(Click here for parts one, two, three, four and five of my series reminiscing about our trip to Florida 30 years ago.)
Before wrapping up this series of posts (and I better wrap it up before February ends) with our return trip home, here's all the little memories I either forgot while writing or didn't have a spot for in a previous post:
-- As city dwellers in a flat state, our family hadn't experienced mountain driving until we got to Tennessee, when my mom was seriously freaked out by a runaway truck ramp. Even though she wasn't driving, she was thoroughly scared as we whooshed down the mountain. Today, I live 10 minutes away from a runaway truck ramp and wonder if it would be fun to take my Outback up it (no, I won't actually try that, it's probably not good for the car).
-- I played a lot of video games on this trip. The hotel we stayed at in Orlando had an arcade where I played Space Odyssey (like Scramble). The convenient store across the street had Space Wipeout, a Space Invaders knockoff. We went to Showbiz Pizza one night, where I played Donkey Kong (which was just becoming a monster success). At SeaWorld, I saw Haunted House, the first triple-level pinball machine.
-- We never quite got the smell of spoiled milk, spilled in Indiana on the trip down, out of the car the entire trip. Today, whenever I catch a whiff of milk-mildewed carpeting, it sparks happy memories of this trip.
-- I watched my first episode of "Entertainment Tonight" at the Rodeway Inn in Tampa, and I remember a segment on Quarterflash, who were hitting the big time with the song "Harden My Heart."
-- We went to a buffet restaurant called Duff's Smorgasbord in Tampa. The food was not good (the corn was pink), but that wasn't the worst of it. I saw a kid I swear looked like me, even pointing it out to my parents. Then, I realized, the kid was wearing earrings. Yes, it was a girl I had just self-identified with. My 11-year-old ego was quite embarrassed.
That's about it. All that's left is the ride home -- the very long ride back to Chicago.
Click here for the conclusion of this series of posts.