Remember When: First Road Trip

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First Car/First Road Trip

Loading Up the car for a Florida trip.

Anyone remember their first real road trip? Mine occurred in 1977 when my friends Dan, John “Frenchy”, Ray and I decided to go to Florida for the week and somehow it was agreed upon that my 1973 Monte Carlo would be the transportation. I guess I didn’t mind too much. It was a decent car and we all agreed to share the expenses. Technically, the Monte Carlo wasn’t my first car but was the first car I would trust to go further than 10 miles.

Frenchy and the 1973 Monte Carlo

Frenchy and the 1973 Monte Carlo

So after a little planning, we packed up the car and off we went. Someone suggested we stop at Niagara Falls on the way, and being a bunch of geographically challenged teenagers, it sounded like a good idea. I guess we didn’t realize it was about 450 miles out of the way. But at least I got this great picture of Dan & Frenchy when they climbed over the safety barrier and stood by the Falls.

Niagra Falls

Niagra Falls (1977)

So after a brief visit to The Falls, we headed south to Florida. Some things are kind of a blur, but I think we just drove straight through taking turns at the wheel. Before you knew it, and after one speeding ticket, we were at Disney World. After, we made a stop in Daytona Beach and then we were off to Virginia Beach. In Virginia Beach we met up with Al & Tommy who had driven down from NH. We also hooked up with Kyle who was in the Navy and stationed in Norfolk. We had a great time just hanging out.

While in VA Beach we saw the group The Cars in some small club for 99 cents that I think was named Rogues. Being from the Boston area we knew about the band but apparently no one in VA did, because there were only a handful of people and us.

The Cars Club Show Virginia Beach 1977

The Cars in Virginia Beach (1977)

It was a great trip but not without controversy. In Dan’s eyes splitting the expenses did not include the speeding ticket. I still give him grief about that move.

A trip like this can make memories to last a lifetime. I still hang out with most of those guys. In fact I’m with Frenchy in Florida as I write this and we all occasionally reminisce about our first road trip and the many others after that one. My sons are getting to the age when they will probably come to me and say they are heading somewhere with a bunch of friends. I will be reluctant and nervous about letting them go, but I also know it is part of growing up and I hope they will have as good a trip as we did.

Chime in and let us know about your first car/first road trip.

Last updated: Feb 26, 2009
Filed under: Remember When Tagged with: travel