Musings: Childhood Vacation

Today’s topic is: “What was your favorite vacation as a child?”

Hands down… Lake Tahoe, summer of 1991.

I had just finished my freshman year of high school, my sister was starting her senior year, and my little brother was not quite two years old. With my folks and the family dog, we all had a great time!

During the day, we would hang out at the beach, swimming, soaking up the sun, napping, playing cards, and snacking.

One afternoon, my sister and I even went parasailing! We were harnessed up on the beach, and then after a running start…

Parasailing Lake Tahoe 1991

We sailed out over the lake for a while.


When the boat slowed down, we splashed down into the middle of the lake and were scooped up by an inflatable boat that returned us to shore! (And yes, the oversized t-shirt I’m wearing does have a surfing Holstein in a bathing suit exclaiming “Cow-A-Bunga!” because that’s how cool I was.)

Parasailing Lake Tahoe 1991

But my favorite memories are from the evening my stepfather announced he was taking us to the opera. My sister and I both groaned and begged to do anything else but he insisted. As we traveled down the road, I couldn’t see an opera house or even an outdoor stage on which there could be an opera. When we pulled into the local miniature golf course, he said: “Welcome to Act 1 at the opera!” We were delighted!


After the round of golf, he said: “if we hurry, we can just make it in time for Act 2.” Dragging our feet once again, he guided us across the road to “The Original Carmine and Joni’s Log Cabin Ice Cream Shoppe and Caffe” for a scoop of ice cream!

Act 2 at the Opera, Tahoe 1991

Of course, every evening thereafter (and many times in the years that followed), we would beg for him to take us the opera again. Mini Golf and Ice Cream is still the best two-act opera I’ve ever experienced!

(A proud shout-out to my mom for doing a phenomenal job making a photo album of this amazing vacation, and for being able to send it along to me 25 years later!)


Tell me about your favorite childhood vacation in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook

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