Memorably Speaking: Vacations?

The challenge inspiring this piece was to describe my most memorable vacation. At first, I bypassed the thought as I had many other prompts to spur me and hundreds of other bloggers to publish something. I’ve had so many great vacations, trips, excursions, etc., how could I pick one?

For example, one vacation was also the second part of our honeymoon. We spent it in Hawaii and had a wonderful time. However, we went to Hawaii again years later and had an even better time. How could I choose? Then there was the trip to Mexico with my daughters—just the three of us in Puerto Vallarta.

We took excursions, parasailed, and had dinner in a beautiful mountainside restaurant overlooking the city and the Bahia de Banderas. How could that not be one of my most memorable travel experiences?

I could go on about the wonderful places I’ve been for golf trips, family vacations, and business trips, including vacation time after business activities. It’s hard to beat free travel with pay and vacation time tacked on to the trip at no cost.

Then my brain did its thing. It slapped me upside the head, metaphorically speaking, and said, “Train Rides!” Technically, my train rides may not have been vacation time. After all, the most memorable and frequent were in my early years.

Also, I could argue they were not vacations, as most think of them. These were obligatory trips to see grandparents and other relatives. In most cases, staying home and doing nothing would have been more fun than pretending to be thrilled to be in Indianapolis. However, those were the days of obligatory family visits, at least in our part of the world.

So, what makes these trips memorable in a good way? The simple answer is the train ride. I loved the trains. I loved everything about them. They had great seats, and the dining car served the best BLTs available in those days. Most trains had an observation deck where you could watch the countryside flow by. And you weren’t crammed into the backseat with your kid brother for hours on end.

Yes, those trips were memorable, and can you imagine how disappointed I was in the 1980s when I took the Amtrak from San Antonio to Fort Worth to ride a train again? It was the pits. There were very few passengers. It took three tries to find a seat that wasn’t broken. The train stopped every thirty minutes to let a freight train pass. And the food available was not as good as the prepackaged sandwiches you could buy at a hole-in-the-wall convenience store.

© – 2023

About S. Eric Jackson

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7 Responses to Memorably Speaking: Vacations?

  1. The Hinoeuma says:

    These WP prompts fascinate me. I have never needed a prompt to blog…only the desire to share.

    • I mostly ignore them, unless I can make a semi-humorous remark about one. I started paying attention to prompts during the bloganuary challenges. Writing every day, helped me deal with my tendency to be wordy and analytical. These Jetpack prompts amuse me at times, and occasionally give me an idea. Or, as in this case, I’ve been up to my eyebrows in family and health related issues. Writing this little piece in response to the prompt was a nice diversion. Also, they occasionally give me a chance to question the reasoning behind the prompt.

      • The Hinoeuma says:

        I have wondered about that prompt, myself. It didn’t exist, like three, four years ago. It is a recent thing.

        I understand health issues. Got that on my plate, too…

      • Other writing-oriented sites do prompts as well. I’ve known a lot of folks who started blogging and quit because it wasn’t as fun as they thought, or they couldn’t build a following. To be as kind as possible to WP and other operations, they are trying to keep bloggers and other writers publishing. Not much value for WP, Go Daddy, DreamHost and others to be hosting sites that just sit there.

      • The Hinoeuma says:

        Good point. I had trouble blogging for about four years…totally abandoned my site. My first blogging attempt was too political. That hamster wheel won’t take you anywhere. Then, I tried spiritual writing. Boring. I finally found my footing in June 2018 with my photography. history posts, movies, TV & music…plus, a library of info from a psychic. Laugh if you must…😄😉

      • Inspiration comes in many forms. Peace and satisfaction as well. 👍

      • The Hinoeuma says:

        Well said…

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