Happy Wednesday! Liz here. We’re focused on summer this month, and today we’re still celebrating the release of Barb’s latest Maine Clambake Mystery, Hidden Beneath.
Huge congrats, Barb! Can’t wait to read, as usual!
In this book, Julia and her mother are diving into some mysteries and it got me thinking – given the fact that family dynamics are such a big part of this series, I want to talk about family summer trips today. Especially the ones drenched with drama and dysfunction, because those are often the most interesting – and the best basis for a murder mystery!
Wickeds, tell us about a summer vacation that didn’t go as planned!
Jessie: Continued congratulations, Barb! We haven’t had much for vacation drama except for the year we really couldn’t use our house at the beach unexpectedly. We usually move up as soon as school gets out and stay until a week before the new school year starts. Two summers ago the town started a public works project that spanned the summer and ripped up our street for months. Between the inability to access our driveway and the constant chaotic noise, we opted not to spend time at the beach that year. It was so disappointing!
Julie: Congratulations, Barb! I can’t wait to read this latest installment. Liz, you’re opening a can of worms with dysfunctional family vacation stories! I actually don’t have any terrible family vacation memories, but I should check with my sisters. We tend to have different memories, LOL. Seriously, I can remember moments that weren’t Disney approved, but in general we all rolled with it and figured it out. We also didn’t take “vacations” per se. I suspect it was a question of funds. We spent time with our grandparents, which was lovely. And we’d go to the beach. But no big trips when I was a kid.
Edith/Maddie: I’m so excited for another Maine Clambake book and can’t wait to dive into it, Barb. I don’t have any high-drama vacation stories in my past. My parents might have had a different memories about our annual excursion to tent-camp amid the giant Sequoias. Packing all that gear and four kids into a Dodge station wagon was a feat of engineering, but I have only the sweetest of memories. Oh, except for getting carsick when I insisted on reading as we drove up twisty mountain roads.
Sherry: Hidden Beneath is a fantastic book and mystery fans will love it! The biggest drama I remember was on a trip to the East the summer before I entered fifth grade. We’d done a big swing from Iowa, to Michigan, New York (I still remember the Corning Museum) New York City, Washington DC, Jamestown (I got to have a Coke for breakfast!) Williamsburg, and then heading home. We got lost in Louisville, Kentucky and a woman ran a stop sign and hit us. I was sitting in front with my parents (of course without a seat belt), hit the dashboard, and I got my first and only (knock wood) black eye. We spent a week at a hotel on the outskirts of town which fortunately had a restaurant and pool. By the middle of the week we were tired of the restaurant so we walked to the airport which was the only place close by. We got there and it was the SAME restaurant — Dobb’s House. We did love their salad and I found a link to their menu.
Barb: That is an amazing story, Sherry. I’m so glad you liked Hidden Beneath. No major family dysfunction to report, but I do remember vividly a drive in a packed car to the eastern end of Long Island where my father’s family lived. My dad only had two weeks of vacation in those days and we spent a week with his parents and then a week on the Jersey shore with my mother’s parents. There were only two of us kids, but the dog had to sit by the window or she got carsick, so that left one window in the backseat and two kids fighting over it. I guess because we were going for two weeks, our goldfish was along for the ride, also wedged on a pile of stuff on the floor of the backseat. We went around a curve and the goldfish bowl went over. My father had to pull over on the side of the highway and rescue the goldfish who was wriggling on the floor of the car and dump him into the remaining bit of water. Dad was furious. I was loudly proclaiming my innocence, pointing out goldfish-middle seat-curve, but the truth is I had leaned into it rather dramatically. No murder mystery, except possibly for the goldfish, but it’s a scene that comes back to me to this day when something I’ve done on purpose, but unnecessarily, has unintended, negative consequences.
Liz: Love these stories. I hope the goldfish survived! My parents didn’t take us on too many vacations, but I do remember a trip to Disney when I was 7 when my mother insists she was almost run over by a motorcycle on Daytona Beach. I don’t remember that–I was more focused on my new Mickey Mouse ears!
Readers, what about you? Share your worst (or best!) summer vacation memories with us.