Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Was it just a Childhood Dream?

Looking down from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park to the waters we had traveled the night before.

I was only halfway listening to my son, then just 6 years old, as I impatiently waited for him to put on his shoes so we could walk to school. Perhaps you are familiar with that feeling of knowing that you could do it faster for your kid, but you're trying to teach them self-reliance. He was chattering away and not really concentrating at the task at hand.

"The boat was really big. I was eating a hamburger and looked out the window and saw a whale! Then, we went to a log cabin and went to sleep. We went upstairs, not downstairs, and had pancakes for breakfast..."

"That's a great dream, buddy," I said. "Now hurry up and finish putting on your shoes."

"It wasn't a dream!" he retorted.

"What in the world are you talking about?"

"Don't you remember?" he asked me.

I still had no clue. After some more questioning, it finally clicked! He was talking about our international ferry ride from Victoria, British Columbia to Port Angeles, Washington State and our stay at Elwha Ranch Bed & Breakfast in Olympic National Park. It sounded so magical through the eyes of a little boy.

Photo from another ferry ride earlier that day from Vancouver to Vancouver Island.

What amazed me the most is that we had taken the trip two years earlier when he was only 4-years-old. This was the first time he mentioned it. We had not been reminiscing about it recently or been looking at photos. It was just so special that it stuck out in his mind, although I had no idea at the moment that it was happening.

My boy is now 10-years-old. I brought up this story the other day, remarking at how incredulous I was that he'd remembered a trip so well even though he was young when we did it.

"Yeah," he said, "I still remember what I was drinking when I saw the whale."

"Really?" I couldn't believe it.

"Chocolate milk."

To all of you parents out there who include your preschooler in your travels, you may also be surprised one day at just how much they remember.

The next morning on Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Not realizing what a great time my boy was having, I seem to have taken zero photos of one of his best memories. At least it lives on in his heart.

Related Post:
U.S. National Park Week: Part 1

This post is part of "Travel Photo Thursday" on Budget Travelers Sandbox, Friday Postcards on Walking On Travels, and "Oh the Places I've Been!" on The Tablescaper. Check them out for more around-the-world travel inspiration.


  1. I had a similar experience when I was really young. My parents brought me to Niagara Falls, and years later I remembered the yellow raincoats out of the blue.

  2. Hi Michelle,

    I just nominated you for the Sunshine Award on my blog!

    Brittany Ruth

  3. what a lovely story! And yes, so true ....now my children are grown up, I'm amazed at the tiny details they sometimes come up with from their childhoods!

  4. Hi Michelle, what a lovely story. It reminded me of my own. When I was 13, my family were on vacation with close family friends. I told them about my very first plane ride. My parents were shocked beyond words how much details I remembered -- I was only 2 years old.

  5. P.s. I so love the last photo of your boys. So precious.

  6. Awww, how beautiful, Michele! You're right, though. Those memories stay in our hearts forever.
    I still remember some of the trips I took as a youngster. The ones with my mom, just the two of us, are even more special now that she's gone.

  7. I have two sisters who are much younger then me, and now that they're near-adults I find myself amazed when they remember things we did together when they were very young - I never knew at the time I was making an impression. I'm so glad we did things that made good memories!

  8. I have a really good memories dating back to being 3 and 4 years old, Interesting though what sticks in a memory and what causes it to stick. The brain is a fascinating organ. And what a great memory for your son.

  9. OMG, I'm absolutely in love with that photo of your 2 boys! Just so adorable! You better blow that one up and frame it! ;D

    -Maria Alexandra

  10. Sometimes the best photos are those stored in our heads.

  11. That's such a sweet story! I have been amazed over the years at some of things that my daughters have remembered from trips when they were quite young - often things that I had a great deal of trouble recalling!


I read each and every comment. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Comment moderation is on, so your comment may not appear immediately.

Web Analytics