A Little Getaway : Part 1 of 6

9 Oct

It was the summer of 1981 and this little vacation was to be an unusual one. First, because we never went on vacation and second, we were all going with my dad. This may not seem strange, but let me explain.

The plan was to go to Misquamicut, Rhode Island with just the moms and the kids. Misquamicut Road SignOur husbands would not be able to join us on the trip due to prior work obligations. Not only was Rhode Island known to be a picturesque state and a gorgeous vacation place, it was also within driving distance from New York. A perfect spot for a mini-vacation.

My sister Gini and I, joined mom at her house a couple of weeks before our trip to discuss our travel plans. Dad just happened to be in the room and overheard us collaborating. To our surprise, he asked if he could accompany us on the adventure.

We really didn’t know what to say as this was a very strange request. You see, dad hadn’t been away with us since my sister Gini and I were young kids. Dad had always arranged his own fishing and hunting trips. All very long ones. We didn’t even consider in a million years that he would be interested in coming. However, the Lord does work in mysterious ways and by the end of the afternoon, dad was set to join us.

The weeks flew by and the day finally came to depart on our trip. Dad and mom arrived at my house to pick us up early in the morning on a beautiful sunny, jewel day. We all boarded dad’s nine passenger station wagon with dad at the helm, one kid in the front and Gini riding shotgun.  Honey (mom), and I were in the back seat while the rest of the kids piled into the back-back.

BACK-BACK: The part of the station wagon that would normally be considered the trunk. Part of the back hatch would fold up to reveal three more hidden seats which looked backwards towards the rear window. The back-back was a terrific place to house all of your luggage, extra children, an occasional dog or two and any other item that could be unsafely crammed into and stowed away in the back of a late 70’s station wagon. The kids loved this area.

We packed the wagon to the brim. Including the luggage rack on the top which held the cooler for stopping along the way.  As we buckled up for our road trip, we estimated five hours for traveling time.Station Wagon

Soon after we embarked on our journey, while still on the turnpike, it became difficult to breathe as the air seemed heavy in the car. I went to crack the window a little in the back where I was sitting to get a little air flow. No sooner had I started to roll down the window, I was greeted with my dad’s growling, deep voice, “Who touched the buttons?!”

Before I could even take the blame, he went ahead and scolded all of us, “No one touches these buttons!”

“Dad, I’m sorry for that, but would you open a window a crack as the kids need a bit of air.  Would that be okay?”

“No!  I told you, don’t touch the windows!” With that, the car remained stifling hot and lacking fresh air.

No one expected this reaction and we really didn’t know how to address it. Needless to say, our wonderful trip was not starting off on the best foot.


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