With the opening of bread&cup so close, our family will not be able to take our annual summer trip to Colorado. We’ve made that trip regularly over the last 14 years, when our son was old enough to sit on the back of a bike in a kid seat. The progression from that seat, to a Burley trailer, to the Trail-a-Bike, to both kids having their own bikes is seen in our family photos. While we won’t be taking that trip this year, we have the memories of past excursions to recall.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I agree, but I’m just not PictureDad for some reason. There’s always the dads on vacation with their video gear taping the tour guide explaining the how long it took to carve Mt Rushmore. Anytime I see one of those guys I think of the time it would take me to edit, label and store all the footage from so many events. I start to get a headache. I’ve considered having my wife quit her full time job and do scrapbooking, but that didn’t seem to be feasible.

The mind is a wonderful database where all those events are stored, but over the years I’ve found it helpful to employ a few assistants to aid me in sorting through those past memories, kinda like the bike couriers weaving in and out of traffic to get what you need on your desk in a blink of an eye. Here are some of them I recommend.

Music
Before any trip I take, I like to bring along some new music with me to enjoy. I’m still old fashioned and like buying the actual CD instead of just downloading from iTunes. I can go through my collection and pull out discs and accompanying stories from those trips. Listening enables me to recall those good times.

Don’t just buy music; go hear it while you’re away. One of my favorite bands is Seven Nations, who we heard in Keystone probably 8 years ago. I’ve been listening to their tunes this week, musing over the beauty of the blue mountain sky, sipping a Guinness and enjoying my family. The music brings back the memory.

Traditions
I was DorkDad for a few years as I demanded that we stop every year at Ft Cody in North Platte on the way out. Ft Cody is the last bastion of kitsch, a roadside mecca of cheesy trinkets and souvenirs, with a little bit of Buffalo Bill history thrown in. Sure, its goofy and your teenagers might think you’re off your rocker, (they think that anyway), but the whoopee cushion and fake cow turd they bought will be useful in the future retelling stories from those trips.

Food
The smell of Starbucks French Roast coffee immediately ushers me back out to sitting on the deck at the condo in Colorado, looking out over the lake. This was our morning routine. Even this week, my wife commented on the aroma of my coffee, saying “that smells like Colorado.”

So if you’re planning the vacation this summer, think of some new ways to capture your memories other than on film or pixels. You may never get around to organizing the photos, but you can tell the stories. Engage the other senses. Take some new “snapshots” with your ears, nose and mouth. You might be surprised.

Making memories