Top Ten Tuesday: Vacation Memories

Since I am in the midst of the longest stretch of work with no break (from Sept 7 until Thanksgiving), I thought an appropriate Top Ten list this week would be vacation memories.

Lately I have been finding myself dreaming of going far, far away with my little family so that we can get some much needed rest and relaxation together.  These dreams have taken me back to some memories I have of traveling with my family, with my husband, with my friends, and with my little family of three.

So here we go….

10. My mom walking off the dock in Pentwater, MI. I was in high school when my family rented a cottage up north in Pentwater, MI, and my parents let me take my best friend, Tonya, along with us.  This particular cottage didn’t have any private beach, but it did have a private dock that had a lovely wide end to it for sunning and swimming and just having fun in the water.  The first day we were there, my brothers, parents, Tonya, and I were headed out to the dock to hang out.  Everyone was preoccupied with what they were doing.

Apparently my mom was so preoccupied, that she didn’t  notice that the dock ended and she walked right off of it.  She tried to play it off like she jumped in, saying things like, “whew!  it’s hot out!  this water feels SO good!”  But Tonya had watched her do it and was laughing so hard she couldn’t breathe.  My mom being totally busted…and soaking wet…was pretty hilarious.

9. Buffalo with my fiance. The year before Cort and I were married we took a trip to New York state to visit friends (oh hey, Phil and Liz!!) who lived in Rochester at the time.  Before we got there, though, we wanted to stop for a couple nights in Buffalo.  I wanted to go to the zoo–which was talked up on their website as being the third oldest zoo in the nation, having elephant washing, giraffe feeding, and camel riding–and Cort wanted to see Niagara Falls (even though I

Monkeys at the Buffalo Zoo

told him it’s just a lot of water).

This story could be a whole post, but I will boil it down to this:  Buffalo Zoo?  Lame.  We did not get to feed any giraffes, wash any elephants, or ride any camels.  We set aside a whole day for a zoo we walked int 20 minutes.  And Niagara Falls?  Cort agreed it was just a lot of water.

But we had fun laughing at our misfortune, AND we had a super time once we got to Rochester!

8. Spring Break in college. The one and only time I ever went on a spring break trip was my sophomore year in college.  A group of friends (Go Broncos!!) and I took a plane (my first jet ride ever) to St Petersburg, FL for a week-long stay.  Every day we sat by the pool and tanned.  Most of us were under 21, so we didn’t do a lot of night life, but it didn’t matter.  We had so much fun just hanging out!  And since there were five of us and only two queen-sized beds?  We rotated the person who slept on the floor. It was just plain fun and crazy.

7. Florida with my family. About four years before the spring break trip to Florida, my family took us all to Orlando, FL.  It was one of the first “big” trips my family ever took together (we usually just rented cottages for a week).  We drove the 24 hours there as a family in a van.  I have lots of hilarious memories from this trip, but one that has to do with me was when we were in the Magic Kingdom and I (an almost-sophomore in high school) was SO crabby, my mom actually made me take a time out!  While my dad and my brothers enjoyed Thunder Mountain?  I was stuck on a bench sipping a diet coke until I could “improve my mood.”

6. Tigers baseball game with my family. We have been to MANY Tiger Ball games together as a family, but one in particular sticks out to me because I. DID. NOT. WANT. TO. BE. THERE.

My family had just gotten down with a trip that included Cedar Point and a drive-thru safari (a WHOLE different memory), we were making our way back through Michigan via Detroit because my parents had gotten us tickets to see a game.  People?  As a 16 year old teenager?  I was done.  I did NOT want to be on this trip anymore.

To show my displeasure, I ridiculed (loudly) everything about the game, I insisted on showing off my new Spanish skills (thank you, high school Spanish II) by ordering my refreshments only en espanol, and I targeted the poor kid who was sitting in front of us.

That was probably the most obnoxious thing that I did.  This kid was a total Ken Griffey, Jr fan and every time Griffey did something great, he would say, “ROOOOUTINE hit for Griffey!”

It was that annoying.

So I started quietly heckling.  Finally, Griffey struck out and I leaned forward and yelled, “ROOOOOOOUTINE HIT FOR GRIFFEY!”

Dining at the Experience Music Project

The kid did not say another word the entire game.

5. Seattle with my hubby. One year after being married, Cortney and I decided to fly (my second time on a jet) to Seattle–the home of his favorite band, Pearl Jam–for a week-long vacation.  He didn’t want to be around for the “anniversary” of his dad’s passing away, and Seattle was some place we both really wanted to visit.  So we went.

We went to a zoo (duh), and aquarium (duh), the Experience Music Project, the Space Needle, the Pacific Ocean, Pike Place Market, and lots of downtown wanderings.

4. Montana for one of my best friends. Because I will do anything for my friends, Cort and I decided our vacation in 2007 would be the trip we were making to Montana for a wedding that I was in.  I blogged about it here.

Looking good at the Montana wedding

We found out a few things on that trip:  North Dakota is boring.  Montana is beautiful (and boring), Wyoming is beautiful (and boring), South Dakota has some good place to stop, but the Mitchel Corn Palace is not one of them.

3. Camping/Canoeing with the in-laws. Ok, I hate camping.  It is NOT my idea of a vacation.  But we have gone twice.  TWICE!  I blogged about both trips here, here, and here.  Despite my hate of all things camping, we have a pretty damn good time!

