My Florida March Break circa the 70’s!

As soon as March hits, my mind is flooded with memories of family trips to Florida.  What a lucky kid I was!  I still remember my Dad driving the whole way.  My Mom would sit in the front and cut up fruit for everyone, feeding my Dad as he drove and my brother and I would be squished in the back seat with our Oma while she puffed on her Matinee Extra Mild cigarettes.  Oh, those were the days.

If you grew up during this time I’m sure you have some pretty fond memories as well.  Perhaps we even share some! I hope so. XO

1)      Music for the car ride – My Dad was in control of what was played in the car, he was the driver so that was his decision.  He always enjoyed relaxing music with simple lyrics that he could sing along to.  You guessed it – “Yacht Rock” is what we listened to.  Some of my favourite songs are from many of the One or Two Hit Wonder Bands that monopolized the air waves back in those days.  Songs like “How Long” by Ace, “I Love You” by The Climax Blues Band, “Him, Him, Him” by Rupert Holmes and “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by Elvin Bishop.

2)      The motel check in – Once we arrived, checking into the Motel was the BEST!  Because we were on holiday my brother and I were allowed to buy a pop! Like, whatever we wanted!  We were each given 75 cents and away we went!  It was so much fun to run in that warm air in search of the Pop Machine.  Always located close to the pool and right beside the ice machine.  Mountain Dew was a big hit with us but Mello Yello took over as our favourite in the late 70’s.  This is where we first discovered pop cans with two holes.  One for venting and the other for drinking. The States were so ahead of Canada with new technology!

3)      All you can eat seafood – For the most part our room always had a kitchen.  My parents would buy fresh fish and cook the most delicious meals in the room.  BUT, we would have a few evenings out and it was always for Seafood.  I don’t think I ever ate a steak in Florida, EVER!  ( I remember once, after a week or 10 days of seafood, my brother asked: “Pleeease, Mom and Dad, could we please have a hamburger?”) We would get all dressed up for the evening.  I had a beautiful go-to pink dress.  My Mom made it for me and it had a lovely little red roses on it.  My Oma would style my hair and I felt so pretty and all grown up.  Upon arrival at the restaurant my parents would order themselves a cocktail to start.  My Dad a Whiskey Sour and my Mom a Dubonet on The Rocks.  My Oma preferred a coffee and of course my brother and I hit the Pop Fountain.   Some of the dishes we pigged out on were as follows: Peel’n’Eat Shrimp, Oysters Rockefeller, Crab Cakes and Snow Crab with garlic butter!

4)      The sand between my toes and the ocean waves – The beach was where we hung out all day long.  Building sandcastles, throwing a beach ball around, collecting shells and burying our Dad in the sand if he let us. The whole family used “Coppertone 4” sun tan lotion to ensure a deep dark tan and my Mom would smother us with Aloe Vera Gel if we got burned.

5)      Fishing on the BIG Boat – I LOVED fishing as a kid!  I was a pro at catching Rock Bass off the Dock at the cottage so when my Dad announced that he was going to take us on a big boat in Florida for a fishing excursion I was thrilled!!! Off we went with hats on our heads and a dollop of Noxzema on our noses.  We spent the whole day on the boat in the middle of the ocean with other fishing enthusiasts.  We were taught how to use their bigger rods and the bait that went on the hook was far different from the earth worms I was used to.  Our bait was made up of smaller fish like sardines and pinfish and in some cases we used colourful lures.   Whatever we caught we could keep.  We proudly marched off the boat with our catch and our Mom and Oma were delighted to cook us up yet another delicious fish fry!

I would LOVE to hear about your memories of fun in the sun as a kid.  No matter what they were, where they were, or when they were.  Please leave a comment below.

Love

Monica XO

Stay tuned this week as we launch a NEW design to get you into the spirit for “March Break” and beach vibes!

If you’re like me and you’re staying home during the month of March, Click HERE to take a little get-a-way in your jammies under a warm blanket with this crew! You will feel the sunshine, believe me!

6 Comments

kimberley

Ahhh lovely memories Moni!! As for me I’ll never forget the first time I put my toes in the ocean and realize that was where I was always supposed to be ! It was 1978 and I was in North Carolina . Even though the undertow took me for a tumble That any gymnast would have received a 10 for – I was in love with the sea!!! Xo

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Catherine van der Oye

oh those trips to Florida! Trailer in tow, an icebox in between my brother and I filled with hard boiled eggs and ham and cheese sandwiches. They usually lasted until we hit the north of Florida….omg….I couldn’t eat pre-made sandwiches again until I was late in my 20s! I digress….those times camping in the Florida Keys during our Christmas Holiday was fun no matter the weather. My little brother, Nicholas and I would comb the beach for treasures, snorkel all day, and search for conchs, which my mom would cook up and serve us for lunch. One day we pigged out on sea urchins. With a French mom, it was always a surprise with food. These memories in the Florida Keys were so fond that Nicholas had his wedding on the very beach we used to play on. The smells were the same. It was also a beach that you, your mom and I returned to and happily swam in…..before we went somewhere to pig out on seafood. I have the pictures to prove it!

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Monica Graves

What a magical time we shared together. Thank goodness for all the memories. I sure do love having you in so many of my most treasured ones XO

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Sandi Laing

Ah, 1974, our first family road trip to Florida. My oldest sister stayed home because apparently she was too cool to go away with us. So the 5 of us loaded in the car, opened the windows so the smoke from Dad’s Rothman cigarettes could escape and we headed to St Pete’s beach for a week. Being Canadian, we thought the water was beautiful but it was too cold for Floridians. More room for us!

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Steve

Nothing better than the ocean over March Break. I loved the road trip as well. Great memories Monica! And Ace still kills it

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