Amanda & Jason: Third Time Around

Summer Vacations & Our 1974 Chevy Van

cheap proscar uk I thought it was time to lighten up on the blog post subject matter a little. Everyone is enjoying the summer a little now, and we should enjoy family, summer shenanigans, and creating summertime memories. The times have certainly changed from my childhood summer vacations to what kids “enjoy” as summertime vacations today. Now days every kid has their cellphones, iPads, and electronic overload, to keep them entertained and in my opinion missing out on so much!! We are about to enjoy a week at the beach with our family, and kids soon. It will be interesting for Amanda and me to see how this summer will be different to ones we have both experienced with other spouses in the past. We will tell ya how everything turns out in a future post, but in the meantime let me flashback to growing up in the Zaharis family and doing some vacationing in our 1974 Chevy Beauville van.

click over here As far back as I can remember my parents owned a 1974 Chevy Beauville van that originally was a two color (kind of mustard yellow and white) van. It had the 70’s classic AM radio that you had to turn the knobs to tune it in or change the channel. Three bench seats and two seats up front. You rolled down the windows or lifted a “hinge” to open the side windows. It had a big sliding door on the side (that caught many a finger or hand at times). The air conditioning worked (kind of) but when you got stuck in traffic jams…off it went and open windows became the norm. Later on when I was older I took my driving test in this van and drove it many years myself. We had it painted a shade of burgundy metallic, and put in a new radio with AM/FM cassette player!! I know my memories of summer vacations may be completely different then the same trips many of my siblings remember. I know that my Dad never truly enjoyed the beach but always sacrificed his view of beach trips in order for us to enjoy. My mom always made sandwiches, and we had a big Igloo cooler full of drink (varied on what type of drink). Once we arrived at the beach we knew we would be there all day. You can imagine a van full of 5 kids of random ages (my four older siblings I don’t remember being involved as much) all in this van heading to the beach.

When it got down to just my two sisters and I living at home, my parents did longer vacations in this same Chevy van. I always had the front long bench seat, my sister Drue would have the middle bench seat, and my sister Dwyn had the longest bench seat in the back. My Dad usually drove with my Mom in the front passenger seat. We would always go on vacation for two weeks. I joked that we had a “northern” loop and a “southern” loop that we alternated every other summer. A few summers we tried to do both loops, but this turned out to be bad for everyone.

The “northern” loop consisted of us leaving Pennsylvania (where we lived at the time) and heading to Wisconsin to my oldest brother (John) and his family. We would then head straight south to Oklahoma to see my two brothers (Joel & Matthew) that were both in college at Oklahoma University. We would then find a route back towards Pennsylvania and stop along the way at different places that may be of historical significance. We enjoyed many KOA campsites and Coleman stove cooking. Listening to a “boom box” for music (I got introduced to classical music because of my Dad enjoying Beethoven and the likes). Stuckey’s and eventually Loves were the normal pit stops.

Our “southern” loop was again leaving Pennsylvania and heading towards Florida to see my sister (Dawn) and her family. Then we would head over to Texas and see my brother (David) and his family. We would then head back to Pennsylvania. Some summers if my memory is correct we would go to Oklahoma first, Texas, Florida and back to Pennsylvania. Both of these two week “family” tours would involve KOA camping, Dinty Moore stew, bug bites, sleeping bags, lots of humidity filled nights. Singing songs with my sisters in the van, playing the alphabet game (I taught my own kids this game), memories with my cousins, and family. I enjoyed all of this and fondly remember it all…it is priceless!! The alphabet game is when each person tries to find a word that starts with the first letter on a sign, or billboard as you work through the alphabet. It can be fast if you’re near cities, or very long when you are traveling through say Kansas!!

In a world that is filled with cellphones and other electronic devices that seem to occupy EVERYONES time. Maybe this summer we “unplug” a little. Enjoy the smells, the views, the precious family times. Our kids will not be kids forever, and family members are getting older each day. We all probably have the “one” uncle, aunt, or cousin that is annoying. But summertime would not be summer without them. Take some time to have your kids enjoy the lightening bugs, sparklers, fresh cut watermelon, road side tourist traps (South of the Boarder) or campfire spooky stories. Make it a requirement for EVERYONE to be off electronic devices for an hour or two when in the car. Actually have conversations with your kids about various fun topics. Be a kid again yourself for a moment (do a cannon ball or belly flop in the pool). Our jobs and regular lives will be back home waiting for us. However, the 1974 Chevy Beauville van will no longer be around

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail will not be published. All required Fields are marked