The benefits of vacations extend to family relationships. An international group of researchers led by Purdue University Xinran Lehto concluded that family vacations contribute positively to family bonding, communication and solidarity. - Psychology TodayGrowing up, my family tended to go to Daytona Florida for vacation. My dad is a Nascar fan (yes, he has all of his teeth), so we would fly down to Daytona and spend a week at a condo on the beach and go to the race. One year, we decided to drive...From Illinois to Florida.My mom was going with my aunt to a photography convention in Atlanta. My dad, sister, cousin, and myself took a van down to Atlanta to pick up my mom, and then head down to Florida. My dad, bless his heart was willing to drive a van with an 11, 8, and 6-year-old on a 24 hour car ride. We made stops at different landmarks, and he even hooked up a tv in the back of the van (Come on, it was the early 90s -- Town & Country mobile homes didn't exist yet). Little did dear Dad know, this van ride...Oh heck...This vacation would test my father in ways he never knew possible.First of all, my sister and myself could not be in the same place for more than five minutes without fighting and my cousin was mute. She wouldn't talk. She would just shake her head no at everything. It's like she went to the Milford School, where children learn that they should not be seen nor heard. Every restaurant we went to, she wouldn't like it. Every little landmark we visited, she didn't want to get out of the car.
Earl Milford, school founder
On day two, as we were driving along in Tennessee...Kentucky...Somewhere hot -- My sister decided she was cold (side note, my sister is always cold. It can be 110 degrees and she'll be freezing. I used to think it was because she didn't have a soul, now I know it's because she's just really skinny). Since Sister was cold, she decided to close all of the vents in the back of the van. I didn't notice because I was in the front with my dad, but poor Cousin was sitting in the back with my sister. All of the sudden we hear vomiting. No, not vomiting, something more violent than vomiting. Barfing mixed with the sobs of a six-year-old girl. My dad pulls over:"What is going on back there?!" My sister panics, "COUSIN IS THROWING UP ALL OVER THE PLACE! GROSS!" Then my dad tells her something that to this day breaks my heart. At this very second, as I type this my heart sinks into my stomach. "Give her that box!" And that's when I freak out, "NOT MY BARBIE BOX! MY BARBIES!!!!" My dad doesn't "fucking care" as he puts it. And right there, on the side of the highway, Cousin is throwing up all over my Barbies.After Cousin finishes barfing all over my Barbies, she starts to cry. My dad asks what happened and there, then my cousins says her first four words on the entire trip. I can still hear these words in my head today. "It was too hot." "Why was it too hot?" My dad asks -- My sister got really quiet. She knew she was in trouble. She quietly looks at the floor and says "Well it was cold back here. I closed the vents." My dad was obviously pissed, but he had to keep his cool because my cousin was there and he didn't want upset her anymore. I mean really, he still had to deal with her for a week, he couldn't scare her and deal with the repercussions for a week. So we kept on driving, with air conditioning on full blast. Sister could use a beach towel as a blanket.After what seemed like an eternity we ended up in Atlanta with my mom and aunt. We spent the night there, and explored the city. The next day, we took Mom and made way to Florida. We arrived at our condo pretty late. We picked up fast food for dinner and went to bed.I woke up in the middle of the night not feeling so well. In typical eight-year-old fashion, when I felt sick I started yelling for my mom. My mom and dad came out and then it began. Projectile vomit all over the place. It was like The Exorcist. My head was spinning and I couldn't control it. My dad carried me in the bathroom and that's when the realization hit. I was throwing up out of both ends. Yes, you read that right. I shit the bed. That's when my dad lost it. He had kept his cool for three days with three terribly annoying children. There was vomiting in the car, vomiting in the condo, and now...shitting the bed. How much can one man handle? He ran out on the balcony and started throwing up.My cousin started panicking and crying because of the pandemonium that was taking place in our two bed room/one bathroom condo full of vomit. My sister, being the priss she was, started flailing around "GROSS! OH MY GOD! EWWW!" My mom tried calming everyone down, but it's hard to do that when your child is having violent spasms of food poisoning every three minutes. This lasted through the night.The next morning, we all woke up like everything was fine (well, except me. I was knocked out for a day and a half). My sister, cousin, and dad went to the beach while my mom and I stayed in and watched tv/did laundry/tried to figure out how to take the stain out of the mattress.With the exception of my cousin hating everything and crying all of the time, the rest of the week went off without a hitch. At the end of the week, we were ready to hit the road and make our way back to Illinois. After all, we had a long car ride ahead of us.