When I was a kid, summer vacation was about four months long. My mom would go crazy trying to keep us kids busy, because although we loved not going to school, two weeks into vacation, we'd start up with, "I'm booooooooooored." She'd brainstorm ideas for things that would keep us occupied, and my sister and I had our fingers crossed that we'd get to do those things every cool girl did over the summer in the '90s. We knew that once school started up again in the fall, we couldn't very well come back regaling our classmates with stories of clarinet lessons and space camp. As if.
No matter what, we always found fun ways to break up the monotony of Nickelodeon and MTV marathons (as awesome as those were). From the instant we finished our breakfast of Pop Tarts Crunch cereal to the moment the street lights came on, we'd laugh and shout and chase each other around the neighborhood. The days were long and hot, and we'd usually return home at the end of the night sweaty, smelly, and satisfied. Nothing beat summer vacation in the '90s — and if you wanted a really epic summer break to brag to your friends about later, you probably spent time doing some of these things.
1. Staying At The Family's Cabin On The Lake
Merely having a cabin on the lake was super duper cool. But in my neck of the woods, barbecues in the backyard and catching fireflies at night came in a close second.
2. Going Away To Summer Camp
Some of us went to camp and did arts and crafts and played the recorder. Others rode horses and had formals. Different strokes for different folks.
3. Taking A Cruise (Or Any Other Tropical Vacation)
Girls whose families' had the means to take these luxurious getaways for weeks at a time were, like, too cool for words. The rest of us stayed home and played with sidewalk chalk. (#noregrets)
4. Having Pool Parties
Having a pool automatically awarded you 10 bonus points — but if your parents were cool enough to let you throw parties? Daaaaaaaaaang.
5. Buying A New Summer Wardrobe
6. And Buying A New Fall Wardrobe From The Delia's Catalogue
Mom was all, "Circle the things you want, sweetheart," and you'd be all, "OK!" *circles everything*
7. Getting Summer Highlights By Using Sun-In
You were aiming for Pamela Anderson but ended up more Alicia Silverstone. No biggie. You still looked fly.
8. Tie-Dyeing T-Shirts And Tank Tops
Why did this ever go out of style?! I'd tie-dye my whole apartment, if I could. In the '90s, I can remember receiving a baggy t-shirt from my big brother to practice my subpar dyeing skills on, but the totally cool girls dyed spaghetti strap tank tops.
9. Spending All Day At The Mall To Escape The Heat
Every now and then, you'd seek relief from the scorching hot sun. It was the perfect opportunity to hit up Claire's, Hot Topic, and Bath and Body Works, before rounding back for a giant slice of pizza at Sbarro.
10. Graduating From Jelly Shoe Flats To Jelly Shoe High Heels
OMG. Heels? The other girls are going to be so jealous.
11. Perfecting Your Tan With The Help of Hawaiian Tropic
Then you'd lie about it. "Me? Tan? Like, I hardly spent any time outside!"