Had I known that National Sibling Day was approaching, I would have had this post ready to go! Unfortunately, I had no idea until the morning of, so this humble shout out to my sisters is a few days late. When trying to choose a photo for Instagram to commemorate the day I asked myself, how many photos exist of my sisters and me traveling together? Hundreds. Our most recent trip all together, an August 2014 celebration in Disney world, gives us about 50. The trip before that, to Tennessee, yields 32. Our family’s jaunt around Ireland in 2010 boasts a grand total of 40. A girls’ week at Disney in 2011 gives us 17 more. Various beach and shore trips since 2010 add up to 31. So in the last four years, we have 170 travel photos together. All three of us have been alive for 21 years, so assuming similar totals for previous years (which is conservative, because we actually went on more vacations when we were younger, plus my mother was lethal with a camera when we were kids) that’s about 890 travel photos together!
I know I am very lucky to say that my sisters are two of my best friends, so traveling with them was always a blast. My parents never allowed us to invite friends on vacations; they always said that it was family time. And really, all we needed was each other. On long car trips, we rarely plugged headphones into individual walkmans (or later, discmans, or even later iPods). Instead we popped in cassettes (and later CDs, and later an iPod aux cable) so that the entire family could hear and enjoy the same music at the same time. We also played a lot of Brain Quest. My sisters ribbed me for ages about the time I tried to cheat. Peering over my sister’s shoulder to see the answer to the question, “How many US states begin with the letter B?” I smugly declared nine, when in reality it said “none”, and my cheating ways were put on trial in the high court of sisterhood. Once, we sang Old McDonald Had a Farm with so many verses that we had to write them down. He had not only cows and sheep and ducks on his farm but also lobsters, bulls, mosquitos (“with a bite bite here and a bite bite there…”), and spiders as well.
We used to rush ahead of my parents on hiking trails, playing some game of pretend when we were younger, playing word games once we were older. In museums we would arrange ourselves nonchalantly in front of signage in an effort to block it from my mother and get her to hurry along. In shared hotel rooms, sleep talking and sleep walking were often witnessed and recounted for years to come. My mother would arrange us in front of some grand vista, be it the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge or Niagara Falls, hoping to get a photo for a Christmas card. The result was usually a photo with a stunning background that my mom deemed “perfect”, without realizing that one of us had our eyes closed, was hysterically crying, or was picking our nose (no joke, luckily this one never went out with a Christmas card. It does, however, remain framed on the wall of my mother’s kitchen).
I am really blessed to be one of three sisters, and so lucky that we have had so many adventures together. I know that we have many more in our future.