Maryellen asks: Where's your favorite childhood vacation spot?
I went on some cool vacations as a kid - to California a few times, to London when I was eight, to Nicaragua when I was thirteen. But when I hear "childhood vacation spot" I think of a place you've been many times, a place iconic of childhood vacations. And for me, that would be visiting my grandparents in Florida. When I was little, I think we went there every winter, more or less. My favorite memories of these trips:
The surprise bags of new toys and books my mom would pack for the plane
Reading We're Going on an Airplane Trip in preparation. (Alas, it seems to be out of print, but I promise you it is the BEST BOOK EVER.)
Stepping out of the airport into the brightness and heat
The blue room. My grandparents' guest room was painted blue with white wicker furniture, and I loved it.
The mirror room. The entry to the seldom-used front door had wall-to-wall mirrors, which just seemed magical.
Ribs at Tom's Place. It seems that they've moved from the location I was familiar with, and the original owners aren't there, but oh my goodness was it good. After they started bottling their barbeque sauce we would bring it home, or my grandparents would bring it up as Christmas gifts. And I still use a big t-shirt I got there as a night shirt.
The pool. One of my parents once made the mistake of telling me that swimming was acceptable as long as it was 72 degrees outside, so whenever it was that warm I would insist on going to the pool in my grandparents' development.
Cooking with my grandfather
Going to Borders at night with my dad
Playing Uno with the whole family