Earlier this week I came across a website called, The Mom Creative owned by Jessica Turner. She was discussing her curiosity of the deeper story behind photos posted for throwback Thursday. That wonder led her to start Throwback Thursday Stories.

I think is an absolutely wonderful idea! When I look at photos from yesteryear, I always wonder who the people are in the photo or if the person posting it feels an attachment to the photo itself or something in it. And that is exactly how Throwback Thursday Stories works. Over the course of several weeks, Jessica will post a throwback photo and include a backstory and how she feels about it. She is encouraging others to do the same.

However, instead of a flashback photo, I decided to do a flashback object. With summer approaching and my love of traveling I could not resist speaking about this Coppertone suntan oil bottle I recently found it in the back of my mom’s linen closet.

coppertone mommyrandr valerie pierre
Our Coppertone travel gnome

The story behind the bottle is an incredible one. First of all, it’s been on almost every vacation of my childhood through my teenage years. My mom got it from Waldbaum’s for our trip to the Bahamas in the late 80’s. It was the first trip we would take as mother and daughter following the untimely death of my father the year before. Second, I know she purchased this thinking it was sunblock. Which we discovered two days into our vacation slightly burned with another five days to go that it wasn’t. Thank goodness for our melanin otherwise, we surely would’ve burst into a ball of flames leaving nothing but a pile of ash on those lovely striped poolside lounge chairs.

But as I was saying, this bottle has seen more vacations than I’m sure it was intending to. It didn’t just accompany a family of two on their vacation, it became part of their family. Packing was not complete until we had it tucked away next to the sunblock we would use.

My Coppertone pal has seen the following places and so many other places in between:

Bahamas – Crystal Palace
Fun Fact: Atlantis had just broken ground and was the talk of all Nassau Island

St. Thomas Sapphire Beach Resort
Happy & Sad Fact: We saw a couple get married on a Saturday and watched them head toward divorce by Monday. I wonder if those people were able to work it out cause they were a hot mess.

Virginia Beach
I don’t remember where we stayed. I do remember that we took a long ass bus to get there.

Disney World – Caribbean Beach Resort
If you stay here get a room as close to as Ole Port Royale as you can otherwise you will walk for what seems like miles to get something to eat.
Fun Fact: The Animal Kingdom had just broken ground and that was all Disney was talking about.

Disneyland – Holiday Inn
I could swear we were near Hollywood Blvd because the neighborhood was very seedy and smelly. I’m sure my mom had a serious talk with the travel agent when we got back. But the hotel overall was nice with a great pool.

Now you see why this bottle was such a great rediscover, on top of the fact that there’s some of the original oil still inside you could see in the image. I wouldn’t dare use it but it just adds to the nostalgia. But, yeah, this small neon multi-colored bottle reminds me of all the wonderful trips and experiences I shared with my mom.  It’s where my love of traveling originated. Which is why I try to travel as often as I can with my family. With summer quickly approaching I can’t wait to make new memories with my long lost travel buddy.

Do you have an item that travels with you everywhere, even if you don’t use it?

Update: Sierra managed to get her hands on this bottle off a shelf I thought she couldn’t reach, filled it with water and was using it to mist her brother. He was fine. Just oily and smelled like a beach. I swear kids don’t let you have shit.