Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This picture makes me feel summer.

The first official day of summer is coming up this Friday! I have come to the conclusion that it is useless to try and relive the past, which is why I have made up my mind to make new memories each new year and believe that the "best times are yet to come" :)

But stay with me awhile and I'll muse on some of my favorite summer memories.

When I was little, and I mean really little, like a baby, my family used to vacation at Black Lake.

I actually almost choked when I found this picture! I know I was little, but this is EXACTLY how I remember it! The last time we were there was when I was 4 and my younger brother was 2.

(my brother Rob and I outside the cottage - 1987)

For the first few summers of my life we stayed here at the cottage at the top of the hill that had that cottagey smell you can only achieve by boarding the house up all winter and then opening it for the summer :) I still love that smell. Since I was too young to remember all the details of this vacation time in my life, I'm going to speculate upon how I imagine it might have been ;)

(fishing on the dock with my dad - 1987)

I envision our pale blue on the top half and wood siding on the bottom beaver slug that was indeed our family car at the time, LOADED to the gills with coolers, laundry baskets (since this has always been the preferred form of packing in my household, I still do it today!) lots of baby parafernalia, two teenagers, two adults and two kids under 4. Let's not forget the super amazing speed boat that always trailed behind. And I can't be sure about this, but I think that I remember our Dodge Omni coming with us a couple times...

(in the background is the super amazing speed boat which lasted us many a summer)

Fast forward a year or two. I'm 5 or 6, OX (aka my brother) is 4ish and we headed off to Maine. This became our traditional vacation spot for the next 4 or 5 years. Our travelling style changed slightly from the days of Black Lake because now we had a Starcraft pop-up camper trailing in place of the speed boat. Which consequently had seen to many summer days out on the lake and soon thereafter bit the dust. We also had upgraded to a new beaver slug that had a navy blue top half to replace the pale blue of old. We also had lost the two teenagers (aka my older brothers) to the NAVY. And we had gained a new affinity for strategically tying coolers to the top of the car since they would no longer fit in the back of the wagon.

(typical campsite set up)

That first summer we went to Maine, we didn't actually have the camper yet. We roughed it in our trusty rusty 6 man tent. Maybe it was bigger, but that's what I remember. My brother Jay was also stationed up there for some sort of pre-academy training... again details are foggy... but I remember visiting the ship he was on, and I also remember the coolest playground ever at the campground we stayed at.

(our first summer in Maine - 1991)

Second summer in Maine... one I will ne'er soon forget. You know that little dingy bell that goes off in your car is the seat belts are not buckled? Well, there was a short in that bell... for our 12 hour drive up there. It was sick, like that Chinese water torture or something! It would ding so faintly and then wait until you thought it might FINALLY be over... and then it would ding again. This time a little longer. By the time we made it up there, it had become a very long drawn out diiiiiiiiiiiiiinggggggggg... almost sounded like we should give it a mercenary funeral since it was suffering so. But our plans to bury it early on were foiled as my dad was unable to find the wire to short circuit that lovely memory.

(family and the slug - 1992)

There's so many more memories from Maine... such as (these are for my mom :)
- "oh the mail must go through!" -
- "We're going camping now, we're on our waaaaay!" -
- blueberries -
- swimming in the bay -
- exploring tidal pools -
- Schoodic Point -
- all our adopted aunts and uncles -
- and last but not least, the wicked witch of the west "do da doo da doo doo, do da doo da doo doo!" -

(Dan and I in our MATCHING smurf sleeping bags)

Sadly, our trips to Maine became increasingly harder as my brother and I got older... but by that point, my older brothers had started families of their own. Score on the new vacation spots! We spent a lot of time travelling to Connecticut, Michigan, Maryland, California, HAWAII... there are some plusses about the NAVY ;)

(at the airport before we flew to Cali for Rob's wedding)

A few of those summers were spent at Camps, Cherith and Shiloh... I made some great memories there which when I got a little older decided to go back and be a counselor. I counseled at Camp Cherith for two summers and Camp Shiloh for just one week. So many amazing times!

