Friday, 13 January 2012

#FlashbackFriday: My favourite holiday

There is a competition over at Tots100 to win an Al Fresco holiday for sharing our favourite holiday on our blogs. So I would like to share mine with you today..

I am going to take you way back to the summer of 1979 (so not many photos to hand!). As a family we usually went camping, youth hostelling or stayed on farms in the UK and France for our holidays. However this time my mum had inherited some money so we were able to travel to the USA for the first time ever to see family and friends.

We started our 3 week adventure with a flight from Prestwick Airport on our first ever Jumbo Jet. This was the era of the Junior Jet Club and my brother and I got taken to explore the cockpit mid flight (this would never be allowed these days!). I remember seeing ice bergs from the plane and finding it amazing. Then we had to face the "joys" of US immigration which I was very intimidating. It was then a cab ride to another New York airport to catch a flight to San Francisco. After a full day travelling we landed in a very hot California. We were staying with friends of my parents and I was amazed at the outdoor pool! 

Driving down the twisted streets of San Francisco and riding on the tram was brilliant. Another highlight of this part of the stay was a visit to the giant Redwood trees, Then we drove down Highway One (I would love to repeat this) to Los Angeles. This has to be one the most amazing journeys you can do in the States. Fantastic scenery and stops at places like Monterrey to see the otters and ride on the carousel.

Our next stop was Los Angeles and probably the best bit of the holiday for children - Disneyland! At this time there was nothing even approaching Disneyland that we had been to before. The rides were incredible (and scary) with Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean and Small World sticking in my memory. We spent an amazing full day including the final parade and were very attached to our souvenirs:

We had another day visiting Universal Studios and enjoyed the tour being attacked by Jaws and Battlestar Galactica! My dad was volunteered to do a tug of war against Wonder Woman and of course lost...

Then we had a drive that included the Hoover Dam to get to Las Vegas. All I remember of Vegas was Circus Circus with its incredible acts. Afterwards we went to stay a night at the Grand Canyon. My mum will never forget me nearly not stopping my hired bike in time before heading over the edge (you had to back pedal to brake...)!

We then flew on to Washington DC where someone stole my dad's camera. I remember seeing the famous buildings but the thing that sticks in my head was the foot long sandwiches - we would share one for lunch and keep some for tea.

That is all I can remember as it is 32 years ago since we went but I'll never forget what at the time was a very unusual holiday for a British family. It introduced us to McDonald's Happy Meals and Drive Thrus - the first UK one we went to opened in Milton Keynes in 1980. An amazing experience and one that gave me my love for visiting the USA, I have been back 3 times since and would love to take my children one day..

Meanwhile I'll go and dream by looking at the Al Fresco website in the hope I can get to go on one of their holidays..


  1. I remember the first time I saw a drive thru restaurant I suddenly understood what that opening scene in The Flintstones cartoons was all about. I'd watched it practically all my life and never got it.

  2. Great memories. I remember going into the cockpit of an aeroplane on more than one occasion. Definitely different times.


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