I’m off working a board meeting and annual convention for the Day Job this week, which has me thinking about family vacations. For many of our attendees, this convention is their chance to get off the farm as a family and see friends from across the country.

My most scarring vacation memory was a 20-hour drive from Minnesota to North Carolina. I was stuck in the backseat with my younger sister and her birthday present: a cat. Now Tumbler (yes, she named him Tumbler) spent the first year of his life as a farm cat and didn’t take too well to car travel or the small kennel. The Parentals figured they’d have him neutered right before the trip and then he’d be under for most of the drive. Know how long that cat was under anesthesia for the 20-hour drive? 45 minutes. Not exaggerating.

So for 19 hours and 15 minutes this farm cat is banging his head against the front of his carrier and mewing, my sister is freaking out, my Mom is trying to calm everyone down, and Dad is driving like his life depends on it. Good times.

Vacations are milestones in childhood and can be great ways to illustrate character. Because, let me tell you, you learn a lot about other people when stuck in a car with a feral animal.

What was your most memorable vacation? Can anyone think of some good examples from literature?