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Thread: “We spent our summers at....”

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    “We spent our summers at....”

    The phrase, “We spent our summers at this camp in the Catskills... or Ocean City... or the Jersey Shore” is something that I hear baby boomers say, but don’t hear younger generations say. What happened to the idea of a repeating destination resort where you would spend a few weeks there with the entire family and it was always the same people who would go year after year?

    The movie Dirty Dancing is based on this concept and takes full advantage of the setting. They played off of the idea of summer romance within a short time. The vacationing girl falling for the staff bad boy, and a list of available activities, classes, dinners, side adventures, and even a closing talent show to cap the perfect vacation.

    I know my Grandparents did this when they were living in Detroit. Every year they would take 2 or 3 weeks, drive up to the middle of the UP where they would stay on a lake. They had the same few weeks every year and everyone around them at the camp also had the same few weeks. It created a small community of vacationers, and eventually, several of them bought property on the other side of the lake, and became real neighbors.

    Does anyone do this anymore? Do you have a vacation place that you go to on the same weekend year after year? Do you see the same people there every time you go? Why has this idea fallen the way of the record player and tail fins on cars? Could we see a resurgence of this idea? How would society have to change for this to happen? Do these destination resorts, such as the Catskills even exist anymore?
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism." - George Washington

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Owning a second home or even renting a vacation home is now out of reach for all but the luckiest of young families.

    I have always lived in a summer tourism destination, so most of my past vacations have been taken in the winter.

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    The wife and I always spend a long weekend in Savannah - usually on or around Fathers Day weekend.



    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    Owning a second home or even renting a vacation home is now out of reach for all but the luckiest of young families.
    What does luck have to do with it? I'm just curious about that particular choice of wording...
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    Cyburbian Plus
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    Parents bought a second home (Jersey Shore) 36+ yrs ago.

    I look forward to visiting because for the last nine years my California brother and family come back east.

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    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    I spent my summers as a kid in front of the TV and cutting lawns. Now, the Mrs. and I would like to take a vacation around our anniversary (July 31) to a different Carribean island every year. My dream trip is a European Rail Vacation starting in London and ending in Barcelona.
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    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  6. #6
    Ditto. My family couldn't afford to take resort vacations. We would trek from VT to NJ to visit family for a week or so, but that's all.
    Plus, we had extensive gardens to tend and animals to feed and water. You just can't leave for weeks on end with those sorts of responsibilities at home. Nonetheless, there were acres of woods to roam, bikes to ride and stuff to do to stay busy. I would bike to the library at least once or twice a week to get books, and that was my escape. Otherwise, you found yourself knee-deep in green beans to be snapped or lawn that needed to be mowed.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    We spent the summers at... home. Because my dad was a farmer. But having 160 acres to play on was pretty fun.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    My husbands father has a time share. We got it a couple of summers, We are kind of secretly hoping that we may get it in the will. Since both his sibling are on the west coast and would never use it.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    What happened to the idea of a repeating destination resort where you would spend a few weeks there with the entire family and it was always the same people who would go year after year?
    The idea has been greatly romanticized by Hollywood, i.e. Dirty Dancing. I highly doubt that your concept of a "summer getaway" was that widely enjoyed by Baby Boomers when they were younger. It was more of an upper class thing.

    Stop watching so many movies.......

  10. #10
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    we took the traditional family summer vacation, loading the kids in the station wagon and heading off to a rural or urban locale

    my uncle also had a camp on Cross Lake in NY

    I went to day camp provided by the local recreation department

    I also did the mowing lawns thing until I was 16 and then was a mall rat, selling shoes to unsuspecting men

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    <snip>Do these destination resorts, such as the Catskills even exist anymore?
    Last time I checked, the Catskill Mountains were still there.

    The Catskill Mtn region has changed tremendously since the '50s and '60s. My grandparents used to spend a few weeks at one of the many resorts in Sullivan County that catered to New York Jews -- the area was known as the Borscht Belt! -- but many of those places are long gone. I think the decline of those resorts (e.g., Kutsher's, Grossinger's) was due to several factors: 1) assimilation and the aging of their customer base; 2) increased use of the automobile for travel, as the road networks improved and more people were able to purchase cars; and 3) the ability of the middle-class to travel by airplane, facilitating travel to more distant locations. In addition, consumers have certain standards now that the resorts from that era could not meet. There was much more emphasis on social/group activities; you didn't go to a resort to "do your own thing." You'd often see the same people every year, and they became lifelong friends (or my grandparents would travel to the resort WITH their friends and relatives). Kosher meals were served family-style. There was little reason to leave the resort because everything was right there.

    Some of the ski areas, like Hunter Mountain, are expanding into year-round destination resorts to diversify, selling or leasing real estate and offering various recreational activities. I see these places are markedly different from the old resort model, however, primarily catering to individuals and families rather than large groups. They are also more upscale.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    What happened to the idea of a repeating destination resort where you would spend a few weeks there with the entire family and it was always the same people who would go year after year?
    We work in America. You don't get vacation time here...

