Father’s Day 2014: Recalling Travels with Dad

A father’s influence is felt forever. Here, five travel bloggers share memories.
* One man sought out extended life experiences abroad for his family.
* A father-daughter road trip is relished for a lifetime.
* Natural wonders provided the backdrop for family exploration together.
* A dad’s curious mind and gravitational pull to the sea inspired yearning for the unknown.
* And remarkably, one daughter researched and retraced her father’s footsteps in WWII.
The collaboration and writing brought smiles and tears. May you engage your own memories as Father’s Day nears.


Suzanne Fluhr
I inherited my considerable wanderlust from my art teacher father.  When I was nine, in 1963, he decided we should live in Mexico for a year. With no particular plan, my parents rented out our house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, piled all three kids into the back of our unreliable 1957 Chevy and headed for Mexico where, eventually, we ended up in San Miguel de Allende. I was the oldest of three daughters, at age nine.

During the summer of 1968, we were off again — this time in a similarly unreliable 1963 Chevy. He drove us  over 6,000 miles to California and back. I was the designated navigator, sitting  up front with him and our AAA Triptik.

The following year found us living in Devizes, Wiltshire, England, where Dad was an exchange teacher.  After the school year, we camped around France, Italy and Spain in a borrowed tent. Dad was in his element, showing us around the famous art museums: the Louvre in Paris, the Uffizi in Florence and the Prado in Madrid. His enthusiasm was infectious and we often acquired a gaggle of other tourists listening in to Dad’s “lectures”.

We lost Dad in 2011. He would have loved hearing about our recent travels to Southeast Asia and Hawaii.

Suzanne Fluhr is a recovering lawyer who blogs about Baby Boomer travel for the body and mind at Boomeresque.

Billie and Herb Woodland 1958

Billie Frank
My dad was not an easy man. It’s a long story for another time, but we did share two passions: food and travel. We were dedicated road trippers. My mother was always happy to stay home with a book, so on weekends my dad and I would get into the car and take off for a day trip. When I was 10, we did our first overnight trip without my mother. We headed to Lancaster, PA, the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, about three hours from our NYC home. All these years later, I still remember visiting a farm, seeing Amish people drive by in their black horse-drawn buggies and eating a traditional regional meal in a historic building. On Saturday night we saw the Doris Day movie, Pajama Game at a movie theater in Redding, PA that clearly had its roots in vaudeville. On Sunday morning, after a hearty breakfast we headed home full of memories that have lasted me a lifetime.

Billie Frank and Steve Collins have been on the road together, one way or another since 1973. We are passionate about food, travel and our home-town, Santa Fe, NM.  Visit our site: Santa Fe Travelers  @ http://www.santafetravelers.com.

dad chris cathy at grand canyon

Catherine Sweeney
My dad never flew on a commercial airliner, but he loved to travel and be on the move. He liked going places, whether it was for a drive in the Illinois countryside on a Sunday afternoon or a cross-country excursion. That appreciation for being on the road was shared by my mom and I was very fortunate to be brought up with that same love of being on-the-go and enjoying travel experiences. While I was growing up, we covered most of the 50 states and parts of Canada and Mexico on road trips by car, truck and RV. For several years before Dad died in 2006, I also joined him (and my mom before she died in 2000) on driving trips from California to Chicago taking various routes — some new and some that retraced our steps of long ago. They are all travel memories that I treasure.

Here are Dad, Chris and Cathy at the Grand Canyon.

Catherine Sweeney is a boomer woman traveler who approaches new destinations as well as familiar favorites with eager anticipation and youthful enthusiasm. See more at http://travelingwithsweeney.com/

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Lisa Richardson
Marine surveying took my Dad to large bodies of water in the Chesapeake, Norfolk, New Orleans and St. Croix for vessel salvage and investigation. At home in Maryland, the rec room boasted brass remnants of these journeys.  He engineered a bar with portholes, the focal point a sailing ship that took years to handcraft.  My sandbox was a rowboat.  In lieu of travel, Dad’s real relaxation and fascination was creating with his hands in his basement workshop. He could repair or create anything. My husband is well aware of this. The bar is set very high.

Family trips took us regularly to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in PA, once to Niagara Falls, Nags Head, N.C., and twice to Ocean City, MD.  These were golden.

When my parents visited us on the west coast, we checked off day trips to Disneyland and the Huntington Library.  His preferred activity, though, was studying the oil fields in Brea, CA, producing a brass replica of the pumpjack.

I so love the rolled-up pants and barefoot side of Dad in this shot in Laguna Beach, CA, 1980.  Perhaps it was the spell of the ocean which generated this image of him and fathered a daughter’s wandering.

Lisa Richardson is a semi-retired nurse/ travel writer with a lust for travel and an enthusiasm for the written word.
For more blogs of life, family and travel, see https://nonnaswanderings.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/

EUGENE-Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden-Earl+Carole-c Esther-scan-crop

Carole Terwilliger Meyers
I never took a trip as an adult with just my dad.  However, I did take a virtual journey with him back in time to when he was stationed with the Marines on Maui during World War II.  I captured the story and wrote one of my best articles ever, and he appreciated it.  He said to me after reading it, “Carole, you got it right.”  I tried to get him to go to a military reunion with me in tow, but he would have none of it—with or without me.  The story ends with him buried at Arlington, which was technically my last trip with him.

You can read my story about him here, http://www.berkeleyandbeyond.com/carousel-press/dad_s_story.html

The picture is of me and my dad, Earl Terwilliger, in Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden near his home in Eugene, Oregon.

Carole Terwilliger Meyers is a freelance travel writer and the author of 17 books. For more travels with Carole, see http://www.travelswithcarole.blogspot.com

12 thoughts on “Father’s Day 2014: Recalling Travels with Dad

  1. What a nice collection of stories about dads! I’m happy to see my dad’s story among them. Reading some of the other comments provoked memories that he also did not like flying–he only flew once–but he did love to take the family on road trips, the more difficult the better (he loved dirt roads). 🙂

  2. Thanks for including my photo and story about my dad. Enjoyed reading the other stories, too. Carole mentioned in her comment about how her dad liked taking the difficult, often dirt, roads in his travels — mine was the same way. We kicked up a lot of dust on our road trips! 🙂

  3. I loved this post! Neither of my parents are travelers at all. I have no idea how I inherited this wanderlust trait. I will be visiting my father on Father’s Day this year. I want to do something special as he has stage 4 cancer and is receiving chemo. He’s doing well, but we can’t go too far. Hopefully I can participate in a post like this next year. I think you did a very nice job putting this together. I’m sure that its a lot of work.

  4. I was Daddy’s “big girl” but the thrill is unmatched, Neva. It is grand to bring memories and old photos forward again. And hear other stories as well.

  5. As adults you don’t remember what your parents bought you that was your heart’s desire at that particular time. Rather, you remember the time they spent with you opening up your world and sharing places that they enjoyed with you. This was a terrific post and each story was moving.

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