Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Vacation 1984: The beginning

We took two major vacations in my childhood, both driving trips, both to Florida. The first was in 1982, which I blogged extensively about a few years ago. Here is my first installment of the second, from April 1984. I meant to do this last year but never got around to it, so here it is a year later. Or more exactly, 31 years later.

We left in the evening, with the idea we would drive through the night. Our family car was a Oldsmobile diesel station wagon -- huge, with a roof carrier on the top, almost like the Griswolds in "Vacation." I had the whole back seat to myself, while the girls camped out in the back; with the rear-facing seat down, there was enough room for both of them to comfortably sleep. We departed, leaving Pepper behind with my Aunt JoAnn, who was house sitting for us. I stayed awake through the city and the south side, and the first toll in Indiana when my dad asked the worker if she ever got lonely that late at night. I eventually fell asleep.

Two hours later, I woke up and couldn't doze back off in the middle of the night. I stayed awake with Dad as he drove through Indianapolis. He found a soft rock station, and it and I were keeping him focused through the quiet, dark night. Indy was almost empty overnight, with the flashing light from the tallest building in town blinking quietly as a reminder that it was keeping watch on all driving through. I didn't fall asleep again until the sun came up.

We arrived in Atlanta late afternoon, and either found a hotel or my dad reserved it ahead of time (a Marriott). This trip seemed much less improvised than our first one. The girls and Dad swam in the hotel pool that was both indoor and outdoor. I played Astro Blaster in the adjacent arcade. The next morning, we completed the journey to Orlando, where the fun really began.

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