Last summer, however, was the summer vacation to beat all summer vacations (in my book at least). I got to go to India on a missions trip with the youth at my church. We travelled quite a bit while we were there as the conference we were holding was about 50 miles from the village we were actually staying in. In the car it took about an hour to get there... on the busses... it took about 2. I didn't understand what motion sickness was until then. I do now.

(the team I travelled with)

And you may wonder why I say this was the best summer vacation? Well simply put, I saw God while I was there. In India the spiritual atmosphere is so much different than it is here in the states... and much of the world. I was amazed to watch as deaf people received hearing, someone be healed from elephantitis, and blind people receive sight. It was truly amazing to see and experience that and I am honored that I was able to go last summer. I would love to go again and experience even more of their culture and the country!

(the stairs at one of the Hindu temples we visited)

India wasn't the only exciting thing about last summer... I have some pretty crazy stories, one of which I have pictures to go along with. My friend Beka invited me out to her place one night and told me that we were going to swim out to Squaw Island at midnight. ooookay. It was one of those things where I didn't know if she was really serious or not... apparently she was. We walked a couple miles down to the lake and when we got there, ditched our clothes for our suits and proceeded to swim out their. We took the camera and a lighter and some cardboard so we could start a fire and put it in plastic ziploc bags so they would be safe.

And while we were there brian may or may not have thrown the lighter in the fire because it was "not working" and it may or may not have exploded and singed my eyelashes, part of my eyebrow and the front hairs on my head. This is a purely hypothetical observation of course.

Anyways, after I started this post, I realized that Elaine over at the Miss Elaine-ous Life is hosting a Summer Vacation Carnival! So I'm linking this post back to hers and will be heading over myself to read everyone else's summer memories :)

I hope you enjoyed reading about my summer's past. Obviously, it is not a full account of every vacation I've had throughout my life... I just highlighted the ones that stuck out most obviously in my mind :) If you would like to share some of your summer history I would LOVE to read about it!


12 extraordinary comments:

Melissa June 18, 2008 at 7:32 PM  

LOVE your post. Its so sweet.

Glad i'm not part of your awesome summer last summer LOL! :-D

Guess we'll have to do something awesome soon so I make it back into your blog and your life soon! :-D

Melissa June 18, 2008 at 9:39 PM  

so, your pointing out that NEITHER alicia or I mean anything to you?!?

Nice slakes, very nice.

Elaine A. June 18, 2008 at 9:56 PM  

Amanda! Thanks so much for linking over to me! I loved reading about your vacations and it's funny how you have older brothers like me!

I love that picture of you and your younger brother in your matching Smurf sleeping bags - that is too good!

I liked reading about your trip to India too. Sounds like it was a beautiful trip. Here's to a great summer this year!

amanda June 20, 2008 at 5:06 PM  

oh wow! what great "old school" pictures!!

looks like a lot of wonderful memories!!

happy pow :)

Heather June 20, 2008 at 6:41 PM  

Oh what great summer memories!!!

Looks like great times!

Shannon June 20, 2008 at 10:05 PM  

Great POW! What wonderful photos and memories!

McMommy June 21, 2008 at 9:50 PM  

The matching Smurf sleeping bags--TOO COOL! I would have LOVED to have one of those back in the day!!!!

Adorable trip down summer vacation memory lane! Happy POW!

Jj June 22, 2008 at 9:54 AM  

What wonderful memories you have! All those fun times got me nostalgic. Thanks for sharing!

Phat Mama June 22, 2008 at 4:16 PM  

I feel old now.
Where in Maine did you vacation?

Jessica June 22, 2008 at 11:51 PM  

Fun times! Fun fun times!

I can't imagine driving 12 hours w/ that pinging. I can't even stand it for 12 seconds! Poor you guys! It sounds like the trip was worth it though!

Jen June 23, 2008 at 11:46 AM  

Ok, now I seriously want to go to India! That sounds pretty amazing to me.

Alistar June 25, 2008 at 8:29 PM  

I SERIOUSLY cannot believe that I am no where in this post! you should have put up the pics from keuka lake with our interesting hair growth! whatev. we are not friends. ps. your glasses are sooooo BIG.

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