This post first appeared on The Zees Go West in December 2008.
Family vacations were a big deal when I was a kid. My father often used his two weeks off all at once and we traveled in the family car that whole time. We bought new clothes before hitting the road; we called them our vacation outfits. For some reason they always included a hat, although we rarely wore casual hats in the other parts of our lives.
Here are my Aunt Nellie, little me, my mother, and littler Bucksnort, while on a visit to Jerry and Jimmy's Grandpa, who also appears elsewhere on this blog. He's the guy with the boots and jeans and for-real cowboy hat; the one who is grinning and no doubt cooking up another trick to make his San Francisco visitors remember their trip to his Arizona ranch forever. He isn't wearing his vacation clothes, but the rest of us are. My dad and Uncle Jack were off branding cattle, much to their dismay, so they didn't appear in this photo.
You can tell that these are vacation clothes that we are wearing because they are matching outfits, and because we kids are wearing hats with our names stitched on them.
And here we are, much later, back in civilization. That's our neighbor's house and car in the background; and Bucksnort, my dad, and me in the foreground. We are not wearing vacation clothes, although they might have been road trip outfits at some time in the past. You can tell that we are no longer on vacation because we are not wearing hats. In spite of the fact that we have no labels stitched anywhere, revealing our names, my dad seems pretty certain that he has hold of the right girls.