I don’t know about you, but the later we get into spring the more my mind goes to summer vacations! A few years ago, the phrase “staycation” was coined. While I love the idea of a few days at home where nobody makes any demands on you and you can stay in your pj’s all day if you want, I am talking about a real vacation. I have been to all but 4 states and have hopes of vacationing in 3 of them by Fall. But until then, I’ll be content reminiscing about some of my vacations from younger years.

   Currently, I have my Belle Aroma® Plugables® Fragrance Vase plugged into my living room wall and am enjoying not only the delicious aroma of the Vanilla Bourbon No-Mess Fragrance Tarts®, with the fragrance of vanilla, neroli, toasted coconut, maple and amber combined with the smoky aroma of bourbon but I am also enjoying the beautiful design of this Plugables Vase. Mine is the pink and gold mosaic that adds a bright spot of color to my living room. It also comes in a multi-color version of teal, green and blue. I chose this scent of tarts because our recent vacations have always included sampling local breweries along the way. I thought Vanilla Bourbon was a good choice.

   Our family spent a lot of time in my early years with a very special aunt, uncle and cousin. We occasionally took vacations together. One such trip was when I was 11 and my cousin, Deb, was 12. We had been in Oregon visiting friends and were making our way back east to Iowa and then on to Kentucky where we lived. Our Oregon friends sent us home with homemade Farmer’s cheese, home canned dill pickles and homemade sourdough bread. All treats I would love as an adult now, but not so impressive to an 11- and 12-year-old. As was my dad’s custom, we would drive until he was tired then begin looking for a motel. They were never fancy - and we never got one with a pool - but he always went and checked out the room to make sure it was clean.

   I’m not sure where we were (other than somewhere between Oregon and Iowa) when we finally got to stop for the night. I stayed with my cousin and her folks, while Mom and Dad were in the other room with my brother. But we came together for supper…the only problem was there were no restaurants and not even a grocery store! So, the adults went to the trunk of the car and pulled out the warm cheese, the warm dill pickles and the sourdough bread. That was to be our supper! I don’t remember complaining about it, but we probably did…under our breath so as not to be heard by the adults.

   I so clearly remember Deb and I laying on top of the bed and my dad suddenly saying, “Let’s pray.” That was not uncommon - we had started trying to live by Christian principles about 5 years previously - but Deb and I had been right in the middle of uproarious laughter. We tried to control it but we both snorted in laughter. When he finished, he asked very sternly, “Who laughed??” Obviously it was us, but we weren’t about to ‘fess up. He said, “Well, I don’t think that was one damn bit funny!!” Deb and I looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking. “We laughed but HE cussed!!”

   We made our way down the highway the next morning. Sometime during that day, Deb must’ve complained to my aunt about never getting a motel with a pool. My aunt must’ve talked to my dad because that night we pulled into a KOA with a pool!! Wow! We 3 kids were so excited…until we saw it. The water was absolutely the grossest shade of green from all the algae. Nobody was using it, well, that is, except for my brother and me. My mom whispered to us, “you’d better at least get in or you know he’ll never stop at another one with a pool!”  I very clearly remember stepping down into that slick pool and standing alongside the edge just long enough to get my swimsuit wet so it could hang in the shower drying and be seen by dad. Haha! I never asked for another pool.

   I have a trip brewing in my mind for in the Fall…. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. I wonder what kind of craziness we’ll experience? Not another green swimming pool, I am sure.

Lori Herr for The Gift of Scent

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