I always remember taking vacations with my family that always seemed to add more stress to everyone’s lives. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the trips my family took me on. And if I didn’t appreciate them at the time that we took them, I do appreciate them now. We went to Disney in Florida, Skiing in New York, visited family in Arizona and Maine, as well as many other trips.

However, taking a vacation with my father always seemed stressful. We had a schedule and we were going to stick to that schedule come hell or high water (or really early wake up times). We would normally be on the road before the sun arose, roosters would have hit the snooze alarm. The vacation we took together in February of 1994 is a prime example.

I don’t even need to go very far into the trip to give you an example of the stress. We were going to Florida to see the Daytona 500 as well as Disney, Epcot, and anything else we could see. On the day we left for the drive we decided to spend the night in Virginia (I believe). The next morning we got up to leave early in the morning. Probably before 5 am since my dad wanted to get on the road. Well, it was February, back when winters like this one were more common, and we stayed on the second floor of the Inn. My father loaded the car with our luggage. As the rest of us started out the door and head to the car, he gave us a warning that the steps were icy.

Not one moment after him saying “Watch your step” I ended up watching my foot slip right out from under me. I went sliding down the steps, and when I finally got to the bottom, I got yelled at. “I told you to watch your step!” My mom and sister were at the top of the steps laughing their asses off. I’ll admit, I was laughing pretty damn hard as well, and I was trying to tell him that I did. I watch my step and I watched my foot slip on the icy steps. I got yelled at for falling down icy steps. And that set the tone of the rest of the vacation.

We had schedules to keep. Early morning wake up calls. We always had to make sure we beat the traffic no matter where we were going. Make it to Disney before the parks even opened. Get to Daytona and sit and wait for the track to open. Get to the ski slopes so we could park in the first row. Dinners were scheduled for 5:13 sharp.

Ok, the last one was an exaggeration, but it sure seemed that way sometimes. Any time we left, we had to be on the road early. And he was the only one who would drive.

The family would get home and we would need a vacation from our vacation and from each other. Having said all of that, I did have a great time on those trips.

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