Family Vacation, Part 1

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#31: “Family Vacation, Part 1”
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2 Corinthians 13:14

14May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Hebrews 10:25
25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

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Family Vacation, Part 1

“Family Vacation, Part 1” is episode #31 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on June 18, 1988.


The Barclay family of four takes off for a Florida vacation, but they get stranded when the family car breaks down.



It's vacation time, and the Barclay family is off like a herd of turtles. Well, almost: they haven't even left yet. Young Jimmy is going to journal about the trip. One of the first things he records is that his older sister, Donna, doesn't want to go. She prefers to remain in Odyssey, but her parents have overruled that notion, so Donna is not a happy camper. Jimmy also documents a brief, pre-trip visit with Whit, who has given him a new invention, "Whit's Boredom Buster" — to be used only when Jimmy is "absolutely, without question, no doubt about it, as bored as you've ever been in your life."

At last, the Barclays are on the road... and aren't 20 minutes into their trip when trouble starts. Donna and Jimmy argue about backseat space; George runs over something that everyone thinks is a small animal but turns out to be a piece of tire rubber; they have a chewy lunch in an old diner; they sing every praise chorus they know; and the batteries go dead in Donna's tape player, further souring her mood.

To top it all off, the car suddenly dies. When George gets out to investigate, Jimmy sees a man they passed on the road rapidly approaching them. Donna speculates that he's an ax murderer. She screams for her father to get back in the car. Just as the man walks up, George pops the cap off the hot radiator, sending up an explosion of water and steam.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. What was the meaning of Whit's message, "Boredom is under your control"?
  2. Why is it important for families to have fun together?
  3. Describe some fun times you have had with your family.


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Great-Grandma Benson Jimmy Barclay
Chester Jimmy Barclay


  • When batteries go dead in a portable cassette player, the cassette doesn't just stop playing all of a sudden: the cassette deck slowly comes to a stop.



Jimmy Barclay: It felt like a cow!
Mary Barclay: Um, it was too small to be a cow, Jimmy.
Jimmy Barclay: A little cow? Don't they make little cows?

Jimmy Barclay: I got everything in that I need.
Mary Barclay: Open it up, Jimmy.
Jimmy Barclay: There. See?
Mary Barclay: Yes, I do. I see a pile of comic books, a baseball glove, your piggy bank, your play army boots, a yo-yo, a cassette player and tapes, three model sports cars, and -- what's this?
Jimmy Barclay: My Overlords of Space Laser Blaster.

Mary Barclay: But where are your clothes?
Jimmy Barclay: I'm wearing them.
Mary Barclay: No, I mean the clothes you're going to take on vacation.
Jimmy Barclay: I've got em on.
Mary Barclay: Jimmy, you have to take more clothes than that.
Jimmy Barclay: Why? These are the ones I like to wear anyway.
Mary Barclay: I know, and one day I'm going to peel them off you and give them a decent burial.

Jimmy Barclay: It took three more tries before Mom would let me leave. And I had to take out most of the good stuff, too, like half of the comic books and the army boots. Just for some clean underwear, socks and shirts that make my neck itch. Grown-ups just don't understand what's really important. I thought this was supposed to be a fun vacation.

Jimmy Barclay: Come on, Donna. Mom said to turn off the TV because we have to pack.
Donna Barclay: Be quiet, runt. I don't wanna pack for that stupid vacation. I don't wanna go, and I don't think Mom and Dad should make me. You guys go. I'm twelve years old, and I'm big enough to take care of myself.

Jimmy Barclay: Can I open it now?
John Whittaker: No. You can only open it when you're absolutely, without question, no doubt about it, as bored as you've ever been in your life.

Jimmy Barclay: Ok, so Dad's not a mechanic. That's all right. He got it fixed before we left in the morning. Well, almost fixed. We have to push the lighter in to turn on the windshield wipers.

George Barclay: Oh, we're only 52 minutes late. That's a record for us.

Jimmy Barclay: My parents are really confusing sometimes. Why would they want to take work on a vacation? I don't get it. I don't like to work when I have to. Why should I do it when I don't? You won't catch me trying to sneak my math books on this trip.

Jimmy Barclay: All that excitement for a piece of tire rubber. Anyway, we drove for a little while and then stopped at one of those diner kind of restaurants where all the waitresses call you "honey" and look just like my Great-Grandma Benson right before she died.

George Barclay: There's more to life than your friends in Odyssey, Donna.
Jimmy Barclay: Yeah, all you guys ever do is sit around wondering what to do.
Donna Barclay: Be quiet, Jimmy.