My brother, like myself, developed a love of travel at an early age. He became a corporate travel agent and traveled extensively. He loved European cities, Disney World, Mexican and Caribbean beach holidays with his Texas buddies, cruises with our parents, and Christmas gatherings with his family. He recently passed and I’ve been thinking about the times we traveled together.
As kids, our parents would pile the four of us into the station wagon in the middle of the night and we’d drive from Ohio to Florida to visit our grandparents. Ford station wagons were pre- Subaru Outbacks for those of you born after the 1980s! Three of us would be in the one large back seat. Rarely Todd and I sat next to each other because he loved playing the “touching game” which meant that he would put his finger a millimeter from my body and when I yelled at him to stop, he’d say “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you!” He did it to me because I was his only younger sister, such a smartass. It was incessantly annoying!
As we all grew up and moved to various states, coming together at Christmas became our family ritual. In the beginning, our sisters in Ohio and Michigan usually hosted since they had young children, later the family gathered at my place in Colorado. Todd became the family photographer and videographer producing holiday celebration DVDs. There would be a theme for the year such as “Holy lights” or “Caribbean Christmas” where we all had to show up for the family photo in our funniest Caribbean outfit. Todd wore “village people” style white, tight, tie up the front men’s swim trunks, and there I was thinking that coming out in my scuba gear would take the show! Another year we decided to do Italian Christmas because I had been nicknamed Mama Rosa after a lasagna I made that everyone loved, and Todd was Dante. My brother Todd was the master of accents and acting, so as we sat down to dinner he fell into an Italian routine as Dante explaining how he had made dinner and the time he had met the “Popa”! We were in tears! As you can imagine, our family is so grateful to have those memories on DVDs.
I always knew Todd was a sun worshiper, but on a trip to Cancun with our sister Deann, Todd literally would lie motionless in the sun for hours and hours with one application of sunscreen. Deann and I would go down to the beach early in the morning to grab a cabana so we could have some shade. If one of us got up to go get another cocktail, Todd might open an eye and ask us to grab him one also. I’ve never seen anybody adore the sun that way and was always amazed that he never got third degrees burns. He loved the sun and water. That was the trip where all three of us fell in love with a beautiful man also sunbathing named Favio!
A few years back the four of us siblings went to Costa Rica. Our adventures included ziplining, ATVs, hiking, and hot springs. We stayed in a treehouse; literally a tree came up through the middle of the structure. I shared the two twin bedded loft at the top of a steep and narrow wooden staircase with my brother. If one of us forgot something as we went upstairs for the night, we’d yell down to the other, “hey, bring me my…” when you come up. One night, I forgot my cute pink nightie with black hearts so I yelled down to him to bring it up to me when he came to bed. Oh he brought it up to me, not in his hand, but on his body, modeling it went he reached to top! “Gross, I’ll never wear that again!” You just never knew with Todd; such a great sense of humor and a warm heart.
Travel was the passion we shared. I’m so grateful that we were able to create such wonderful memories and that he engraved some of them on DVDs for my family. Whatever your passion, I hope you’re able to share it with the people in your life. Don’t just think and talk about the trips you want to do with the people you love. Do it, make that call today and set those plans in motion so you make those memories that will last a lifetime.