Vacation Wonderland

Every summer was spent at the river. As kids, my mom would yell at us from the rocky shore to keep our faces out of the water & we’d dive in anyway, coming up for air in the middle of giant black inner inner tubes with metal valves that would scrape our skin. We’d sleep on the cabin deck at night, adding mosquito bites to mix of marks on our legs.

Later on, we’d get tipsy on warm beer & crash our canoes. We’d bring 17 adults to watch over 5 children because it’s hard to tell who is really the “grown-ups” when you’re there.

Summer has a strangeness at this spot in the world. It feels like the present moment & every day of childhood. It smells like BBQ smoke & sunscreen. In just a few steps, the temperature flips between the baking, black pavement & the cool, mildewy redwood floor. Somehow there seems to be only classic rock stations on the radio & all your shoes disappear.

It’s sweet & falling apart. It’s magical & completely crappy. It’s a natural resource & a nostalgia that’s worn-in & so well-loved… that’s why I’ve been documenting it all these years.

Welcome to Vacation Wonderland.

Photography: Meg Messina Photography | Film & Processing: Richard PhotolabKodak & Ilford

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