Summer is upon us and so we break out the great summer travel flicks: Crossroads,Thelma and Louise, and of course, every “Vacation” movie ever made. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about then you are already missing out on the wonderful, family-friendly humor of Chevy Chase. In the “Vacation” series Chevy plays Clark Griswold, a bumbling all-American dad with a heart of gold and an uncanny knack for embarrassing his children. Whether touring Big Ben or valiantly driving his family through hard ship into the magical amusement park, Wally World, Chevy Chase offers a painfully honest portrayal of the average American father. Now that Father’s Day is nigh it’s time to celebrate dads and all of the horrible and endearing vacations they want their families’ to embark upon.
Civil War Battlefields
This isn’t true for me–Civil War battlefields are actually a passion of mine (insert judgement here). However, I’ve heard, from friends much less interested in the preservation of our nation’s history, that these vacations are the worst! There are the big kahunas like Gettysburg and Mannassas which are intriguing enough but then there are the obscure ones in rural Missouri where, if you weren’t paying attention in 8th grade, you might not even know they exist. Whichever one your family journeys to, two things are inevitable: you will want a plastic sword from the gift shop and your father will most likely quote the emancipation proclamation.
“No way!!!” You may be thinking. To which I reply, “Yes way.” While the happiest place on earth is also the most overpriced, plastic, unsustainable, hot, and humid places on earth it is also an ABSURDLY convenient mode of vacation for families of all shapes and sizes. One price includes food, lodging, and entry to the park. It does not include the weight you will gain or the plastic crap your children will want to buy. For parents that just want their kids to travel in their childhood and for that wondrous look when your nineteen-year-old daughter meets Belle for the first time–the benefits of a trip to Disney World outweigh the costs.
Anywhere there are extensive golf courses
Call me new-fangled, or tell me I lack class but I would rather retake the SAT than play a round of golf. Unfortunately, my dad, like many dads, lives for the sport. The tedious lugging of clubs, the infuriating lack of exercise, the fact is the only sport you can be proficient in while smoking a cigar–for these reasons our fathers flock. Whether you are (God forbid) in Scottsdale, or somewhere in Florida, your father will dig a vacation void of site seeing and will embrace his pastel polos for one more rousing round.
Abraham Lincoln’s Grave
While I love our 16th president as much as any red-blooded American a week long trip to Springfield, Illinois didn’t make it onto my bucket list. However, like every white, middle-classed father in the United States my father has a raging man crush on Abraham Lincoln. While most would agree his efforts to preserve the Union were harrowing and memorial worthy, Springfield offers literally almost nothing else besides the tomb and other biographical sites of our great former president. If you’re hungry, grab a corn dog (supposedly invented in Springfield), its going to be a long vacation.
Fishing in Oklahoma
Despite growing up in eastern Oklahoma I never developed a passion for bass fishing. However, fishing seems to be one of those activities that dads claim are, “for the whole family”. While I can appreciate the peaceful nature of fishing, rod in hand, a lot has changed since the popularization of noodling. That is, catching a catfish with your bare hand. It doesn’t matter the shape, size, education, or economic status of your father–give him a rod and a cargo vest and he will start talking like a cast member of “The Deadliest Catch”.
Extensive road trip to anywhere
Road trips, especially during the summer, are magical, wondrous events filled with embarrassing music and trashy pit stops. As a child, however, having your father drive you across the country, or anywhere for that matter, can be unrealistically boring. If you’re with my dad, he’ll refuse to use the air conditioner and will make you listen to either Peter, Paul, and Mary or tennis on the radio. Ask any one of your friends and I’m sure they have a road trip horror story that revolves completely around the stubbornness of their father. If you don’t have any friends with these stories, YOU are the infuriating road trip dad–sorry.