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Childhood Travel Memories of the Water

Updated on May 15, 2014

Memories of the Water

My parents have told me I have hated the water practically since I was born so it's ironic so many of my childhood memories should center around it. Most are from summer journeys made to all over the United States, Germany, and a place or two in Switzerland. Even today I am surrounded by my family's love for water. I wake up each morning and eat breakfast to a floor-to-ceiling view of the lake. The memories I have here are new but this lens is about a few of my most treasured childhood moments on the water.

Hating the Water from Year One - 1990 Family Lake Vacations

I put this picture as the first because it remains so true to this day. On the pier is me staring suspiciously at the water and jumping in to the water with a big smile is my older brother. He loves the water with a passion and while overseas was nicknamed 'dolphin' because he was always swimming. I, on the other hand, have been told by my mother of how she never worried about me drowning. I would not get close enough to touch the water as a child and would never ever consider getting in of my own free will.

You can't make me like it! - Boat Rides are not my Forte

My parents had a very mistaken idea of how much their one-year old would like a boat ride. I'm glad I do not remember this moment because evidently I was down right angry at their behavior. Look at my face, I'm squished in a life jacket in pure misery. One of the very few pictures where I am not happy and it's all due to their passion for water fun.

Life Jackets for Infants - No infant life jacket? No boat ride!

Body Glove Infant's Phantom U.S. Coast Guard Approved Neoprene Pfd Life Vest (Pink/Black)
Body Glove Infant's Phantom U.S. Coast Guard Approved Neoprene Pfd Life Vest (Pink/Black)

I do not know if I was mad about the life jacket or just about the water in general. Either way it does not matter my feelings because my mother put my safety as the number one priority. Do the same and make sure your infant wears a life jacket or if it is your boat then respectfully tell others the rule. No life jacket? No ride!

 

Vacationing on a New Lake - Still Hatin' the Water

If my parent's thought a new lake would change my love for the water, they were once again mistaken. According to my mother's description, I refused to get closer to the water. Not only that but I refused to take off my shoes to go in the sand and there was no way I was going to get into a swimsuit!

To bad only a few years down the road I would be not only in a swimsuit but put through years of painful swimming lessons. My mother wanted all of us to know how to swim, regardless of whether we wanted to or not. So to this day I can swim and not just the doggy paddle. I can do front crawl, back crawl, and if you are lucky I may even perform a stroke or two of the butterfly.

Baby-Girl Adorable Infant Swimsuits - Lookin' Cute for a Day on the Water

If I have a baby girl she is going to have so many little swimsuits because they are just so cute. Really, my mother should have just put me in one for about thirty seconds, taken a picture, and gotten me dressed before I could so much as cry. These are some of my favorites and to cute to pass up. They are all one-pieces as I am old-fashioned about my baby swimsuit styles.

Family Traditions on the Lake - A New Beginning

My family always made sure to take a trip in summer to a lake or river to go swimming. Normally I refused to get in but once I got a year older I discovered how wonderful it is to be tiny. When you are tiny you can 'join in the water fun' by getting on a floating device and never getting wet! So here I am. In the water but not wet at all.

On the shores of this lake and the cottage hidden in the forest is where so many of my first memories came to be. Traveling to get to and from the cottage was a memory on its own but enough of such details for now.

My #1 Float Pick: Kelsyus Water Hammock - Seriously. The only float I use!

Kelsyus Floating Hammock
Kelsyus Floating Hammock

I still don't like getting in the water which is why I recommend the Kelsyus Water Hammock. Most float mats/things are super tipsy and present a high likelihood of accidentally flipping yourself. When you get in these water hammocks you end up getting part of you covered in water (which is okay because most of me is not in the water) which actually works because it gives you greater balance and makes it much harder for you to get dunked in.

 

Fountain Fun in Leipzig, Germany - Sisters. Sisters.

I traveled so much between Germany and the United States I grew up believing it was typical for everyone to go visit relatives across the globe. Now I known better and appreciate how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to travel more in my childhood then most do in a lifetime. This photo was taken when I was only five years old. We had been touring and traveling through the hot July day and both of us wanted to cool off. So my mother let my little sister and me crawl into the city fountain in Leipzig, Germany. I may have hated any water reaching above my knees but my little sister and I completely enjoyed dipping our feet in this crystal clear fountain.

