at those places is a tourist!!!

Ross said...

I generally have to take pictures of some sort, as it's a family tradition. I do try to hit the touristy things on the first trip somewhere, but I like to intersperse it with stuff the locals do. If you're traveling in the US, though, what they do is often very like what we do in Austin, so that can get a little dull :)

The Spiteful Chef said...

I always look to see if there's a famous, high-end restaurant. Then I start trying to make reservations months in advance. I love food. Also, I usually feel gypped on a vacation if I don't get to find a local candy store. Also because I love food.