Posted by: abbiewatters | August 14, 2011


What’s the most memorable family vacation you took? – There have been lots of great vacations through the years. The thing is, we rarely took a “vacation” to go to a resort, or something like that. We might have gone to resorts, or theme parks, but they were almost always in conjunction with visits to family and/or friends.

When we were in Germany we went to Bavaria a couple of times.

Here I am at the General Walker Hotel in Berchtesgaden, in 1968.

Al and Ray at Landstuhl Castle near Ramstein AB, in Germany, in 1968.

I’ve told you about some of our trip with Betty and Mama through Switzerland and Bavaria in the summer of 1969.

While Al was in Southeast Asia, he and I had two weeks of R&R in Hawaii, in August 1970.

We had a week on Maui,

and a week on Oahu.

While we were in Alexandria, LA, we visited Pennsylvania to see Al’s brother and his family.

On that trip we saw Valley Forge. That was June of 1971.

That fall we took a weekend and went to see the battlefield in Vicksburg.

The summer after Bill was born, Al went to a tech school at Lowry AFB, in Denver, CO. I took a vacation and left the kids with Mama and went with him.

Hodges Gardens, in western Louisiana, was close enough for weekend trips, and we went several times while the boys were little.

Al had another class at Tech School, this time in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, so we went too, and took a weekend trip to Disney World in 1973.

Here we are back at Hodges Gardens with Al’s parents in the spring of 1975.

In July, 1975, we were back in Pennsylvania, this time we were waiting for the 4th of July Parade in Al’s home town of Canonsburg.

While we lived in Las Vegas, lots of people came to visit us. Here Al’s brother, sister-in-law, and nephew join us for a picnic near Lake Mead.

Once we got to England, we spent almost every other weekend traveling somewhere, and seeing something.

Here are the boys at Chedworth Roman Villa in the west country.

Al and the boys at Whitby Abbey in Yorkshire.

Mt. Grace Priory near York, in Yorkshire.

The ruins of Fountains Abbey, in Yorkshire.

Billy preparing to enter the Metro in Paris in August, 1977.

On the boat crossing the English Channel on our first trip to Paris with the boys.

Exploring the ruins at Goodrich Castle, in April 1978.

Driving through the lanes in the West Country.

Visiting Ragland Castle, on a weekend jaunt.

Mama and Papa came to visit us in England in May, 1978, and we did even more sightseeing then.

Here’s Billy preparing to explore a long barrow.

The boys at the Circus Museum at Wookey Hole in England, September 1978.

All over southern England you’ll find these “Standing Stones”, some are ruins of stone circles like Stonehenge, but not as elaborate, and some are what’s left from various long barrows.

At Hadrian’s Wall when Al’s parents came to visit.

A visit to Abergavenny in Wales.

At the ruins of Glastonbury Cathedral (you remember, Glastonbury is supposed to be the site of Camelot, and King Arthur and Queen Guinevere are supposedly buried there).

Al and Ray on a hilltop in England on an afternoon ride through the Cotswolds.

Billy by a duck pond on the Village Green in some unnamed village in the Cotswolds.

Al enjoying the beach on the coast of Wales in 1981.

Then when Al retired he and I took 8 weeks and a Eurail Pass and saw Europe as we wished we had seen it as new college graduates. We saw Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France. We sailed home on the Queen Elizabeth II.

When we got back and lived in Texarkana, we had two foreign exchange students, the first from Sweden, and the second from Denmark. While Jan, the student from Sweden was there, we did another trip to Florida to see Al’s parents.  While we were there we went back to Disney World,

and Kennedy Space Center.

Michael, the student from Denmark, loved to fish, so his weekends and vacations were spent with Papa in the boat.

He loved to spend Saturdays on Lake Texarkana, and at Millwood Lake.

After we moved to Abilene, TX, Ray was out of the house, and Bill was serious about playing soccer.

Our vacation in summer of 1988 was a trip to Pennsylvania, so Bill could attend soccer camp at Ursinus College, near BlueBell, PA, where Al’s brother and family lived.

We also managed a trip to Manhattan to see Harriet and Robert, and Bill got to see the Hard Rock Cafe!

May, 1989, brought another trip to Florida for Al’s parent’s 50’s Wedding Anniversary.

The summer of 1989, Bill went to soccer camp at Indiana University. While he was in camp, Al and I hosted Vincent from France as we toured around the upper midwest and saw things like Salem, Illinois, and LOTS of corn fields and pig farms. After Bill finished with camp we drove back to Abilene. Later, we took a couple of days and went to Houston and saw NASA and Galveston, and some of the Texas historical sites.

So you can see that while we don’t usually take “Vacations”, we do a lot of traveling and sightseeing on the way.



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