Travel Memories from Cat [Sunshine And Siestas]

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“What is your most memorable childhood travel memory?” That’s what I’ve asked over 50 travel bloggers and other travel addicts. These are their personal stories and photos.

Today, I interview Cat from Sunshine and Siestas!


Hi Cat, do you remember the first time you went travelling?

My parents tell me I took my first plane trip at age three, from Michigan to California to visit family. I have a very vague memory of a border town in Mexico and eating something spicy, as well as slipping in a big blue bathtub at my grandfather’s an not being able to calm down. Sadly, that hysteria has followed me through my travels all throughout my life!


Once I turned seven, my dad scoured the Internet on our new computer for deals, and we began taking two family trips a year. We explored the Midwest, met Mickey Mouse and took trips to National Parks. He finally made his dream of owning a second house in the mountains come true about five years ago. Copper Mountain, Colorado is now our trusty travel destination.


Did your parents travel much before you were born?

I don’t believe my parents travelled much before I was born, but they claim to have been chasing me since I was in diapers. Since my sister and I have gotten older, they’ve become much more seasoned travellers because it’s always been me pushing them!

Since coming to Spain, we try and travel each Christmas – I’ve been home for the holidays just once in six years, as we’ve opted for Spain, Morocco, Ireland and China!


What was your favourite holiday destination as a child, a teenager and an adult?



My weeks at Camp Lone Oak were always the travel highlight of my summer. I was a tomboy, so anywhere where I could get a bit of mud under my fingernails was fine by me.



My maternal grandfather began taking us to the Rockies to ski. We went to Aspen, Copper, Cascade and Mammoth, continuing this tradition until he passed away while I was in college. As a joke, he bought my sister and I snowboarding lessons when the ski lessons were booked, and we spent a huge amount of time on our butts, cursing him. I’ve been boarding for nearly 15 years, and it’s just about the only time I tolerate snow (hence why I moved from frigid Chicago to sunny Spain).



Now that I’m an adult who travels on my own time and money, I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful country. After studying abroad in Valladolid, Spain, I made it my mission to return to the land of sunshine and siestas. I now call Seville my hogar dulce hogar, and Spain is my absolute favourite place to travel. I’ve seen practically every part and enjoying returning to Galicia, Granada and Madrid over and over again.


Can you tell me what your memory is with these images?


Travel Memories from Cat [Sunshine And Siestas]


Travel Memories from Cat [Sunshine And Siestas]

“We also spent a few weeks at my grandparent’s trailer on Razorback Lake, Wisconsin, fishing and water skiing. My sister and I marvelled at how the kitchen table would transform into a bed after fishing during the afternoon and roasting marshmallows at night.”


Can you remember a specific travel item/gadget you used to take on a trip as a child?

When we were kids, my mother always made sure to pack the Brain Quest cards. Remember those? They were like gigantic flashcards with facts based on what you should know by grade level.

She’d spend the six-hour car rides up to my grandparents’ trailer quizzing us on everything from fractions to presidents. Those trips are synonymous with Chicken in a Biscuit crackers and Capri Sun juice boxes.


Did the way you travelled as a child changed much when you grew up?

My dad saw the entire US out of the window of his parents’ old station wagon, crammed in between his brothers and with no air conditioning.

I often claim he passed down my wanderlust gene, though my mom is the one who forced it to happen: she made me study abroad! Her cousin eloped and my great-grandma McCrae was so furious, she sent my mom to study fashion merchandising and gelato in Rome.


While we saved to be able to travel each year, my father never left North America until I moved to Spain!


Finally: What is your best tip for making a trip memorable?

I am type-A – the publishing calendar for my blog is set a month in advance, my classes at the school where I teach a few weeks in advance. When I travel, I usually make a list of highlights and food recommendations, unwilling to waste any of my time while on a quick city break. But I tend to have my most memorable moments when I’ve stashed that list back in my bag and forgotten about my itinerary. So much of what we experience on a journey has very little to do with what we intended to.


If you want to read more of Cat’s stories, be sure to visit her website: Sunshine and Siestas.


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  • Brain Quest cards! I’d completely forgotten about these! We used to have the French equivalent, Les Incollables, and used them on car rides too.

    Cool interview.

    • I never heard of the cards, but looked it up and it seems like a great way to spend long car rides. So thanks for the tip Cat&Camille :)

  • Great post! Love her wisdom of “so much of what we experience on a journey has very little to do with what we intended to do”. Great pics!

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