Travel, Music, and a Book Journey Through Leipzig

If you love the music of Bach then you need to visit Leipzig. This is where he spent many years conducting and composing famous works like the Kyrie and Gloria from his Mass in B Minor. Even if you are not a Bach or classical music fan then visit the city for its rich history and beauty.

Memories in Yellowstone - Only six and so much to see!

I spent most of my childhood either spending summers in Europe or traveling throughout the western United States. Yellowstone was one of my favorite places although I do remember there being a lot of 'bear aware' signs all over. Plus, my Opa bought this bear safety book which could traumatize people of all ages. Despite the bear worries we enjoyed our time in the National Park. Here I am with my older sister wading in one of the cool streams around the park while my mother gets lunch ready.

Experience Yellowstone on Blu-Ray - if you cannot get there then experience the beauty in blu-ray

Yellowstone 3D - America's Greatest Wonder (Blu-ray 3D & 2D Version)
Yellowstone 3D - America's Greatest Wonder (Blu-ray 3D & 2D Version)

If you cannot experience the majesty of Yellowstone in person then it better be in blu-ray. Not because blu-ray is more expensive or fancier, no it's because of how phenomenal the picture is. I never used to be able to tell the difference between DVD and Blu-ray until I put in Frozen Planet and saw nature for the first time in Blu-Ray. I was stunned at the difference. You will be too.

 

Great Sand Dunes Fun - Nine years into life!

If you have not experienced the Great Sand Dunes then click open a new window, look it up, and make a plan to visit. They are amazing and the scenery surrounding them is gorgeous. At the base is the running water of this river. The reason I (it's me in the middle) am in the water is because of the extraordinary heat of the sand. We were all wearing sandals not realizing just how hot the sand is on your feet. So we could not climb up much of the dunes but the three of us did have a great time in the river!

Books & Wall Decals on Great Sand Dunes National Park - One of my favorite of all National Parks

My mother adores national parks so we would travel all over staying at them for a few days at a time, getting our junior ranger badges, and then repacking to move on. Out of the many there are only a few which remain in my mind and one of them is the Great Sand Dunes National Park. If you are not sure about going then read up on why they are so stunning and make an informed decision or you can send me the money to go in your place because I would love to go back.

United States National Park Travel Poll - I spent my childhood summers getting junior ranger badges at more national parks then I can remember (here are just so

Which National Parks Have You Visited?

See results

Fishin' on the Lake - My brother taught me well!

Until buying our lakehouse in 2001 our family would spend a week at my great-aunt's place. We would all pile up in the car with just about everything and make a whole day of traveling the long hours to her cottage. I have many fond memories with my family of our time spent on that lake. During the day we were always outside tubing, water-skiing, and canoeing. At night we would roast marshmallows over the fire with sticks my father had sharpened. We spent rainy days playing ping pong in the dusty dirty basement and trying to get more than two channels on our loft bedroom television. Those were good times were the most pressing thought was 'would do the dishes' and 'I hope I don't get sunburned.'

Be Smart. Get the book Fishing for Dummies. - So you don't end up with a stupid accident.

Fishing for Dummies
Fishing for Dummies

I have a brother who lives to fish and even has his master's in fisheries. So when it comes to guidance I have the master a call away. If you are not quite so lucky then consider getting fishing for dummies. This way you will know a little about what you are doing before casting.

 

Lake Tahoe's Chilly Waters

One summer we included a visit to Lake Tahoe on our vacation itinerary. I remember the lake looked beautiful but was ridiculously cold. So there I am, once again, the one on shore watching everyone else get in. I hate cold water and actually such deep water scared me so I contented myself with watching from afar.

I was talking with my father about our trip to Lake Tahoe and he reminded me of why we were just so happy to reach it. I remember the reason so well because it happened after hearing hours and hours of bear lectures and bear safety tips. At the time we were traveling my older sister, brother, and cousin would camp outside and the rest of us would sleep inside our vehicle. I remember hearing "there's a bear. A bear. Get the stuff!" and suddenly three other bodies were inside with us. My father had met a bear and everyone was so terrified we ended up driving for hours non-stop through the long night. On the positive, we set a new record for taking down our tent and camp stuff.

