Summer Vacation Snapshots

One of the great contributions of American culture is the Summer Vacation trip. Other countries have followed suit, British aligned nations say “going on holiday”. But basically, the activity most likely originated in the USA in the 20th Century.

Lately, the tradition is going through a doldrums period due to the economic slump. People don’t have the cash flow nor the time to take a proper two week road trip across North America. In case you haven’t been on a “real” vacation lately, I gathered a handful of snapshots from a few of my past trips. These are not great photography. They were taken with either a point and shoot fixed focus disposable camera or a low budget non-SLR compact 35mm camera. That fact makes the images more charming. They’re standard, traditional vacation snaps, pre-digital variety.

To enjoy an honest to goodness American roadtrip, you need to drive a station wagon. Or at least you used to do so, before the advent of minivans and SUVs, anyway. I pushed the envelope by driving a German model, oh well.

To do it right, BF and I loaded up the ol’ VW and headed out to the Black Hills of South Dakota one year. We had all sorts of camping and picnic gear in the station wagon, but we ended up staying in a cabin instead. We arrived at Keystone, South Dakota while a strong storm dumped buckets of rain out of the sky. We opted to stay dry. The cabin was a stroke of luck and timing. There were only a few other vacationers there that week. The place was nicer than home. The bed was built out of logs the diameter of telephone poles and just as rustic. If you can imagine the old wild west done up in luxury mode, you have the cabin’s theme.

The Black Hills are a favorite destination of midwesterners who just want to get away for awhile to some rugged semi-mountainous terrain. Oh yes, we made the obligatory stop at Mount Rushmore to view the faces.

When I’m not at a national park or forest in the USA, I like to head out to Western Canada. The blurry photo was taken at British Columbia’s Cypress Provincial Park north of Vancouver. This is a nice getaway or daytrip if you happen to be visiting the city of Vancouver. The fresh Pacific air, the trees and lay of the land give you a tantalizing sample of wild Canada.

Because I live in a rural area, getting away from it all often means I’m out to explore a city. I’ve been very happy with all of the cities I’ve managed to visit. One of the most happy vacations was spent in Vancouver, British Columbia. Not only is Vancouver jam packed with culture, restaurants, entertainment, parks and more, the inhabitants are first rate friendly people. If you expect chilly attitudes of most city dwellers, you’re in for a treat in Canada’s western most metro area.

Los Angeles has been a regular stop on various trips to the West Coast. This Nebraskan always gets a good blast of energy from a visit to LA.  I snapped the pic near San Fernando in L.A. County. I didn’t have the benefit of a tripod, so I braced the disposable camera on top of a pile of refuse in an overflowing garbage can. I was happy that there was relatively little camera shake and blur.

One of the best cities in the USA, and my personal favorite, is San Francisco. On one of my past trips, I decided to hit the beach. The weather was nippy as usual, but the clouds parted to allow sunshine to rule the entire afternoon. Even though I’ve seen the sights many times, I still drive the suspension bridges each visit. The main neighborhoods are always on my itinerary, too. I left my heart in San Francisco long ago.

Like other tourists, I have handfuls of snapshots and trays full of Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides. I need to dig those out so I can indulge in some nostalgia this weekend.


The Blue Jay of Happiness recommends taking the bus for a really close up American experience, too.

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
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