Vacation? What’s a Vacation?

The topic Favorite Vacation makes me realize how long it’s been since I actually went on one that didn’t involve something other than traveling for pleasure.

WW June 16

It’s not that I’m a workaholic. I only show up at my day job three days a week (although sometimes the Houston traffic makes it feel like more). It’s just that travel for me has always been about business. The last few years I’ve called my trip to RWA Nationals my vacation (and I’m going again this year), and that’s let me visit several cities I’d never seen.

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For many years my late husband and I traveled for research, historical and archeological, and that was great fun. We wandered all over the Southeastern states, as far north as the Ozarks, Cincinnati, and Washington, D.C. We went to Santa Fe one summer—alas, my suitcase went on to Los Angeles without me, but it did find its way back before we had to come home. We even made it to Mexico City, where the museums and restaurants were a lot more interesting than the oil industry conference we were writing off our taxes.

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When I was a teen, my dad was part-owner of a small ad agency in Miami, too small to have people wandering off on long vacations every summer. But he also had quite a few clients in travel and entertainment, and I remember trips to a motel in the Florida Keys, a visit to an amusement park somewhere on the Florida Coast, and a touristy trip to Charleston, South Carolina (I have no idea what prompted that one—I was about twelve—but we did get to see Fort Sumter).

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My family had moved to south Florida when I was ten, and the next summer I was allowed to fly back to Milwaukee, by myself, to spend the summer with my cousins. Much of that season was spent at The Cottage, a summer house my family had (and my cousins still own) on a lake in central Wisconsin. I haven’t been there in more than fifty years, but from the pictures my cousin Bob posts now and then on his Facebook page, it hasn’t changed much, although I suspect the shores of Round Lake have seen a lot of development.

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The Cottage on Round Lake, with its sleeping porch and uncomfortable beds, brings back more vacation memories than any place I’ve visited since. We went there every summer, our fathers joining us on weekends. When I was very young, we had no plumbing, until my Uncle Norman, who was in the plumbing supply business, took care of that. The summer my brother was born, when I was almost six, my dad and I went up to the Cottage without my mother. That was the year I walked up behind my dad while he was working the pump. I had a chipped front tooth from that little incident until I had the tooth capped decades later. (I’ll bet Dad’s explanation to Mom when we got home was memorable, but I don’t think I heard it.)

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Here I am on the lake shore below The Cottage, my mother in the background. I was probably about three. It makes me happy to know that my cousins’ grandchildren still play there.

Kay at cottage

This month my fellow Wednesday Writers are Tamra Baumann, Carol PostTL Sumner, Jean Willett, and Sharon Wray. I’ll bet they all have prettier pictures than mine!

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jean Willett
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 07:41:14

    Kay, It sounds like your family life revolved around business vacations 🙂 I always consider traveling to be an exciting vacation based on how my family moved around. But now….going somewhere to do nothing feels weird. Weird is good.
    Love the photo…those curls! 🙂

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  2. Sharon Wray
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 08:13:02

    Love the photo of you as a little girl, Kay. And how lucky you are to have such wonderful memories of trips with your family, even if they were for business. But I had to laugh when you said RWA was your annual vacation. I always need a vacation after that conference! LOL. 🙂

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    • Kay Hudson
      Jun 08, 2016 @ 10:31:50

      You’re right, Sharon, RWA needs some recovery time. I think my family did more “vacations” when I was very small, but my memories are pretty limited–seeing the old castle at St. Augustine, dropping a toy drum off Lookout Mountain, just bits and pieces.

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  3. Carol J. Post
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 09:06:33

    Great post, Kay. The cottage on the lake sounds delightful. Getting to spend summers there with family, I bet you guys made lots of great memories. Love the pic of you all decked out in your life jacket!

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    • Kay Hudson
      Jun 08, 2016 @ 10:33:04

      I remember going out in a rowboat with one male cousin early in the morning and catching a few trout–when we were probably both to young to be doing anything of the sort.

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  4. tamrabaumann
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 09:09:42

    Lakes in Wisconsin are the best! My hubs is from there and we go back to visit often. I love to go up north and enjoy the water and the quiet. Glad your cousins still have such a great place to get away. Maybe you’ll get to join them there again some day!

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    • Kay Hudson
      Jun 08, 2016 @ 10:34:38

      Tammy, I got back in touch with a couple of my cousins via Facebook. I don’t know when I’ll ever get back to Wisconsin–it’s a long way from Texas–but it’s great hearing from them from time to time.

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  5. T. L. Sumner
    Jun 08, 2016 @ 15:30:50

    I also have fond memories of summer vacations in the Adirondacks. It sounds much like your Cottage at Round Lake. So relaxing and fun just hanging out with family and friends. That’s really neat that the cottage is still in your family.

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