Secrets of Lake Tahoe Revealed in Books and Films - Lake Tahoe for everyone

The waters of Lake Tahoe were cold but it did not change just how beautiful the lake was or its' deep history. If you are someone who appreciates nature's beauty, love to hike, or are just curious then find out more about this wondrous sight.

The Waters to Key West - A Stop Along the Way

On one of our numerous trips to Florida we decided to take our rental car down to see the sunset at Key West. The drive from Fort Lauderdale to Key West started to feel like forever and there were some dangerously tense moments between siblings. To keep us from attacking each other, we decided to stop and wade in the waters beside the road. My little sister and I waded in together and we relaxed before seeing a gorgeous sunset on the boardwalk of Key West.

Have you experienced the Florida Keys? Books & DVD on the Florida Keys - Hopefully these books will open a door to your vacation!

I loved the Florida keys and not just because of Key West's flawless sunset. There is something about the beauty, climate, and the people of the Florida Keys which keep them strong in my memories. I hope these travel guides, books, and DVD on the Keys will explain why a trip to the Florida Keys is a memory to make.

Jet-Skiing in the Florida Keys - Completely Amazing!

For one Florida trip my parents returned early and we stayed with family friends who spoiled us like crazy. We stayed in a beautiful rented condo on the waters of Key Largo. One sunny morning we took a drive and ended up eating lunch right by a jet ski rental place on the ocean. All of us were eying the jet-skis with envy so they surprised us by paying for us to ride the waves. Here I am holding on to my sister on my first jet-ski ride in the keys! I will remember it for the rest of my life because my older sister allowed me to drive for a few moments and I almost ran into a sailboat.

Cookbooks on the Flavors of Florida's Keys - Just don't jet ski and eat the same time!

The Flavors of the Florida Keys
The Flavors of the Florida Keys

I had mouth-watering key lime pie at a restaurant only a few yards away from the ocean's waves. Not only was the pie delicious but so were the many flavors which accompanied dinner. If you want to get to know more about the keys then introduce yourself to their very flavor via a cookbook.

 

Shell Collecting on Sanibel Island - I loved the shells, the sea, and the sky

My brother prides himself on his shell collecting ability. He has a knack for diving in and out of the waves to find the most beautiful shells. The ocean has never been for me so instead of joining in the family's ocean fun I took a solitary walk down the beach to find my own shells. Someone took this picture of me as I was enjoying a calm moment wandering through the sand by the water.

A Guide to the Seashells of Florida - Wouldn't you like to know what shell is in your hand?

Florida's Living Beaches: A Guide for the Curious Beachcomber
Florida's Living Beaches: A Guide for the Curious Beachcomber

So my brother is not only a skilled fishermen he also studied marine biology and has gone 'shelling' at many different places. Meaning if you hold up a shell and ask, "what's this?" He usually has a detailed answer which ends with me saying, "and you could not just give me a one word name?" Most people do not have such a brother which is why books are amazing. These books will give you the need-to-know and you-can't-take-that-with-you information for your next Florida beach combing.

 

Sunny Spain? - Not in Torremilimos

I imagined Spain would always be sunny and its coastal waters the right temperature. All of those fantasies completely failed when we stopped for a night at a luxurious hotel in the coastal city of Torremilimos. The skies were overcast and a storm seemed to be moving in. Along with grey skies, the water looked nothing like the beautiful shades we had seen in Greece. Unlike the refreshing temperature of the Grecian waters the water here was really, really, really, cold. I know because my brother will swim in just about any temperature and even he said it was cold (although he did insist on at least diving in).

Even if the waters were cold and the skies grey the memory of our trip to Spain is bright with color. I never knew how wonderful and diverse the country was. Not only is their country gorgeous but they make a mean plate of paella, which I have been craving for years now and will have to return to Spain for some soon.

