When I was young, our family vacations were primarily in Florida in the month of February. My memories of these trips are all rolled into one big cloud, so I can’t differentiate which year we did what, but it always started with the mini van.

We’d all load up into that mini van at the crack of dawn; me in the way back, Curt & Kyle in the middle, then Mom & Dad in the front. Dad did all the driving, which consisted of twenty-some-odd hours from New Hampshire to Florida. He would drive all night! Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and everyone else would be sleeping except me & Dad. I’d watch him driving in the dark, some years it would be a blizzard or torrential rain and would take us a lot longer to get to to the sunshine state. I remember one trip down south when I saw Dad sniffing a bottle of glasses cleaner to help keep him awake & alert.

We would arrive in Florida mid-day and when we drove past Manny’s souvenier shop – that’s when we knew we were close to getting out of the van that we grew to hate after that non-stop drive. Dad would park the van in front of Grammy & Grampa’s trailer – aka The Cockroach Motel – and we’d pour out of the doors and stretch our legs.

One year dad drove the whole way with a cast on his foot. We got to the front of every line at Universal Studios that year.

This morning on my drive to work, for some strange reason, another Florida memory surfaced. There was a grocery store that we would frequent while on vaca in Florida, which had small toy vending machines. For a quarter, you could get a little container of orange or green slime. It was a popular item and looked like this:
green-slimeOne time, after I bought one, I showed it to Grampa. He poked it with his finger. Then he poked it again. Then he pinched a piece off and ate it! I yelled at him, “Grampa! You’re not supposed to eat it!” He just smiled.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 at 6:00 am and is filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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