a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for Souvenir

Vacations (Sunday Setup 3/3/13)

< by Jill >

Growing up, we didn’t go on vacations — we went on adventures. Typically, these adventures commenced on Saturday mornings, just after a decadent breakfast of waffles with whipped cream and berry syrup. We’d load up the station wagon, top off the dog’s bowl, and strike out in any given direction, looking for adventure.

I always thought it was a random excursion; just a voyage of whims that could take us here or there or anywhere. Looking back, I’m sure my parents had a destination in mind. Nonetheless, we’d flash down country roads until nothing looked familiar.

Typically, the trips ended with ice cream at some small-town creamery. But there was one time when we pulled off the road and rumbled up a rocky drive toward an abandoned farmhouse. As I recall, it was the only building in eyeshot. If tumble weeds had bounced across the lawn, it would have only completed the portrait of desolation before us.

I don’t remember why we stopped, but I’ll never forget what we found: Pop cans — a glittering sea of pop cans, thousands and thousands of them. They flooded every corner of the basement, lapping against the topmost stair. It was inexplicable and awesome.

To this day, I think back to that adventure and wonder about those pop cans. Who put them there? Why? Are they still there today? I’ll probably never know the answers.

When Ann and I got older, our family adventures became more traditional — we visited Disney World, tanned in Mexico, and toured Versailles. But in hindsight, those cheap road-trip adventures made a big impression on my view of the world. We saw things that would never make the pages of a Frommer’s guide — for instance, a house full of pop cans.

[Tune in for more vacation stories this week!]