Yes, YOU! Where have you gone? This post has to do with traveling or relocating somewhere besides the area of land you’ve always called home. My challenge to you is to write about the places you’ve traveled or lived (or at least one!) and send me the permalink so I can share with everyone.
A bit of background first: I was the baby of the family and not just because I was the last child born but because my brother was 21 and married and my sister was 16 when I was born. My parents, brother and sister had already lived a family life way before I came along. I was the “oopsy” baby. Just when my folks thought they’d be empty nesters soon, wham – there I was! My mother tells me my dad used to joke and say they’d put the dog in the house and the baby in the garage! I’d like to say I can’t imagine what they felt like, but I can. No, I didn’t have a “later in life” baby but we have been raising our grandson since he was 9 months old. When he first came to live with us, I was almost the same age my mother was when she had me. My children were basically grown – I had three left at home. One starting college, one a year and a half away from graduating and a middle schooler.
Back before I was born, my father was in the Army Air Corps (which later became the US Air Force). My family lived in Japan during two tours in the 1950s. They lived in Florida upon their return to the states the end of the 50s before my dad retired from the Air Force to take a civil service position and move to Southwestern Ohio. The place I was born and raised.
As a young child, I’d see slides and pictures of my family’s travels and their homes in Japan. Yes, I was jealous. I never got to live anywhere “cool” like overseas. It didn’t matter that my sister told me she really didn’t have any close friends. Why bother getting close with someone when you just picked up and moved three years later? The place she calls “home” is the same place I call home – even though she was born in a Western state and lived in a lot of places prior to that.
However, because of my dad’s job with the civil service, he had to go on lots of business trips. Before I started school, Mom and I were able to travel with him. So I got to see the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri; the Empire State Building in New York City; and the Hancock building in Chicago. One of my favorite memories is when we went to New York. We saw the “Odd Couple” movie (Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon) at the movie theater, walked along the New York city streets, shopped in the amazing department stores, and rode the city buses. I saw Rockefeller Plaza. We took a fairy boat ride around the Statue of Liberty.
When I was a year away from starting (what my school called Kindergarten), my dad took a lot of vacation time and we traveled to Disneyland. No, we didn’t board an airplane. Nor did we drive straight there. We took an overland excursion! From Ohio we went to visit my aunt in East Central
Ohio first, then up to Michigan to my Uncle’s home. We cut over to Canada to see the Niagra Falls from the Canadian side and then down to Montana. My parents had lived there when my sister was born and their friends were still there so we spent a couple days with them. Then on to Idaho where we saw the “Craters of the Moon” and then into Washington to visit my great-aunt and friends of my parents they had been stationed with in Japan. We took a fairy boat ride to Victoria, British Columbia where the town looked to me out of a story-book. Then down to Oregon and the great forests and into California. We saw the Giant Redwoods, went to Marineland, Knotts Berry Farm, and then Disneyland.
Talk about feeling like a fairy princess. It was more wonderful than anything I’d ever imagined. I met Pluto, the three little pigs, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Snow White!
After a few days at the magical kingdom, we traveled south to the desert and stayed with another family my parents knew. Saw my grandparents who were also traveling out west about the same time! Then on through Arizona where the majesty of the Grand Canyon took my breath away and the beauty of the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest enthralled me. Up to Colorado to the Air Force Academy. Through the midwest back home.
When we got to Kansas I kept repeating that I wanted to see Dorothy’s house (Wizard of Oz). So my folks picked out some random farm and told me there it was! Of course it was real! I had just been “over the rainbow” so I believed with all my heart that Dorothy had been too!
So in the course of my very short life, I’d been to: Michigan, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York. Canada was the only “foreign” country I’d visited.
Since that time I’ve also gone to (or through!) Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. I live in Texas now.
I’d love to go to New England, the Dakotas, Virginia and Washington D.C. For foreign travel I’d love to see Great Britain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Austria, Germany, and of course where my family lived in Japan.
So where did you go?