    Actually, we didn't spend our summers anywhere because my Dad's landscape business precluded the whole family from leaving town for an extended period of time. Mom and I would go to Memphis at least once a summer and Grandma would take me back to South Bend, IN and Cincinnati to visit family. (Talk about hot and humid...)

    I got to experience the wife's family's week in a sweet cabin outside of Nelson, BC. That was a cool setting, right on Koontenay Lake. Of course, they would go the same week every year and hang out with the same people. That ended when the Provincial Police found the owners' grow op in the woods. [buzzkills] (And you'd think they'd be "cool" in BC.. hmmm).
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Sullivan County and the Catskill really has become an 'it' place again for the NY metro area. It really is the shabby chic area. People are starting to dump the hamptons for the hills of the catskill and hudson valley. Of course it has been first targetted by the gay and lesbian community,,, areas like Smallwood, Montecello, Livingston Manor, Callicoon, New Paltz and Woodstock. There even is a gay radio program on NPR that broadcast throughout the Catskills. http://www.daytobegay.org/

    me... I spent my summers on the Jersey Shore.. grandparents has a place in Chadwick Beach.
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    When I was a child my family owned a beach house on the Oregon Coast so my mom, who was a homemaker, and I would spend quite a bit of time there during the summer. That went away after the divorce.

    When my mom was a child in the 1940s and 1950s she and her siblings would spend the entire summer at the beach at a house my grandmother would rent for them and the "help". It was definitely an upper class thing. When I was in high school many of my friends' families had condos in places like Sunriver and Seventh Mountain.

    Nowadays though there is no way that I could ever afford to
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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    My grandfather had a place on the Gulf Coast, so we spent a week there every year plus weekends when it was our time in the rotation.

    The courthouse used to close during the month of August in New Orleans (before air-conditioning). My dad is a lawyer. So for several years we would vacation fin August somwhere (Arizona, Colorado, the Smoky Mountains). That was great fun.
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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    When I was very young, my dad's family would all take their vacations at the same time and go to a fishing camp in northern lower Michigan. For several years after that, we (just our family) did two week marathon driving and camping vacations all over the U.S. and Canada.

    Then we started going to a log cabin fishing camp in the U.P. of Michigan and we did tend to see a number of the same people each year. I actually had one of those summer romances there with a girl who only lived 10 miles from my home. Never saw each other again after that vacation. Probably the best thing for her.

    After I was in college, my parents retired and bought a lot on the lake when the camp went out of business and built their own cabin where they would spend May to October each year. My kids did summers with them for several years which was very helpful when I became a single parent.

    I guess I'm one of those "lucky" people that jmello referred to because I've got a 2nd place in the country where I spend most weekends. I don't really consider it a vacation home though and try to travel for a couple weeks each year when and if time and money permit.
    Last edited by ofos; 17 Aug 2007 at 11:08 AM.

  17. #17
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    We used to go down to the Redneck Riviera every other summer for a week--Port Aransas/North Padre Island on the Texas Gulf Coast. In the off years my parents tried to take us somewhere "cooler" with more cultural stuff going on (and was usually more expensive). Probably the favorite of those trips was one to New York City, and I've been itching to go back ever since.

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    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    We used to go down to the Redneck Riviera every other summer for a week--Port Aransas/North Padre Island on the Texas Gulf Coast.
    I always heard the Red Neck Riviera was where RJ is....
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    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    The idea of going to the same place every year is bizarre to me- you have limited funds, I'd rather see someplace new. My parents took us somewhere new every year, for the most part. Not necessarily exotic (i.e. Milwaukee) but new.
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  20. #20
    We used to rent a log cabin on Lake Hopatcong -- the largest man-made lake in NJ -- IIRC. Mom didn't work back in those days and dad would commute down to his tile job from the lake. We'd spend about two weeks there each summer. That lasted until dad lost his job when the business went belly-up in about '71 or '72 and mom had to go to work to make ends meet.

    Indeed, I think women entering the workforce in the late '60s and early '70s doomed places like the Poconos and the Catskills more than anything else.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    My family never repeated the same summer vacation destination twice. But, we never went anywhere all that exciting, either, aside from going to Los Angeles when I was 16.

    Around here tons of people have vacation homes.... cabins in the Wisconsin Northwoods. I would love to find a great resort up there, that we can go to as a family for an extended weekend at least once a year.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    As I revisit this thread, I have to ask: MSkis, what are you doing watching Dirty Dancing?
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  23. #23
    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    Mskis is getting married soon- I bet its his fiance's
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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Off-topic:
    As I revisit this thread, I have to ask: MSkis, what are you doing watching Dirty Dancing?
    Nobody puts Baby in a corner!!

  25. #25
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    I guess I'm one of those "lucky" people that jmello referred to because I've got a 2nd place in the country where I spend most weekends. I don't really consider it a vacation home though and try to travel for a couple weeks each year when and if time and money permit.
    Quote Originally posted by Bubba View post
    What does luck have to do with it? I'm just curious about that particular choice of wording...
    Allow me to clarify. I should have said:

    "Outside of the most affordable areas of the country, owning a second home or even renting a vacation home is now out of reach for all but the most privileged of young families." And, by "renting a vacation home," I do not mean for a weekend or a few days.

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