Cookbooks on Delicious Spanish Paella - From one who loves it

The 7 Most Traditional Paella Recipes: The Way It Has Been Cooked At Home For Generations In Valencia (Spain)
The 7 Most Traditional Paella Recipes: The Way It Has Been Cooked At Home For Generations In Valencia (Spain)

My family knows I am not a big food person so they were amazed at my love for paella. I literally ate it almost every day on our tour of Spain. There were so many different types that I never got bored AND since it is a rice dish most of them were gluten-free. The best paella I had the whole trip was a seafood paella which came piping hot in the pan at a nice restaurant in the beautiful city of Grenada.If you have not tried paella then I strongly encourage getting a recipe or two and trying it!

 

Morteratsch Glacier, Switzerland - One day they are here. The next just melt water.

Most of my water memories are from lakes or oceans but not this one. Here I am with my siblings (I have the red hair) at a famous glacier in Switzerland. I thought glaciers were always perfectly white so I was amazed this pile of dirt was a glacier. Farther up the glacier becomes a beautiful white but here at the base it looks grayish and behind us is a murky river formed by the melting glacier. If you have not seen a glacier then do it before they are gone. This one has retreated hundreds of yards in only the past twenty years. I'm so glad I got to see it before it's gone forever!

Glacial Wall Decals for Beauty and a Reminder to Visit - Maybe one day squidoo will allow me to fulfill my Alaskan dream!

For years my mother had a poster of a Swiss glacier on her office wall. When we got back from Switzerland we realized the wall decal was actually of the exact glacier we had been to which makes it all the more beautiful. Glaciers are some of nature's most beautiful creations and if you are going to decorate your walls then consider one of these majestic glacial wall decals.

You can purchase just about any size of these posters making them perfect for any space. Also, if you purchase two or more posters from the wallmonkey company then your shipping is free! More importantly the company makes their wall decals to apply in minutes without damaging your walls and paint.

A Passion for Fishing - Who knew I would be counting them too?

In 2001 we purchased our first lakehouse and would drive there throughout the year. I may not have enjoyed swimming but since those days at my great-aunt's cottage I have discovered a passion for fishing. Sadly the lake there consists mainly of bass, bass, and more bass. Regardless, here I am with my catch of the day looking happy and healthy for the moment. Once my health went I could not get down or up the steps to the pier by myself so I spent a great deal of time simply watching from above. Now these memories are happy ones but for a long time they made me sad because it was a huge reminder of what I had lost.

Singing and Motion Activated Fish (Big Mouth Billy Bass the Singing Sensation) - Mounted and Ready to Serenade

Billy Big Mouth Bass Sings for the Holidays Motion Activated Twas the Night Before Christmas
Billy Big Mouth Bass Sings for the Holidays Motion Activated Twas the Night Before Christmas

One year my brother kept getting singing fish from his family and friends. They are probably one of the most random and oddly entertaining inventions. My boyfriend used to hate when I would go in my brother's lakehouse room because I liked to press each of them and see the mounted fish come to life and sing for you. They are a great gift for the fishermen with a sense of humor.

 

Experience Billy the Bass Singing "Take Me to the River"

Memories of Today

This past summer's hot weather meant I spent most of it inside with the air conditioning on. Rarely did I get a chance to actually go down to the water and be out there before the evening cool set in. Here I am in the early morning on my brother's fishing boat. I'm toasting my friend, the summer sun, and the fact that I am able to be out of the house.

Saying Thanks for Reading from My Parent's Pier!

Saying Thanks for Reading from My Parent's Pier!
Saying Thanks for Reading from My Parent's Pier!

Comments? Questions? Flames? Your Own Experiences?

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    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great article! I am sure you had fun writing this!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I really enjoyed your baby pictures not impressed with the water at all. I am so looking forward to being in the lake. Can't wait for June.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 4 years ago

      Lovely article about your childhood memories. The pics of when you were little and hating the water are very cute. =)

    • makorip lm profile image

      makorip lm 4 years ago

      Living on the West Coast my childhood was on the Pacific

    • RedShoesGirl profile image

      RedShoesGirl 4 years ago

      Childhood memories are sometimes the best.

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      fantastic images - reminds me of my time spent at lakes and at the Black sea

    • iwrite100 profile image

      Maribel Forayo 4 years ago from Philippines

      Now, you can say you love water (or still don't?)

      I enjoyed reading your lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great pictures!