I shared a room with my older sister Sarah for most of my childhood. I'm the youngest of three girls, two years younger than her and five years younger than my oldest sister Jenny. Both houses I grew up in only had three rooms so somebody had to share, and it was us! Jenny had her own room because... well, she was the oldest. Sarah and I were buddies, like roommates for all of the years we lived together with our parents until we moved out to go to college. Well, all except for one year. That was the year I slept in our dinning room. The inspiration for this story comes from a picture of a wardrobe that we had at the time. The actual wardrobe is now in Sarah's possession. She sent me this picture in a text to ask me if I had wanted it a little over a year ago. At the time she was helping my folks who were clearing out the house I grew up in to get it ready to sell.
So, I discovered an old travel journal I wrote when I was eleven in 1993. Here is the last section of a three part series I've been archiving. The first two thirds of the story is about me getting down to Florida and exploring with my grandparents. The last portion, this post, is all about meeting up with my family and spending time in Virginia before we headed home to Wisconsin. It's a snapshot in time of what I like to think of as an All-American family spending time together, traveling and seeing US sites in the early 1990s.
Tonight I'm continuing a travel story from my previous post "Flying to Florida alone when I was eleven." If you missed that one, go ahead and scroll down and click on the title of that one first and meet me back here. The adventure continues with pelicans! Second day in Naples, Florida 3/26/1993 "Because of the extremely long day yesterday, or you might say that early morning, I slept in until noon. We went to the beach at 2:00 and came back at 3:45. I saw really big birds called pelicans. They were all over in the trees, in the water and on the beach. One was right next to me so we took a picture of the pelican and me. After we went to the beach we went to the store and got some food. Then we came back to the condo and waited until dinner was ready. We ate pork, potatoes, corn, sauerkraut and milk. We ate on our porch. After dinner we sat and watched "Wheel of Fortune." Then we went down to the pool and swam a little bit. After swimming Dad and Mom called. It was nice to talk to them. Then I came in here and started writing. Well I better go to sleep. Good night." Okay, I love how excited I was about the dang pelicans! But also how I mentioned everything we ate! That cracks me up. I'm 75% German so the potatoes and sauerkraut is just so fitting, but a little funny and out of place since we were in Florida by the beach. I do love the pictures though. To have warm sand on my feet and see the ocean I'm sure was such a great way to start my stay and make up for the crazy time I had getting down there. And of course, anybody born in and around the 1980s with grandparents can probably relate to the passion for "Wheel of Fortune" too. Gotta keep that routine. I'm sure I didn't mind.
It was finally my turn to get to do a trip alone with my grandparents. Both my sisters had had their chance, which involved flying to Scotland on separate occasions to see my cousins who lived there. When it would have been my turn, they moved back. So I never got the chance to go to Europe with my grandparents. But I got to go somewhere, which at the time seemed just as cool, if not cooler... Disney World! Now, I had been to Disney World once before when I was six. This time, I had just turned eleven. But I had loved going with my family so much that the chance to go again was, as I remember it, like a dream come true. Getting down there however, was another story and is the main story I'd like to share tonight. It's all inspired by a journal and bunch of photos I kept from that trip, when I flew to Florida alone when I was only eleven.
When I close my eyes, I see blue carpet in my mom's living room. I also see gold carpet at my grandma's house. I'll go there first. Now I'm sitting on the floor of grandma's living room pushing all of my finger tips into the gold carpet so they leave ten little holes. I begin to count them as I hear my grandma in the kitchen. She's asking grandpa if he's kept a potato out because she's about to start mashing the rest. We all know he doesn't like his mashed since he had way too many mashed potatoes as a boy growing up on the farm. He always had a small bowl of his own boiled potatoes at our holidays. Oh, and grandma also wants to know if he has brought out the brie cheese to my folks, which means my sisters and I have time to play a game before we eat!