01 September, 2011

{this memory} 15

Every photo has a story behind it, and this one is no exception. The image of my two daughters and me was taken on a mock Sesame Street set in 1985 or 1986.

We are there because of the small matter of 600 miles. We live in Central New York, and one of the grandmothers lived in Virginia Beach. So any attempt to get granddaughters and said grandmother together meant a journey of 600 miles, a distance longer than these two young girls could tolerate in one day. So we would make it into a two day trip and spend the night somewhere along our route. In addition, 600 miles over two days leaves a fair amount of free time, and we would always look for something interesting to do on one of those days. The real challenge was that there are only so many ways one can vary the route from Central New York and Virginia Beach.

One of the most memorable was a stop at Hershey Park. Our older daughter was tall for her age - unfortunately. I say unfortunately because that meant she was tall enough to be allowed on the Comet, the old style wooden roller coaster. Oh, well. The first time we bottomed out the G-force caused her to lower her chin and head. Then she didn't have muscular strength to lift it back up. It was a pretty good roller coaster though - good enough that I couldn't let go to help her lift her head. I did try. So for much of the ride she simply looked down at the floor of our car. No worries though - today she is still an avid rider of roller coasters, wood or steel.

I don't remember all of the places we visited. I know we stopped: at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey; several stops in Washington DC, of course; the Lewes - Cape May ferry; the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel; and others. We looked for anything that would make the trip more tolerable to young girls.

We also would try to introduce more serious experiences. For example, at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadd's Ford (just west of Philadelphia) you can see paintings from all three generations of Wyeths. They weren't particularly interested as I recall. It but in general they loved to spend the night on the road, to eat in a restaurant, and to do something new and exciting.

One of those stops was at Sesame Place, a themed amusement park just northeast of Philadelphia and west of Trenton. That was where this photo was taken. I don't recall exactly why I was pointing or what they were looking at, but I love their expressions. I love the fact that for a most special special moment I had my two daughters in my lap, and I was able to wrap both my arms around them.

That's a memory I cherish.

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