Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

On Vacation Memories and Cherished Moments

One day, when my son was an infant, I walked for 1,001 hours with him strapped to my body in his Baby Bjorn, my hand underneath his bottom for all of the just-in-cases. At home, sweaty and red, I unstrapped him, sure that he’d look older.

It was 2pm and his diaper was wet.

I thought about the woman who’d said “Cherish these days” at the grocery earlier as we trudged upstairs for a nap. “Please, let him sleep for at least two hours,” I said.

Minutes ticked by and we were at the airport for his first birthday. Vacation to family in Colorado and Montana.

The first plane ride I had with my baby may be my most favorite vacation memory. I cherish those moments.

Back Camera

As a kid, our vacations were mostly camping. Each summer, my parents consulted maps, weather patterns, calendars, and the neighbor’s availability to water our macrame-potted ferns. The five of us loaded up into my dad’s green Scout International named Homer, complete with a CB to converse with truckers to get the 10-4 on speed traps and non-existent traffic.

The back seats were folded down and Homer was packed with tents, sleeping bags, food, and pots made to be used on an open flame. My brothers, our dog, and I were left with two feet on top of it all to travel on. We lied down for those travels as there was no room to sit.

I remember those camping trips as magical and as a frightening pain in the ass. The whole cooking on a fire thing, pooping in the woods and bathing in the river were freeing for a couple of days.

Then, it got old, as did the musty tent smell that seemed to follow us for weeks upon returning home, regardless of the drains in regular showers and sleeping bags airing out on the porch.

Camping at the firepit in the 70

There was the year that Junior the dog caught a rattlesnake and killed it just before it killed my brother, or something close enough. That may have been the year that my dad, out of nowhere, grabbed my ankle while driving to somewhere because, as the oldest, my legs were the longest and most reachable. He said “If I hear one more word about poop, gas, or vaginas, I’m leaving you all on the side of the road!”

My brothers and I got years of comedy out of that. Each time one of our parents seemed annoyed, we’d shout to one another “If I hear one more word about poop, gas, or vaginas, I’m leaving you all on the side of the road!” and burst into giggles.

I want to call my brothers now, just to yell into the phone “If I hear one more word about poop, gas, or vaginas, I’m leaving you all on the side of the road!”

That’s one of my favorite vacation memories.


Before becoming a mother, my friend Sara and I went to Turks and Caicos. SCUBA diving anywhere gives you a sense of being both tiny and invincible.

There, poised on the abyss of shallow-water diving where fish touch your face, the colors touch your heart, and the 7,000 foot abyss below gives you the sounds of whales? You’re a part of everything.

I floated there for as long as my tank allowed, shocked to find myself drifting at 90 feet (a bit deep for a recreational diver).

That may have been my favorite vacation. I cherish the memories.



It’s been a week since we got back from the beach. A last-minute trip, booked because summer’s fading and summer on the east coast doesn’t feel all the way like summer without rinsing sand from sunburned bodies and fearing for my son’s life as he stands laughing at the pounding waves.


The tide, in its fun and terror reminds me of the years and of vacations.

Of memories and feeling present in the moment because the moment is perfectly here.

Earlier this summer, Dollywood and rollercoasters. Slashing bubbles with a Minecraft sword before fireworks.

Back Camera

Later, sleeping with him in the hotel despite his declaring himself independent that way. Feeling like it was a perfect moment sleeping next to him when seven years before was the final night of him sleeping inside of me. Of waiting to meet him and his tiny face.

That night, the eve of seven, may be my favorite vacation memory. I cherish that memory.


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “One of my favorite vacation memories is…”
Host: Kristi from

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  • JT Walters - I bet a Tucker and R had the best time of their lives too. But you always seem to make the most fun of everything you do like your awesome Halloween decorations last year!