Canoe Trip 2010

2. Indianapolis with my family of three. This past summer’s trip to Indy will always be a favorite of mine because it was our very first vacation as a family of three.  Granted, it was only three days, but in that three days, we spent two (successful) nights in a hotel with a toddler, did some sight-seeing, visited with great friends, met some new great friends, and spent a total of eight hours in the car with

My bloggy friends in Indy

a screaming toddler.

1. My honeymoon. You knew this had to be #1, right?  Most people at this point would talk all about their magical getaway to some all inclusive resort, or perhaps a romantic trip to Europe?  Maybe a cruise?

Not us.  We were on a budget, people.

We went to Myrtle Beach.  Actually, we DROVE to Myrtle Beach. Yes, I know there are some kick ass places to stay and be pampered in Myrtle Beach.  No, we did not stay at one of them.  We stayed at the Mystic Sea Resort–which, upon arriving?  Cort deemed neither Mystical nor Resortish.  In fact, he may have used a swear word and then commented how it looked nothing like what it did on the internet (you would think we would have learned from the Buffalo Zoo debacle, wouldn’t you?).

Two newlywed beach bums

There are so many stories I can tell you about Myrtle Beach, but the main thing is that we started our marriage off with something we could afford and made it fun.  We laughed until we cried.  We enjoyed being together.  And it was perfect.

Don’t get me wrong, some day I would LOVE to go on a “real” vacation.  Something all-inclusive.  Somewhere that creates little swans and monkeys out of my towels.  But until then, we will have fun with our budget vacations.  It’s what I am used to growing up, and it is what you make it!

Now how about you?  Do you have a Top Ten list of your vacation memories?  Link it up!  And tune in this weekend when I announce next week’s Top Ten Tuesday Topic!

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Lucky you, my husband still owes me a honeymoon!! I guess that’s to be expected when you “fall” pregnant before the wedding 🙂 I remind him often that we are overdue, I hope we escape somewhere soon!

    This list tells me one thing, you have had some great days of fun 🙂

    • ooo! i would LOVE to have a honeymoon out there waiting for me! And yes, we do have some great days of fun! These are what get me through the tough stuff for sure!

  2. That Mystic Sea will forever haunt us, won’t it? Next time, I’ll let you plan the vacation…I’ll just give you the budget. 🙂

  3. See, you need to visit the falls on the Canadian side. That’s where the show’s at! Plus on the main strip is riddled with riddiculously over priced activities that will make you feel like you’re super smart learning all these useless facts at Rippley’s Believe It Or Not and Madame Toussade’s Wax Museum. Did I just sound like a giant commercial? (Please note I did not get paid for this)
    Seriously, come to Canada and we’ll show you a good time girl!
    I love these top tens!! I want to join but I partake in the post its.
    PS. Go Tigers even though you always let us down.

    • I have been to the Canadian side…that is when I saw it. But it was back in high school and it was cold and rainy that day. I have heard that is really the best side to see the falls. And yes, GO TIGERS fo evah!

  4. oh there you are, there I am! Hope your indy trip becomes a yearly visit…

  5. I’ve been to Myrtle Beach and both times stayed at the junkiest motels imaginable. But I had a blast both times. Saving money on the hotel means more money to spend on fun stuff! (PS – I had a great time writing my own post for Top Ten Tuesday…..never done a blog hop, can’t quite figure out how to get it on my page, but I’ll keep working on it! *grin*)

    • Myrtle Beach is the shiz for sure! We had so fun and really? we weren’t in the hotel that much anyway! So who cared!?! I’m glad you linked up! Yay for Top Tens!

  6. Now there’s a challenge! I’m going to make notes tonight and get back to you Katie. I may even video my answer tomorrow!

  7. Sounds like bunch of fun vacays you had, girl! I never had a honeymoon lol

    • oh shoot! but you have had some great travels! I have not hardly been out of the country! Some day though!

  8. Hahaha, I’m from Buffalo! Zoo? Lame. But it’s nice to go to in the summer….with kids. What’s even worse then the zoo? Our aquarium in Niagra Falls. You should have gone to the Canadian side of the falls. So much more to do there. You could spend a whole weekend? Did you do any of the sites though? Like Maid of the Mist and Cave of Winds? Those are pretty good. We make fun of all the tourists that come to look at the falls. It is just a ton of water.

    • i can see how the zoo would be good in the summer. Our local zoo is like that too. I would never say to COME HERE because of it, but we like to go a couple times a summer just for funsies. I’ve been to the canadian side, and yes, it’s better. We did Do the Cave of Winds, but not Maid of the Mist. I could put on a poncho and get wet in the shower. ha!

  9. Finally got mine done! It took me all day to think of ten, but I did it! 🙂

  10. Goodness. Took me 2 days to do this. 🙂

  11. I have been on vacations with teens like you. LOL I think I put them in time out too. You should not vacation with children between 15 and 18.

    I just have to tell you about my funniest trip. We went camping for the first time in our new camper. It took hours to put up the canopy(we had no idea what we were doing). After several campfire drinks we went to sleep only to wake up to the campground security telling us all to go to the shelter because a tornado was coming. The camper was rocking back and forth because we didn’t know we had to level it. We made our way to the shelter. When it was over out canopy was wrapped around the camper. All of the other campers were intact except ours. We had many fun adventures with the camper but that one always brings a laugh.

    • That is hilarious! I bet you learned REALLY quickly how to level the camper! Ha ha ha! I am glad no one was hurt! And yes, I was a tad difficult as a teenager. But I totally grew out of that…I think 🙂


  1. […] to Katie over at Sluiter Nation, I’m going to present y’all with my top ten vacation memories of all time. I know you […]