As a little kid my mother would pick me up from school on the last day, settle me in the back seat of her 1949 Pontiac, and head for the desert. My dad worked for Caliente Race Track in Tijuana Mexico but in the summer he raced greyhounds in Arizona.
Sometimes we went to Phoenix, way before Phoenix became a metropolis. Sometimes to Yuma (has Yuma become a metropolis yet?)
We would drive, all night it seemed, headed east. There wasn‘t a highway over the mountains in those days. It was one narrow lane each way. Until we hit the long, straight stretch through the desert on the other side, the road was terrifying drop offs, hairpin turns, steep grades, smoking brakes and white knuckles. I slept most of the time.
I don’t remember the evenings. The days though, the days were spent at the pool of whatever hotel we occupied. My mother sunning, reading, sipping cocktails, and warning me not to get her wet. Me, wading around in the shallow end, diving for pennies, hanging on the edge and kicking, sitting on the bottom and practicing holding my breath. I would dog paddle around and float on my back for hours. I loved the water (still do) and would stay in until I was all pruny.
When my lips reached a certain shade of blue my mother would force me from the water, wrap me in a big, fluffy towel and make me bake in the sun until my blood warmed and my color returned to pink. She would apply another coat of zinc oxide to my perpetually peeling nose and then it was back into the pool. Such sweet memories.
How did you spend your summer days as a kid? I would love it if you would share one or two of your favorite memories in the comments.