    You know my favorite vacation with Alex was when we redefined Christmas although DC was a close second even though Children’s Miracle Network would not let him visit Obama in the White House because he was none verbal. Europe was tossed out then too. So my son’s wish became marginalized to 4 days in DC. He loved DC. But Universal Hotel Resort was his favorite. He would be thrilled to move to The Portifino Hotel or Portifino, Italy. I think my son would die if he had to camp. You look thrilled yourself. LOL!September 1, 2016 – 11:07 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - They really did and we try to make everything fun but of course, like everybody, fail at times. What do you mean the white house wouldn’t let him visit because he was non-verbal? LOL to me looking thrilled at camping! Tucker really wants to go though. Not sure why but I guess we’ll take him although I hope to do so in Colorado rather than here because here? BUGS AND SNAKES!!!September 2, 2016 – 9:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - That picture of you made me laugh. You look like you were bored to death! I’m so glad you had an opportunity to go to the beach. I agree that summer isn’t complete (on the east coast) without a visit to the beach. Since I live really close, shame on me if I don’t go. Every year I say I’m going to go look at it in the winter and I never do. I guess because no one wants to go but me.

    So sweet that the memory of Tucker being born is a favorite vacation memory.September 2, 2016 – 10:13 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - LOL I probably was bored to death. Either that or just camping tired, because that’s totally a think after sleeping in tents 🙂
      I love the beach in the winter and will totally go with you one of these days 🙂September 2, 2016 – 9:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Tamara - Of course Alaska had an intense impact, of which I’m not sure what yet, but our family vacation this summer was to Cape Cod. Our own state. In our own family house. And only for three nights.
    And that’s what I’ll think about the most when the kids go back to school.September 2, 2016 – 12:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I love your AK photos and status updates SO MUCH. I want to go!!! And you know, three nights is a lot of nights when it comes to memories. I only met you for one night and remember it completely.September 2, 2016 – 9:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love all your favorite vacation memories…some of my favorites were also when my kids were younger. Even though in some ways it’s harder to travel and vacation when they are that age (and it’s certainly not relaxing), the memories are so simple and pure. We’ve done some last-minute summer vacations too — sometimes those are the best!September 2, 2016 – 9:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw sometimes the last-minute vacations are the best. Write and link up? I miss hearing about your boys. >3September 2, 2016 – 11:43 pmReplyCancel

  • Scott - Sounds like you had a great time! Tucker is having all the fun!September 3, 2016 – 8:37 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Hey you. We had a great time. I wish it would have lasted longer. I wish life lasted longer. I’m feeling all the “too shorts” right now I guess…September 3, 2016 – 11:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Josie Two Shoes - Wonderful memories, each the best in it’s own time and it’s own way. I would be hard-pressed to choose just one as a favorite too. The older we get the more precious these memories become, and all too soon our children are grown and off on their own vacations and life adventures.September 3, 2016 – 12:36 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - It’s so true that our children age too quickly. My husband’s daughter is 22 now. Hard to believe!!! 🙂September 4, 2016 – 7:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Kay Woodward - My special child is 47 yrs old and lives with me. Gotta love all the memories. Some I thought were bad are now the funniest ones. He’s still making me laugh.September 5, 2016 – 8:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I LOVE that some of his “bad” memories are some of your funniest now 🙂 Thank you!September 5, 2016 – 11:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - I remember my first flight with Audrey. We flew a lot, cause baby girl did not like the car. And I have uttered the poop and fart line more than once on our road trips!September 6, 2016 – 11:22 amReplyCancel

  • Marcia @Menopausalmom - I’m glad you had such a magical vacation to celebrate your summer!September 9, 2016 – 9:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I hope each vacation memory becomes your favorite, Kristi. I feel like that’s the way it is for me. I wonder what my kids will think when they look back on their childhood vacations? I’ve never threatened to pull over, but we do converse about farts and poops quite a bit.September 12, 2016 – 8:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Your kids will talk about your vacation memories for years I bet! You guys have had some pretty incredible ones for sure. Here’s to poop and farts and talking about them. Because funny.September 13, 2016 – 3:43 pmReplyCancel

  • nothingbythebook - <3 <3 <3September 13, 2016 – 12:32 pmReplyCancel

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