Summer Vacation

Charlotte ByusBy Charlotte Byus
My normal vacations as a child, until my seventeenth birthday, were spent on the Comal River. My best friend Jerisue, who lived two blocks from me, spent every other weekend going down old Highway 90 to New Braunfels. From early morning to late afternoon, we would “live” in the cold river. We would get out early so we could wash our hair and get ready for the evening and dancing. Both our parents loved the river as well. So, twice a month, Jeri and I were in New Braunfels to play in the river and dance the night away. My mom and dad would take us the first week-end of the month and Jeri’s mom and dad took us the third week-end. Oh what fun we had!

For my senior year vacation, we went to West Texas, Big Bend National Park. Was I asked if that was what I wanted to do? NO! Was I given a choice of who I went with? NO! So, on a sunny morning we left the Heights of Houston and headed west. Daddy always drove. He had us up at 5am and on the road by 6am. In the car was Mom, Dad, Dolores, 3yr old Bobby and me. Oh, what fun! Our stops were dictated by the driver, my Dad. But, if three women had to pee, he would stop to shut us up. Thank goodness …

We stopped, and spent the night at a famous hotel where the stars of Giant spent the months while shooting the movie. We stopped at Judge Roy Beans’ Bar. As you can tell, I was very excited. Did any of these places have a cold pool to jump into after a long drive? NO!

We had reservations for a cabin at Big Bend National Park and all of our meals were at the café on the property. As you may know, if you have ever been there, that is your only choice.

I got to take a horse ride through the park by myself, oh what a delight! Dressed in my boots, jeans, cowboy shirt and hat, off I went without that 3 yr old Bobby beside me. Mom & Dad loved horseback riding, so I was an experienced horseback rider. I had spent several years of week-ends on the Salt Grass Trail, so I got an experienced horse. We climbed mountains and down to the river. We really enjoyed all the beauty, the cactus and rock formations. I fell in love with the sparseness, the high hills, beautiful valleys and the funny little critters.

While on the trail, I met a photographer from National Geographic. We enjoyed chatting about his travels all over the world. He had fun taking his pictures and I had fun being in a few. Of course, I asked him to send me some pictures, but he never did. Darn!

The trip had its good and bad points like Daddy’s driving. We stopped at some really fun places. All in all, I must have enjoyed the vacation, because I can still remember most of it!

Happy Memorial Day

[CB: May-23-2023]

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