Writing My Way to Texas, 1985

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CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK…

I documented our first family vacation in a travel journal, a cute little 3”x 5 ½ notebook that I’d gotten for Christmas that said Susan all over it in yellow and white (where did Santa find this?) with a little pencil design. Adorable! I wrote: “My Trip to Texas”  on the opening title page. (see photo)

I had the idea of keeping a travel journal from Mom, whom I watched do it my entire childhood. She kept these spiral notebooks of our vacations forever…several before I was born. Watoga State Park, WV. Kitty Hawk, NC. She even did a couple of Dad’s trap shoots that because our vacations such as the Pennsylvania State Shoots. The key thing seemed to write down meals or interesting details about the restaurants or what I ate. Or if we made a rest stop, to record it. Write down anything about it, really. Could be whether or not the bathrooms were clean, or if the line was long. How hot it was getting. But usually food or meals.

Notes such as: “8:47 a.m.: we stop at Mc Dees for breakfast I had cakes and sausage.”

Not too riveting, I know, but hey! I was 12.

Our other popular breakfast place was the new-to-us Waffle Houses, where we loved walking in and the waitresses always yelled “Good morning!” We thought that that was cute. I made notes on that such as “7:24 we stopped at a waffle house (8:24 time changed according to the first time given as were now on central time in Arkansas) and had breakfast. I had a waffle, sausage, and milk.”

Around lunchtime, we stopped at a state rest stop in southern Virginia and ate a typical sandwich, chips and soda lunch at the ample picnic tables in the shade, thank goodness! Mom always made sandwiches. In between these lunches were a few Mc Donald’s stops, of course, but they were usually for breakfast or an occasional dinner.

So in between the excitement of what we were going to eat next, our first travel day passed. At 1:39 p.m. I wrote: “Welcome to the state of Tennessee! (where no man has gone before!)” A new state! New to me, at least, and practically exotic. Another highlight was checking into our Howard Johnsons’ in Knoxville that afternoon at 3:31 pm, my journal says.

Mom and Dad awesomely booked our hotels with pools, and we’d never seen anything like the outfit at the Knoxville location. It was an indoor pool, with gardens surrounding it and a waterfall! The only con was that the water was warm, but who cared. Amy and I putzed around, her in her snazzy hot yellow suit with black zig zags and zippers on the sides. We had the whole thing to ourselves! What a perfect way to end our first day on the road.

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK…

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