Why, hello Tay in Europe followers! Hope you don’t mind if I take over her blog for the day… it’s the 20 Something Bloggers Blog Swap Day!
I don’t know about you, but I was an incredibly picky child. Especially when it came to food and activities I did. I was super cautious and usually stuck with the familiar and safe.
My favorite vacations as a kid were up at Bear Lake with my dad and his family. The 90-minute ride to the Utah-Idaho border would always put me to sleep, and I remember usually hearing Enya’s “Sail Away” on the radio on the way up to the lake. It made me feel like I was on my way to something awesome. And I was! The lake was fresh water, not the salty kind that would make my skin sting, and it was the prettiest blue you’d ever seen (I mean, aside from the caribbean blue). I may have been terrified of fish sucking on my toes and the suspicion that the Bear Lake Monster was watching me from the depths, but the feeling of that water against my skin was always so cool and refreshing that I’d quickly forget. I could pretend I was a mermaid in a big body of water. At the end of the day, we’d go back to our cabin and relax together as a family. Beer Lake, despite the massive increase of people up there since my childhood, is still one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to.
Other vacations weren’t as highly anticipated.
When my mom got serious (and later married) with my stepdad, our summer vacations often involved camping. In the wilderness with tents, bugs, too much dirt, plants that cut your ankles, bugs, freezing cold nights, no real bathroom or ways to stay clean, bugs and the ever-present feeling that we’ll all get devoured by a bear or mountain lion in our sleep. Hey! It’s Utah so you can’t rule it out. Least to say, I dreaded our summer camping trips–I convinced myself I wasn’t a big nature girl because of them. But it was what we did together so I’d go along with it and hope everything would be okay.
Yes, there were nights where it was so cold that I’d find myself bundled up in a ball at the bottom of my sleeping bag. Yes, there were bugs the size of quarters that made it so I barely drank anything just so I wouldn’t have to pee in the woods, leaving my behind exposed to them. Yes, I’d come home with more scrapes on my arms and legs from my clumsy moments in the woods. But no, no matter how many times we went, I would hope the discussion of going camping never came up again. That hope was largely in vain.
Looking back though, there was one thing I liked about camping. Often, the places we went to were pretty! One of my favorite places was in the Red Rocks of south east Utah. But what I found was that no matter where we were, it was a world to explore… a world to pretend in. You could call me Pippin, my brother Frodo, my step-brother Gandalf and my step-sister Legolas. Yes, we pretended we were Lord of the Rings characters and pretended to battle the world. And it rocked! We’d climb steep rocks faces, find sharp sticks as makeshift swords, and explore the woods together. Once we even found a deer skull (at least, I think it was a deer) and took it home where it stunk up our garage about a month later. It was like we weren’t camping, but were on a fun adventure in a beautiful place. It was all pretend, but it took the edge off of the things I hated about camping in the great outdoors. We just turned it into something else, something not as scary.
So not everything sucked about our summer camping trips. I just needed to get out of myself, and out of my fears, to really appreciate everything for what it was. Now I can proudly say that I love nature and wish I had more opportunities to go camping… so long as there’s some kind of bathroom nearby.
That wraps me up, but you can see Tay’s blog swap here! Thanks for letting me share with you today!
Now it’s your turn. What was your favorite childhood summer vacation? Your least favorite?
~ From Mikael at MikShorty