Last week I forced myself to put together an iPhoto album from my massive file of summer vacation pictures. I try to do this once a season and enlist the girls help with caption-writing — the final product could rival a John Irving novel for how many exclamation points they make me use — and usually this is all I need to do to feel like I’ve sufficiently locked away the memories for safekeeping. But this time, I added a new album to the mix. It’s a collection of our “car quizzes” (above) which we’ve relied on as road trip boredom busters for the past few years. The quizzes are exactly as they sound: an assortment of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, or true or false questions about wherever we’re headed or returning from. My initial goal for the 828-mile trip back from South Carolina was to write a straightforward list of 100 things we did on vacation, but the girls, who have a sixth sense for dutiful, linear, decidedly un-fun games, of course refused, instead begging for quiz after quiz after quiz after quiz. It wasn’t until I got home and looked through all the questions that I realized I had a keepsake that was every bit as revealing as a boring old list.
The quizzes reminded me of so many moments that have already been pushed aside to make mental space for less lovely thoughts, such as Don’t Forget to Call the Oral Surgeon. Like the fishing trip (above) where the girls reeled in some sea trout (below). It was so fresh that all Andy had to do to make it memorable was add a little olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon before grilling to perfection.
Needless to say, more than a few questions end up being about food and dinner.