I’m getting ready to go on vacation for spring break and nothing is better than the anticipation of having free, uninterrupted family time to relax and enjoy each other. It’s times like this that I am reminded of the vacations I spent as a kid in the Caribbean with my parents, as they were probably the happiest of my entire childhood and because of that they leave me with a deep ache and a profound sorrow for the loss of my Dad.
My Dad spent the good part of my very early childhood trying to find “his island” and it wasn’t until he and my Mom read a 1983 (or 1984) issue of Gourmet magazine that featured a restaurant on Anguilla (you can read a bit more about those connections here) that his quest was over. We made Anguilla a second home for more than twenty years and it’s a place I still visit, although not quite as often. When we would go away, there were a few things we always packed–and this was pre iPods, mobile phones, tablets and even laptops–so I thought it would be fun to try to list out old school style what I would bring on a vacation if I could go away to the beach with him again … this time with my kids in tow.
1. Playing cards – we would need 2 decks, my Dad could teach anyone pinochle.
2. Scrabble board – he had me playing at the age of six.
3. Backgammon – never underestimate the compulsive nature of this game.
4. An Epic novel – and if it’s a good one, bring two. I remember in one trip I read Les Miserables. On another, I read The Stand.
5. Journal – writing is an art form, and it’s not lost… Wrote Bout how the sun feel on your face or the sand feels in your toes. And then we can play hangman.
6. Watercolors and paper – what says watercolor better than the ocean?
7. A tape recorder – so I could record everything he says to me, my kids my husband, before he has to go away again.